Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series – by Chuck Harter

Chuck Harter Mr. Novak

Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series 2017 by Chuck Harter The television series “Mr. Novak” 1963-1965 was a pivotal show in terms setting a template for later shows that features a core cast, with talented guest stars, and dealt with relevant social issues. “Mr. Novak” departed from the strict comedy format of shows like “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” 1959-1963 and set the stage for socially based drama like “Room 222” 1969-1974 and “The White Shadow” 1978-1981. Chuck Harter’s incredibly detailed book provides a complete history of “Mr. Novak” and its place in history. When I began reading this book, I was immediately struck by how the show was a training ground for a generation of actors such as Walter Koenig, Beau Bridges, Tony Dow, Mark Slade, Kim Darby, Shelley Fabares, and Don Grady. The show was anchored by veteran actors James Franciscus, Dean Jagger, and later Burgess Meredith. Many of the show’s cast contributed input into Mr. Harter’s book and give an in-depth background that is rarely seen.…

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Burgess Meredith – From Rocky to Grumpy Old Man

Burgess Meredith in Rocky (1976)

Burgess Meredith was a character actor that had a great long and varied career. The older crowd knows him as the Penguin from the “Batman” television show. A slightly younger crowd will remember him as Mick in the Rocky series. However, I like to remember him from Of Mice and Men (1939) and a light little comedy Foul Play (1978) where he was cast with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. Meredith served in the Air Corp during WWII Selected Films  1995 Grumpier Old Men – Grandpa Gustafson 1993 Grumpy Old Men – Grandpa Gustafson 1990 Rocky V – Mickey Goldmill 1982 Rocky III – Mickey Goldmill 1981 Clash of the Titans – Ammon 1979 Rocky II – Mickey 1978 Foul Play – Mr. Hennessey 1976 Rocky – Mickey In Harm’s Way (1965 ) – Commander Egan Powell Of Mice and Men (1939)- George Milton He’ll kill yuh to death inside of three rounds! Burgess Meredith as Mickey in Rocky III Click To Tweet Burgess Meredith

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Of Mice and Men (1939) – Episode 5

Of Mice and Men Lon Chaney Jr. and Burgess Meredith

I am starting a new line today based on Burgess Meredith from In Harm’s Way (1965). Today’s movie is Of Mice and Men (1939). The original story was written by John Steinbeck and was set during the Great Depression. One of the interesting things about this movie is that it is not carried by a major star. Many of the actors had fine and long careers but they were not the blockbuster leading types. The title of the movie comes from a Robert Burns’ poem titled “To a Mouse” and states – “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Or as translated “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.” The Great Depression kicked off in the United States on October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed and is now as Black Tuesday. I can’t remember the name of the play but one line states that paraphrase – “he was part of gentle rain of stock brokers that fell to…

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In Harm’s Way (1965) – Episode 4

In Harm's Way (1965)

For In Harm’s Way (1965) we are still continuing the Bruce Cabot line from King Kong (1933). I love this movie. It’s all about redemption and second chances. It also shows how important getting breaks from friends are. The title of this film comes from a quote by Revolutionary War captain John Paul Jones: “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.” This movie follows a group of people starting the night before the attack on Pearl Harbor and follows them through the turning tide where the American Navy starts winning the war. It is loosely based on the Battle of Guadalcanal during WWII. As each character falls from grace they are given a reprieve often with the help of a friend. In the same way, the USA is given a second chance after they failed to prepare for the coming war. For clarification, I will use a system made famous by American anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. He…

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