Posts Tagged ‘The 1980s’


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

There were a lot of Hollywood bombshells produced by the Silent Generation, people born in the 1930s and even mid to late 1920s. Actress’s like Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickinson, Diana Dors, Jayne Mansfield and yes Kim Novak and several others. But only two of them are still alive today and only two of them even made it to their sixties. Angie Dickinson and Kim Novak.

Why, because these women weren’t just Hollywood goddess’ and bombshells. They weren’t just gorgeous baby-face sexy women, who by the way can also act a little. Angie and Kim are good actress’s who are also gorgeous, baby-face adorable and sexy. And they were also mature and intelligent, they knew how to take care of themselves and make careers for themselves. And not just live off of their stardom from early on. But use their stardom to make big careers for themselves. Kim Novak actually left Hollywood voluntarily and then came back briefly in the 1980s. Because she didn’t need it to feel successful and important in life.
Falcon Crest Blog: Kim Novak 1985 ET Interview

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Legend & Magic

Legend & Magic

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

This film is about the two men who saved the National Basketball Association in the 1980s. And to know that, you have to be familiar with the NBA back in the late 1970s. The fact that the NBA finals were shown on tape-delay television means the game is played at one point. The network back then was CBS and CBS Sports, which recorded the game and broadcast it. The game was played at 8 or 9 pm, but then CBS Sports aired the game at midnight after the local TV news.

Regarding Earvin Magic Johnson’s and Larry Legend Bird’s second or third season, sports fans wanted to see the NBA again and their ratings were back up and all of their games are now being shown live. The reason for this is that both players were great to see, but why were they great to see: Because of what they were about, which wasn’t themselves but their teams and winning. All they were interested in was winning, and as the great NBA basketball head coach Pat Riley said, Magic and Legend were about team first and team last and everything else in between and nothing else.

The only thing that Magic and Legend cared about was winning and the fact that they were the two best. Players, at least of their generation playing for the two best teams of this era, and playing in opposite conferences, Larry Bird playing for the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference, and Earvin Johnson playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference, and for either to win the NBA finals, most likely they would have to beat the Celtics or Lakers. It meant for the two best team players of all time to win the championship. They would have to beat each other to do that.

I am not sure whether Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson would have been as great as they were had they not played in the same era and were from the same generation. Had they been clearly the best players of their era without anyone to push them for the top and had the Celtics been the best team of this era without the Lakers to push them and vice-versa I am not sure they would have been as great as they were without the other player and team pushing them. Because part of Legend’s and Magic’s greatness was the other pushing them to make them as great as they were: the competition of the rivalry.

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Source: Bob Parker: ABC World News Tonight July 13th, 1987

The Iran Contra affair was definitely the story of the summer of 1987. I was eleven then and had just finished the fifth grade. Going off to outdoor ed summer camp and my first ever basketball camp. As well as vacationing with my family in West Virginia. So it was a fun summer for me. And when I wasn’t doing those things I got to see a little of the Iran Contra hearings, probably on PBS since we didn’t have cable yet, with my mother.

Really that whole year up until the summer of 87, which isn’t a title of a song, at least that I know of, the new Democratic Congress that now had both the House and Senate with a large Democratic majority in the House, the Reagan Administration was on the defensive. Because of Iran Contra and Americans as well as Congress perhaps both Democrats and Republicans believing that the Reagan Administration at the very least did some things that they didn’t inform Congress about. Or committed some illegal violations of national security law.

When the Iran Contra investigation was put under the national spotlight so to speak and you got to see this joint Congressional Committee investigating Iran Contra on national TV, then you got to see Representatives and Senators from the House and Senate at their best and worst. Essentially trying to make names for themselves and look good politically at the expense of President Ronald Reagan. Who was still fairly popular politically, even if his administration wasn’t. And what you got see at least during week one of this Congressional Committee were Democratic Representatives and Senators making asses out of themselves. Trying to make Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North look like the bad guy. When he instead he came out looking like a national hero.

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Source: IronWorkers Jeff– Da Bears vs The Raiders 

Source: IronWorker Jeff-NFL Films: NFL 1984-GOW- Los Angeles Raiders @ Chicago Bears

Da Bears 46 defense becoming famous in one game. I just wish Jim Plunkett was healthy enough to play this game and played this game. The reason for the Raiders slide in the mid and late 1980s after they won their third Super Bowl in 1983, was the fact that Plunkett was getting older and Marc Wilson was no replacement for him and the Raiders inability to replace Plunkett at QB. Other than that the Raiders were still producing great teams both on offense and defense.

The same caliber of talent that the Raiders had when they won the Super in 1980 and 83. Great players both on offense and defense, great coaching. And if you look at the Raiders defensive personal and compare to the Bears from the era, The Raiders were better at least as far as personal;. The defensive lines and linebackers, were similar, but the Raiders had two cover corners in Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes. Most NFL clubs back then and especially today, simply didn’t have that.

And the Raiders had a great front seven as well with Howie Long, Greg Townsend, Bill Pickell, Ted Hendricks was still there, Rod Martin, Matt Millen and others. The 1980s should’ve been the Raiders decade in the NFL, because they consistently had the best best personal and a great head coach in Tom Flores. But a management led by Al Davis, that couldn’t stay out of their own club’s way making a lot of and personal decisions starting with Marcus Allen, who I believe was the best overall RB in the NFL in the 1980s, but had his career stalled by his team’s owner Al Davis, because Davis didn’t see Allen as a true Raider.

The Bears were just getting started in 1984. Making their first playoff appearance since 1979 under Mike Ditka. Winning their first division championship since 1963 under Ditka, playing in their first conference championship since 1963, under Ditka. Similar to the Raiders, the Bears should’ve accomplished more in the 1980s as well and at least been the NFC team of the 1980s. The best defenses in the NFL with arguably the best personal. And when QB Jim McMahon was healthy, a very good and effective balanced offense. With a vertical passing game with WR’s Willy Gault and Dennis McKinnon and Walter Payton, Matt Suhey and later Neal Anderson running the ball. Also with a big strong mobile offensive line.

This was a great game anyway, but with a healthy Jim Plunkett I believe the Raiders go back to the Super Bowl at least in 84 and perhaps this is the preview of Super Bowl 20 in 1985. Just one of those cases where the the final product doesn’t look good as the cover. And you think something is really special and great until you get into it. Which is how I would describe both the Raiders and Bears of the 1980s.



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The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeState

Senator Ted Kennedy, would be one of the few Northeastern Progressive Democrats that could give a speech at a Southern Evangelical university like Liberty University. Because Senator Kennedy was someone who could work outside of his element. Especially when he didn’t have enough power to get everything he wanted on an issue. Because he was a legislature before he was a politician. Which is why you see Senator Kennedy on the same stage not debating with Reverend Jerry Falwell, one of the fathers of the Religious-Right in America. And they make about as odd of a couple as Reverend Jesse Jackson giving a speech at a KKK rally. Something just seems odd about it.

But you have to remember that two of Senator Kennedy’s best friends in Congress were Senator Orrin Hatch and John Boehner now Speaker of the House. Two of the most Conservative Republicans in Congress. But Senator Kennedy was one of the best speakers when it came to truth and tolerance and civil rights in America. You don’t have the legislative record in Congress as a Senator, without the ability to not only work with your colleagues in the Senate and people in your party, but you also have to not only be able to work with Senator’s from the other party, but people in the House of Representatives as well. At least in your own party if your party is in the majority there. Ted Kennedy, understood all of that.

Perhaps not as articulate as Lyndon Johnson, Martin King or Bill Clinton, but you knew when Ted Kennedy spoke about those issues, that he was speaking from his heart that these were issues that really believed in. Which is why Senator Kennedy always had one of the best civil rights records in Congress. And Senator Kennedy’s contribution to the immigration reform debate in 2006-07, is a perfect example of that. Truth and tolerance and civil rights, are just as important as they were in 1983 84 when this speech was given, as it is today. To speak what’s on your mind and tell the truth and what you really believe.

Tolerance and cooperation, is something we didn’t have enough in politics and the rest of the country back then. But at least in the 1980s both parties believed in government and governing. And were smart enough to know they had to work with the other party in order to govern. Now it’s about how do you make the other side look bad so you can score politically. And that has just gotten worst today. Tolerance, treat people as you would want to be treated. Until they’ve proven they’re not worthy of your respect. And judge people by the content of the character, not by the color of their skin. Or the shape of their face or style of their hair or any other thing that has to do with their race or ethnicity.

Don’t judge people by their name, or what religion they practice if any, what gender they are attracted to physically and so on. That we treat people as people not groups. We don’t treat people special because they are a member of a group, good or bad. That we judge all people as people not members of groups. Which is something that Senator Kennedy understood very well for the most part. And is something that as we become even more diverse as a country is a message that needs to be understood and communicated even more today. Seeing Ted Kennedy with Jerry Falwell on the same stage not debating each other and actually being nice to each other.

Ted Kennedy and Jerry Falwell, were the definition of Odd Couple. Perhaps they could’ve had their own sitcom. Like the Irish Baptist, or Out of Place or something like that, Strange Bedfellows. Except they would both be straight. Jerry Falwell getting on Ted Kennedy for falling off bar stools and Ted Kennedy getting on the Reverend for preaching to the choir in their living room, literally as he’s trying to sleep. An Odd Couple that could get along.But even people who are clearly opponents when it comes to politics and have to defeat other side to accomplish their goals, can get along with each other. If they understand that they’re opponents and not enemies that are always in combat seeking to destroy the other side.
David Rosman: U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy & Reverend Jerry Falwell- Liberty Baptist College 1983

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