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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

An Old New Thing.

In 1990, I taught a few theater classes as a favor for a friend.  He couldn't pay me  anything.
In lieu of that, he offered me the use of their TV studio, with a camera and student crew.
I found actors who worked for free by having them sign waivers.
You could do that with professional actors, in 1990.
I don't know if you can do that now.
But I did it then.
And I called in a lot of favors from a lot of wonderful actors.
I had a half-hour pilot script that I had co-written with a very good writer.
And I think it is very funny.
But I couldn't sell it.
It is basically "A Chorus Line" about actors.
We see them audition, and talk about themselves a little.
The play is the worst play ever written.  A drama.
It is bad Tennessee Williams, and is a vanity production financed by it's fading star.
If it had gone on to be a series, we'd have followed the play and it's cast on it's out of town
tryout. then eventually all the way to New York, where it is perceived as comedy, and becomes a success.
It would then settle in to being a backstage comedy about the actors.
It has never been seen, until today.
My friend, Stu Shostak, uploaded it to YouTube, where it can now be seen after 27 years.
Considering that no money was spent on it, I consider it a triumph.
And I think it holds up well.
Maybe the lighting could have been a little better, but I think I'm quibbling.
I do know that it is very funny.
And I hope you seek it out.
Go to YouTube, and type in "Mark Rothman Moonlight and Magnolias" (pilot).
Let me know what you think:.  https://youtu.be/Gpya2K9YLa8  This is a link to get directly to the pilot.


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My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.,
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
IThe paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Danny Kaye.

JLTV, the Jewish Live Television Network, a cable station which comes with my cable package, and
features all things Jewish, a la the original Goldbergs  with Gertrude Berg, Soupy Sales (a jew),
Candid Camera (Allen Funt was a Jew) That Show (Joan Rivers' first syndicated talk show, before she had any work done, Lord knows she was a jew.  Jack Benny.  Notice a theme?
With much fanfare, they just added "The Danny Kaye Show", his variety series from the 1960s.
I consider this a major gift.  
I never got to see it much when it was first on.  Now I'm able to go back and watch the whole series. After 50 years. 
And it is wonderful.
Danny Kaye was a great entertainer.
You really can't tell what an asshole he was in real life, which in fact he was.
He hid it well.  And I am able to separate his TV persona from his real life.
He has wonderful guests whom you don't get to see very often elsewhere.
Imogene Coca was on frequently, at the top of her game.
Diahann Carroll, underappreciated for the singer that she is, shows off her singing chops
magnificently.
All the guests are used to really show them off to their best.
And Danny sings a lot of his wife's (Sylvia Fine's) material.  It was hilarious
And is unmatched anywhere else.
It's reason enough to seek it out on your cable.
If your carrier doesn't carry it,  it's time to bellyache.
It's worth the trouble.

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My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.,
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
IThe paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Wildly Inconsistent Billy Wilder.

Here is a list of the movies that Billy Wilder directed.
He made quite a few great ones.
He also made quite a few awful ones.
And he wrote a whole lot of movies in Germany, in German, that never show up anywhere.
He also wrote a few great ones here that he didn't direct.
"Ball of Fire"
"Ninotchka"
"Bluebeard's Eighth Wife"
They were directed by his idol,  Ernst Lubitsch.
I'm going to attempt to separate the ones he directed into great, so-so, and awful.
Beginning with awful.

Director (27 credits)

Awful:                                              So-so:                                     Great:

1981 Buddy Buddy

 1978 Fedora
                                                          1974 The Front Page
 1972 Avanti!
                                                           1961 One, Two, Three
                                                                                                            1960 The Apartment
                                                           1959 Some Like It Hot
                                                                                                           1957 Witness for the Prosecution
                                                                                 
                                                                                                           1957 Love in the Afternoon

                                                           1957 The Spirit of St. Louis

                                                            1955 The Seven Year Itch

                                                                                                            1954 Sabrina

                                                                                                            1953 Stalag 17

                                                                                                            1951 Ace in the Hole

                                                                                                             1950 Sunset Boulevard
                                                            1948 The Emperor Waltz 

                                                                                                                 1945 The Lost Weekend

                                                                                                             1944 Double Indemnity
                        
                                                             1942 The Major and the Minor

Now, I know that this is all subjective, but I think I have good reasons to back up all of my 
decisions.
Eight great ones are pretty good on anybody's resume.
But they were mostly made when he was younger.
He had a prime, and that was it.
Let me give you an idea of how one of the bombs went wrong:
"A Foreign Affair" took place in post-war Berlin.  A comedy.
The female leads were Marlene Dietrich and Jean Arthur.
It was made by Paramount.
They needed a male lead for them to fight over.
Dietrich and Jean Arthur must have been pretty expensive, so Paramount probably told Wilder to pick anyone he wanted from Paramount's contract players as the male lead.
You know who Wilder ended up with?
John Lund.
John fucking Lund.
As in "Has there ever been a bigger stiff in front of a camera than John fucking Lund?"
He was best known as Grace Kelly's fiancĂ© in "High Society".  That guy.  Get it now?
You know who else was under contract to Paramount at the time?
Robert Preston.  Mister "Ya got trouble right here in River City".  That Robert Preston.
But this was 9 years before he exhibited that he had that kind of charm.
But if the alternative was John fucking Lund, wasn't Preston at least worth a screen test?
This requires imagination.  
Imagination that Wilder did not have.
Wilder must have known what a stiff Lund was.  If that was his best option, you've got to be smart enough to close down the picture.
That's just one example:  Ray Walston for Peter Sellers in "Kiss Me Stupid?"
Keep looking, or bale.
I'm just saying that this brings Wilder down a few pegs among the all time greats.
Too many failures.
We can argue about all this in the comments section.

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My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.,
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
IThe paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."