My Favorite TV Watching Memories: Starsky, Hutch and the House from Hart to Hart

Television

My sisters and I were recently reminiscing about all the television shows we watched growing up, and trust me when I say we watched A LOT of them! One of my favorite memories is from the late ’70s/early ’80s when we would watch the shows Eight is Enough, The Love Boat and Fantasy Island in succession pretty much every Saturday night. Even though that was over 30 years ago (yes, I’m that old!) I can still remember those nights like they were yesterday.

A while ago I started to compile a list of all the tv shows I watched from childhood through my teenage years, and our recent trip down memory lane inspired me to revisit that list. It currently stands at 126 shows, but I know if I gave it more thought and did some digging online I could come up with a lot more.

Starsky and Hutch

Oh, the stories I could tell of the sneaky things one of my sisters and I did to get our parents to let us stay up past our bedtime to watch some of those shows. Starsky and Hutch is one that immediately comes to mind as I believe it didn’t start until 9:00 PM.

Asking for a “midnight snack” at the last minute and/or taking longer than normal to eat it allowed us to catch at least a small glimpse of the cool shoes worn by Paul Michael Glaser (haha, check these out on Sneakerpedia!) or the blue eyes of David Soul. I’ll leave talk of his song, “Don’t Give Up on Us” for another time. :-)

Another show that one of my sisters and I loved and watched without fail was Hart to Hart, starring Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers and a name familiar to a lot of old movie fans, Lionel Stander. One of our favorite episodes was titled “Murder Is a Man’s Best Friend,” which aired on December 9, 1980. In the episode, the Hart’s dog Freeway was selected to be the star in a new dog food ad campaign. I can even still remember the name of the food, Doggone-Its. :-) I don’t know why we loved that one so much, but we just did. Any other Hart to Hart fanatics out there? Do you remember that episode?

Hart to Hart Television Show

I always thought Jonathan and Jennifer Hart were such a glamorous couple, and I also thought their house was really cool. I recently discovered that the house used for exterior filming of the show has a small tie to old movies, which is something that always piques my interest. The ranch-style house that was used, which is located in Mandeville Canyon, Los Angeles was once owned by actor Dick Powell and his wife June Allyson. I’ve read that Powell was good friends with both Robert Wagner and the series’ producer, Aaron Spelling.

A few years ago the home was put on the market by its then owner Glorya Kaufman, and last year it sold through an auction for $14.6 million. You can see pictures of the entire property on the LA Curbed website. The 48-acre estate includes a 12,000-square-foot house, guest houses, a tennis court, a lake with waterfalls and several other amenities.

Well, I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and I hope it brought back some good memories of your own.

Do you have any fond memories of your early television watching days? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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Little Women 1933 vs. 1949 . . . and Dumb & Dumber (1994)?

Little Women 1994I am disappointed in myself regarding two things; 1) That I’ve never read “Little Women,” the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott about four sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War and 2) That back in 1994 (was that really over 20 years ago already?!) I was faced with the decision to go see one of two movies with my three sisters, Little Women or Dumb and Dumber, and while two of my sisters chose the former, my other sister and I chose the latter.

What was I thinking? I love comedies because I love to laugh, but disgusting “bathroom humor” is just not for me and that movie had plenty of it. You can bet that if I had that choice to make over again, I would have gone to see Little Women instead, especially since, come on, four sisters watching a movie about four sisters? What could be more fitting than that? :-)

I have yet to watch the 1994 movie, but I have now watched both the 1933 and 1949 versions. Thanks to my love of listening to podcasts I recently discovered a wonderful interview with actress Margaret O’Brien through the Warner Archive Collection Podcast. In the interview Margaret talked about what a great time she had filming Little Women (1949) with co-stars June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Janet Leigh, and it inspired me to watch both of the older films. I wasn’t necessarily watching them both to compare the two, but I was curious to see if I would like one more than the other. Keep in mind that my opinions are somewhat skewed because I wasn’t familiar with the story not having read the book, but I did indeed have a definite preference of the two. Continue reading →

The James Stewart Blogathon – The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

“This post is part of the James Stewart Blogathon hosted by the Classic Film & TV Cafe. You can view the complete blogathon schedule here.”

The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

According to author Marc Eliot in his book, “Jimmy Stewart, a Biography,” Stewart had for some time wanted to make a movie about Glenn Miller, a man with whom he shared several things in common. They were both small town boys with music in their backgrounds and both had served in the Army Air Force. Stewart had long admired Miller’s work, and in 1953 he got his wish to play the trombonist, arranger and bandleader in the movie The Glenn Miller Story (1954).

For the making of the film, he was paired for the fourth time with director Anthony Mann, with the movie being their first non-western collaboration. Their partnership began in 1950 at Universal Pictures with the making of Winchester ’73 and ended with another western, The Far Country in 1954. Unfortunately, it was said that Mann didn’t really care for The Glenn Miller Story, but only took it on as a favor to Stewart.

Born Alton Glenn Miller on March 4, 1904, Miller and Stewart were born four years apart, which meant that Stewart was 46 years old when he played a 25-year-old Glenn Miller at the beginning of the film. In a very similar situation just a few years later, Stewart was 49 years old when he portrayed a 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh in the movie The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), a role he had to actively fight for because the producers thought that he was too old for the part.

Glenn Miller

The Glenn Miller Story (1954) traces the career of Glenn Miller from his early days as a struggling musician in the late 1920’s through his most successful years as the leader of his own band and the Army Air Force Band, and ends with his tragic death over the English Channel in 1944. Although the movie definitely took some liberties with some key facts as is often the case with many biopics, you can get a basic understanding of what the movie is about and learn more about Miller’s life by reading the biography page on his official site.

Much of the focus of the movie centers on Glenn Miller’s courtship and marriage to Helen Berger, who was played by June Allyson. Berger was his college sweetheart while they both attended the University of Colorado-Boulder. Stewart and Allyson were good friends off screen, and they played husband and wife on screen in two other films, The Stratton Story (1949) and Strategic Air Command (1955). Continue reading →