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Topic: Nostalgia

Enter Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone on Drive-In Saturday Night


Film & Video

thetwilightzonelogo.jpgWith writers Rad Bradbury, Richard Matheson, and the prolific Rod Serling spinning their tales of mystery, magic, horror, humanity and intrigue, the Twilight Zone dominated the early years of television with stories that probed the human spirit and challenged our perceptions of the dimensions in which we live. Serling bent the time/space continuum and invaded the deepest parts of the human mind, and took all of us along for the ride.

Serling, creator of the acclaimed CBS show that ran from 1959-64, wrote 92 of the 156 stories that aired on this acclaimed series. The series drew not only the best writers but many acclaimed actors — those well established and those on the precipice of fame — newcomers including Robert Redford, William Shatner, Burt Reynolds, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Carol Burnett, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, and Peter Falk as well as such established stars as silent-film giant Buster Keaton, Art Carney, Mickey Rooney, Ida Lupino and John Carradine.

Here are some of the Twilight Zone stories that are one our favorites list:

co-judgement-ship.jpgJudgement Night has a former U-Boat captain turned eternal passenger wandering the decks of a ship he sank, condemned to cruise on the Queen of Glasgow with his victims for eternity.

The Escape Clause puts us into the mind of hypochondriac who makes a deal with the Devil to live forever. But forever takes on a whole new meaning when he in sentenced to life in prison. «Read the rest of this article»


‘Cooling at the Cave’ draws crowd on a sultry summer day


Cool cave

Though day was ghastly hot, well over 100 Clarksville residents came to “Cooling at the Cave” for that natural air conditioning to be found at the mouth of Dunbar Cave. Some tables had to be moved away from the cave entrance because guests were freezing there (due to the 58 degree air coming out of the cave!).

Cool guestsMany people began playing board games just as soon as they found a nice table to claim for their own for the day. They knew what they were doing because they’d done it before. People played games, listened to the band and socialized. The cookies were wonderful, the lemonade great and the helpers (Friends of Dunbar Cave) attentive, refilling my cup if I even looked like I was a bit thirsty.

Cool bandIt was a day of nostalgia for many folks; organizer Barbara Wilbur was right when she thought that this would attract a lot of people. I heard stories about how Dunbar Cave used to be. Many visitors remember the days when Roy Acuff owned Dunbar Cave and they came to the swimming pool, bowling alley, the lake with its paddle boats, and the sounds of music at the cave. «Read the rest of this article»


Haunted Drive-In Saturday Night


the-haunting1.JPGThough known for spectacular epics such as Ryan’s Daughter, Robert Wise also lent a deft hand to the creation of tales of the supernatural, including the classic film, The Haunting, circa 1963, based on a novel by Shirley Jackson.

In the style of Alfred Hitchcock, Wise opted to let the mind, the imagination, be the biggest instrument of fear. The haunting has a prologue the outlines the shadowed history of the house, a haunted mansion  in old New England (the film was actually shot in a British manor), where four guests are about to gather with the intention of debunking, demystfying a haunted home. Julie Harris leads the cast a Eleanor Vance, a believer in the supernatural and unsettled by the recent death of her mother. Richard Johnson is Dr. Markway, the requisite anthropologist, the science behind the sensory. The beautiful and elegant Claire Bloom plays an eccentric, free-living lesbian (a role a  ahead of time in the conservative sixties) with extra-sensory abilities, and the equally requisite playboy, Luke Sanderson (played by Russ Tamblyn, dimples intact). Sanderson is the prospective owner of Hill House via inheritance. «Read the rest of this article»


Slick or Slapstick at Drive-In Saturday Night


russians_are_coming_the_russians_are_coming.jpgThe Cold War was raging in 1966. That’s when Alan Arkin’s comic restraint was the fuel the fired the hilarity in the whacky comedy, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. It’s a rollicking romp along the eastern shoreline when a Russian sub is stranded on cold war American soil.

The Russian captain is scared death, and he’s not sure if it’s of the Americans or of what will happen if his own superiors find out he grounded their sub. Carl Reiner is Walt Whittaker, all-American family man first convinced there’s an invasion about to begin, then becoming an ally with his new found Russian visitor. Toss into the mix a light romance between young Russian sailor Alexie (John Philip Law) and Alison Palmer (Andrea Dromm), and supporting performances by Eva Marie Saint, Theodore Bikel and Brian Keith — each manifesting precise comic timing in this old-fashioned slapstick oceanfaring adventure. It’s a got a message too, as exemplified in this tidbit of dialogue between the young couple:

Alexei Kolchin: “In Union of Soviet, when I am only young boy, many are saying, Americanski are bad people, they will attack Russia. So all mistrust American. But I think that I do not mistrust American… not really sinceriously. I wish not to hate… anybody!
[He throws a stone into the sea]
Alexei: This make good reason to you, Alison Palmer?
Alison Palmer: Well, of course it does. It doesn’t make sense to hate people. It’s such a waste of time. «Read the rest of this article»


Ladies Night on Drive-In Saturday Night


Queue up for romance. Yes, sappy, sentimental, romantic. Loves stories. Guys, if you don’t want to watch us cry (for love or loss), snivel and reach for Kleenex all night long, you might want to head back to the Cineplex this weekend.

roman-holiday.jpgI’m starting with Roman Holiday: Audrey Hepburn (her first starring role) and Gregory Peck co-star in this Roman romp as an enchanting runaway princess and a struggling reporter steal a day together and fall in love. Apart from the typical touristy Roman landscape, there’s a hint of subterfuge, a case of hidden identities and agendas that tease and taunt. But class, power and personal responsibility temper what should have been, and the ending is bittersweet. Director William Wyler used a lighter hand here and his touch was impeccable. Beautiful locations. And that Hepburn fashion designed by Edith Head … How can you not love this picture? (1953) «Read the rest of this article»


“B” movies for Drive-In Saturday Night


the-blob1.jpgIt’s summer (or close enough) and for those of us who are old enough to remember, Saturday night in summer meant one thing: drive-in movies. Stuff the car with friends, food and even a few folding chairs, and settle in for a triple feature under the stars. With the onslaught of Imax theaters, air-conditioned stadium seating, and surround sound, most of the drive-in theaters have been relegated to the realm of fond memories and the reality of strip malls. No more sultry summer nights before a big outdoor screen; forgotten is the scratchy sound from the little black boxes that hung on the car windows, or the camaraderie of sharing the contents of an ice-filled cooler, oversized grinders and semi-stale popcorn with the friends parked next to you on “$5.00 a carload” nights.

The movies that we watched live on, though, some offered for rental, some order-able on online, and others now living in “public domain” and available for free downloads. Over the course of the summer, I’ll be taking a look at some of them. Might not be a bad idea to have your friends “drive” to your home on a Saturday night, pop up some fresh popcorn, order a pizza, and kick back for the best of the “B” (and a few “C’ and “D”) movies. «Read the rest of this article»


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