Charles Laughton played Captain Kidd twice, in Captain Kidd (1945) and in Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952).
Movies & TV
Jim Henson and the Muppets made their national TV debut in 1957 on “The Tonight Show” (NBC, 1954), hosted then by Steve Allen. Kermit (only one year old at the time) sang “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face” to a monster who ate its own face and tried to eat Kermit’s as well.
Elvis died in one, his first, Love Me Tender (1956). It was also the only one in which Elvis did not receive top billing. Its original title was The Reno Brothers, but the title was changed when a song from the movie, “Love Me Tender,” became a hit.
How did the practice of movie stars’ placing their footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre begin?
The practice of movie stars’ placing their footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was an accident at first. It started when Sid Grauman put his footprints into unset concrete outside his own theater in 1927.
Rhoda Morgenstern from the TV series Rhoda got married on October 28, 1974. Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) married Joe Gerard (David Groh). They separated early in the 1976-77 season, and eventually divorced. “Rhoda” ran from 1974 to 1978 on CBS.
Nine people were in the lifeboat in the movie Lifeboat (1943). The actors playing them were Heather Angel, Mary Anderson, Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Hume Cronyn, John Hodiak, Henry Hull, Canada Lee, and Walter Slezak.
The Brass Bottle (1964), starring Tony Randall, was about a genie and featured Barbara Eden. Eden played not the genie but Randall’s girlfriend Sylvia. Burl Ives played Fakrash, the genie.
Chuckles the Clown’s sign-off line on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (CBS, 1970-77) was “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” The words were remembered by those mourning Chuckles’s death after he was killed by a rogue elephant. Chuckles was dressed as Peter Peanut at the time.
“Radar” O’Reilly’s real name in the 1970 film and 1972-83 CBS TV series “M*A*S*H*” was Walter. Gary Burghoff played the character in both TV and film.
“Family Ties” (NBC, 1982-89) star Michael J. Fox played a werewolf in the movie Teen Wolf (1985). Jason Bateman, star of “Valerie/The Hogan Family” (NBC, 1986-90; CBS, 1990-91) played the werewolf in the sequel, Teen Wolf Too (1987).
Kevin Costner’s debut in a major film was a one-word part in Frances (1982).
“Marcus Welby, M.D.” (ABC, 1969-76) was the top-rated TV program in 1970.
Katharine Hepburn’s film debut was A Bill of Divorcement (1932).
Bwana Devil (1952) was the first film in 3-D.
There were no male actors that appeared in The Women (1939). The all-female cast includes Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, and Paulette Goddard.
The infamous TV quiz show scandals were from 1958 to 1959.
It was a stand-in who stabbed Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960), a young woman wearing a wig, not Anthony Perkins.
Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) was portrayed in newspapers as “Cinderella Man”. The newspaper reporter writing about (and falling in love with) him was Babe Bennett (Jean Arthur).
Edith Bunker died after “All in the Family” (CBS, 1971-79) had become “Archie Bunker’s Place” (CBS, 1979-83). The 1980-81 season opened with Archie grieving over her death, which was not portrayed directly.
David Huddleston played Santa Claus in the movie Santa Claus (1985).
Edward Platt did not play the Chief in The Nude Bomb (1980), the movie based on “Get Smart” (NBC, 1965-70). He starred as the Chief in the series but who died in 1974. Dana Elcar, later the “chief” in “MacGyver” (ABC, 1986), took the role. The porn star Sylvia Kristel played Agent 34 in the […]
The sun sets in the east in the closing moments of the movie The Green Berets (1968).
The full name of Khan, the “Star Trek” villain was Khan Noonian Singh (Ricardo Montalban). He was seen on the TV series (NBC, 1966-69) in an episode called “Space Seed” and in the theatrical movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).
The TV series “Bridget Loves Bernie” was loosely based on Abie’s Irish Rose (1946), in which an Irish girl named Rosemary (Joanne Dru) marries a Jewish boy named Abie (Richard Norris), leading to family conflict. In the TV show, Meredith Baxter played Bridget and David Birney played Bernie.
The first “All in the Family” (CBS, 197179) aired on January 12, 1971, at 9:30 P.M.
Garry Moore’s sidekick on “The Garry Moore Show” (CBS, 1958-67) was Durward Kirby. Andy Griffith’s sidekick on “The Andy Griffith Show” (CBS, 1960-68) Don Knotts (as Barney Fife, 1960-65). Adam West’s sidekick on “Batman” (ABC, 1966-68) was Burt Ward (as Robin, or Dick Grayson).
Lulumae Barnes was Holly Golightly’s (Audrey Hepburn’s) real name in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). She was the wife of Doc Golightly (Buddy Ebsen) from Tulip, Texas.
Jack Nicholson’s first job in the movies was as an office boy in MGM’s cartoon department.
For Me and My Gal (1942) was Gene Kelly’s film debut.
In what Hitchcock film did Jerry Mathers (TV’s Beaver on “Leave It to Beaver,” CBS, ABC, 1957-63) appear?
Jerry Mathers (TV’s Beaver on “Leave It to Beaver,” CBS, ABC, 1957-63) appeared on the Hitchcock film The Trouble With Harry (1956). Mathers played Tony, Harry’s son.
The Black Maria, built in 1893 by Thomas Alva Edison, near his laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey, was the world’s first film studio. Films were shot there for Edison’s peepshow-style kinetoscope viewer.
Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965), was the basis for the TV show “Daktari” (CBS, 1966-69) , with Betsy Drake and Marshall Thompson.
Each second of screen time, projected at the normal sound speed of 24 frames per second, takes up 1.5 feet of 35-millimeter film. A two-hour movie uses 10,800 feet of film, or a little over two miles.
Leonard Nimoy appeared in the science-fiction TV series Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) before “Star Trek” (NBC, 1966-69). Nimoy played Narab, a Martian.
The first on-screen Don Juan was John Barrymore in the 1926 movie Don Juan, the first movie to synchronize sound effects into a sound track.
What was the powerhouse Saturday night lineup that baby boomers remember watching on CBS in the 1973-74 season?
The powerhouse Saturday night lineup that baby boomers remembered watching on CBS in the 1973-74 season was: 8:00 “All in the Family”; 8:30–“M*A*S*H”; 9:00 “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”; 9:30—”The Bob Newhart Show”; 10:00 “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Little Sheba was the name of Lola Delaney’s (Shirley Booth’s) dog in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952).
No one won the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Film in 1968. Political demonstrations led by directors like Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Claude Lelouch forced the festival to close in mid-proceedings that year.
Spencer Tracy’s last words on film were “Well, Tillie, when the hell are we going to get some dinner?”. It was the last line of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).
The French Golgotha (1937), directed by Julien Duvivier was the first sound film about the life of Christ. It starred Robert Le Vigan as Jesus, and Jean Gabin as Pontius Pilate.
No, Dooley Wilson didn’t actually play the piano in Casablanca (1942). Wilson sang in the movie, but couldn’t play piano. Accompaniment was dubbed in.
A Passage to India (1984) was David Lean’s last picture. He was scheduled to start on an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo when he died in 1991.
Gloria Swanson’s last film was Airport 1975 (1974).
Meryl Streep’s theatrical film debut was Julia (1977).
According to A. C. Nielsen, an average home in 1953 got 3.8 stations on TV. With the advent of cable, 1983 saw televisions get an average of 10.3 stations. An average home in 1990 received 11.7 stations.
Robert Duvall’s film debut was Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).
Elvis Presley did not make his TV debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS, 1948-71), but on “The Jackie Gleason Show” (CBS, 1952-55, 1956-57, 1962-70). Elvis first appeared there in January 1956.
What was the name of the fraternal order to which Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton belonged (“The Honeymooners,” 1956-57)?
The name of the fraternal order to which Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton belonged on the movie “The Honeymooners,” was The Raccoons. The name of Ralph’s bowling team was The Hurricanes.
Hugs and Kisses (1966, Sweden) was the first movie to show full frontal female nudity.
Blackboard Jungle (1955) was the first film to feature rock music. Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” played over the opening credits.
Bad Sister (1931) was Bette Davis’s film debut.
The Invisible Man (1933) was Claude Rains’s American film debut. As the title character, Jack Griffin, Rains was never visible until the last shot, but his voice was heard throughout.
The word “video” comes from the Latin word for “I see.”
The first movie based on a TV series was Dragnet (1954). It was based on the NBC series of the same name (NBC, 1952-59, 1967-70).
Walt Disney’s animated cartoons first appeared in Kansas City in 1919. Disney started working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company, which produced short cartoon commercials to be shown in local theaters. By 1922, Disney had developed his own series of theatrical cartoons, “Laugh-O-Grams,” which were parodies of fairy tales.
Alfred Hitchcock’s first film with sound was Blackmail (1929). He actually filmed two versions, sound and silent. In the sound version, the German star Ann Ondra’s voice was supplied by English actress Joan Barry.
Marlon Brando played American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell in “Roots: The Next Generation” (ABC, 1977).
The Harder They Fall (1956), directed by Mark Robson, was Humphrey Bogart’s last film. Humphrey Bogart died of cancer in 1957.
Geena Davis’s screen debut was in Tootsie (1982), where she played the dressing-room mate of Dustin Hoffman.
Yes, a Hollywood Canteen was more than the title of a 1944 movie featuring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. During World War II, it was a gathering place in Hollywood for servicemen and women. It was founded by Bette Davis and John Garfield.