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Source: TV Fanatic

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

At risk of sounding old here, when I was growing up in the 1980s and even when I was in high school in the early 1990s. network original movies that were made and produced by the networks, were actually worth watching. CBS, NBC, and ABC, all had their own movie companies that were part of their entertainment divisions and had one night a week and sometimes multiple nights if they were showing a mini-series where they should show two-hour movie and sometimes longer than that. The networks would produce their own movies and of course would show movies that were from Hollywood and perhaps had been out for a year or so, or longer.

Very similar to what HBO, Showtime and others do on cable. Probably watched 5-6 of James Bond series of movies in the summer of 1992 alone on ABC. The networks did this because they were good at it and knew what movies to pick and how to promote them and what kind of cast they could put together and so-forth. But also because cable wasn’t as dominant in the 1980s as it became in the 1990s. CBS, NBC, and ABC, were worried about each other. And not so much what HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TNT, USA, etc, were doing on cable. Because the cable networks simply didn’t have the resources that the broadcast networks had back then. And to certain extent today as well, but cable networks are much powerful and influential today than they were back then.

I only mention all of this because I’m trying to bore you into a coma. Especially if you weren’t even born yet in the 1980s. Actually, because the Jayne Mansfield Story was a TV network movie that CBS put together with the producers, directors, creators, and writers of the movie. And The Jayne Mansfield Story and I’m only 4 years old when it came out in October, 1980 so I didn’t see it and only finally heard about it a year or so ago and saw a video for it on YouTube and the finally got to see the whole movie on cable (of course) on Get-TV last February and saw it again a few months after that.

And this was a network movie where you have Loni Anderson as the lead actress playing Jayne Mansfield and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing her husband and long time lover Mickey Hargitay. (The father of Mariska Hargitay) Loni was already a star at this point with her guest appearances on Threes Company in the late 1970s playing Jack Tripper’s love interest. And then she lands WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978. (One of the best sitcoms of all-time) Arnold wasn’t a star as an actor yet, but he was a superstar professional bodybuilder and already well-known at this point. Mickey Hargitay ws a superstar bodybuilder before become an actor as well.

This is a very good and funny movie and a lot of that has to do with Loni Anderson. Who has great comedic ability and one of the top comedic actresses of her generation at least. And she happens to playing a very funny woman in Jayne Mansfield who was very funny in real-life both intentionally and unintentionally, because she was so adorable and very immature and then add her comedic timing and you had a very funny woman who might still be working today had it not had been for her tragic car accident in 1967.

The movie covers Jayne’s life from when she became star in the early 1950s looking for work and basically forcing herself on her future agent Bob Garrett (played by Ray Buktenica) and he tells her if he’s going to represent Jayne that she’s going to have to change her hair and a few other things. But sees potential in her as a comedian. And the movie goes from Jayne being discovered in the early 1950s where Hollywood wasn’t ready for her alway up to her fall and struggling to find work in the early and mid 1960s, to her tragic death in 1967.

Loni Anderson is just plain hot, sexy, adorable and funny as Jayne Mansfield. She’s as cute as a little girl with personality to match, but with body of a goddess with those legs, curves, chest and everything else, as well as the face. Arnold playing Jayne’s wife is also great as a very loving and caring husband of Jayne who tries to look out for her best interests and tries to manage her immatureness and irresponsible behavior, but fails at both and they split up in the movie.

I believe Jayne Mansfield in real-life would have been proud for how Loni played her and at least give her credit for doing such a great and accurate job. Because I think knew herself real well and didn’t try to be anyone other than herself even if she seemed overly adorable and even childish to even the people who loved and cared about her like Mickey Hargitay and her business people. This is a very entertaining movie that covers the struggles as Jayne making it as a great comedic actress, but someone who also wanted to be taken seriously in Hollywood and get serious parts with more meaning.

TV Fanatic: The Jayne Mansfield 1980 Story- CBS Wednesday Night Movie

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Jayne & Jack

Jayne & Jack

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Wow! And I thought Jack Benny was pretty popular and that the Jack Benny Show was pretty popular. And then I hear that they have to grab the purses of women, including Jayne Mansfield in order to get them to appear on the show. I wonder if they paid the audience just to show up. How they make any money paying people just to come to the show. Jayne Mansfield showing her quick comedic side as an actress on this show. Playing along and doing very well on it. Going toe to toe with perhaps one of the top 5-10 comedians of all-time who inspired many other comedians as well.

Jayne Mansfield was probably at her peak and at the top of her career at this point. Which is a damn shame, because she was only I believe twenty-three years old at this point. And probably should’ve had another twenty-years as a Hollywood star had she took care of herself and laid off heavy drugs including booze. Because her career moderated, but didn’t collapse the way it did in the early and mid 1960s. Leaving her depressed and wondering what was the point in going on. Every comedy and variety show wanted a piece of her. Not just physically, but they also knew she was a very good comedic actress. With an excellent sense of humor.

Jack Benny had Jayne, along with Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors and Mami Van Doren, who by far in away had the longest career of any of these Hollywood Goddess’s, on his show in the 1950s. Dina Dors had the second longest career of these starlets, with Marilyn burning out in 1962 and Jayne in 1967. They were both in their mid-thirties when they died. Mami is still alive today in her early eighties and Diana died in 1984. But Jack could get basically anyone he wanted on his show. His show was that popular, good and funny. And inspired future variety shows in the future.

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Diana Dors
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I think Run For Doom is Alfred Hitchcock at his best because you see the full-scale of what he wanted to give his audience. A suspense/thriller involving people who were not saints or angels and not devils either, but real people who tend to be somewhere in between. With clever writing and a lot of humor and the female lead being a goddess. A gorgeous sexy women who is also very adorable and yet very clever and witty. Which is Diane Dors at her best, Jayne Mansfield who was also on this series and several other women who appeared on this series.

Run For Doom is about a nightclub singer with a bad history of marriages and relationships where the men in her life do not survive the relationship. And she walks away with a lot of money from the experiences. Diana Dors plays Nikki Carroll the nightclub singer and she’s performing one night and is introduced to a young doctor. Dr. Don Reed played by John Gavin and they naturally hit it off. Reed being a doctor is probably Nikki’s main interest him, but he’s a young doctor who doesn’t have a lot of money yet.

Dr. Reed has an ailing very wealthy father and his relationship with Nikki goes well enough for him to want to marry Nikki. Reed has gotten several warnings about Nikki’s history with men and her dead husbands and is warned not to pursue her. But I guess he’s blinded by his love for a women who doesn’t love him and decided to propose and marry her anyway. Reed’s father dies after finding out that his son is going to marry Nikki and now Reed is a very wealthy man. And naturally Nikki looses personal interest in Reed and looks to get out of the marriage.

Nikki has something that she can blackmail her husband on. Dr. Reed accidentally killed someone on their honeymoon by pushing a man over the cruise boat that they were on. And they didn’t bother to report the incident. Nikki tells the doctor to give her his money or she’ll report the killing to the police. Nikki also has a long-term on and off again boyfriend who wants her back. And knows what she is up to with her husband and decides to step in to get a piece of the action. And they have a physical struggle that leads to him strangling her and thinking he killed her.

To be honest with you, Diana Dors was the main reason why I’m so interested in this show. But it is a very entertaining and at times a pretty funny show as well. With Diana playing a women that is so cunning personally and bright and yet she looks too sweet and cute to hurt, let alone kill anyone. And yet she has a history of dead boyfriends and husbands. But in this marriage she is the one who doesn’t survive the affair.

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Baby Goddess

Baby Goddess

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

A chance to see Jayne Mansfield with short hair. Don’t worry, she’s still baby-face adorable and hot with short hair. Tony Randall plays a talented, but alcoholic advertiser who’s drinking has gone too far to the point that it costs him his job, which is a very good job and his wife. And as well as his memory where he doesn’t remember the night before. Where he gets kicked out of a bar, screws up his presentation at work for one of his clients and wife walks out on him. He also forgets about an affair he had with Marion played by Jayne Mansfield.

He actually shows up at work the next morning thinking everything is normal and that nothing incredible happened the night before. He doesn’t even remember being fired and is wondering what Marion is doing at his home the next morning. He shows up to work locked out of his office where they tell him again that he was fired. And essentially spends the rest of the day trying to figure out what happened the day before.

As Alfred Hitchcock said on this show himself, this was about showing people the dangers of alcoholism, which I’m even surprised that term was even around in the early 1960s. And would assume that people who were alcoholics were considered to be mentally weak and not people with disease that needed serious treatment. But alcoholism causes Hadley Purvis played by Tony Randall his job and his wife and he loses his temper and takes it out on Marion.

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Pete Rose
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The only reason why Pete Rose is not in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and he would’ve gone in I believe 1992 which I believe would’ve been is first year of eligibility, but the only reason he’s not there has to do with his gambling on Major League Baseball games. Which he gambled on even as manager of the Cincinnati Reds and even betted on Reds games. Pete being out of the Hall of Fame has nothing to do with his playing career and nothing to do with his playing career is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.

I could understand banning Pete from ever being a MLB manager, coach or executive for life. Because betting on your own team’s games is a pretty bad offense. Especially if you are betting that they lose and have a say in the outcome of their games. But to keep him out of the Hall of Fame in general, when he’s arguably the best all around player of his era and generation and we are talking about a career that covers twenty-four seasons from 1963-86, makes no sense from a Hall of Fame perspective.

Keeping Pete out of the Hall of Fame also does more damage to Reds fans and the Cincinnati Reds organization that Pete. Because of all the respect and luster that comes from not just seeing one of your own players in the Hall of Fame, but having that person in the Hall of Fame. “That player was not just a great player, but he played for us and we won a lot of games with him and he’s in the Hall of Fame as one of us”. Things that the Reds organization and the Reds fans can’t say right now because they are denied of seeing Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame.

We are not talking about whether Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame as a manager or even as a human being. He would never make it to the Hall of Fame based on that criteria. We are talking about Pete Rose the player and based on his playing career and because of the facts that he’s the best player who’s been retired for at least five years from playing, not in the Hall of Fame. And of course what he did as a player would’ve put him in the Hall of Fame over twenty-years ago. Pete Rose should definitely be in the Hall of Fame. Just don’t allow him to manage or be an executive.

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Charles Manson
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

In 1976 there was a two-part TV mini-series I believe on CBS about the Manson Crime Family from the late 1960s and even after their leader Charles Manson was arrested in late 1969 for his role in the Tate murders and other murders during the Manson Family murder spree from the summer of 1969, a summer Los Angeles will never forget. The Manson Family was still in business so to speak in the early 1970s and even up to 1975 with Lynette Squeaky Frohm’s attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford.

And this mini-series was about the murders of the Manson Family in the Summer of 1969 and other business about the Manson Family. It was not a religious cult, there was some spirituality in it. But it was basically about a petty thief pimp career criminal who was never very good at staying out of prison. Who would get released from prison for the last time in the mid 1960s and work his way to the San Francisco area, pick up some girls in their late teens early 20s who ran away from home.

These were young adults late teens for the most part who seemed somewhat lost and build a family made up of high school and college dropouts. People that they believed were kissed off from society and Charlie Manson finally found a group of people who seemed like him, somewhat lost in the World. That didn’t seem to fit in with mainstream society and he founded his soldiers that would take out their anger against mainstream society.

Charlie Manson wasn’t intelligent in the sense that he was well-educated, he didn’t get through high school or make it to high school. He grew up in prison basically, in juvenile hall and probably didn’t spend much time in school there. He never knew his father and his mother was a prostitute who didn’t spend much time with her son and Charlie got moved around a lot as a kid. And probably didn’t feel very loved, as an FBI profiler once said about Manson on NBC Dateline. “Charlie Manson is an example of what happens when we don’t raise our kids well”.

Society in a sense has some blame here for creating Charlie Manson. Not to excuse Manson because he’s exactly where he belongs and will and should never leave prison. But society isn’t innocent here in the creation of Charlie Manson. And what Manson had in his crime family were the people who would take out revenge for him against society. “If you were part of the establishment and successful in life, living in the Los Angeles area and they knew about you, you were a target of the Manson Family”. To paraphrase Vince Bugliosi who prosecuted the Manson Family. Charlie wasn’t stupid but he wasn’t educated either.

Charlie Manson had talent to play and write music, but also to read people and know how they work and how he could work them up to the point where he could make people kill for him, Charles Watson, Patricia Krenwenkell, Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins and others. And they found their targets in actress Sharon Tate, Karen Folger and others and killed them. The Manson Family murders were some of the worst murders ever committed. Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein would’ve been proud of these murders.

The Manson victims literally being stabbed and hanged to death in their own homes and their blood being spread around their homes. The Manson Family literally left their mark and were begging for the death penalty with their murders. And were given the Death Penalty before the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in I believe 1973. The only reason why these serial murderers are alive today. Their lives being spared something they didn’t do for their victims and they are the poster children for why we need to raise our kids well. And the Manson Crime Family had to be stopped for them to pay their debt to society. But to put them out of business so they couldn’t strike again.

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Red Goddess

Red Goddess

Source: CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson- Raquel Welch in 2012

When I think of Raquel Welch, I think of a red-headed gorgeous baby-face goddess, at least at first sight, and she’s all of that and I’m sure a lot more physically, but that is not the whole picture, as she says herself in this video. She’s had a great career spanning over 50 years as a model, an actress, and a singer, as well as a dancer and now an author, and I’m not sure many people realize that because it is so hard to get pass her goddess-like physical appearance.

Raquel Welch now is not only better looking than most women young enough to be her daughter but even those young enough to be her granddaughter. She is now 73 years old and will be 74 this September, but you would never know that or even guess if you saw her for the first time today. Again, that is not the whole picture when you talk about her movies, like Myra Breckinridge (based on Gore Vidal’s book) or The Last of Sheila, with an all-star cast that included Dyan Cannon, James Coburn, James Mason, and Richard Benjamin, or Mother Jugs and Speed from 1976.

In the 1960s, when Raquel became a star similar to Marilyn Monroe, she was hired because of her incredible physical appearance, but by the 1970s she was getting very good parts with real substance, like The Last of Sheila, Mother Jugs and Speed, The Kansas City Bomber, and others, and embarking on a singing career. More people were beginning to see that she was more than just a goddess but a great entertainer as well.

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