Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jack Kelly on Screen - The Unbelievable End One :)


I was rooting through the Kellection today and came across an interesting item I bought this summer for $1.00 at an antiques mall. It's the Films Incorporated 1978 Entertainment Catalog. It's a relic from a time long before Netflix and DVDs, in the days when home VCRs were mostly still a novelty. This catalog offered 16mm films for rental, with one-day rates ranging from $40 for Tortilla Flat to $300 for Doctor Zhivago. (And, one had to ask the rate for Gone With the Wind, which means one probably couldn't afford to rent it.)

Outdated, yes, but this catalog is loaded with color and black-and-white film pix. One of those pix persuaded me to buy the catalog:

Yep, it's Jack Kelly and Anne Francis being served coffee by Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet. This pic reminded me that I meant to discuss this film after watching it a couple of weeks ago on Turner Classic Movies.

I'd seen Forbidden Planet before, a long time ago, but I wanted to watch it again since JK was in it.

The still above comes from a scene in this clip:

I love it when "Alta" (Ms. Francis) describes the doctor (Warren Stevens) as "lovely". He's flanked by the Commander (Leslie Nielsen) and Lt. Farman (JK), and she adds, "But the two end ones are unbelievable!" Especially Lt. Farman, when he hilarously chats up the sheltered but shrewd Alta.

In the next clip, the obliging Lt. Farman tries to teach poor Alta how to kiss. This guy has a Ph.D in kissing, but, unfortunately, Alta flunks the course and decides to enroll with the Commander instead. Okay, I know--"rank has its privileges"--but, c'mon! She'd pick Leslie Nielsen over Jack Kelly?! No wonder they call this "science fiction". ;->

Incidentally, when JK tells AF at 4:27 that kissing is good for her, it's just a line. But, it turns out maybe he was

Sadly, Lt. Farman is later killed by the "Id" monster, which looks like a big red dog (but definitely not

All kidding aside, though, I really enjoyed Forbidden Planet. It truly is one of the great sci-fi films of all time.

By the way, during that same summer trip to the antiques mall, I bought another Jack Kelly-related book for only $2.00. It's Whatever Became of...? All New Tenth Series by Richard Lamparski. Now, if I were a celebrity, I don't know if I'd want to be featured in a book that more or less implies one has become a "has-been". However, it's nice to know that someone at least cared enough to find out "whatever became of " notables such as JK and Clint "Cheyenne" Walker, although neither was completely out of the public eye at the time, 1986.

Lamparski noted about JK, "Jack erroneously believes he is remembered solely for the part of James Garner's younger brother on Maverick, the show that ran on ABC-TV during the late fifties and early sixties. The series was a huge success in North America and parts of Europe, but a few of his movies are also well-known.

"The Night Holds Terror (1955) is considered an exceptionally fine low-budget film. Forbidden Planet (1956) introduced 'Robby the Robot', a cinematic device that made subsequent screen appearances and developed a following of its own. Cult of the Cobra (1955) with Faith Domergue and She-Devil with Mari Blanchard are held in high esteem by fans of low camp."

Lamparski quoted JK about his acting career at the time: "Within my limitations I was fine, but at my age I just cannot be a journeyman actor. I did [some] Hardy Boys episodes, but I am not about to consider anything short of a running part. I simply cannot afford to."

But, JK was doing OK. He added, "Not only do my [real estate] tenants not go on hiatus, they never refer to my ratings or middle-age spread." ;->

Jack Kelly's write-up also includes a smiling, autographed headshot (which looks to be from his Sale of the Century days in the late 1960's - early 1970's) with a cryptic inscription: "Richard - thank you for the use of the typewriter."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Kelly Pages: Comic Jack Kelly IV


Here's a look at the final Maverick annual in my Kellection. It's probably the nicest one, too:

Bart is finally joined by brother Bret (James Garner) on the cover, along with cousin Beau (Roger Moore). He's still only partially shown, though.

As usual, the annual is filled with comic strips and stories. The first story in the book is titled:

This annual is probably the only place where cousins Bret, Bart and Beau appear together in the same story (James Garner left Maverick before Roger Moore came aboard as Beau, although Moore had appeared with Garner and Kelly as a different character in "The Rivals" episode). The story's author did get a trifle confused, though, because Bret, Bart and Beau are described as "the Maverick brothers".

There's also a "Maverick" game and factoids about riverboats, derringers and famous gamblers such as Wild Bill Hickok and Bat Masterson (I wonder how many parents knew their kids were reading this stuff?). ;->

How 'bout one more look at Bart: