Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jack Kelly - How the West Was Fun! :)

Howdy Everyone!

Before we begin another jaunt into JK Land, I just want to thank Linda Alexander and those two other Wise Girls (Debbie Barth and Dori DeCarlo) once more for inviting my "alter ego" to speak on their wonderful podcast last Thursday. I've heard from several TTDST readers who heard the show. I hope you all enjoyed it and that it was helpful to you.

And, I want to again thank you all for your kind words for this little blog. :)

Well, today (Saturday) I did some traveling and ended up at an established cinema event. It's an annual gathering of old-time movie fans, or, I should say, fans of old-time movies. And, I mean old-time. Like, when Rin-Tin-Tin was just a puppy.

Now, I adore old-time, classic, vintage films. But, I didn't watch any today because it would have cost me $35. See, this was a bona-fide film festival.

In addition to the film screenings, there was also MUCHO movie memorabilia for sale. Fortunately, the festival offered a substantially reduced entrance fee for fans like me who only wanted to peruse the posters and such. And not only did I have to pay to get in, I had to register and wear a badge, just to flip through photos.

But, in the interest of Jack Kelly fans everywhere (and in the never-ending kwest for Kellectibles), I paid the fee, registered, and entered the sales room. :->

The sellers were all fine folks with many rare and wondrous items, but I have a favor to ask of them: Please organize your stuff!

Frankly, the place looked like an explosion in a movie buff's basement. For instance, there were loads and loads of fabulous movie stills, but they were all piled on crowded tables with no rhyme or reason. Is there a Jack Kelly pic in here? Maybe, but I have to thumb through pix from Gold Diggers of 1933, Rocky II, and just about every other movie made in the last 80 years to find out. After a little while of hunching over the Hollywood stills, my back was yelling "Cut!". (To those photo vendors who did have their wares thoughtfully arranged in binders: thank you!)

Although I didn't find any JK pictures, I didn't come away empty-handed. I found a couple of interesting movie magazines, and a DVD of When the West Was Fun, a 1979 reunion special which rounded up scores of famous TV cowboys, including JK.

This special really is fun. It begins with a cleverly pantomined sequence as famous western stars enter a saloon. Each is ushered in by their TV theme song. Below is a scene from JK's memorable entrance (sorry, these screen caps are a bit grainy):

He gets in a little bit of comedy right after his entrance, too. Incidentally, he wears a fantastic black frock coat, but no cowboy hat.

Another great shot. I absolutely LOVE the adorable look on JK's face here and the way it kind of mirrors the image behind him. And, yes, you can really see his chain. :->

After this, JK is mostly glimpsed in the background. But, he does get in a funny line here, and you can see more of the chain:

There is lots more fun (and funny) stuff in this special, such as a hilarious discussion between "Festus" (Ken Curtis) and "Doc" (Milburn Stone) from Gunsmoke. I'm glad that so many of these now-departed western stars were gathered here for posterity.

I could have done without the dance hall girls chirping, "Back when the west was fun, you could tell a man by the size of his gun!" (Well, that's why they invented the fast forward button
;->.) But, I wouldn't have missed the special's moving musical finale with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for the world. :)