Thursday, August 1, 2013



'The Jack Benny Program'

From the CTVA:
["Jack Directs A Film"]
Show opens with Rochester preparing a breakfast, for himself, but Jack gets up early and spoils Rochester's plans and eats the breakfast instead. Jack got up early to catch the morning tv show "This Is Hollywood" as his friends, Jimmy & Gloria Stewart are going to be on it. While watching the show, Jack learns that Jimmy & Gloria are filming a movie and this is Gloria's debut film. Jack decides to go down to the studio to wish Gloria good luck. Jack makes his appearance during a filming scene by opening up a door that Jimmy was going to use. Jimmy bends over to pick up a suitcase, Jack opens the door and sends Jimmy flying onto the sofa. A couple of minutes later, Jack sits in the director's chair, stands in front of the camera and stops filming, twice, by yelling cut. Jack each time tries to offer advice to Jimmy and Gloria. Jack then tells Jimmy that he'll show him what he means and assumes Jimmy's role. This time, Gloria opens the door as Jack bends down to pick up the suitcase, sends Jack flying onto the couch and knocks him out. Gloria yells for water but Jimmy says no, lets finish the scene first. They finish the scene, then film the final scene where Jimmy comes in the door, back from Albany where he got his brother, "Henry", off on the charge. He brought Henry back with him to live and goes out the door to bring him in. Jimmy returns with "Henry", who turns out to be Jack. The director then yells cut and wants to know what's going on. Jimmy tells the director that Jack talked him into letting him be in the movie too. The director says no and the episode ends shortly after that.

["The Jimmy Stewart Show"]
This show starts out with Jack reading some fan mail he received, instead of doing a monologue of jokes. One letter asks Jack if he is as stingy and cheap in his personal life and has enclosed a stamped self-addressed envelope. Jack says there is no need to reply and tears off the stamp and sticks it in his pocket. Jack then tells about running into Jimmy Stewart and Jack says that Jimmy "begged him" to come to Jimmy & Gloria's wedding anniversary dinner and the story starts there with the night club scene. Jimmy is telling Gloria that Jack Benny is joining them at the night club and is bringing a date. Jack shows up with "Mildred Meyerhouser", played by Barbara Nichols and Mildred dances, then sings to Jimmy, starts a yelling match with another couple on the dance floor and definitely attracts unwanted attention to the Stewart's. Mel Blanc is the waiter and Richard Reeves plays the part of a second-team Hollywood High football fullback when he shows up with his date, played by Shirley Mitchell. At the end of the show, Jimmy tells Jack that it isn't really their anniversary and when Jack asks when it really is, Jimmy and & Gloria tell him different dates at the same time.

["The Income Tax Show"]
This show has two Internal Revenue Service agents trying to figure out how Jack earned $375,00 last year but only spent $19 for entertainment expenses. $3.90 of that was declared by Jack when he had dinner with his girlfriend and Jimmy & Gloria Stewart. Gloria gets some good one-liners in about Jack during the show. The IRS agents remind Jack that they are there to help him, several times.

And here's the reason I'm running this "League Of Themselves" showcase in August.....

From Wikipedia:
Jimmy Stewart's collaborations with director Anthony Mann increased Stewart's popularity and sent his career into the realm of the western. Stewart's first appearance in a film directed by Mann came with the 1950 western, "Winchester '73". In choosing Mann (after first choice Fritz Lang declined), Stewart cemented a powerful partnership. The film, which became a massive box office hit upon its release, set the pattern for their future collaborations. In it, Stewart is a tough, revengeful sharpshooter, the winner of a prized rifle which is stolen and then passes through many hands, until the showdown between Stewart and his brother (Stephen McNally).

Other Stewart-Mann westerns, such as "Bend of the River" (1952), "The Naked Spur" (1953), "The Far Country" (1954) and "The Man from Laramie" (1955), were perennial favorites among young audiences entranced by the American West. Frequently, the films featured Stewart as a troubled cowboy seeking redemption, while facing corrupt cattlemen, ranchers and outlaws — a man who knows violence first hand and struggles to control it. The Stewart-Mann collaborations laid the foundation for many of the westerns of the 1950s and remain popular today for their grittier, more realistic depiction of the classic movie genre. Audiences saw Stewart's screen persona evolve into a more mature, more ambiguous, and edgier presence.

Stewart's starring role in "Winchester '73" was also a turning point in Hollywood. Universal Studios, who wanted Stewart to appear in both that film and "Harvey", balked at his $200,000 asking price. His agent, Lew Wasserman, brokered an alternate deal, in which Stewart would appear in both films for no pay, in exchange for a percentage of the profits and cast and director approval. Stewart ended up earning about $600,000 for Winchester '73 alone. Hollywood's other stars quickly capitalized on this new way of doing business, which further undermined the decaying "studio system".


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