Wednesday, November 28, 2012

12 O'Clock High - "Crosshairs on Death" (1966)

In this episode of the beloved WWII drama, James Franciscus plays Thomas Carpenter, a former Air Force pilot dishonorably discharged after failing out of flight training for insubordination, who travels to England, steals a uniform from a military supply, and masquerades as a pilot. He serves as a co-pilot on several missions, hoping to take command of a bomber in order to perform at least one mission that will, in some way or other, make up for his past failure. As suspicions mount and he is about to be found out, Carpenter goes to ever more extreme lengths to accomplish his mission of personal redemption.

This episode is commonly regarded as one of the top 10 episodes of 12 O'Clock High.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre - "Escape into Jeopardy" (1965)

In this episode of the Chrysler Theater drama series, James Franciscus plays Larry Martin, a convicted felon who "escapes" from prison at the behest of US Army Intelligence. US Intelligence wants Martin to recover counterfeit plates that he has buried in France. The Nazis want to obtain these plates in order to flood neutral countries with phony dollars. In exchange for a full pardon, Martin agrees to recover the plates. Jocelyn Lane plays Gabrielle, a local Frenchwoman who provides Martin with a hiding place and reluctantly aids him in his mission. Werner Klemperer (later to star as Colonel Klink in Hogan's Heroes) plays Colonel Wertha of the SS.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Youngblood Hawke (1964) - Part 2

< Return to Part 1

In some ways, especially the cinematography, the film occasionally borders on brilliance. As Hawke’s editor and NYC tour guide, Suzanne Pleshette is great as always, and the love scenes between Franciscus and the amazing Genevieve Page would have been touted as classic if they’d been attached to a better film. The screenplay is weak, but no weaker than the source material, and the cast rises above it. The only totally dissonant note is the booming, quasi-Wagnerian score by Max Steiner, which sounds like the soundtrack from an East German May Day celebration.

"Youngblood Hawke" is available on DVD from Amazon. It's also shown on Turner Classic Movies.

The original trailer for "Youngblood Hawke".

A clip from "Youngblood Hawke".

Some screen shots from "Youngblood Hawke".