Sunday, July 23, 2017

Your Morning "Danish"! :)

¡Buenas Dias!

Here's another rare treat from the wonderful world of Jack Kelly movie Kellectibles: a colorful Danish poster for the 1956 Mexican film Canasta de Cuentos Mexicanos, or, A Basket of Mexican Tales:

¡OlĂ©! A close-up of JK and co-star Mari Blanchard that's even hotter than this July's weather:

Coming soon in TDS:
  • More JK movie moments!
  • A bundle from Brazil!
  • And more--please stay tuned! :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Night "Fever"! :)


There's a lot going on in this magnifico Mexican lobby card that just joined the Kellection. But, look closely at the black-and-white inset and you'll see Jack Kelly as "Dan Callahan" in A Fever in the Blood.

District Attorney Callahan's overweening political ambition has led to tragedy: while speeding to a TV station, he accidentally runs down a young boy in the street. The boy will survive, but Callahan's dream of becoming his state's next governor doesn't.

Please stay tuned for more JK movie moments in TDS! :)  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

JK Goes "Commandos"! :)

(I've been waiting a long time to use that line!) ;>

A set of original British lobby cards and a British pressbook for Jack Kelly's World War II drama Commandos (a.k.a. Sullivan's Marauders) just landed in the Kellection, so let's take a look at this 1968 Italian-German co-production.  

According to the book Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide From Classics to Cult  (2011) by Howard Hughes, Commandos was filmed on location on Sardinia, a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, during July and August 1968. Interior scenes were filmed at Incir-De Paolis Studios. 

Here is the cast and credits list (from the British pressbook):

Set in 1942, Commandos stars Lee Van Cleef as testy, battle-hardened "Master Sargeant Sullivan" and JK as career soldier "Captain Valli". Although Valli is higher-ranked than Sullivan, he has no combat experience.

Sullivan resents Valli's presence at the "secret Mediterranean base" where both men are tasked with training a group of Italian-American commandos whose mission is to seize an oasis in North Africa which contains the only well for miles around, disguise themselves as the Italian soldiers holding the oasis, and secure the site for two days until the Allied landings occur.

The first part of the mission goes as planned and most of the Italians guarding the oasis are killed. Despite Sullivan's protests, Valli orders that the handful of Italians who survived the siege be imprisoned instead of being put to death.

The Captain's decision to spare the Italians comes back to bite him when the POWs escape in a truck. The truck explodes after hitting a mine, but one of the Italian escapees survives and blabs to a German patrol about the American commandos' switcheroo at the oasis.

Then, the Americans receive orders to abandon the oasis, since their mission is no longer considered necessary. However, before they can leave, the oasis is attacked by a heavily armed German outfit equipped with tanks. The ferocious battle which follows leaves only one American and one German soldier alive. (Neither Sullivan nor Valli survive.)

Although Commandos was released in Italy in 1968, it took its sweet time getting to the rest of the world. The British pressbook dates to 1972, the same year the film was exhibited in Canada.

A reviewer in the Ottawa Journal was dismissive: "...Commandos stars Lee Van Cleef and is possibly the worst war film ever made in Italy. The commandos are Americans who land in Italy, sloppily massacre an entire section of the Italian army and pose as the murdered men in order to capture a water hole in North Africa. The soldiers do a great deal of grunting and hard breathing. This is obviously director Armando Crispino's idea of neo-realism. Dreadful."

The film arrived in the US later in 1972, playing towns such as Hallettsville, Texas, and Burlington, North Carolina. It was usually paired on a double-bill with another "macaroni combat" film titled Salt in the Wound (a.k.a. Il dito nella piaga and War Fever).

Today, Commandos is sort of a cult classic, earning favorable fan reviews such as this one and this one (which has a display of color fotobustas for the film).

Of course, Commandos is worth watching because of JK. He looks great and does very well with the role of Captain Valli. But, don't take my word for it--here's a preview, and the entire flick can be purchased for peanuts online.

Incidentally, you may have noticed the "X" on the lobby cards. It signifies that Commandos was rated "Certificate X" by the British censors, meaning one had to be over 16 to see the movie in English cinemas. 

Well, Jack Kelly fans of all ages are welcome at TDS. What's coming up next? Please stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth! :)

Vintage image courtesy Google Images (greeting by La Bartista) 

Monday, July 3, 2017

"You Can't Beat 5 Aces!" :)


The 1959 paperback Poker According to Maverick is one of the most popular Maverick Kellectibles. I see it all the time at paper shows and it can easily be purchased online as well. I personally have four copies of this book (a couple were thrown in as freebies when I purchased other Kellectibles). It was even the subject of a guest post here in TDS.

What's interesting about Poker According to Maverick (aside from the front cover photo and the subject matter) is that there are different back covers for this book. Two copies I own have a regular back cover with a "blurb" about the book; one has a plain white back cover.

And, the fourth copy has this for its back cover:

An advertisement for Kaiser Foil (seemingly aimed at grocers) starring the "guys who know" that "You can't beat 5 aces"! The five "aces" are sales points for Kaiser Foil (it's quilted; there are five different types of Kaiser foil; Kaiser sponsors Maverick--yay!; Kaiser's promotions meet grocers' needs; customers quickly notice the ruby red boxes). But, I spot four more aces in this ad: Bart and Bret and the cards they're holding! ;)

Poker According to Maverick was so popular that it had sold over half a million copies by 1960, as noted in this review from the Amherst News Times:

And, the author of a forthcoming book about poker and pop culture also credits the Maverick TV series and Poker According to Maverick with sparking the mini "poker boom" of the late Fifties.

I've read the book but, alas, I still can't play poker (I'm afraid my card playing prowess is limited to 52 Pickup). However, this little tome still taught me something--I love looking at the front cover...and sometimes the back cover, too. ;)

Odds are you'll enjoy what's coming up next in TDS, so please stay tuned! :)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Young Billy Young" and Bad John Behan


Some rare color promo slides from the 1969 feature film Young Billy Young recently joined the Kellection. This western stars Robert Mitchum as deputy marshal "Ben Kane" and Angie Dickinson as dance-hall gal "Lily Beloit".

Jack Kelly plays a natty but nasty supporting character named "John Behan" in Young Billy Young. Behan owns the Gaslight Saloon where Lily dances and considers Lily his property as well.

In reality, John Harris (or "Johnny") Behan was the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, when the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred in Tombstone in 1881.

The John Behan whom JK portrays in Young Billy Young also differs from the historical Behan in other ways. In addition to serving as a lawman, the real Behan was a prison warden (among various other occupations) and died of natural causes at age 67, whereas JK's fictionalized version is shot dead in the film.

And, while the historical Behan was a known womanizer who had a common-law relationship with a "soiled dove" named Josephine (a.k.a "Sada", "Sadie" or "Sarah") Marcus, it's doubtful he treated her like JK's version treats Lily in the film. 

After the fictionalized Behan accuses Lily of cheating on him with Kane, he savagely beats her.

As I've said before, this Behan is a very bad guy, but JK does a very good job of portraying him.

Please stay tuned for more about JK and his many roles  in TDS!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"A Safe Journey" With JK! :)


Hello Everyone!

Did you enjoy seeing Jack Kelly in The Silent Service? (Silly question... ;->)

Well, get ready for another blast from JK's pre-Maverick past: "Safe Journey", a suspenseful episode of The Star and The Story, an anthology series which originally aired 1955-'56.

"Safe Journey" (2/5/1955) was directed by Blake Edwards before he hit it big with Richard Diamond, Mr. Lucky, Peter Gunn and The Pink Panther franchise. Edwards also wrote the 1954 feature film Drive A Crooked Road, which co-starred JK.

Below are some screencaps of "Safe Journey" from a DVD in the Kellection. (And, stay tuned for a special video clip at the end!) :)

 As host/star Frank Lovejoy explains in his introduction to the episode, "Safe Journey" is about some "people on a train...and who they are, and what they are...and, if they are what they say they are."

Two of the people who will be on the train are Sam Neeley (Lovejoy) and his traveling companion (JK). When we first see them, they appear to be businessmen having coffee before their departure:
However, Neeley's companion seems anxious to leave...
...and we soon learn why:
Neeley is actually a prisoner on his way to testify in an underworld trial and the other man is a detective assigned to make sure he gets there.
The detective vigilantly observes everything and everyone around him, including a woman glancing at Neeley from the train window:
He remains on edge on the train, while Neeley relaxes with a book:
The detective suspects that nearly anyone on board could be out to "spring" Neeley.  He draws his gun when a nearsighted passenger blunders into their compartment:
He's still tense at dinner, when the mysterious woman from the window joins the pair and claims to be a reporter who's dying to get the scoop on Neeley:
The detective doesn't believe her story and tells her there will be no interview with the convict. She doesn't take "No" for an answer, though, and sneaks into their compartment. The detective raises his gun...
...but the lady winds up with his weapon...
...and the detective winds up unconscious!
When he comes to, he thinks the woman helped Neeley escape and starts to panic. But, the porter tells him not to worry...
...because the lady really is a reporter and Neeley is still on the train:
Now the detective can relax:
JK, as always, is wonderful (and wonderfully handsome) in "Safe Journey". In a role reversal, he would later play the prisoner on a different train, in the Maverick episode "The Third Rider", when Bart is falsely accused of being a bank robber.
Now, here's the clip I told you about:
Please stay tuned for more journeys with JK in TDS! :)