Funnel Flicks STILL steaming

Jim Kalafus

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A few more clues:
*Dorothy Malone can relate.....
*Tammi Marihugh COULD have played the part our
star in question did. They laugh alike they walk alike, perhaps they even talk alike;
you could lose your mind.....
*Okay, it's basically the same story, only earlier.
*Addams Family meets The Facts of Life.
* Department store heir.
*Less than three months elapsed.....
*Emmy and Martha Washington

This TV film is such a weird obscurity I can't wait for someone to get it!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Well, we have lots of clues pointing to Patty Duke, but perhaps you need to be American to consider her a 'screen great'! Other clues pin it down to Swiss Family Robertson. A shipwreck story to be sure, but unless they modernised the scenario I can't envisage how they made use of an ocean liner?
 

Jim Kalafus

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Well, she DID win an Oscar and several Emmys, and is capable of turning in excellent work- when her tendency to accept projects like "Grave Secrets" "Curse of the Black Widow" and, of course, "Valley Of The Dolls" can be repressed. Which is why I put great in quotation marks
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The project of which I spoke was "SOS From The Andrea Doria" a (probable- I haven't seen it to judge) piece of exploitation which aired in October 1956. Patty played "Marianna Doona" (any relation to Lilliana or Maria Doon-ER is, of course, coincidental) in a script which centered on the efforts of crewman "Gino Dovelli" (no relation, of course, to Giovanni Rovelli) to rescue Martha Peterson from the ruins of her cabin. Perhaps it was an excellent and sensitive work, but the rush-job timing leads me to believe that it probably wasn't.

The two Manson connections? Well, she costarred with Sharon Tate in V.O.D., and the Polanskis rented her house from 1968 through their disastrous move to Cielo Drive, so Patty was one address removed from the crimes.

"A Hudson was the last to go, but a Chrysler remained" allowed one of my lurking friends to figure this out. Both were American automobiles in 1956, but Robert HUDSON was the last survivor off of the Andrea Doria, and the $100.000.00 Chrysler dream car being transported aboard A.D. was lost.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I hang my head in shame! My only excuse is that I was looking for a made-for-TV movie rather than a docu-drama series. This webpage about the Armstrong Circle Theatre series suggests that the story might well have been handled sensitively:

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/A/htmlA/armstrongcir/armstrongcir.htm

I suspect the production might not have been captured on film and is a bit too early I think for VTR, but apparently the script has survived in the Steven H Scheuer collection at Yale.
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Jim Kalafus

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It would likely have been kinescoped for the west coast market. And we all KNOW how much collectors of vintage kinescope love sharing their finds
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I'm going to try the Museum of Broadcasting on Saturday to see if, perhap, they have a print. Then place an ad in on of the collector magazines to see if anyone responds.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I realise I've seen (most of) that Andrea Doria film on TV, but I didn't realise because I missed the beginning and the title. All I recall is a frantic husband holding up a woman's head as the water rises around her, and a large heroic crew member hurling furniture and panelling around, being a human lever etc., to the accompaniment of ominous creaking and trickling noises, grunting and pleading and so forth. I don't even remember if they all made it to safety. I don't think it struck me as an excellent and sensitive piece of work, and I think I may have wandered off before the end.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Just to clarify: SOS from the Andrea Doria was a studio-based TV production, probably never shown outside of the US, and one of an innovative series of documentaries with commentary and newsreel clips interspersed with dramatised reconstructions of actual events. Black & white, of course. One of the (real) dramatised incidents was the probable inspiration for the technicolor feature film The Last Voyage. This starred Dorothy Malone (mostly just her head!) trapped in her cabin under a steel girder with her husband (Robert Stack) and a very large crew member (Woody Strode - bald, black) trying to free her. Monica, does that sound familiar? If you remember a red-headed kid doing a lot of screaming, that was Tammi Marihugh, a name by now familiar to all our readers! Well worth watching if only because many scenes were shot aboard a genuine vintage ocean liner - the French Lines' Ile de France, which was partly demolished and almost sunk for the purpose. On its way to the breakers' yard at the time, of course.
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Jan 28, 2003
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Ah yes, that does sound familiar. Now you mention it there was a screaming child getting on everyone's nerves. The whole thing sounds highly dangerous (for the actors), how some of these thesps do suffer for their art. I think I'd better stay out of commenting in this entertaining thread - I simply don't know enough about films, having a rather peculiar taste which veers wildly between Kill Bill and Dogme films, with not much in between it seems. I even thought "That's never Irene Castle!" when I saw the photos above, only to realize later I'd been thinking of Ginger Rogers (The Story of Vernon & Irene Castle) and you can't get much more ignorant than that....
 

Bob Godfrey

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>>a screaming child getting on everyone's nerves<<

Yep, that's our Tammi.

Kill Bill? Now you're talking. That's exactly the sort of film in which we'd like to have seen a (brief) role for Ms Marihugh. There's no way she could have got through that one in one piece.
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Jim Kalafus

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Dragging this thread back to life:

A famous liner, luckier by far than her equally fast sister ship that was lost to an act of war.

An ill fated pairing that later, much later, worked quite well.

Millions became familiar with this movie without actually seeing it.

Production was swamped by cost over-runs, not aided at all by a timely rain.

Linked to the Normandie, internally.

Linked to the Normandie artistically, almost.

Fires, collisions, awful music.

"The Last Time I Saw Paris" a regrettable choice.

Delayed departure for ship. Delayed opening for film. Delayed departure for ship. Film FINALLY finds acclaim the same year that the ship makes her debut.

"Fired" and "Fired" at roughly the same time.

"Restored" and "Restored" at roughly the same time.

The point where Valentino and Erik Estrada intersect might be of help.

And the ship and the film are.......?
 
Jul 9, 2004
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Err... Liberte making her cameo appearance in "Sabrina"? OR Liberte in "The French Line."

I had to post - the puzzle is too intriguing. But knowing you, I might have the ship right, but be completely wrong on the movie - as it would probably be quite obscure - knowing you.
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Jim Kalafus

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Close, but as they say, 'no cigar.'

...or perhaps "no tobacco juice" might be appropriate, given the disastrous link between the two.

"I'm emancipated and highly skilled at Kung-Fu."

"Ask not what you can do for your country....homewrecker."

Horse whips, intolerance, singing nuns, silent nuns, greed, "cough drop," a flaming comic encounter with Lucy, a drooling pervert and, of course, a rose aboard the Leviathan.

Cagney and Lacy/Three's Company/ The Hindenburg and the onset of "Operation Family Hour" all intersect disastrously.

>as it would probably be quite obscure - knowing you.

Not obscure at all. In fact portions of this film are remarkably well known but at the same time NOT known by the viewing public.

;...and the film is?
 
Jul 9, 2004
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Okay - the line is from Airport '75. I know because I have that DVD. But then again - there's not a flying ship in there. Sooo...

The movie might be "Monkey Business." Am I getting closer? I'm stumped when it came to the ship. One more clue and I think I could get the ship... argh!
 

Jim Kalafus

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>The movie might be "Monkey Business." Am I getting closer?

No. But you've got much of the information you need to figure this out.

Had it not been for the timely appearance of a trespasser, this would have been even more of a disaster.

Remember August 1969~ high tide for some, low tide for others. This film was an equally low tide, but the star survived.

(Hint: Sharon Tate made her QE2 voyage in June or July 1969, so we are not talking Manson here, nor Cunard)

THAT song! THAT dance!

Film notably and notoriously rejected for a German Oscar nod~ clue to the ship's name, ship's name.

Did not sail to Africa except in the film.

"She practices the horizontal profession."

Finished off playing Beethoven.

Cough Drops.

Near fatal abortion a clue.

Idle. Wild.

The lovely lady, or at least her sister, left Brooklyn. She may have, too.

Not quite Queen of the "B's," yet was.

Think of a famous wedding~ but not the one Jessica "Dwan" Lange would later recreate with unintentional hilarity~ and "Ann's" FIRST celluloid venture into wedded bliss.

Can you guess?
 

Bob Godfrey

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I'm ready for my close-up, Mr Kalafus. The film has got to be the infamous Queen Kelly. Can't say I knew there was a ship featured, but the clues all point to the Europa/Liberte, in which case Brandon deserves a half corona.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Yes- it was the Europa aboard which Kitty traveled to Africa; her aunt; the bordello; marriage to the pervert and, of course, the premature end of production which left this perhaps the most beautful of all silent films but at the same time a film that really makes little sense.

>A famous liner, luckier by far than her equally fast sister ship that was lost to an act of war.

Bremen and Europa, of course.

>An ill fated pairing that later, much later, worked quite well.

Von Stroheim directed- Gloria Swanson produced and starred in the film. Conflicting tales of what happened to kill the project abound- his camp and hers told different tales- but when they co-starred together in Sunset Boulvevard, 1950, the pairing worked.

>Millions became familiar with this movie without actually seeing it.

In Sunset Boulevard there is a scene in which old Norma and her 'companion' watch one of her silent films. The sequence showing on the screen is a beautifully shot excerpt from Queen Kelly~ the most opportunity anyone ever had to see it, up until that point.

>Production was swamped by cost over-runs, not aided at all by a timely rain.

Working title for Queen Kelly was, of course, The Swamp. Miss Swanson's production of Sadie Thompson, which was actually the banned play "Rain" under a different title, was her final certified smash and provided her production company with much needed cash.

>Linked to the Normandie, internally.

Much of the Normandie's artwork was recycled into Europa/Liberte after the war.

>Linked to the Normandie artistically, almost.

The Normandie's final voyage was filed by Von Stroheim for his film Paris-New York. As with Queen kelly, he must have been fired or quit since he does not appear in the credits of the finished film as either director or star.

>Fires, collisions, awful music.

Europa/Liberte was destroyed by a fire before her maiden voyage as Europa. Collided with the hulk of the Paris and sank postwar. Had another serious fire. Worst of all, was the set of a 3-D Jane Russell musical. Disaster followed disaster.

>"The Last Time I Saw Paris" a regrettable choice.

Sank after colliding with her.
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>Delayed departure for ship. Delayed opening for film. Delayed departure for ship. Film FINALLY finds acclaim the same year that the ship makes her debut.

Ship gutted by fire before maiden voyage. Production on Queen Kelly halted the same year. Ship made her debut a year later. Queen Kelly, pieced together as a beautiful but confusing half film released briefly the same year. Sunken burned Liberte restored 1950. Sunset Boulvard with Queen Kelly footage released 1950. Interest in notorious 'lost' film kindled 21 years after the plug was pulled.

>"Fired" and "Fired" at roughly the same time.

Ship burned and Von Stroheim fired at same point in time.

"Restored" and "Restored" at roughly the same time.

Ditto.

>The point where Valentino and Erik Estrada intersect might be of help.

Swanson worked with Valentino in Beyond the Rocks, and the great Eric Estrada in Airport 1975. I think that it is safe to say that no other actor or actress can make that claim.

>or perhaps "no tobacco juice" might be appropriate, given the disastrous link between the two.

Tobacco juice brought the production to its untimely end. Kitty (Swanson) the convent girl, was convinced by her brothel keeper aunt to marry an old pervert who would 'take care of her.' At this point in the production it was only a matter of time until the project was euthanised (cost over runs, ego problems, endless delays plagued the shoot) and the plug was pulled after the 'honeymoon sequence' was filmed and (unbeknownst to Swanson) the actor who played the drooling pervert literally drooled tobacco juice on her~ a really disgusting take even by current standards~ on the instructions of Von Stroheim who wanted her disgust to seem real. It did. She finished the take, walked off the set, called co-producer Joseph Kennedy and halted prodcution. there were a few half hearted attmepts to revive it, but for the most part it was over from that point.

>"I'm emancipated and highly skilled at Kung-Fu."

Airport 1975. I'm impressed Brandon. The tie in is that Gloria Swanson played herself in the film, doing what amounted to a free advertisement for Swanson on Swanson, her autobio.

>"Ask not what you can do for your country....homewrecker."

Swanson was the mistress of Joseph Kennedy who co-produced the film.

>Horse whips, intolerance, singing nuns, silent nuns, greed, "cough drop," a flaming comic encounter with Lucy, a drooling pervert and, of course, a rose aboard the Leviathan.

Seena Owen, one of the stars of Intolerance, plays the insane Queen Regina (yes, I know...Queen Queen?) who flogs the innocent schoolgirl Swanson in one of the earlier and more bizarre scenes in Queen Kelly. The nuns in Queen Kelly are, of course, silent, but not so the nun in Swanson's swan song Airport 1975, who serenades Lnda Blair~ the little girl kidney patient~ in flight. Greed- Von Stroheim's over-rated magnum opus. "Cough Drop" was one of the prostituutes in the interracial bordello of which Kelly eventually becomes Queen. Lucy set her nose on fire in the I Love Lucy episode featuring Swanson's Sunset Boulvard co-star (and Queen Kelly captive audience member) William Holden. "Rose aboard the Leviathan." Joseph kennedy, his wife, Rose, and Gloria Swanson (his mistress) spetn what must have been a VERY odd week together aboard the Leviathan.

Cagney and Lacy/Three's Company/ The Hindenburg and the onset of "Operation Family Hour" all intersect disastrously.

Sharon Gless/ Norman Fell/Roy Thines/ Linda "Born Innocent' Blair. Airport 1975.

>Had it not been for the timely appearance of a trespasser, this would have been even more of a disaster.

As Queen Kelly mired down, Gloria's first talkie "The Trespasser" was released to critical and public acceptance, and briefly allowed her to keep Star Status and undid some of the bad P.R. generated by her Queen Kelly fiasco.

>Remember August 1969~ high tide for some, low tide for others. This film was an equally low tide, but the star survived.

Chappaquiddick. Ted son-of-Joe-Kennedy reference. August 1969. High tide/low tide.


>THAT song! THAT dance!

The French Line (film) bore that slogan.

Film notably and notoriously rejected for a German Oscar nod~ clue to the ship's name, ship's name.

Europa Europa. A lot of indignant press was generated by this film's critical reception in Germany. I did not know that there WAS a German Oscar until I read of the Oscar snub

>Did not sail to Africa except in the film.

A far as I know, neither Europa nor Liberte ever did.

>"She practices the horizontal profession."

A notorious line from Queen Kelly- a film filled with odd- for 1929- details.

>Finished off playing Beethoven.

Von Stroheim's final role was as Beethoven, in Napoleon, 1957.

>Near fatal abortion a clue.

Gloria, pregnant by her fiance, got an abortion in Paris after completing filming on Madame Sans-Gene. It became septic and she nearly died~ during her two weeks of crisis, the world's press kept breathless minute-to-minute watch (Sequential headlines included: Gloria Swanson Near Death/ Gloria Swanson Given Last Rights in Paris/ Gloria Rallies) and no one ever questioned the cover story- appendicitis. The footage of her triumphant returns to New York and Hollywood, and of the genuine public adulation, is still fairly amazing to see. That she nearly died of an abortion did not become known until she told the story herself in the 1970s in Swanson on Swanson.

>Idle. Wild.

Idlewild. Kennedy Airport. Kennedy- co producer.

>The lovely lady, or at least her sister, left Brooklyn.

Bremen and possibly Europa originally docked in Brooklyn rather than in Manhattan.

>Not quite Queen of the "B's," yet was.

Gloria starred in the television Movie Queen of the Bees simultaneous to Airport 1975.

>Think of a famous wedding~ but not the one Jessica "Dwan" Lange would later recreate with unintentional hilarity~ and "Ann's" FIRST celluloid venture into wedded bliss.

Von Stroheim's best film was the Wedding March, starring Fay "Ann Darrow" Wray who would live to see her best known role reworked as few parts have been reworked before or since. Who could forget Miss Lange,as "Dwan Kong" (after their shotgun wedding) first hating hating hating the big ape ("Put me down you male chauvinist pig ape!") and then growing to appreciate his sensitive side ("No, no...don't put me down" as the bullets fly) in perhaps the only example of big screen interspecies from-the-heart romance.

>in which case Brandon deserves a half Corona.

He does not drink- but I will be sure to send him a DVD of King Kong (1970s version) as a truly unforgettable prize.
 
Jul 9, 2004
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I actually had seen (watched the whole way through) Queen Kelly years ago, which is probably the reason that I didn't make the connection. If I'm remembering correctly the film was silent and I had watched it during my silent film craze of my mid-teens (I'm probably the only person that can say that I had a silent film craze during my mid-teens today!)

Now I'm beginning to get a little confused. Was it Queen Kelly or was it another movie about the "horizontal profession" that featured a sequence in which the main character took a spin on the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper? I'm beginning to think it was one of the coasters at Playland Park in San Francisco that had articulated trains. I think that was... errr... I want to say "The Red Robe." or something to that effect.

Anyways - Kudos to Bob for getting it - I'm just not well versed enough in movies to have guessed Queen Kelly... even with all those hints.

And err... King Kong... yes...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Jim, you don't drink a half corona, you smoke it. Thoughts of tobacco juice must still have been on your mind. :)

Back in the '50s, however, the fav soft drink in the UK was indeed Corona, which came in many flavours. 'American Cream Soda' was my preference. Fivepence ha'penny and a penny back on the bottle.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>I'm probably the only person that can say that I had a silent film craze during my mid-teens today!

Well, I did, too. Kenneth Brownlow's Hollywood- not to be missed- was on my frequent playlist.

>Was it Queen Kelly or was it another movie about the "horizontal profession" that featured a sequence in which the main character took a spin on the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper

That was either Helen Hunt in "Roller Coaster" or Diana Canova in "Death of Ocean View Park" two of Von Stroheim's later works that are frequently mistaken for Queen Kelly, even by film scholars.
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I believe, in fact, that the bit player who played "Cough Drops" resurfaced as "Jovial Fat Woman Sitting Next To Equally Jovial Skinny African-American Man Both of Whom Presumably Die When Their Roller Coaster Car Demolishes The Cotton Candy Stand" in the crash sequence in Roller Coaster.

>Jim, you don't drink a half corona, you smoke it.

Corona, here, is a popular beer. Not quite as potent as Dos Equis, but a little less pricey.

>Thoughts of tobacco juice must still have been on your mind. :)

They are never far from my mind.

>And err... King Kong... yes...

Dwan: Go ahead. Eat me. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! I hope that you choke on me going down! (pauses to reconsider) Oh, I'm sorry. That's just a sign of insecurity- like when you go around knocking down trees.

Dwan: Harry was showing a movie that I didn't want to watch, so I was on deck. Then there was a noise and I was in the water....

Creepy Charles Grodin Character: That must have been the explosion. Radio Singapore reports that they have already found portions of the charred hull.

Dwan: Then there was a light, and I was swimming towards it. That must have been the raft. (PAUSES TO THINK) Oh, what a meaningful miracle! Have you ever met anyone before whose life was saved by Deep Throat?

Movie dialogue was once so rich and.... meaningful.