Friday, July 14, 2017



Screenwriter Alan Gebhardt was hoping for a second chance in Hollywood by writing the adaptation of Jessica Fletcher's first novel, "The Corpse Danced At Midnight".  However, he couldn't write a faithful treatment because the producer, Jerry Lydecker, wanted only the title of the book.  His plan was to make it a sex and blood-drenched horror movie starring his girl-friend, starlet Eve Crystal, and Steve Bennett, a young Hollywood hunk whose previous efforts were little better than soft porn.

Alan Gebhardt had been a wunderkind as a screenwriter - he had an Oscar nomination to his credit by the time he was twenty-five.  But drugs and alcohol left him washed up at the age of thirty.  

As is standard practice at Toobworld Central, since there was no indication of how old Gebhardt was, then he should be the same age as the actor who portrayed him, James MacArthur.

So that would mean that Gebhardt was born in 1937 and therefore he was nominated for Best Screenplay in 1962.

Toobworld has had plenty of fictional movies over the years, but it's tough to nail down specific dates for these movies and especially something that could have been nominated in 1962.  The only thing that came to mind was "The Monster That Devoured Cleveland" from 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis', but that came out by 1960.

Then again, so many movies of the real world can also be seen in Toobworld.  And we've seen how they can differ from the actual versions.  We saw the filming of a fake scene for "The War Wagon" ('The Lucy Show') and Mitchell was in "Casablanca", but couldn't be seen due to his vampiric nature ('Being Human'.)

But the differences don't have to be only on the screen; there could be a difference in the production of the film, perhaps in the credits.

So let's take a look at the screenplay nominations for the 1962 Oscars:

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium)

David and Lisa – Eleanor Perry
Lawrence of Arabia – Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Miracle Worker – William Gibson
To Kill a Mockingbird – Horton Foote

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–written directly for the screen)

Divorce–Italian Style – Ennio de Concini, Alfredo Giannetti, Pietro Germi
Freud – Charles Kaufman, Wolfgang Reinhardt
Last Year at Marienbad – Alain Robbe-Grillet
That Touch of Mink – Stanley Shapiro, Nate Monaster
Through a Glass Darkly – Ingmar Bergman

With no viable candidate from 1962 to replace any one of these actual nominees, I think the simplest thing to do would be to add Alan Gebhardt to the writing credits for one of these films.  And my choice would be to the movie "That Touch Of Mink".  It's a bit of fluff even with the star power of Cary Grant, Doris Day, and Gig Young, and having a fictional character listed as a third writer along with Shapiro and Monaster isn't going to harm its fictional version in Toobworld.

Here's how the IMDb page for "That Touch of Mink" would look in Toobworld if Gebhardt's name was added to the credits.

Feel any seismic tremors?  Any disturbance in the Force?  Of course not!  Nothing was going to get Zonked in Toobworld just because Alan Gebhardt's name was added to that movie.

So that's going to be a change for the Toobworld Dynamic instigated by the Curator, Ye Old Monitaur, rather than being precipitated from within.  

So there!

(Thanks to Tay Mueller for help with this post!)

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