Steve’s Top 10 Charts YouTube Forum

We figured it was time to have a place to talk about Steve’s latest video subjects that do not have an UMR page……yet.

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    1 I’ve mentioned that my very favourite B movie action heroes of the 1950s/early 1960s were the likes of Rory, Audie and John Payne. Languishing somewhere in the bottom half of my Top 20 B actorswas probably Ricardo. I remember him vividly from programmers like A Life in the Balance, Mystery Street, Sombrero, The Saracen Blade, Rage of the Buccaneers and most exceptionally from Queen of Babylon co-starring my Rhonda at her voluptuous best. Probably his most prestigious film of those times was Sayonara supporting Mr. Mumbles, a movie that did very well at the top of Bruce’s recent 1957 Annual Review and which gets good marks from you too.

    2 For me the best posters were Rage of the Buccaneers, Sombrero, Queen of Babylon, Right Cross, the two from Latin Lovers, the raunchy Sol Madrid, A Life in the Balance, Mystery Street, Madam X and especially Cheyenne Autumn. The one for Sayonara was not new to me but seemed in clearer focus that any of the others that I have seen.

    3 Good stills/lobby cards were – Sailor Ricardo with Esther and later playboy Ricardo with the same Miss Williams, with Joe Cotten and Glenn so beloved by Flora and me, Conquest of Planet of the Apes, with the lovely Jane Powell, Cheyenne Autumn and especially Wrath of Khan

    4 Ricardo’s prolific movie and TV careers spanned an astonishing 68 years from 1941-2009 and my last sighting of him was in a recent repeat of a 1976 episode of Columbo. Your video well-captures his heyday on the big screen and is easily worth a 96% rating. And of course you steal another march on Bruce!

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the review, rating, info and trivia, mucho apreciado amigo (as Montalban might say in his native tongue).

      Glad you liked the posters and stills.

      I was a fan of Ricardo’s primarily because of his iconic role as Khan Noonien Singh in the classic Star Trek episode Space Seed and the movie Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan. Easily Star Trek’s best ever ‘single’ villain and there has been hundreds of episodes and 13 movies in the Trekverse so far.

      I also knew him from Fantasy Island. I was later surprised to discover that Ricardo had appeared in many Hollywood musicals as long ago as the 1940s. So I wanted to produce this video to show others like me what a varied career this man had before Khan and Fantasy Island.

      One of his films scored 10 out of 10 – The Naked Gun, and one scored 9 out of 10 – Sayonara (from Maltin), not enough to get them to no.1 though. Three others scored 8 – Star Trek II, Battleground and Cheyenne Autumn.

      Khan is the highest rated Montalban movie at IMDB.

      His highest rated top billed movie is Border Incident (1949).

      1. HI STEVE

        1 Good additional background chat from you.

        2 Yes the Trekkies as they’re called have remained loyal to the franchise down the years in fiction as well as in real life. In the sitcom Frasier there is a character called Noel who is such a fan of the the Star Trek heroes that the courts have to issue him with a Restraining Order to keep him away from William Shatner. Probably such an Order would have to be served against Bruce today if Joel were still around!

        3 Possibly Shatner has been commercially the most successful actor connected with the series as according to The Forbes Rich List some years ago William was at that time the richest Hollywood celebrity around with a personal fortune of some $850 million. He guest starred as the murderer in two Columbo TV episodes and it was great fun watching him and Peter Falk sparring with each other. William of course had flamboyant names – Ward Fowler alias movie detective Lucerne in the 1976 episode and Fielding Chase in the 1993 one. Hugely entertaining.

        1. I should pick up the Columbo DVD box set, it’s not expensive, worth watching again just for all the great guest stars on that show. I remember seeing Shatner in one of them. I didn’t know he was so rich!

  2. 1 STEVE Henry Wilson Tab Hunter’s movie agent specialised in promoting “pretty boys” like Tab and Robert Wagner. It may seem ironic therefore that Hunter’s own favourite role and indeed the one in which I most admired his performance was as the delinquent son of Van Heflin in the 1958 Gunman’s Walk where in the end Van had to shoot him dead in a duel.

    2 Their exchanges in one of their earlier rows in the movie: VAN HEFLIN: “Son, in future you take your own horse to the stable and don’t ask one of the ranch hands to do it.”TAB: “Why?” VAN “Because if you ask a man to do something you can do for yourself he’ll think he’s better than you.”

    3 The anomaly of Hunter’s suitability for that part isn’t new as baby-faced good guy Audie Murphy for example is credited with giving his best performances as James Stewart’s outlaw brother in Night Passage and as the cold blooded killer in the excellent No Name on the Bullet.

    4 These are my personal selections of the very best of your posters in Hunter’s video – Sweet Kill, Island of Desire [aka Saturday Island] Lust in the Dust, Hostile Guns [teaming Tab with George Montgomery another of my 1950s cowboy heroes but sadly when the 1967 Hostile Guns came out they had both been banished to the A C Lyles graveyard for movie stars.] The Burning Hills, Damn Yankees [very saucy!]Battle Cry and the complete set for the aforementioned Gunman’s Walk which are outstanding especially the 1st one
    5 And stills that hold their own with many of the posters are I think (1) with Linda Darnell (2) spanking –I presume – Natalie (3) being put in his place by the Duke – join the queue! (4) and the passionate one from Battle Cry – was that Mona Freeman with him? She was certainly his girl in the movie. The sexy, diminutive Mona made the ideal leading lady for Laddie in the 1951 Branded and she prompted a friend of mine to remark “Good things come in small packages!”

    6 For me despite its relative brevity this was a 96.5% rated profile and once more you’ve stolen a march on the Big Boy. In his day the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso was the biggest selling recording artist around but one year my own favourite singer John McCormack out- sold him and Caruso, John’s close friend, admonished him “Don’t let it happen again!” You’ll be getting that kind of telling off from WH one of these days!

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the review, rating, info, trivia, comment and quotes, much appreciated. Glad you enjoyed the pictorial aspects of the presentation.

      So you must have been happy to see Gunman’s Walk top Tab’s top 22 chart? As a western fan I wasn’t going to let Polyester get to no.1 and in the end I didn’t have to adjust the score, Gunman’s Walk scored higher everywhere except for the Radio Times reviewer who gave Polyester a higher score.

      Not sure who the girl in the Battle Cry still is, I assume it is Mona Freeman. And that was Natalie Wood being spanked by Tab, there was another publicity still where he gets spanked by her.

      A few years ago someone started a spanking gallery at my forum, we would all contribute photos of actresses getting spanked in the movies. I don’t remember seeing Natalie Wood on there. The most famous spank in movies? Probably John Wayne spanking Maureen O’Hara in McLintock, it even made the poster. 🙂

      One Tab Hunter movie scored 9 from my sources – The Pleasure of His Company, which reached no.5. There were three 8s and a bunch of 7s in the chart.

      Highest rated at IMDB was Damn Yankees with 7.2. Gunman’s Walk topped Rotten Tomatoes with 7.8. Maltin’s favorite was The Pleasure of His Company.

      Tab on Gary Cooper – “Coop was a lovely guy. His sense of humor was kind of within. He’d do something he knew was funny. He laughed inwardly. It was a delight! He’s say things, then chuckle within himself. He was wonderful, low-key, like Fred Astaire, an absolute gentleman. These are quality, quality people. They have their own atmosphere about them. Coop’s was very laid-back and easy.”

      1. HI STEVE
        1 Yes I was pleased at Gunman’s Walk being your No 1 Tab Hunter film. The WH does well by it too ranking it No 8 for artistic merit on Heflin’s Cogerson page and awarding it a 76% rating.

        2 I’m sure that the woman with Tab in the Battle Cry still was the lovely Mona. Battle Cry is one of just a handful of movies over his whole career in which Van was the main, top-billed character and it was the only one of all his stand-alone vehicles to make mega bucks – adjusted domestic gross of $385 million according to this site’s Boy Wonder. However it did relatively poorly abroad in Bruce’s Worldwide table adding just another 40 million or so to that massive US gross

        3 The next highest grossing Heflin top-billed flick in WH’s chart is Tap Roots [a healthy $143 million domestically] and after that Tomahawk [aka Battle of Powder River] which WH accords an adjusted domestic gross of just short of $100 million. In a small supporting role in that one was another “pretty boy” of movies the future mega star Roy Harold Scherer Jr.

        4 Yes I remember the spanking scene in McClintock which is almost my personal least-liked Duke film because I thought it descended at times into a variation of a Charlie Chaplin “custard-pie throwing” movies. Was there not also a famous spanking scene in Burton/Taylor’s Taming of the Shrew or in the musical version of the Bard of Avon’s play of that name?

        5 Certainly you and your regulars would probably have those feminists in W o C’s work after your scalps if you distributed today too many of photos of women being spanked!

        6 STOP PRESS 3PM on Turner Movies channel tomorrow Rory Calhoun in Red Sundown Now there a coincidence hot on the heels of your Rory video. You’re getting to be more topical than the Work Horse who’s probably stuck watching all those ancient black-and-white Cary Grant flicks or whatever else Joel directs him to!

        1. HI STEVE

          1 The musical version of Taming of Shrew was of course Kiss Me Kate starring Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel – sorry for the omission. I’ve quickly checked out the posters on IMDB and Wiki and they do indeed show Kathryn getting spanked by Keel.

          2 Pickford and Fairbanks also made a dramatic version of the Bard’s play in 1929. I wonder did little Mary get spanked in that one. It was the first sound production of the Bard’s play.

          3. Certainly the vindictive Chaplin would have loved to give a real life solid spanking to “Bank of America’s Sweetheart” as he sarcastically called Mary whom he detested for spoiling his fun with innocent young girls.

  3. HI STEVE: 1 As usual I liked your feedback and further information and have noted your comparison between the careers of Troy and the man Joseph Cotton called “The Boy Wonder” in their early days together. Good to see you continuing to take an interest in billing.

    2 I watched A Distant Trumpet it in an open-air theatre on a military base in 1965 with British Royal Air Force. It was just a routinely entertaing movie about the US cavalry and in keeping with the usual sycophantic way in which the American film industry treated the military in those days it ended by gushing all over Lieutenant Troy – “Three cheers for the officer commanding and his lady!” Naturally the stiff-upper-lip British Air Force officers who were in the audience lapped it up but it doesn’t seem to have done much business overall. Wiki gives it an actual domestic rental of just $1.2 million. We’ll have to wait until the Oracle Speaks if he ever does about Troy to see what an adjusted domestic gross that rental converts to.

    3 One other piece of trivia concerning that movie is that Troy’s leading lady was Suzanne Pleshette whom he married in 1964 and divorced the same year. She like him seemed booked for great things especially as she was a Liz Taylor look-alike but I think she had just one lead role after Distant Trumpet, in the 1965 screen adaptation of John O’Hara A Rage to Live in which she played a sexually self-indulgent good-time girl – “She took all that life could give – And died of nothing but a rage to live.” Was the closing wording on the screen. Or as the posters – see Wikipedia – put it “The names and places didn’t matter – just When!” You poster boys have a way of economically getting the message across whereas I would waste many words making the same point! Anyway thanks again for the Donahue treat and subsequent exchange of posts.

  4. “Hey! Hey Troy Donahue
    I know what YOU wanna do!”
    1 STEVE. I remember standing in a queue with many of the young people who flocked to the 1978 movie Grease and it occurs to me that in all probability most of them who enjoyed those lyrics didn’t really know who Troy was because his top star days were well behind him when that movie came out. It had once seemed he would be the “next big thing” when the 1959 A Summer Place and the 1961 Parrish showcased the handsome young leading man but after getting into the Quigley Top 20 most popular US stars in the early 60s his serious star career seemed to fade almost overnight. He personally opined his screen persona had gone out of fashion by the mid 60s

    2 Of your Donahue posters my pick are Come Spy with Me, Seizure, My Blood Runs Cold, Shock em Dead [wow – and you know why!] Monster on Campus, Crowded Sky, Live Fast Die Young and Voice in the Mirror. However for their own merits and not just because they are my own 2 fave Donahue movies I must praise as stand-outs all of those posters for A Summer Place and A Distant Trumpet.

    3 Excellent stills are (1)Troy in Palm Springs Weekend (2) in Crowded Sky (3)as Parrish (4) with presumably Susan Slade (5) with Angie Dickinson and Rossano Brazzi (6) with Sandra in A Summer Place and (7) in Godpop 2 – never knew he was in that one. A very slight Dan like thread for Troy runs across 2 of your selections . We all know who Godpop 1 was and Mary Murphy the lead in Live Fast Die Young was Mr M’s leading lady in Wild One. Overall a pleasant 96.5% nostalgic trip for me. Much appreciated

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the review, rating, info and comment, much appreciated.

      Glad you enjoyed the posters and stills.

      Troy was appearing in films with Rock Hudson and Lana Turner back in the 1950s and a few decades later he was a supporting actor in a Traci Lords movie, there you go. But this happens to some of the more famous actors too, Orson Welles started with Citizen Kane while he was still in his 20s and ended up voicing Unicron in a Transformers cartoon before his death. As he famously put it “I started at the top and worked my way down”.

      I wasn’t familiar with Troy Donahue until hearing his name in the musical Grease. I don’t think I’ve seen A Distant Trumpet, I will keep an eye out for it in the tv listings. I loved the poster art, so good they framed it on the poster.

      Like I’ve said before looking at these posters makes you want to watch these movies and of course that’s the whole point of designing them, to draw you into the movie. Of course many of the great actors didn’t need fancy poster art to pull in the punters, their name alone on the marquee was enough.

      Two of Donahue’s films scored 10 out of 10 from my sources – Imitation of Life and Godfather II. One scored 9 – Tarnished Angels.

      Looking at the posters Troy was top billed on 7 of the 21 films on the video, one third. Highest rated of those was A Distant Trumpet.

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