Category Archives: Stories From Hollywood

Behind the scenes stories of making movies in and out of Hollywood. Independent film production company Brothers’ Ink Productions experiences and stories from the making of Reveille, Locker 13 and the writing of numerous screenplays and scripts.

The Jazz Singer, The Real 1st Best Picture

 

The first Academy Awards Ceremony on Thursday May 16, 1929, lasted only 15 minutes and honored only silent films. It was the last Academy Awards to do so as the invent of the talkies had just hit in a very big way. The big subject of the night was talking pictures. This was the last ceremony to include silent films exclusively.

The talking picture development, begun with the Jazz Singer’s famous line “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet”, was about to revolutionize the industry, which had been in decline. The Jazz Singer, released during the award season (made in 1927, released in 1928), had not been allowed to compete for best picture because the Academy decided it was unfair to let movies with sound compete with silent films. It was a travesty, as it probably would have swept the awards that year.

When a film comes around that is this revolutionary, it should be allowed to compete, not be excluded, just because it was so far ahead of it’s time.

That first best picture winner went to Wings, a tale of World War One pilots directed by William Wellman, which at $2million was the most expensive movie of its time. A great film in it’s own right, with some of the best aerial photography ever filmed. We talk about it at length in our blog post, called Dick Grace and Wings.

Also, just a side note, much of the chatter at the ceremony also included how Buster Keaton’s now classic silent film The General had been snubbed.

The original Jazz Singer was a Broadway hit, which opened at the Fulton Theater on Sunday, September 14th, 1925 and ran for 303 performances. The play starred George Jessel (who was asked to star in the movie, but declined!). Also in the cast were Phoebe Foster as Mary Dale, Arthur Stuart Hull as Harry Lee, Sam Jaffe as Yudelson and Howard Lang as The Cantor.

Al Jolson, the star of The Jazz Singer, was directed by Alan Crosland.

Pat Roach, Actor and Stuntman

 

Pat Roach was a great character actor and stunt man, primarily recognizable in a slew of films from the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Pat started out in England as a wrestler and because of his huge stature at 6’5″ and over 250lbs he became sought after as an actor for big beefy roles. His first few roles were for Stanley Kubrick in A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon, where he played a bouncer and a brawler, respectively.

Pat’s career would blossom and his roles would get larger and because he was very physical, would do his own stunts over the years. Also, who could they find of his size to body double for him? His most recognizable roles were in the Indiana Jones movies, where he played the airplane mechanic that Indiana gets into a fight with as Marion and Indy try to chase after the Ark of the Covenant, then a giant Thuggee Guard in Temple of Doom and then as Gestapo in the Last Crusade. He unfortunately died of throat cancer in 2004 before he could appear in the last one.

Other memorable roles would come from Clash of the Titans, Never Say Never Again, Conan the Destroyer, Willow, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and then later as the very popular Bomber Busbridge in Great Britain’s ITV-BBC production of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.  Pat would often continue to wrestle under the “Bomber” name. Eventually, Pat Roach developed throat cancer before the filming of series three began. Although he would appear in series’ three and four, he would undergoing chemotherapy at the same time. In the third series, it’s painfully obvious that Pat was ill, and some scenes of his had to be changed to accommodate his medical condition. Although he felt fit enough to appear in series four, his family were angry at him because of the physical toll it was taking out on his well-being. Pat was too ill to appear in what would be the last Auf Wiedersehen Pet series (“The Specials”) in 2004. He sadly died during filming of that two-hour special. In a touching scene, Dennis reads a letter from Bomber to the rest of the group while they are all dining in a restaurant, where he explains his reasons for not having joined them. The group lift their glasses and drink a toast; “To Bomber!”

Top 15 William Powell Movies

 

One of my all-time favorite actors…even though he’s not as flashy as Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Clark Gable or Spencer Tracy…who are all in my top 5 as well. William Powell seems to sneak in there on the sheer strength of his whole film library. Arguably, he’s the most consistent. He put out some of the finest work ever seen on film, and most, if not all of his movies, stand up today as some of the greatest ever made. Judge for yourself, here are my 15 favorites:

15  The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936)

This one is special because of the pairing of William Powell and Jean Arthur. Powell would make a career out of teaming with some of the strongest actresses of the time and then competing with them as equals. He manages to hold each of his female partners in such high esteem, while all along joyfully and playfully sparing with them with wonderful wordplay. This becomes his signature, and not only did the audience enjoy the sparks, but his on screen partners adored him in real life as well. So much so that he fell in love and married 2 of them. He would have married Jean Harlow as well, they were engaged, but she fell ill and died before they married. Back to this film, the script is a little light, but Powell and Arthur are fun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Arthur look better than she does in this movie. She just shines.

14  One Way Passage (1932)

This one was the 6th pairing of William Powell with Kay Francis. The story is far fetched, as Powell plays a prisoner- a murderer being sent to prison for his hanging and Francis is on her last cruise as she has a terminal illness. They fall in love and spend their last trip together.  It has a mix of drama and comedy, which seems a bit weird due to the material.

13  The Philo Vance Mysteries (1929-1933)

William Powell starred in 4 of the Philo Vance mysteries, I’ll include them all together in one entry: The Canary Murder Case, The Greene Murder Case, The Benson Murder Case, and The Kennel Murder Case. Because of these movies and the Thin Man series, Powell becomes very well known as a Detective. It’s what puts him on the map initially, I would say, even though it’s his pairings with outstanding female partners that really makes him shine. William Powell is the first to star as Vance and arguably the most successful. These films are fun and I can see why Powell would become very popular as a detective over the next 20 years.

12  For The Defense (1930)

Another movie starring Powell and Kay Francis, this time Powell plays an attorney defending the man that Francis is two-timing him for murder. This was a surprise hit for Paramount. A quickie, it was shot in a mere 15 days and its success immeasurably helped director John Cromwell‘s career, who would go on to direct Tom Sawyer, Of Human Bondage, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Prisoner of Zenda, Algiers, Made For Each Other, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Dead Reckoning after this one.

11  Jewel Robbery (1932)

The last one on the list that also stars Kay Francis, this one is my favorite of all the ones they did together. Powell plays a gentleman thief…which reminds me that he would have been the perfect Arsene Lupin over the years if he had ever decided to take that character on.  This began as a stage play, and then turned into a movie, and you can really tell with the great dialogue.

10  Double Wedding (1937)

The first one on the list that features Powell with his best collaborator, Myrna Loy! They are most famous together in the Thin Man movies but they performed so much together over the years that most people thought they were really married, which caused a lot of trouble for the couple whenever they went on location as often the hotels would book them accidentally in the same room! They would eventually star in 14 films together.  When I mentioned earlier that he was engaged to Jean Harlow, but she died…it was during the filming of this movie. They had to shut down production for a few weeks and I think you can tell in Powell’s performance that he was distraught. Also, can I just mention that I hate his artist costume in this movie.

9  Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948)

Fun little movie, seems like it would have been perfect for Don Knotts in the title role, but he was decades away from doing movies…Powell is still fun as always. Ann Blyth plays the mermaid in a very effective costume…at times she seems like a very real mermaid!  In an article in “Look” magazine that came out at the time the film was released Ann Blyth said that the hardest part of making the movie was trying to learn to swim while wearing the mermaid tail. She said that she practiced for more than a week before she felt comfortable with not being able to kick her legs to help her swim. During the film Ann Blyth has no dialogue. She laughs, sings (without words) and cries but does’t talk.

8  Libeled Lady (1936)

Great cast with Powell and Loy as usual, but with the additions of Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy!  Reportedly, while shooting the movie, the four stars had become close friends, and William Powell even gave up his old habit of hiding out in his dressing room between scenes so he could join in the fun with the rest of the cast. One of the biggest jokes was a running gag Spencer Tracy played on Myrna Loy, claiming that she had broken his heart with her recent marriage to producer Arthur Hornblow Jr. He even set up an “I Hate Hornblow” table in the studio commissary, reserved for men who claimed to have been jilted by Loy. Myrna Loy recalled in her 1987 autobiography that a good time was had by all during the shoot – “Libeled Lady was one of the best of the so-called screwball comedies, with a great cast, and Jack Conway directing us at breakneck speed.” She praised her co-stars and also expressed her love for working with Walter Connolly, whom she described as “darling.” Some of the cast and crew travelled to the California mountains during production in order to shoot exteriors of the bucolic scenes. They spent nearly a week living cosily in small cabins, according to Myrna Loy, and enjoying the rustic scenery far from the bright lights of Hollywood. This was where William Powell filmed his bit of slapstick in which he must pretend to be an expert angler in order to impress Connie’s father. “It’s a hysterical piece of work,” praised Loy, “but then Bill was a very gifted man, able to do great comedy and tragedy, everything.”

7  The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

William Powell plays the great showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. in this biography of his life. He would go on to play Ziegfeld again later for a showcase of some of Ziegfeld’s finest work in Ziegfeld Follies.  Billie Burke, the wife of the real Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., never really rated the film much despite taking a personal interest in the writing of the script. She went to great lengths to make sure that writer William Anthony McGuire never besmirched the good name of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., hence the playing down of his infidelities.  The Great Ziegfeld would become the first biopic to win an Academy Award for “Best Picture”. Powell himself would be nominated for My Man Godfrey, that same year.

6  I Love You Again (1940)

This one is quite fun, Powell plays a man who is a normal boring businessman that bumps his head a second time, which makes him recover from amnesia, only to remember his life as a con man before he had amnesia! In the process, he comes to learn that he’s deeply in love with the woman that is soon to be his ex-wife, Myrna Loy.  The fun part of this movie is the total change in Powell’s personality and then the wooing of his wife (coo-ing?). It does have a lengthy Boy Scout sequence, which is delightful, but to me, takes it away from the fun parts that are Powell-Loy laden.

5  Life With Father (1947)

I love Irene Dunne and she is really in fine form in this great family film.  In later years, Irene Dunne admitted that she hated playing the part of Vinnie, the wife, as she considered the part to be “rattle-brained”.  The original play, “Life With Father” is the longest-running Broadway non-musical play ever. It played on Broadway for nearly eight years (3224 performances), from 1939 to 1947 and held the record for 25 years until “Fiddler on the Roof” surpassed it. In the play, author Howard Lindsay played Father, Dorothy Stickney was Vinnie and Teresa Wright was Mary. The film version was released in 1947, the year that the Broadway run ended. William Powell had his 3rd Academy Award nomination for this role.

4  Manhattan Melodrama (1934)

Clark Gable adds to the fun in Manhattan Melodrama. Interesting thing about this is that both William Powell and Clark Gable were married to Carole Lombard, at different times, of course, neither during this movie.  This was also the first movie to feature Powell and Loy together. Interesting to note, this movie is probably most famous for being the movie that bank robber John Dillinger had just seen before he was gunned down in front of Chicago’s Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. He had been set up by Anna Sage, the madam of a brothel, who knew Dillinger’s girlfriend, Polly Hamilton. Sage was facing deportation and thought the tip might get her off. She told FBI agent Melvin Purvis that she would be wearing orange which appeared red, leading her to be dubbed “The Woman in Red”. Dillinger was shot three times when he tried to escape, and Sage wound up being sent back to Romania.

3  Mister Roberts (1955)

William Powell’s last movie, based on the play which also starred Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts. The supporting cast in this film is incredible with great parts for James Cagney and Jack Lemmon, who won an Oscar for his role of Ensign Pulver. Initially directed by John Ford, one of the few non-westerns he did.  On this movie, he was apparently mean and abusive.  When John Ford met James Cagney at the airport, the director warned that they would “tangle asses,” which caught Cagney by surprise. Cagney later said: “I would have kicked his brains out. He was so goddamned mean to everybody. He was truly a nasty old man.” The next day, Cagney was slightly late on set, and Ford became incensed. Cagney cut short the imminent tirade, saying: “When I started this picture, you said that we would tangle asses before this was over. I’m ready now – are you?” Ford backed down and walked away and he and Cagney had no further conflicts on the set.  Later on, there was a disagreement between John Ford and Henry Fonda that led to Ford punching Fonda in the mouth, ending their 16-year personal friendship and eight-film professional relationship, even though Ford apologized to Fonda afterward. Fonda only appeared in one more Ford film after that. Ford was eventually dismissed from the film and Mervyn LeRoy took over.  John Ford’s dismissal from the film pushed him over the edge. He began drinking heavily, and was hospitalized in Hawaii for alcohol poisoning.

2  The Thin Man Mysteries (1934-1947)

To this day, these are the films that William Powell and Myrna Loy are most famous for, with good reason, they are awesome.  I don’t need to go into much detail, as I do that here in another blog post.  Now after you’ve read that go see the series, it’s great.

1  My Man Godfrey (1936)

My favorite movie featuring Powell is also the one that really features his ex-wife Carole Lombard most effectively.  It’s about a scatterbrained socialite, who hires a vagrant as a family butler…but there’s more to Godfrey than meets the eye.  William Powell suggested his ex-wife Carole Lombard for the leading role with the explanation that his real life romance with Lombard had been much the same as it was for the characters of Godfrey and Irene. Although stars William Powell and Carole Lombard had been divorced for three years by the time they made this, when offered the part Powell declared that the only actress right for the part of Irene was Lombard.  This is the only film to receive Oscar nominations for writing, directing and all four acting awards without being nominated for Best Picture. It was also the only film to receive those six nominations without winning in any of the categories until American Hustle (2013).

James McEachin, Patriot

 

I first met James McEachin when I worked for a marketing firm around 2002, called BookZone. I was an online marketing consultant for authors and publishers and one of my clients, turned out to be James McEachin. At that point, James was a retired actor…but I knew him as an independent author and publisher. He had written the books; Farewell to the Mockingbirds, The Heroin Factor, Pebbles in the Roadway, Say Goodnight to the Boys in Blue, and The Great Canis Lupis. We were helping him with his website and helping him with marketing his books online.widescreen-james_robe_13_boots-cap_4vj4

We would have several discussions a month and often found ourselves talking about his acting career. Being a big film buff and at-that-time, wannabe writer and director myself, I was very interested in his acting and writing career. He is most famous for his roles in movies such as Play Misty For Me, Buck and the Preacher, 2010, True Grit, The Undefeated and on TV in Tenafly, the Perry Mason Mysteries, The Rockford Files, First Monday and so, so much more.

20160327_09070920160327_090815

I was interested in his Army career as well and at that time, my twin brother and I had decided that we wanted to showcase our abilities in writing and film, by directing and producing the proper short film to do so. But we didn’t want to just do any old film. Our grandfather had died some months before and we were tossing back and forth, an idea of doing some kind of tribute film, for him as an American Veteran. We wrote a script we liked, very short about 3 pages and so I mentioned this to James after we were talking about his service one day and he asked me to send it to him.james-garner-james-mceachin-1974

I did, and he literally flipped for it. He wanted to play the Army Veteran so badly in our short. I was thrilled. Very quickly after that all the pieces seemed to fall into place and that summer in July in 2004, we set to film what would become our signature film, Reveille, with him and David Huddleston as the Navy Veteran. It was a magical 4 days, even through what would be the hottest days of the year. David and James went home and told us, they didn’t give the project much thought after that.coversmall

We finished post on the film and then scheduled a small screening in Los Angeles for David and James. They both loved the film, but afterwards, James said something that proved prophetic later. He said, “I don’t think you know what you have here. This is a really powerful film.” I think he was right. Here we had a short film, a tribute to our grandfather, that we then decided to add a tribute to all people who had served…which was supposed to be a sample of our work. A short film that could establish our abilities, become a calling card to get us hired as filmmakers in Hollywood.vet-james-mceachin

The film became so much more than that. I think James, more than any other person recognized that early on. He asked if he could put the film online…now this was in 2005, before “films” went online. We filmed the short in 35mm and back then they didn’t have digital transfers, or digital was still in it’s infancy. We told him that would be fine. He got the film digitized in low rez, because video still took up a lot of space and he found a place to put it. There was a new thing called Google Video. A pre-cursor to YouTube. He put it up there and it went viral before anyone really knew what viral was.veteran-james-mceachin

It took off! It started to get passed around like you wouldn’t believe. Now, Adam and I were still going the traditional route with this little film, in 2005 and 2006 we went to over 30 film festivals with it, submitted it to the Academy Awards…all while online, it was being shared. We found that it became quite the little hotcake…1 Million views, 2 Million views, 3 Million…it would top out the year in 2006 just over 4 Million views. We were flooded with requests to show the film at schools, churches, events, tributes, memorials, to the troops in Iraq, on the American Forces Network, on the Pentagon Channel…we were overwhelmed.james-mceachin-army-veteran

Now, on the side, James McEachin started to represent the film and his character in his own way. He reached back and embraced his military career and started to speak to large groups of people in uniform. He spoke about what it was to be a Veteran, have pride for the service and the flag. He became an inspiration to so many people. He wrote a monologue featuring the “Old Soldier” character and performed that in front of massive audiences all across the country. He released a patriotic CD. He even produced, directed and wrote an unofficial sequel to Reveille that also had David Huddleston reprising his Navy character. James McEachin had a great career in the Army, then as an actor, then as a novelist and now it all came back full circle and he was having his last career as an image of pride.widescreen-james___david_saluting_1_89re

We salute you, James, and your wonderful service to your country, our little film, and especially to the men and women who all serve under one flag.

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 3

 

And the last lost episode for the Locker 13 movie…it’s appropriately tited, L.O.C.K.E.R. and it was written by Jason Marsden:

BLACK.

FADE IN:

INT. WAREHOUSE – DAY

ECU on a LOCKER.  Locker THIRTEEN, to be exact.  It stands alone, atop of a Roman pedestal, heroically in the center of a large, black room.  Locker 13, appears heavy, thick, weathered and ominous…but enough about that.

Across from Locker 13 is an audience of FARMERS. Several rows of chairs, inhabited by a group of old-ish, denim overall wearing, bearded, land owners of yore.  They sit patiently when:

A DOOR opens from the black background, illuminating BRIGHT

WHITE LIGHT that floods the inside of vast room.  From the door, at a quick pace, walks EDGAR JACKSASSY (30), smartly dressed and slick, followed by his minion, GUNTHAR RETCH (29) a lowly composite.  Edgar walks pointedly towards the farmers, pulls himself up a metal chair right in front of Locker 13 and after a beat says to the group:

EDGAR

Chickens.

Gunther, stands off to the side. Obediently watching Edgar.

The Farmers, listen…intrigued.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The Earth’s full of ’em.  We all gotta have ’em. You’re familiar with how that goes I don’t have to tell you.  (beat) But where do you PUT ’em?

Angle on the Farmers as they react with the occasional “harfrumps, and hmmmphs”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Sure, a coop.  Right?  A coop for all their little chicken toes and chicken fingers to get caught, maybe broken?

Gunthar giggles to himself.

GUNTHAR

Chicken fingers.

Edgar shoots him a look.  It freezes the room.  Gunthar giggles again. Edgar composes himself and continues.

EDGAR

I know farmers. I like farmers. Heck, I’m like a farmer myself. Outstanding-in-my-field!

He impresses himself with his own joke and chuckles.  The farmers weren’t amused. Gunthar is still trying to figure it out.

Edgar breaks the silence by marching up to Locker 13 and slapping it on the side!  A dreadful, hollow, metallic sound reverberates from the slam!  It grabs everyone’s attention. Edgar continues.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is what you came here for!  This is what you need.  The EA JACKSASSY, military production unit…L.O.C.K.E.R.!

Big hero shot of Locker 13!  It’s ominous and spooky sitting in the middle of the room.  It’s as if the other lockers just don’t want to hang around him.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Lithium OCtane Killius Earthanium Receptacle.  (beat) This is model thirteen.

Gunthar wheels in a tray of, we-don’t-know-what, underneath a velvet sheet. Edgar walks around Locker 13 as he explains.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

The war’s over.  But the battle has just begun!  Military doesn’t need these anymore because we’re suddenly “pro” life.  Goodness gracious. And at the same time, people want their chickens roaming the country side and free!  Free range!  Free range!  Give a chicken free range and next thing you know it’s gonna want to vote!

Gunthar thinks about chickens voting.

The Farmers seem in agreement.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Do you know how many KFC’s there are in this country alone? Koo Koo Roos?  Popeyes? Roscoes? El Pollo Locos? Stir fry, country fry, chow main, baked, broiled, sandwich, salad, I don’t have to tell you!  Everyone needs chicken!  “What about the vegetarians”, you say? Sure, there are plenty of hippies, dippys, yuppies and buppies, in the world.  But our planet isn’t going vegetarian yet!  We’re carnivores by nature! So rest easy my friends, for you have job security.

The farmers are lost and they’re seeming less interested.

Gunthar, is just lost.  Edgar, ramps it up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Human kind is jonesing for fowl and you are the dealers! Demands will rise, as well as your stock!  Cages are ‘spensive!  And are you really gonna be the hillbilly bufoon on your block with thousands of chickens roaming the hillside like the Sound of fucking Music?! NO!(beat) That’s why you need this.

Edgar, returns his attention to Locker 13, touching the cool steel.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Made from the alloy,  Killiusearthanium.  This shit was top secret.  Still is.  Adamantium is pudding next to this.  One, sixteenth of an inch thick.  That’s paper thin!

Just as he says this, from the table of goodies, Gunthar, produces a perfectly timed paper lined hoop for Edgar to punch through in punctuation!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

But with hulk-like density.

Also from the goody cart, Gunthar hands Edgar a .44, which he cocks and points at Locker 13.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And one hundred and ten percent bullet-proof!

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Sparks dance around Locker 13.

It moves not an inch.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

So your chickens will remain intact! Gunthar!

Gunthar, hops to it, unlocks Locker 13 and swings open the door.  About a dozen CHICKENS pour out, excitedly!  Feathers fly everywhere.  Gunthar scrambles to collect the chickens.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

And it’s porous, which deters suffocation.

Edgar double takes as he notices a lone, dead, chicken resting at the bottom of the locker.  Without missing a beat:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That one was already dead.

ECU through the BULLET HOLE on the side of the locker, right to Edgar, who looks to Gunthar, indicating for him to “take care of it”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Gunthar.

As Gunthar crosses, Edgar scoops the gum (Gunthar’s been chewing all this time) from Gunthar’s mouth and covers up the bullet hole on the sly.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Tragic.  She was my favorite.  In fact, that was her name, Tragic.  She was the sick one.

As Gunthar collects the dead chicken, fresh BLOOD squirts out of the bullet wound, spraying Edgar and the Farmers. Gunthar, quickly runs out to dispose of the carcass.  Edgar breaks the tension, by SLAMMING the locker door shut!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Anyway.  L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is also predator proof!  Anything kept inside, stays inside.  Including odors.  Foxes, wolves, possums, any carnivore with a keen sense of smell, and with chicken on it’s menu, will never detect your valuable feathered friends if kept in this baby.  Gunthar!

Gunthar runs to attention as a rogue chicken innocently hobbles by.  Edgar maliciously snatches it up! Then cradles it in his arms, kindly strokes it’s neck as he continues:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

For example. Pretend Gunthar, is a predator! A squat, ugly, ravenous beast that hasn’t eaten in weeks.

Gunthar, gets into it, trying to emulate Edgar’s description, with hilarious, physically comedic results.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(re: chicken in his arms) Gunthar, try to get this chicken.

Gunthar, licks his lips, bears his “claws” and pretends to stalk and attack the chicken in Edgar’s arms.  Just as he gets close enough, Edgar flings out his fist and WHAM! punches Gunthar in the face!  Gunthar, spins from the impact and sails to the ground.  Edgar continues to the farmers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now you shouldn’t have to exert yourself like that. Save it for your wives and daughters, eh?  Your hands are your investment!  Instead of challenging the problem with your fists, eliminate the problem altogether!  (to Gunthar) Gunthar!

Gunthar struggles to his feet and opens the locker door.

Edgar carefully places the chicken inside. 

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Simply insert a chicken into our catch-proof locker doors, and…

SLAM! Gunthar shuts the door too fast and catches Edgar’s finger!  He reels in pain!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ahhhgh!

Edgar holds his finger and stares daggers at Gunthar.  Edgar takes a peek at the damage and a squirt of his own blood shoots in his face. ANGLE on the Farmers as they get sprayed…again.

Gunthar, meekly offers a hanky.  Edgar snatches it away, wraps his hand, and continues…most condescendingly…

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Now say the predator happens to miraculously sense the chicken inside our locker right here.  Which he won’t.  But let’s say he does.(pointedly to Gunthar)  Say, the worm infested, mange covered, diseased, gluttonous little bitch, approaches LOCKER 13 and tries to get inside.  Go ahead.  Try and get inside.

Gunthar looks to Edgar, sheepish.  He doesn’t wanna.  Edgar shoots him a look.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Go on now.  That a boy.

Gunthar pretends to paw and claw at the locker door.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

That’s it, now try and bite it.

Gunthar reacts, confused.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Try to take a bite out of it. Open your mouth, really wide, then place your teeth around the corner there.

Gunthar, with trepidation, opens his mouth wide and places it on the corner of the locker.  Just then ZZZZZZZAP!!!!

LOCKER 13, vibrates with colorful bolts of electricity like a

Tesla-Coil!  Smoke emanates from the door, as well as Gunthar’s eyes, mouth, and ears!  His hair stands on end.

His mouth, fused to the locker!

Edgar produces a STUN GUN, which he has jabbed onto the backside of the locker, unbeknownst to everyone.  He releases the charge and a smoking Gunthar, falls to the floor.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

As a special bonus, not included in the final sale, we can equip L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 with a stun device, that would react not unlike the way you just saw.  (beat)  But what the heck, cuz I like you guys.  I’ll just go ahead and throw it in for free!

L.O.C.K.E.R.’s door slowly swings open, revealing a very cooked chicken!

The Farmers react, skeptical.  Edgar brings it home.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 is the last one of its kind.  The only one left in the entire state of Arizona!  The only one left on this planet!   Every land owner, barn-hand, and chicken farmer would sell me their youngest daughter for one of these (beat) What say we start opening bids!

Gunthar springs to his feet, albeit a bit wobbly, and holds up a sign reading “$1000.00”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

One thousand dollars. For L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 and free predator deterrent.  (re: fried chicken) And chicken dinner for one.  Who’ll start the bidding at one thousand?  One thousand dollars.

The Farmers ain’t biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Ah.  We’re all here for a bargain, aren’t we.  Well I beg your pardon. Nine-fifty!

Gunthar scrambles to find a sharpee in his pocket and crosses out “$1000” and writes “$950”.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Let’s open the bids at nine-fifty!  (ala auctioneer)Nine-fifty,doIhearnine-fifty,ninefifty,rightherenine-fifty…

He trails off as the Farmers continue to stare, stoic.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar) Let’s go to eight hundred.

Gunthar crosses off “$950” and scribbles “$800”.

The Farmers don’t budge.  Edgar grows restless.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

(to Gunthar)  No no no.  Make it seven.  Seven hundred.

Gunthar scribbles.  Edgar tries the Farmers for approval.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seven?  How about six?

Gunthar makes the change.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

This is a military device here, gentleman!  Billions of dollars in research went into…

Farmers don’t care.

Edgar’s finger is throbbing.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Alright, but I’m gonna get in trouble with my bosses if I… (new thought)  Hey.  If you don’t tell ’em.  I won’t.  Five-fifty.

Gunthar is growing weary of the changes.  There is very little room left on the sign.  ANGLE on the FARMERS – one, raspberries in disapproval.

Edgar stares at them with disappointment. He sizes them up like spoiled children. Finally he offers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars?

A Farmer, FARMER #1, raises his hand.

Edgar jumps with excitement!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Seventy-five dollars!  (auction mode)  Seventy-five, we got seventyfiveseventy-fivedollars. Do I hear two hundred?! Who wants to give me two hundred?  TwohundreddoIheartwohundred…

He continues vying for two hundred as Gunthar finds a new piece of paper and writes “$200” on it.  The Farmers aren’t budging.  The bidding Farmer sits back, proud.  Edgar is losing ’em.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Two hundred? No two hundred WegotseventyfiveI’mlookin. ‘fortwohundred. Seventy-fivetotwohundred? Seventyfiveto…eighty.  Can I get eighty?

A different Farmer, FARMER #2, raises his hand.  Farmer #1 scowls in offense.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY! I have eighty!  Can I get eighty-five Whowantstogivemeeighty -five, eighty-five, wegoteightyIwanteighty -five, who’llgivemeeighty-five? Eightyfive? Anyone? Eighty-five?

Edgar notices a Farmer, FARMER #3, counting change in his hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty?

Farmer #3, excitedly raises his hand!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two-fifty! Igoteighty-twofifty, doIheareightytwo-seventyfive? Lookingforeighty-two-seventyfive, helpmeoutwitheightytwoseventyfive.

The Farmers all reach in their pockets for change.  Some pull out hankies, hay, a wrench, and the occasional change.  Farmer #1 raises his hand again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoseventyfive! Wegoteightytwoseventyfive, who’llgimme eightytwo-eighty?!  Do I hear eightytwo-eighty?!

Farmer #2 throws up a hand.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwo-eighty! Wegoteightytwo- eighty, who’llgivemeeightytwoyninety?! Gunthar is desperately trying to catch up!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eightytwoninetylookingforeightytwon inety, who’llgivemeeightytwoninety?

Farmer #1 again!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two, ninety! Now, eightytwoninety-five! Who’sbraveenoughtoforkouteightytwoninety-five?!

Farmer #3 takes the bait!

EDGAR (CONT’D)

EIGHTY-TWO-NINETY-FIVE! Let’s go for a clean hundred!

All the Farmers stop fishing for change and shoot a collective look at Edgar. Edgar, reacts. Then covers.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty…three, dollars.  Who’s gonna offer eighty three?!  Eightythree.  Looking for eighty three.

The Farmers resume counting change, but none are biting.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-three, eighty-three, anyone, eighty-three.

The Farmers are still counting change.  Some are even making trades and discussing combining funds.

Edgar looks to Gunthar, who has scribbled on everything in sight, trying to keep up with the bidding.  Edgar sees no future in this.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Eighty-two dollars, and ninety-five cents, going once.  One, authentic, military approved, L.O.C.K.E.R., going twice. This is model number 13. It will hold a capacity of 50 plus chickens, going, eighty-twoninety-five, still going twice…fuck it, SOLD! To that guy.

Edgar, half hearted, points towards the Farmers, then turns to Gunthar.

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Get the cash.  Count it.  And get them out of here.

Gunthar leaps to. The winning Farmer, celebrates.  The other Farmers offer congratulations, rise from their seats and pile out.

We stay with Edgar, who retreats to the background, removes a pack of gum from his pants pocket, unwraps it and sticks it in his mouth in disgust.

SOFT in the FG: We can make out the commotion of Gunthar removing L.O.C.K.E.R. 13 from it’s pedestal and wheeling it out with the winning Farmer as Edgar shakes his head and checks his wounded finger.

After the Farmers exit, we FOLLOW Edgar as he makes the long walks back towards the door from whence he came.  He throws open the door, bathing us in light and enters: INT. BACK WAREHOUSE – CONTINUOUS

A florescent lit kitchenette!  There’s a fridge, water dispenser, several cabinets, drawers, rows of various tea, a coffee machine, plate of bagels and a vegetable plate.  Edgar grabs a bottled water from the fridge, a bottle of vitamins from the cupboard, his favorite tea bag, and favorite mug, which he fills up with piping hot water.  He searches for a band-aid, for his wounded finger, shortly followed by a change of shirt. He then unscrews the water bottle and dilutes the tea with a bit of cold so’s he can drink it right away. Gunthar enters and crosses frame.

GUNTHAR

I’m sorry I…

EDGAR

Shut up.  No one asked your opinion.

GUNTHAR

You didn’t have to…

EDGAR

(mocking) You didn’t have to… (then) Just, shove them in there so we can get on with round two!

Gunthar Exits.

OFF SCREEN – We hear deep, guttural, BARKING sounds and Gunthar, opening a cage.  We hear him ad-libbing distress as he is attempts to wrangle some boisterous, unseen, animals. We hear the sound of a door opening.  A familiar, METALLIC DOOR. And Gunther, forcing the animals into it.  Finally, he manages to corral all the creatures before finally slamming the door.  A familiar METALLIC SLAM!

We PAN over to find Gunthar, pushing another L.O.C.K.E.R. on a dolly. The BARKING sounds are muffled, almost mute.  Edgar, slaps a sticker marked “13” on the side.

Behind them, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, HUNDREDS of L.O.C.K.E.Rs waiting to be sold.

Gunthar pushes the dolly through frame, we HOLD on Edgar.

Who gulps his tea, straightens his jacket, places his hair, and walks out of the room.  We CONTINUE with him as he makes the long walk back to the pedestal, where Gunthar has placed the new L.O.C.K.E.R. 13.  We PAN around to find, an audience of ESKIMOS!  All decked out in their thick, winter coats, spears, etc.  We continue PANNING, resting on Edgar, sitting in a chair, just like in the beginning.  He looks at the Eskimos and after a BEAT, says:

EDGAR (CONT’D)

Baby seals!

CUT TO:

BLACK.

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 2

 

Here is part 2 to the unfilmed segments of Locker 13. This next one is written by Adam Montierth and is called, Apache Tears:

FADE IN:

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO 1885 – DUSK

Five MEN on horseback ride slowly into town.   The TOWNSFOLK eye the men suspiciously.

The lead horse carries a large grizzled man in dark leather.  He is JACOB CALHOUN.   He grins ominously with a full set of dirty teeth and looks over at his younger brother, RUSS CALHOUN.  Russ smiles too, mimicking his Brother, but he is missing most of his teeth.

Russ is a thin reed with wild hair, resembling a weasel more than a man.  He turns to look at the three following close behind.

One of the men has a face full of scars, aptly nicknamed SCARFACE.  The man on the other side is horribly disfigured with a burn covering his bald head and half of his face, nicknamed ASH.

Russ frowns at the RIDER in the middle.  He is a stark difference to the others, as he is ruggedly good looking. 

He has strong hard features.  It looks as if God made him out of granite.

RUSS CALHOUN

Why’d ya hafta bring him?  He’s trouble I’m tellin’ ya.

JACOB CALHOUN

We need a safe guy, don’t worry he knows Sanchez.

RUSS CALHOUN

But I’ve seen his face before.

JACOB CALHOUN

Probably with Sanchez.

Russ looks back at Rider who gives him a steely gaze.

The men ride up to the bank in the center of town and hitch their horses on the post in front.

Scarface and Ash stay on their horses, the others dismount.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now you two bone heads keep your eyes peeled this time.

SCARFACE

Boss, he’s as skittish as a mule.

ASH

Me?  You’re as skittish as a Jack Ass.

SCARFACE

A Jack Ass is a mule…

JACOB CALHOUN

Enough!  If’n you two…  Don’t try me.

Scarface and Ash both nod.  Then they turn to each other and glare daggers. Jacob turns to the others.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Alright, stick to the plan.  Let’s go.

Jacob, Russ, and Rider head for the bank’s front door. 

Before they have a chance to go in, a beautiful WOMAN in cowboy dress comes out of the bank.

It is HELENA STORM.  She appears to be half Native

American and half Caucasian.  She looks up at the three men and locks eyes with Rider in surprise. 

A moment of recognition arises, as both pause in awkward silence.  Riders eyes seem to plead with her.

HELENA STORM

Terence…

Russ snaps his fingers in remembrance and points at Rider.

RUSS CALHOUN

Terence Dean, I knew it.  Marshal…Terence Dean!

Jacobs’ eyes squint in anger. 

Russ goes for his gun, but MARSHAL TERENCE DEAN is too fast for him and immediately has his six shooter out and guns him down. Scarface’s horse jolts from the gun shot. 

ASH

Let’s get outta here.

Jacob draws his Colt 45 and immediately grabs Helena from behind.  He puts his gun to her head as Marshal trains his gun on him. Ash and Scarface ride off in a cloud of frantic dust.

Marshal Dean evaluates the situation as each man pauses in stalemate.  Jacob eyes his brothers motionless form on the ground beside him.  He quivers in rage as he spits his words out at Marshal Dean.

JACOB CALHOUN

You’ll pay dearly for that, Marshal.  Now throw your gun down or I open up another hole in this pretty little thing’s head.

Marshal puts his hands up in surrender.  He slowly and carefully places his pistol on the ground.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Now, see?  That wasn’t so hard.

Jacob swings his gun around to the Marshal, but before he’s able to shoot, Helena lays an elbow hard into his face.  In a flash she brings up a knife from her other hand and stabs Jacob in his shooting arm.  He drops his gun.

Helena steps back.  Jacob yells in pain and frustration as he looks up to stare at the barrel of Marshal Terence Dean. 

Jacob freezes.

Marshal looks over at Helena, still in shock at the sight of her.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena.  You’re alive!

Helena smiles at him, unsure of what to say.

Jacob smiles at her with an evil glint in his eyes. 

JACOB CALHOUN

(Whispers.) Helena.

Terence clubs Jacob in the face with the back of his revolver.

EXT. GOLDFIELD NEW MEXICO – MORNING

The sun rises over the desert landscape.  A stagecoach is drawn up to the jailhouse.

The door opens and Terence comes out with Jacob in handcuffs.  Jacob has a bad bruise on his face left from the events of the previous day.

The towns’ SHERIFF follows them out carrying a bag.  He throws it on the stagecoach.

SHERIFF

Do you really think it’s wise to leave so soon?

TERENCE DEAN

Jacob’s a popular man, the Judge in Tombstone’s anxious to see him.  He’s got a date with the reaper.

SHERIFF

Give me time to send for my two Deputies.  They can go with you.

Terence puts Jacob in the stagecoach and handcuffs him to the iron bars on the doors window. 

Helena Storm walks over to the Stagecoach from across the street. 

TERENCE DEAN

Thank you Sheriff, but we’ll be fine.

The Sheriff tips his hat and goes back inside.

Jacob smirks at the sight of Helena.  Terence slams the door in his face. Terence walks over to meet her.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

I thought maybe you were a mirage.  We didn’t get to talk last night before you disappeared.  But thank you for coming to see me off.

HELENA STORM

Terence, I didn’t come to see you off,    I’m the driver.  This is my coach.

Helena has a hard time looking Terence in the eyes.  She busies herself with getting the Stagecoach ready.

TERENCE DEAN

What?  Helena, what the hell is going on here?  I thought you were…I mean…the fire-

HELENA STORM

Yeah, the fire.  There was a bad storm, lightning hit.  I tried to stop the fire, but it was no use.

TERENCE DEAN

You were no where to be found, you made me think-

HELENA STORM

I made you…?  Look, you were better off.  I couldn’t wait for you forever.

TERENCE DEAN

I had work to do.  I told you I’d be back.

HELENA STORM

You were gone for 13 months.  I had to move on.

TERENCE DEAN

So the fire gave you a chance to start a new life?

HELENA STORM

Yeah, something like that.

FATHER WINTERS shows up.  He looks uncomfortable with interrupting the heated conversation. 

TERENCE DEAN

Father.

Father Winters nods politely and hands Helena his bag. 

She secures it to the top of the stagecoach.

The Father opens the stagecoach door and hesitates at the sight of the prisoner in handcuffs.  Jacob smiles wickedly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Father.  How the hell are ya?

Father Winters nods politely and enters the stagecoach, clutching his Bible tightly.

TERENCE DEAN

Helena say something?  You’re still my wife.

HELENA STORM

Another time and place maybe.  You weren’t made to settle down and I couldn’t wait for you.  You ran away long before I did.

Terence stands before Helena not knowing what to say. 

She climbs up to her perch on the front of the stagecoach and looks down at Terence expectantly.

He stares blankly.  She slaps the reins and the stagecoach takes off.  Terence catches the open door and enters. He closes the door and sits back dazed. 

They ride out of town.  Jacob gazes out of the window as the stagecoach passes a plain pine box where his brother lie still.  The undertaker shuts the lid and begins to nail it into place.

INT. DEAN’S RANCH – NIGHT – PAST

The cabin has been recently decorated with the comforts of a newly wed couple. 

A younger Terence and Helena are in their king sized bed looking lovingly into each others eyes.  A fire illuminates the room.

TERENCE DEAN

So how is Mrs. Dean enjoying her second day of marriage?

HELENA STORM

Better than the first.  Every day seems like a dream.

TERENCE DEAN

It should.

HELENA STORM

I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one morning and you’ll be gone.

TERENCE DEAN

I’m not going anywhere.

HELENA STORM

But you’re not a rancher.

TERENCE DEAN

I am now.  I don’t miss it.  Wasting my life chasing demons.

HELENA STORM

You were good at it.  Too good.

TERENCE DEAN

Yes I was, but I’ll be a better rancher.  This is my heaven.  My reward for being good.

HELENA STORM

I hope it’s enough.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence shifts uncomfortably in his seat, lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.  He looks at his gun and then to his handcuffs at the window. 

Terence catches him and smiles for the first time.  Jacob scowls.  The Priest quietly reads to himself.

JACOB CALHOUN

So how do you know Sanchez?

TERENCE DEAN

Hung him in Wells.  Robbed a stagecoach, killed the driver.

JACOB CALHOUN

Who hasn’t?

TERENCE DEAN

Had a nice chat before he swung.  Told me where to find ya.

The Stagecoach begins to slow.  Terence becomes alarmed.

He eyes Jacob suspiciously, who shrugs his shoulders. 

Terence looks over at the Priest and then pokes his head out the window to see what’s up.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

The Stagecoach comes to a halt.  Terence exits, guns drawn.  Helena grabs her rifle and jumps down from her seat.  The Priest exits behind Terence. 

JACOB CALHOUN

What about me?

TERENCE DEAN

Stay put Father!

The Priest hangs back with Jacob. 

Terence and Helena see an old wooden foot locker on the road with a rusted iron padlock on the front.  They slowly approach the chest, looking around.

HELENA STORM

What is it?

TERENCE DEAN

Trouble.

They look at the chest puzzled.  Suddenly, they hear a knock from the inside.  They both jump back.  The knocking ceases.

Terence slowly walks forward and knocks back on the wood. 

The chest begins to rock back and forth as a frantic voice is heard muffled.

Terence looks up at Helena who looks nervous.  He aims and shoots the lock off the chest and opens the lid.  A little man, BENNY LANG, jumps out.  He is gagged and tied up.  Terence unties him.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What the hell?

BENNY LANG

Thank you kindly.  I thought I’d never see the light of day again.

TERENCE DEAN

How’d you get in there?

BENNY LANG

That is quite the story, and see’n as I like to tell them, should make for a good time.  Got anything to drink first?

BENNY LANG(CONT’D)

I done poured out all my fluids in that thing, if’n you know what I mean.

Helena tosses him a water canteen.  Benny drinks greedily. He finishes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Thank you again so kindly.  There’s no end to your generosity.  Ah yes, my current unfortunate predicament.

TERENCE DEAN

Cut to the quick, we need to move on.

HELENA STORM

Terence let him catch his bearings.

BENNY LANG

No need Ma’am, I’m sorry to delay.  The situation is simple enough.  Names Benny Lang, and I’m a gambler by profession.  I happened on four fellers last night and they welcomed me into their camp.  As is my nature, a poker game began and they didn’t take so kindly to my winning.  They locked me in my trunk, evidently taking my wagon and all my worldly possessions with them, leaving me for dead.  You’ve taken all the passion from my tale, in your haste, but there it is.

Terence takes an uneasy look around.

TERENCE DEAN(To Helena)

We need to move on.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, I don’t mean any disrespect to your generosity, but could you drop me off at the next stop.

TERENCE DEAN

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Benny’s eyes plead with Terence.  He looks to Helena for sympathy.

HELENA STORM

Terence we can’t leave him.

TERENCE DEAN

We’re only a half a day out, we’ll send someone back.

BENNY LANG

But sir, these men, were the unsavory types…

TERENCE DEAN

Evidently.

BENNY LANG

What if they come back?  Plus, I don’t have food or water.

HELENA STORM

He can sit on top with me.

TERENCE DEAN

This is not a leisure trip.  We are delivering a dangerous man.

HELENA STORM

Well then we better go now, but I won’t leave him.

Terence sighs in frustration, having dealt with her stubbornness before.

BENNY LANG

Thank you, thank you, I will be no trouble, I assure you.  Heaven has sent two angels my way.

TERENCE DEAN

Let’s go.

Terence turns to go back to the stagecoach.

BENNY LANG

Please sir, could you help with my chest?

Terence turns back getting annoyed.  Benny motions to the  foot locker and smiles.

TERENCE DEAN

Leave it.

BENNY LANG

It’s my only possession now.

Terence looks at Helena and then back to Benny.  He sighs again.

He walks over and closes the lid and then picks it up.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Again, many thanks.  You don’t know, it’s been in my family for generations.  I will be no more trouble to you.

Terence hefts the trunk on top of the stagecoach.

Helena helps Benny to the perch as Terence walks over to her.

TERENCE DEAN

You keep your eyes open, I don’t trust him.

HELENA STORM

Do your job Marshall, I’ll do mine.  When this is over, we can go back to our own lives.

TERENCE DEAN

You mean our life?

Helena’s only response is to look away.

Terence takes her hand and feels for her wedding ring.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

What if I told you this was my last job?

Helena looks him straight in the eye.

HELENA STORM

I’ve heard that before, remember?

Helena steps up to her seat on the stage coach and grabs the reigns.

Terence is again left standing there as Helena starts the horses.  He has to rush to catch the stagecoach door and climb in.

INT. STAGECOACH – SAME

Jacob is smiling broadly.

JACOB CALHOUN

Never gets old.

FATHER WINTERS

What’s going on Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

Luke, Father, chapter ten.

JACOB CALHOUN

The parable of the Good Samaritan.

Terence and Father Winters stare at Jacob who continues to smile.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

With that in mind, my arm where your girlfriend dug her knife, is paining me.  Is it possible to move my shackles?

TERENCE DEAN

When we get there.

JACOB CALHOUN

So kind.

TERENCE DEAN

Not another word.

Terence looks out the window at the passing red rock vistas.

EXT. DEAN’S RANCH – DAY – PAST

Young Helena exits the barn with a fresh bucket of milk. 

In front of the house, she notices two US MARSHALS mounting their horses. Terence stands between them.

US MARSHAL # 1

See you day after tomorrow.

The Marshals see Helena, nod and then ride off.

Terence looks at Helena.  She looks down worried and continues past him into their home.  He tries to say something, but can’t find the words.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Benny and Helena sit silently on the perch.  She steers the stagecoach through the winding desert, lost in thought.  The sun is falling closer to the horizon.

BENNY LANG

Personally, I’m not one to settle down.  Almost fell for a petite dancer in Georgetown, then I thought better of it and headed for the West.  Heard the cards were highly regarded out here.  They are, after all, my first love.

Helena smiles at Benny’s chatter, eager for a distraction from her thoughts.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Love takes commitment.  The kind a traveller like me can’t afford.

He pulls something out of his vest pocket.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

You know what this is?

Helena looks down.  Benny is holding a deep black obsidian stone.

HELENA STORM

A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, but do you know what they call it?

 

HELENA STORM

(More hesitation.) A rock?

BENNY LANG

Yes, of course.  But it’s much more than that.  They call it an Apache Tear and it’s very rare.  Do you know how it got it’s name?

Helena shakes her head no.

BENNY LANG (CONT’D)

Alright, story time.  There is a legend behind the Apache Tear.  There were two young Indian lovers who were from different tribes.  They were warring factions of the Apache people.  They were commanded to treat the other as hostile, but they desperately loved each other.  They would meet in secret, making an oath of their undying love.  When their tribes learned of their treachery, they were each sentenced to death unless they denounced their love.  They would not.  Each one escaped from their tribe and they met again on the cliff of the mountain top, with the tribes in pursuit.  With no other option before them, they jumped off the cliff to their death.  Legend has it, the Apache Tears were made when the mountain wept.

HELENA STORM

That’s a beautiful story.

BENNY LANG

Commitment and sacrifice is true love.

Helena turns away with a tear in her eye.

HELENA STORM

That’s why it’s so rare.

INT. STAGECOACH – DAY

Terence is also lost in thought.  Jacob eyes him closely.

JACOB CALHOUN

I’m gonna kill you.  You know that?

Terence snaps into the present.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

For killin’ my Brother.  You shouldn’t a done that.

Father Winters looks up from reading his Bible.

TERENCE DEAN

Actually, you killed him.

JACOB CALHOUN

How’s that?

TERENCE DEAN

Your life led you to that moment.  You created it years ago when you became an outlaw.  What do they say Father?  Live by the sword, die by the sword?  Only our swords have changed, haven’t they?

Terence pats the six shooter on his hip.

JACOB CALHOUN

Your moment’s coming Marshall.

Suddenly, the stagecoach begins to slow again.

Jacob smiles knowingly.

Alarmed, Terence pokes his head out of the window to see what’s going on.

EXT. STAGECOACH – DUSK

The stagecoach comes to a complete stop.

Terence exits with his guns drawn.

TERENCE DEAN

I told you not to stop.

Terence stops in his tracks and stares into the tree before him.

Two men ominously swing on nooses in the large oak tree by the road.  The first has a crude sign painted on him in red that reads, “Horse thief”.

TERENCE DEAN (CONT’D)

This is not right.

Terence swings around just as one of Jacob’s men, Ash, comes rushing around the back of the stagecoach with a rifle.  Terence raises his pistol.

SCARFACE

I wouldn’t do that Marshall.  Drop your guns.

Terence slowly turns to find Scarface swinging in the trees with the first man, but he is very much alive and has two six shooters aimed directly at him.

Helena reaches for her rifle, but Ash is there to take it from her.

ASH

I don’t think so little darlin.  You and the boy jump down.

BENNY LANG

Who you calling a boy?  I’ve more whiskers than you.

Helena and Benny climb down from the stagecoach.

JACOB CALHOUN

You bone heads gonna keep me in here all day.  I need the key in Marshall’s left vest pocket.

Ash walks over and cautiously approaches Terence.

SCARFACE

Marshall, why don’t you kindly throw my buddy the key then.

Terence looks up at Scarface who cocks his guns.

He takes the key from his vest pocket and throws it to Ash, who rushes it over to Jacob. 

Jacob unlocks his handcuffs and rubs his bandaged wrist.

Ash hands him a gun.

Jacob triumphantly walks up to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

Well, well, well.  Who’s moment is it now Marshall?

Jacob looks over at the dead man next to Scarface.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

Who’s that?

SCARFACE

He’s a horse thief.  Where’d you think we got the idea.

JACOB CALHOUN

Get down from there.

Scarface struggles.

SCARFACE

Boss, I need help.

Jacob ignores him and turns back to Terence.

JACOB CALHOUN

You killed my Brother.  Now it’s my turn.

Jacob turns to look at Helena.  Terence moves towards Jacob who shoves a pistol in his face.

TERENCE DEAN

You got me, leave her alone.

JACOB CALHOUN

Or what, Marshall?

TERENCE DEAN

So help me, I will travel to hell to make you pay.

JACOB CALHOUN

Strong words, for a man in your position.

Jacob walks backwards towards Helena, with his gun drawn on Terence. He reaches her and looks around.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT’D)

We’re missing someone.  (Yelling)  Oh Father, come on out.  I’ll need you to deliver some last rites.

Father Winters slowly exits the stagecoach.

Jacob turns back to Terence, as Father Winters raises a hidden pistol.

SCARFACE

Boss, look out.

Father Winters shoots Scarface dead, as a whirlwind of motion occurs simultaneously.

Scarface drops one of his six shooters and Terence catches it. Ash turns and shoots Father Winters, who goes down.

Terence shoots Ash dead.

Benny runs for cover behind the stagecoach.

Helena gets to her rifle and raises it to Jacob, just as he grabs the barrel and swings behind her.

Terence trains his gun on Jacob, who now has Helena in his grasp with his gun to her head. They face each other once more.

JACOB CALHOUN

Deja vu Marshall.  Seems like we been here before.

TERENCE DEAN

Let her go, and you live.

JACOB CALHOUN

Nice trick in there with the padre.  One of your Deputy’s I presume?

TERENCE DEAN

You can’t win.  Give it up!

Jacob cocks his pistol and pushes it into Helena’s temple.

JACOB CALHOUN

Why Marshall, I’ve already won.  I just want you to pay.

TERENCE DEAN

Don’t!  Okay, okay.  Take me, not her.

Terence drops his gun and holds his hands up in surrender.

JACOB CALHOUN

Oh how very chivalrous, but that’s not the point.  How does the scripture go?  An eye for an eye?

Helena swings a knife over, but Jacob intercepts it this time and throws it to the ground.  He squeezes her tightly.

JACOB CALHOUN (CONT”D)

I don’t think so, little lady.  Not this time.  You see Marshall, I’m going to take something from you now.

With a wild banshee cry, Benny Lang jumps out from behind the stagecoach with a small Dillinger aimed at Jacob.

Jacob just turns and shoots him square in the chest.  Benny looks helplessly down at the gaping hole in his chest and falls to the ground dead. Terence goes for his gun.

Jacob aims again at Marshall Dean.  Both guns go off simultaneously.  Jacob gets shot in the head and falls backwards. 

Helena looks up at Marshall Dean breathlessly.  He smiles.  She smiles back.  A red stain suddenly appears on his shirt. She hesitates unbelieving.  He staggers to the ground. 

She rushes over and kneels down and cradles him in her arms.  She begins to cry. He struggles to breath. 

HELENA STORM

Don’t leave me again, please don’t leave me.

TERENCE DEAN

I should have loved you more.

His eyes go blank as he stops breathing.  She cries.

HELENA STORM

Please, please no.  I will do anything.  Just come back to me.

A voice is heard behind her.

It is Benny Lang now standing and uninjured.  His eyes blaze red. Helena stares at him, puzzled.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM

What?  I thought you were…

BENNY LANG

Sacrifice and commitment, remember.  The sign of true love.  Would you do anything?

HELENA STORM (Confused)

Of course I would!

BENNY LANG

Would you give your life?  Your… soul for him?

Helena looks down at the still form of Terence and whispers.

HELENA STORM

Yes.

BENNY LANG

So be it!

Benny snaps his fingers and Terence wakes up.  He looks into Helena’s eyes and kisses her.  She immediately falls limp, dead. 

Terence looks to Benny who smiles wickedly.  He holds a white wisp in his hand.  The faint voice of Helena can be heard in the wisp.

HELENA STORM (From the wisp)

I love you Terence, I always will.

The Marshall jumps up and goes after Benny, who quickly climbs up to the top of the stagecoach and opens his wooden trunk.  Terence advances and Benny jumps inside, slamming the door shut on top of him.

Terence pulls the trunk down off of the stagecoach and it crashes to the ground open, empty. Terence yells helplessly in the desert.

INT. SALOON – NIGHT

Another time, another place, a seemingly normal poker game proceeds in a dark and crowded saloon.  Benny Lang is smiling and rakes in another deep pot with a full house, aces high. 

The GAMBLER across the table sits unblinking.  Benny folds up the deed on top of the stack and puts it in his jacket pocket. 

GAMBLER

That’s it, that’s everything.  What have I done?  I’ve ruined myself and my family.  I would do anything to have the last few minutes of my life back.

Benny looks at him intently and his red eyes blaze.

BENNY LANG

Would you?  Would you do anything?

CUT TO BLACK:

Locker 13 the Lost Episodes Part 1

 

I bet you didn’t know that there were officially 3 segments of the movie Locker 13 that went unfilmed, due to the fact that we couldn’t raise the funds to shoot them during the recession of 2008. I thought it would be interesting to publish in the blog the 3 missing scripts, for those of you that liked Locker 13 and would like to read what could have been. Would’ve made for a VERY different movie.

Here’s the 1st one called, Midnight Blues:

BLACK.

DANTE (V.O.)

Nietzsche once said, “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

FADE IN:

EXT. CEMETERY – SOMETIME AFTER DUSK

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except DANTE CHARON. In profile, Dante is a pale white haired man dressed all in black. His hat in hand, he looks sadly at the casket as he says his last good-byes.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

He never said anything about the bad times. There are some things we wish we could never remember. But sometimes…we have to. It’s the bad times that can remind us who we really are.

In silhouette, Dante looks up just as a CAR BACKFIRES, a flock of birds nearby release into the air with a start.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

So I guess the reverse must be true as well. The burden of a good memory is that one must suffer often the painful memories HE holds…almost as if he’s paying some kind of endless penance for some past mistake…

Dante’s hand reaches down and cups some earth, he pauses a second…then tosses it into the grave.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But I guess that’s my fate. A life lived in solitude.

The morning sun hits Dante’s face. He is disfigured…

CLOSE-UP: DANTE’S EYE

His left eye is sealed shut and massive scars cover the surface from brow to cheek.

DANTE (V.O.) (CONT’D)

But it’s not only my life. I’ve made it my job.

Dante puts on his black hat. The hat of a chauffeur. He turns and walks toward a big black CADILLAC. But it’s no ordinary Cadillac.

It’s a HEARSE.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

A WOMAN screams.

It is SARA LIPTON, a middle-aged woman, stern and of fading beauty.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

The men start laughing. One of them, JAKE, looks nervous. His eyes shift back and forth as a hand wipes nervously at a white powdered nose. The burly man, JIM, slaps Jake on the arm.

JIM

It worked!

Jake laughs at Jim and nods. He looks down at Sara and nudges her with his foot as she lays sprawled out ungenerously on the carpet.

JAKE

It’s payback, bitch!

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The Hearse door shuts.

Feet walk past to the back where it is parked next to a set of double doors.

The man in black passes a plaque that reads, “Phoenix City Morgue” on his way through the double doors.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY – SAME

The man in black walks to an entry desk in the back. A MAN IN A WHITE LAB COAT sits with his feet up on the desk watching “Matlock” from a miniature television while chewing on a piece of beef jerky.

His name tag reads, “ROBERT DIENER”.

He looks up and just about chokes on his jerky.

ROBERT

Holy shit!

Robert sees the scarred eye of Dante for the first time.

Dante ignores the reaction and pulls a name tag out of his pocket and waves it at him. It reads, “Dante Charon, Green Acres Cemetery”. He taps a clipboard.

DANTE

Here for a pickup.

Robert tries to compose himself.

ROBERT

Course.

He shuffles some papers around. Can’t find what he’s looking for. Dante seems to make him nervous.

DANTE

New here?

ROBERT

I been round the block if that’s what you mean…

Robert lifts the TV and looks under it. Dante breathes out slowly.

DANTE

This block?

ROBERT

Damn! OK, so I been here about an hour, it’s my first shift, I just had that file…

Robert tries not to look at Dante’s eye. But it’s obviously freakin’ him out.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Ok, ok. So? You’re makin’ me nervous ok, could happen to anyone.

DANTE

Which one?

Robert stops shuffling papers. He’s confused.

ROBERT

What? I wasn’t lookin’ at the eye if that’s what you mean…I mean it’s frickin’ strange and all, but I’m no peep…

Dante looks at the clipboard.

DANTE

Cold chamber. Which one?

ROBERT

Oh, locker 13.

Dante nods and exits through a large metal door.

Robert sits back down and breathes out a huge jet of air.

ROBERT (CONT’D)

Sorry, about the eye…thing…

He trails off talkin’ to himself.

CUT TO:

INT. COLD CHAMBER – SAME

CLOSE-UP: METAL LOCKER DOOR WITH THE LARGE “13” ON IT DEAD CENTER.

Dante unlatches the metal latch.  Cold air rushes out of the locker. Dante pulls out the casket on rollers. He pushes it towards the metal door in the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

Dante loads the casket into the Hearse.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

The door opens and Dante gets in and buckles up.

He lowers the visor to reveal a group of postcards, with a picture of Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks” on top. The postcards say, “Chicago Museum of Art” in the lower left hand corner of each card.

He takes the cards down and shuffles them until he finds the one he’s looking for. He puts them back under the visor with a picture of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” on top.

He closes the visor and starts the engine.

He reaches down and pulls out a “Hall and Oates” CD. He puts it into the CD player and skips to song number 4.

CUT TO:

ESTABLISHING – The city at night.

The Hearse drives through the freeway at midnight.

Hall and Oates, “She’s Gone” plays in the background.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – NIGHT

Dante thumps on the steering wheel with the music.

INT. HEARSE BACK – NIGHT

The casket lays in silence. Something’s not quite right. Something BUMPS softly from inside the casket.

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks out the rearview mirror.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – SAME

The Hearse pulls through the large metal gates of a cemetery.

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE FRONT SEAT – SAME

Dante looks left and right as he slowly drives down the small path.

INT. HEARSE BACK – SAME

The THUMPING gets louder, more insistent.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante stops the car and listens.

HEARSE BACK

The THUMPING is very loud and panicky.

HEARSE FRONT SEAT

Dante turns the CD player off and hears the thumping coming from the back.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Dante gets out and walks around to the back. He opens it and pulls out the casket on rollers. The THUMPING is very fast and LOUD now.

He opens up the casket and Sara Lipton sits up and gasps for air.

She looks very much the worse for wear. Her hair is a mess, her makeup smeared on her face, and wearing what appears to be a mechanics grey jumpsuit. Dante doesn’t look surprised.

SARA

What’s going on! Why did you put me in here?

DANTE

I didn’t put you in there.

SARA

Where am I and how did I get here?

DANTE

You’re in the Green Acres Cemetery and I drove you here.

Sara gets out of the coffin and dusts herself off. She gets hysterical and runs over and starts beating on Dante.

SARA

ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! THIS IS KIDNAPPING! I HAVE TO CALL THE POLICE…

Dante grabs her wrists and stops her from hitting him.

DANTE

Ma’am, calm down… I can help you through this.

She stops and cries.

SARA

You’ve done this before?

DANTE

I’ve helped people though a lot worse.

He points to his eye.

She notices it for the first time. This calms her down.

DANTE (CONT’D)

Do you remember who you are?

SARA

Of course I do, my name’s…

She’s puzzled. She can’t remember her name.

SARA (CONT’D)

My name is…

She’s terrified.

SARA (CONT’D)

I can’t remember…

Dante opens the car door and pulls out the clipboard.

DANTE

Sara Lipton.

She remembers.

SARA

YES! YES! Sara…of course my name is Sara!

He nods. She nods.

DANTE

Do you remember how you got in there?

She shakes her head. He shakes his head.

DANTE (CONT’D)

What’s the last thing you remember?

 

SARA

I remember working today. I’m a CPA…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Sara is at her desk, she’s yelling at someone.

SARA

That’s it! NO MORE CHANCES! I’m sick of the lies! The backstabbing! I won’t take it anymore…

She throws a file into a startled man’s lap.

SARA (CONT’D)

GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE! YOU’RE FIRED, JAKE!

CLOSE-UP: Jake.

Jake’s eyes are panicked.

JAKE

You can’t do this! I been with this firm 10 years, I can’t start over…

She pushes him toward the door.

SARA

I just did! I never want to see you around here again! Don’t come back…

He walks away, stunned.

She SLAMS the door.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Her eyes remember little things, but her brow furrows.

SARA

I had a bad day today…I can remember some things…but not how I got here…

DANTE

It will come to you.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME – EVENING

Sara comes home to an empty house. She opens the front door, turns on the hall foyer light. She reads the mail on a side table.

INT. KITCHEN – SAME

She opens the fridge. Hardly anything in there. Nothing interests her.

INT. BEDROOM – SAME

She turns on the bedroom lights and looks at the bed. There is only one pillow in the center of the bed. She leaves.

INT. FOYER – SAME

She stands in the empty room. She stands in an empty house.

She is alone.

She leaves and SLAMS the door behind her.

SLAM CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

She’s crying now. The memories are coming on stronger now.

SARA

I couldn’t go home so I went back to the office…

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

Sara screams.

She wrestles with 2 YOUNG MEN. A hand with a rag filled with some kind of liquid is roughly placed over her mouth. She slowly goes slack and loses consciousness.

FLASH CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

The memories are flooding in a torrent against her. She cries openly, trying to gain her composure.

SARA

It was Jake…he wanted to get back at me for firing him…but he was a junkie…I couldn’t have that in the office anymore. I covered for him way too long…

FLASH CUT TO:

INT. WAREHOUSE – EVENING

She slowly wakes up from the floor. She gets up groggily. She can hear voices in the next room. She shakes her head and walks over to the door.

INT. ROOM – SAME

Jim and Jake are arguing. There’s a table between them with cocaine and hard liquor scattered about. A gun sits in front of Jim.

JIM

…we can get a ransom!

JAKE

From who? She’s got no friends or family, everyone hates her!

JIM

-Then what, JAKE? WHAT DO WE DO WITH HER?

JAKE

Make her clear her bank account! Get all the stuff from her house–

Sara opens the door and staggers in. She’s not quite right yet, still not lucid from being drugged.

SARA

I’ve got to get to the police! You’re going to JAIL! YOU’RE…

Jim picks up the gun, startled as she hobbles forward like a creature from a horror movie.

She sways forward, woozy, Jim thinks she’s coming to get him. He pulls the gun up and everything SLAMS to slow motion…

His finger pulls the trigger.

The gun FIRES…

She gets shot in the chest. Looks down at the gaping hole where her heart should be. She crumples to the floor.

CUT TO:

EXT. HEARSE – NIGHT

Sara stops. Dante nods.

DANTE

You remember now, don’t you?

She reaches up and unzips the jump suit to reveal a Y INCISION on her chest.

DANTE (CONT’D)

They only do a Y-Incision when there’s been an autopsy…

She looks at him, in amazement.

SARA

You knew?

DANTE

It always goes smoother when they find out for themselves. I’ve been through this before remember?

She looks over at the casket. She walks over and lifts it.

The body of Sara Lipton still lies inside. She is looking at herself.

SARA

But how?

DANTE

The ones who aren’t quite ready yet, just need a little time to adjust. To get use to the idea of passing through…

SARA

Passing through, where?

DANTE

A much better place.

She cries.

SARA

Really?

DANTE

Yes. You have loved ones, Sara.  They are waiting for you.

SARA

For me?

DANTE

Yes, Sara. You’re not alone. There is a place for you, and you’re not alone. A much better place than here.

She walks forward and wipes her tears. She smiles up at Dante. She reaches over and touches his eye.

SARA

You see much better than we do, don’t you?

He smiles at her.

She turns and walks away.

SARA (CONT’D)

You’re the ferryman, aren’t you? The river Styx, come to bring me to the other world…

DANTE

The river Acheron actually. My name’s Charon.

He nods to her.

DANTE (CONT’D)

You’re free to go, Sara. Go in peace.

SARA

Thank you, Charon.

She smiles and slowly fades away.

He walks over and closes the casket.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT CEMETERY – MORNING

A plain black casket lay closed on a pallet above a freshly dug grave. The casket is closed.

The cemetery is void of people, except Dante Charon.

DANTE

Aristotle once said, “Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it…”

CUT TO:

INT. HEARSE – SAME

He lowers the visor and takes the postcards down. He shuffles them until he finds Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” He puts that on top and closes the visor.

He skips the CD to number 2 and “Sara Smile” from Hall and Oates starts to play.

He smiles.

DANTE

But what the hell did he know.

SMASH CUT TO:

BLACK.

Red Skelton, The Ultimate Clown

 

The first I remember ever seeing or hearing about Red Skelton is when my father took me to go see him and Marcel Marceau on one ticket at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida in the early 80’s. The Peabody was my favorite theatre for live events as a teenager and they had, concerts, comedians and Broadway plays. I also remember seeing The Pirates of Penzance and Weird Al Yankovic there. It’s a magical place, I have a lot of fond memories, and Red Skelton was a bright shining star among them.logo

He performed a lot of his comedy and character sketches that he perfected in movies and on TV over the years and he was wonderful. He appeared in character as Clem Kadiddlehopper and Freddie the Freeloader as well as others, and this was my first experience with a true-life clown. He loved appearing as a clown and often appeared on TV and live as one, was inducted soon after that show into the International Clown Hall of Fame. He loved them so much he painted a slew of clowns over the years, one of which, just happens to be hanging in the office of the Director of Sales, Adam Reiman, at the Rainmaker Institute, in Gilbert, Arizona, where I consult with Attorneys on their online marketing.Red Skelton Clown PaintingHis most popular movies would have to be Bathing Beauty (1944) with Esther Williams, The Fuller Brush Man (1948), The Yellow Cab Man (1950), Three Little Words (1950) with Fred Astaire, and The Clown (1953). His TV Show, The Red Skelton Hour ran for an unheard of 20 years from 1951 to 1971! Skelton believed his life’s work was to make people laugh; he wanted to be known as a clown because he defined it as being able to do everything. He had a 70-year career as a performer and entertained three generations of Americans during this time. Good night to you Red, and may God bless.watch_the_birdie_red_skelton_cameras

ITV’s Foyle’s War is Thrilling, Dramatic Mystery At It’s Finest

 

ITV and BBC as a whole release some of the finest TV movies and TV Shows that I have ever seen. At times, the channels have felt like old time studios as the talent they hire and cultivate keeps popping up from show to show and movie to movie and the directors, writers and actors just keep getting stronger and stronger. Their track record with quality is unmatched even in Hollywood circles. I can mention several shows and movies from ITV  that I have loved in recent years including Endeavor and Downton Abbey...and another one that is continually on the top of my list is Foyle’s Warfoyles-war-tv-show

Created by an amazing writer by the name of Anthony Horowitz, who has written several books, TV Shows and movies including Sherlock Holmes (The House of Silk) and James Bond (Trigger Mortis) novels and the popular young adult series, Alex Rider (Stormbreaker…).  The show is a period mystery series set first in World War II and then continues after the war, between the years 1940 to 1947. Technically, the series has 8 seasons and the first six seasons are set in Hastings, Sussex, England, where Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) attempts to catch criminals who are taking advantage of the confusion the war has created. He is assisted by his driver Samantha “Sam” Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell). For seasons 7 and 8, it sees a retired Foyle working for MI5, navigating the world of Cold War espionage.foyles-war-michael-kitchen

In the United States, each of the episodes filmed would be considered a TV Movie, as the episodes run from 90 to 110 minutes and take about 5 weeks to shoot each of them. My favorite actors in the shows would have to be Michael Kitchen, who plays Foyle and Honeysuckle Weeks, who plays his driver Sam. They are the backbone of the series. The series is notable for its attention to historical detail, and the drama is frequently moved along by historical events of the Second World War. Creator Anthony Horowitz considered that to honor the veterans of the war it was important to get the details correct.  As the series progressed, Horowitz became more interested in the “murder mystery” format than the portrayal of history and exploration of the Home Front.foyles-war-tv-series

Normally how the series has been packaged from the original run in the UK and then for the US airings later have been completely different. Upon the first viewings in the US, they would add a Historian introducing the episode about to be aired. Michael Kitchen especially liked these as he said later, “When the series first went out in the States, for example, at the front of each episode a rather eminent historian spent a couple of minutes on camera explaining how that episode related to the period of war it’s set in, what actual incidents have inspired it along with various things to look out for during the course of the programme. I think it’s a great shame something similar doesn’t happen when the series is screened in the UK. It undeniably adds another level and depth to the programme, not to mention the success this sort of prologue or introduction has had in the past – the Alfred Hitchcock series for example.”

Belle Jewel, Bringing Sweetness and Style to Season 11 of The Voice

 

We met Belle Jewel last week for the first time when we booked her for the Jester’Z Comedy Improv at the Mesa Riverfront. Even though she’s a hometown girl and often mixes in some of the same circles we do, we hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting her until then. And when we did…she knocked our socks off. We sometimes have musicians and singer/songwriters at the Jester’Z Theatre and so this was not new to us, but I knew she was something very special when she performed a version of Parks and Recreation‘s song “Lil’ Sebastion” by fictional band MouseRat (actually originally written and sung by Chris Pratt).  It was both funny and heartbreaking at the same time and she had the crowd totally engaged with cellphones all lit up and singing along. It was special, I managed to record the last verse and put it on Facebook…you’ll notice the adorable mismatched socks, she was appropriately comfortable within the small family venue.
belle-jewel-on-the-voice

She’s just as comfortable on TV in a huge venue with millions of viewers, last night she secured her spot on the live shows (in two weeks) by singing a very smooth and cool version of “Don’t Dream it’s Over” on Season 11 of The Voice in the final Knockouts. So far in both venues there’s a lot to be impressed by as she has a style sorely missing on this year’s The Voice, which should help her go far and build up the fan base she needs in the next month or so. Her song choices are particularly amazing as she dials in on what she likes very effectively and gives them her magic touch, usually both heartfelt and sincere and very reminiscent of a lost era of jazzy melodic film noir. She would fit right in to Dark City right next to Jennifer Connelly or with Sean Young in Blade RunnerDark City Jennifer Connelly

belle-jewel-the-voice-dont-dream-its-over

sean-young-blade-runner

One of the very best things about her is her signature smile and authentic sweetness. In complimenting contrast with her style, it gives her such a unique blend of dark and light tones, best of both worlds and also gives us the comfort of an era long past but not forgotten. It’s about time that good things happen to good people, and believe me when I tell you she’s worth listening to! Please like her Facebook page and keep track of her on The Voice. In fact, tune in the next few weeks and VOTE for her!