Thursday, July 30, 2015


Take a good look at the Dee-Vee-Dee case pictured on the left and I'm sure you'll notice that something's missing, right? Yeah, none other than the name of the co-star in each of these productions, namely Ralph Byrd that's
what! Y'know, the same guy who made his name as movie and television's DICK TRACY from the late-thirties until the early-fifties before his own early demise which might have led to his name being stuck in the public consciousness a little long than it most sure has been.

Yes, the name of Byrd certainly has fallen down the memory hole as opposed to that of fellow actor (and real life friend) George Reeves who people obviously remember as being thee Superman of tee-vee fame and whose visage has been linked with the character of yore for years, or at least until that upper-crust snooty guy who had the accident got the role and did even more harm to one of our old-timey favorites than Robin Williams did to Popeye (and don't tell me it wasn't a calculated attempt to bring down a hero of yore in order to stick it to ranch house suburban Middle Ameriga! I mean, that's always the case with these trashings of icons past!).

As you might have noticed, I put Byrd's name in all caps above, and that was not to diminish the great George Reeves in any way/shape/form. I guess that given just how much the guy has been forgotten by us suburban slobs who probably tuned into those old TRACY mooms not even knowing who he was Byrd's memory does need a little extra push! And hey, don't you think that it was swell knowing that Superman and Tracy were friends in real life? Almost as heart cockle warming to know that the Man of Steel was pals with none other than John Kennedy even if ol' JFK was a perverted sicko who probably had Superman procuring some of the sexiest vixens of the galaxies to soothe his warped desires.

Two winners here courtesy of the boffo Lippert Pictures studio and they ain't no MGM snootstravaganzas that's for sure! THUNDER IN THE PINES features not only a boffo cast (including Lyle Talbot and Vince Barnett) but a serio/funny plot having to do with two logging buddies who are involved in a race to see who can get their logs (you know what I mean!) to the mill first, the winner not only to receive a large monetary bonus but the hand of a rather cute mademoiselle they met during the war. JUNGLE GODDESS is a bit more serious with Reeves and Byrd on the hunt for the daughter of a now-deceased South African diamond mine mogul who was the sole survivor of a plane wreck and luckily enough for her became the queen of the nearby tribe because well, she's white and therefore pretty ethereal looking to the locals! Look for a whole lotta kultural krossovers here with not only actual blacks (probably picked off the streets of Watts like they did in the TARZAN movies) as tribesmen but dark yet Polynesian-looking natives in the major roles just like in those JUNGLE JIM films that Johnny Weissmuller made when he was getting too paunchy to play the ol' Ape Man. No chimpanzee sidekicks tho...

Reeves and Byrd produce a mighty copasetic chemistry of acting yin/yang 'n all that which certainly helps out these flickers more'n Crosby and Hope ever could, and the great b-movie ambiance really goes to remind me of all of the fun and power-packed energy these zilch-level features packed on weekend afternoon television for quite a long time. And the plots ain't half bad to begin with and it ain't like you're gonna be frequently leaving the front of your boob tube to see what's in the fridge (and thank goodniz for pause buttons or else you might be making an even bigger mess with your bladder just like you did when you were three and that cartoon of choice was interfering with your various bodily doodies). In other words  these films HOLD UP a whole lot even sixtysome years later, and frankly when was the last time you watched an episode of I'LL FLY AWAY or THE PAPER CHASE, eh? (Hokay Dilton, I know for you it was yesterday but we're talking REAL PEOPLE here!)

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