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TV 101 (1988-89); Review by Robin Franson Pruter

tv101-4Premiered 29 November 1988
Created by Karl Schaefer

Starring Sam Robards, Brynn Thayer, Matt LeBlanc, Andrew White, Teri Polo, Stacey Dash, and Mary B. Ward

My rating: ★★ 1/2 stars

Late 1980s teen show is a goldmine of nostalgia.

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Ten Little Indians (1989); Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released November 1989
Screenplay by Jackson Hunsicker & Gerry O’Hara
Directed by Alan Birkinshaw

Starring Donald Pleasence, Brenda Vaccaro, Frank Stallone, Herbert Lom, Sarah Maur Thorp, and Warren Berlinger

My rating: ★ star

Dreadful, pointless version of Agatha Christie’s much-adapted story.

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Odds Against Tomorrow; Review by Robert Pruter

Originally released Nov 1959
Written by Abraham Polonsky (as John O. Killens)
Directed by Nelson Gidding

Starring Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, Gloria Grahame, Ed Begley

My rating: ★★★1/2 stars

The last 1950s-style noir film shows classic strengths in the genre with strong acting by top actors performing as noir archetypes and with stark grey urban imagery but is somewhat undone by weak story telling.

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Best Movie Song 2017; Selection by Robin Franson Pruter

I’ve been doing a lot of movie writing on social media during my Covid-19 quarantine. None of these writings fits my traditional post format, but I’m going to share them nonetheless.

I’m trying to come up with the best movie song of every year. That leaves me listening to a lot of bad songs. The first year I finished is 2017. I’m finding that most of the songs for that year blend together, and a lot of them have a Diane Warrenesque quality that makes me throw up a little in my mouth. There were far too many “inspirational” songs, which seems to be typical of film music in recent years. And the year produced a couple of songs that I really wished were better, like the Stevie Nicks song or the Mary J. Blige song.
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Top TV Couples of 2019, by Robert and Robin Franson Pruter

We’re running a little late on our year-end, wrap-up lists for 2019. This post was supposed to come two months ago. However, Valentine’s Day is as good time as any to celebrate the top TV couples of 2019. We had hoped to have a number of contributors to this post, but three backed out. Unfortunately, that means we won’t be mentioning any LGBT couples (there had been two planned), and our ethnic diversity quotient is reduced to two women of color. Sadly, there isn’t enough time in the day to watch all the worthwhile TV shows of this peak TV era. Thus, we can’t say that these are truly the greatest TV couples of the last year, but these are the couples that moved us the most.

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PCR’s Television Wish List for 2020

I have some year-end and decade-end features left to post, but let’s look forward first. Here are nine things we at Pop Culture Reverie would like to see on TV in the upcoming year. (There’s no hard and fast rule that every list has to have ten items.)

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Christmas Holiday; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 24 Jul 1944
Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz
Directed by Robert Siodmak

Starring Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Dean Harens, Gale Sondergaard, and Gladys George

My rating: ★★ stars

The hard-to-wrap-one’s-head-around story of Deanna Durbin as a prostitute-ish character married to a homicidal psychopath played by Gene Kelly.

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The Made in 1944 Blogathon Is Finally Here!

My dad (smiling away) and my Uncle Hugo (looking less than pleased). Aren’t they the cutest things?

Someone very special is having a birthday on July 1. My dad, Robert. (His twin brother, Hugo, was also born on that day—because that’s how twins work.) I decided to dedicate a blogathon in honor of his 75th birthday, focusing on the year he was born: 1944. 

Come and explore the pop culture made in 1944!

Thank you to all the participants in this blogathon!

THE SUBMISSIONS (will be updated as they come in):

Realweegiemidget: Arsenic and Old Lace

The Stop Button: It Happened Tomorrow

Critica Retro: On Approval

Pop Culture Reverie: Christmas Holiday

Entries will be added as they’re submitted.

 

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Announcing the Made in 1944 Blogathon!

My dad (smiling away) and my Uncle Hugo (looking less than pleased). Aren’t they the cutest things?

D-Day! FDR elected for 4th term! Vesuvius erupts! On the stage, The Glass Menagerie and No Exit premiere! Iceland declares independence! And World War II continues to rage across the globe.

It’s been 75 years since 1944, something my dad doesn’t like to be reminded of. Come July 1st, he’ll finally have to admit that he’s in his mid-70s, not his late early 70s, as he refers to being 74. In honor of his turning three-quarters of a century, I’m dedicating a blogathon in his honor.

It was the year Bacall taught us how to whistle, Judy went to the fair, Bing went his own way, and Stanwyck and MacMurray went straight down the line.

For this blogathon, you can write about any movie released in 1944 (yes, I know it’s called “Made in 1944,” but that’s just a title, folks) or any pop culture personality born in 1944. Other pop culture-related topics will be considered at my discretion. Discussions of personalities should be about them, not about a particular project. For example, you can write about The Kominsky Method in the context of Michael Douglas’s career, but not about the show itself.

Notable births include Shelley Fabares, Joe Frazier, Rutger Hauer, Jimmy Page, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Jerry Springer, Stockard Channing, Dennis Farina, Jonathan Demme, Roger Daltrey, Bobby Womack, Diana Ross, Craig T. Nelson, Jill Clayburgh, John Rhys-Davies, George Lucas, Joe Cocker, Danny Trejo, Patty LaBelle, Frank Oz, Gladys Knight, Marvin Hamlisch, Gary Busey, Jeff Beck, Geraldine Chaplin, Sam Elliott, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Douglas, Dennis Franz (my dad’s schoolmate), Danny DeVito, Lorne Michaels, Harold Ramis, and Brenda Lee.

The Rules:

  • There’s a lot to write about, so only three posts about any single topic will be allowed.
  • I’m not limiting the number of posts you can do, but, if you’re considering multiple posts, be considerate and let other people choose topics before you squat on a bunch other people might want to do.
  • All entries must be fresh. No old posts.
  • If you don’t have a blog and still want to participate, let me know, and I’ll post your entry on my blog.
  • Post a banner and a link to the blogathon with your entry.

Post continues below video.

Entries:

Pop Culture Reverie: Christmas Holiday

Reelweegiemidget ReviewsArsenic and Old Lace

The Stop ButtonIt Happened Tomorrow

In the Good Old Days of Classic HollywoodTo Have and Have Not

Cinematic Scribblings: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Silver Screen ClassicsDouble Indemnity

The Midnite Drive-InThe Mummy’s GhostThe Invisible Man’s Revenge

 


 

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Pump Up the Volume; Review by Robin Franson Pruter

Originally released 22 Aug 1990
Written and directed by Allan Moyle

Starring Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Andy Romano, and Ellen Greene

My rating: ★★★ 1/2 stars

Strong central performance by Christian Slater carries weight of film’s extensive rhetoric.

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