Friday, November 17, 2017

"My First Bull Fight" :)


You may remember this fantastic photo of Jack Kelly which I posted in 2012. Well, I found "My First Bull Fight", the 1955 episode of TV Reader's Digest in which JK starred as Sidney Franklin, the Brooklyn-born bullfighter. And, I made some screencaps for you to enjoy!

Sidney Franklin is painting bullfighting posters in Mexico. But, his heart really isn't in his work, maybe because he's never seen a real bullfight:

After observing a bullfight and then imbibing a bit too much tequila, Sidney rashly declares that instead of just painting a bull, he will actually fight one. He takes a crash course in bullfighting from a famous torero and then tests his skills at a local ranch:

Sidney decides he's proven himself. He doesn't intend to participate in an actual corrida and kill a bull (and possibly get killed himself). But, news of the "American Torero" has spread and his "manager" demands that he follow through.
Finally, it's time for the debut of the reluctant matador. Sidney discovers that facing an angry toro in the actual bullring is a lot different than just practicing at the ranch:
The amateur torero gathers his courage and stares down his opponent:

Then, he takes his sword and prepares for the moment of truth:

Sidney bravely watches as the bull charges toward him...
...And then draws his weapon:
Moments later, Sidney is stunned to realize that he's vanquished his first bull!
"My First Bull Fight" is a wonderful showcase for JK's acting talent. He goes from being an uninspired artist to a tipsy braggart and finally to a courageous matador--all in one half-hour episode! And, he's always in motion so it was hard to get decent screen caps. JK is especially kinetic in the scene where Sidney is drinking tequila. He's also hilarious in this scene--the person who said JK delivered comic lines "like a load of coal" obviously never saw him in "My First Bull Fight". 

Special mention must also go to young George Huerta, who amusingly plays "Manuel", Sidney's pint-sized sidekick.

Needless to say, JK is muy guapo (very handsome) as Sidney Franklin. But, those intense bullfighting scenes? El toro appears in stock footage while JK convincingly makes his matador moves on a set. Probably the closest he came to a real bull was if steak was on the menu in the studio commissary. ;)
What's coming up next in TDS? Please stay tuned and find out! :)