Friday, November 11, 2016

A Veterans Day Salute

Hello Everyone,

Some wonderful original stills from Jack Kelly's 1955 film To Hell And Back have joined the Kellection, just in time for Veterans Day.

JK is in the back center of this first photo and somewhat out of focus, but he still commands attention. The snipe on the back says, "SOME MADE IT--AND SOME DIDN'T--In 'To Hell And Back'...With fear in their faces and guns ready, these are the men who fight their way with Audie Murphy (right) 'To Hell And Back' in the movie based on his autobiography of the same title. However, most of Audie's buddies of the 3rd Infantry Division didn't make it back--and it is to them he dedicated his book and now dedicates the movie. Filmed by Universal-International in CinemaScope Technicolor, with large-scale cooperation of the Army, the movie is regarded as 'the most human story of the foot soldier ever told.' Players include (left to right) Brett Halsey, Gregg Palmer, Paul Picerni, Richard Castle (on elbows), Jack Kelly, Charles Drake--and Murphy."

In the second photo, JK (as "Kerrigan") and AM flush Germans out of a farmhouse at Anzio:

Below, Kerrigan consoles Murphy after their buddy Brandon (Gregg Palmer) dies in battle:

In a lighter moment, AM, JK and friends enjoy some much-needed R&R:

The same scene as shown on a Spanish-language lobby card:

Another lobby card showing a battle scene:

BONUS IMAGE! Another fotobusta arrived from Italy the other day, and it just happens to show JK in a different military uniform in a different film: They Rode West (or Cavalcata ad Ovest). While this 'busta isn't in the greatest shape, we can still recognize JK's million-watt grin (which he's beaming at Donna Reed, on the left side of the image).

Let's remember all veterans on this day and be thankful for their service. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scootaway With JK! :)


The photo below of Jack Kelly and James Garner on the cover of the June 1959 issue of American Motorcycling may look familiar (it appeared in Linda Alexander's bio of JK), but you may not know the story behind the Maverick boys' little two-wheeled "steed".

According to the cover blurb inside the magazine, "Jack Kelly and James Garner, better known as the 'Mavericks'--Bart and Bret--take time off from their top-rated television series for a round of golf at a course adjacent to the Warner Bros. studio in Burbank [CA]. They're still in the saddle--but it's a Harley-Davidson motor scooter instead of a horse."

And, that motor scooter was actually H-D's first--and so far only--scooter, called the "Topper". H-D president William H. Davidson stated in an article in the same issue of American Motorcycling that the Topper was designed for "young adults, and the young at heart" and "The post-war baby boom is now bringing into the driver market young adults in large numbers who need wheels. Scooters are a logical answer to this problem because they are not being purchased just for 'sport'. They are definitely a means of transportation."

The Topper's many user-friendly features included an automatic "Scootaway" transmission which "enables the driver to accelerate smoothly from a full stop to motion without a 'hitch' or shifting of gears".

Yet another familiar face posed with the Topper in American Motorcycling:

Yes, that's leggy Arlene Howell, better known to Maverick fans as "Cindy Lou Brown". Too bad Cindy and Bart didn't have that Topper to scoot away from danger in "Alias Bart Maverick":

But, a few years later Bart ended up with a Topper of his own:

Alas, H-D's Topper topped out in 1965. The website "How Stuff Works" sums up the jaunty scooter's untimely demise: "Despite carrying the revered Harley-Davidson name, the Topper didn't sell particularly well in a market quickly becoming dominated by Japanese machines. And it wasn't long before the scooter craze subsided, taking the Topper as one of its early casualties."

Bart should have stuck with Goldie. ;-) 

STAY TUNED for a special Veteran's Day salute--coming up next time in TDS!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Winning Ticket :)


Bart and Beau
Would be a winning ticket
On this Election Day--
'Tis pity they're not running this year.
Thankfully we're all still free
And can vote with head and heart,
But, frankly, my dears,
With the choices we've been given
I'd rather vote for Beau and Bart. :)
But, seriously, folks--whether your state is red or blue, whether your candidate is Republican or Democrat (or from another party), please vote. We may not like everyone or everything on the ballot, but we as Americans still have the freedom to voice our choice and that's what really counts.