Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jack Kelly - Giving Props to Maverick :)


In my kontinuing kwest for Jack Kelly "Kellectibles", I recently found an item that may be an original background prop used in the Maverick TV series.

Not the book, but the bookends. The person I bought them from told me the bookends were purchased at an auction over 30 years ago. They were accompanied by a note from Jerry Welch, who was a set designer on Maverick. I did some checking, and Mr. Welch is credited with the following episodes:

"The Long Hunt" (20 October 1957) - Set Decorator
"Stage West" (27 October 1957) - Set Decorator
"Relic of Fort Tejon" (3 November 1957) - Set Decorator
"Hostage" (10 November 1957) - Set Decorator
"The Jeweled Gun" (24 November 1957) - Set Decorator
"The Wrecker" (1 December 1957) - Set Decorator
"The Naked Gallows" (15 December 1957) - Set Decorator
"High Card Hangs" (19 October 1958) - Set Decorator
"Escape to Tampico" (26 October 1958) - Set Decorator
"The Rivals" (25 January 1959) - Set Decorator
"Duel at Sundown" (1 February 1959) - Set Decorator
"Maverick Springs" (6 December 1959) - Set Decorator
"The Maverick Line" (20 November 1960) - Set Decorator
"Benefit of the Doubt" (9 April 1961) - Set Decorator

As you can see, most of the episodes are either Bart-starrers or Bart/Bret duets, all of which I've marked in red. So, while all of you eagle-eyed Maverick watchers are scrutinizing scenes for wrong-fingered pinky rings or recycled frocks, please be on the lookout for these bookends, too. They could also appear in other episodes besides those listed above. If you spot them, please leave a comment here or drop me a line. I'll look for them, too, and let you know if I glimpse them in the background of a scene or scenes.

Here's a closer look at the bookends, which picture a pioneer family in a covered wagon pulled by oxen, flanked by a rider and a man leading the oxen through tall grass. They kind of remind me of "Passage to Fort Doom". They're pretty cool, so even if it turns out they weren't used in Maverick, I'll gladly use them to korral some of the books in my Kellection. And, if they were used in Maverick, they could have been in a scene with JK!

Now, let the search begin.... :->

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jack Kelly - Back to Jack! :)

Hello All!

I'm finally back to Jack after spending some time with family over the New Year's holiday weekend. It was back to work today, too. Then, it took me over an hour to drive home in "intermittent flurries" (good grief, I'd hate to see what our weatherman's definition of a "blizzard" is!) :0

Thank you for all of the lovely New Year's prayers and wishes. And, "welcome" to our newest follower--the more the merrier! :)

Catching up: I watched and taped the last half hour or so of The Gambler Returns - The Luck of the Draw on New Year's Eve. I didn't watch the whole thing because I knew JK didn't appear until the climactic poker scene. I don't think I could have stood much more of this film than what I saw of it, anyway. As actors, Kenny Rogers and Reba McEntire are terrific singers.

I thought The Luck of the Draw was terribly bloated and padded with some of the unfunniest slapstick I've ever endured. I kept yelling at the screen, "Just get to San Francisco, already!" But, no, they had to stop at a rodeo, a prizefight, and even a gas station. (Great Mortimer's mustache!) It was nice to see Brian Keith as "Dave Blasingame" from The Westerner, however, and to hear Paul Brinegar ("Wishbone" of Rawhide) recite a monologue that cleverly included the title of just about every TV western that aired. It was good to see Bat Masterson, too, although I preferred Gene Barry as Amos Burke (that "Bat Masterson" theme song always drove me batty).

Ah, finally, the Hotel Carlton! I wondered how they were going to work Paladin into this mess, since Richard Boone had unfortunately died in 1981. At first, I thought the lady dealing "Mr. Paladin's cards" was the original "Hey Girl" from Have Gun--Will Travel, but apparently it was a different actress.

Of course, everything else fell by the wayside when Jack Kelly at last appeared as Bart Maverick. He looked and sounded good, if a bit frail. He got in a little nod to his political career when Bart asked special guest player President Teddy Roosevelt to confirm that he was playing with his own stake and "not the taxpayers' money". Interestingly, TR was portrayed by Claude Akins, who'd appeared with JK in the Maverick episode "Burial Ground of the Gods" way back in 1958.

The Luck of the Draw couldn't just let Bart stand on his own merit, though. Nooo, the shadow of Bret Maverick and James Garner fell over JK once again as he was given such uninspired dialogue as "Bret would have gotten the cards he needed" and "I'm not the best poker player in the Maverick family!" Sheesh, Bart was even wearing Bret's string tie--and where was his pinky ring?

But, I was content to see JK in his final role. I'm grateful he had more than a 30-second cameo. Still, I wish there had been less of The Gambler and more of THE gambler--Bart Maverick--in this silly film.

Well, keep watchin', because next time, I have a very special assignment for all of you sharp-eyed Maverick watchers. :)