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 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   SC Vandy   (Member)

"The Long, Hot Summer" ABC, 1965 - 66, 26 one-hour, b&w filmed episodes produced by 20th Century Fox; based on the studio's acclaimed 1958 feature. Not issued on Blu-ray, DVD.
Having screened the dozen episodes on YouTube that Stuart Fanning has posted I can't say they're all winners, but the potential for them to be is there. Now, episodic scores by Fred Steiner are first rate. For a quick look, an example is the tag of 'No Hiding Place's' opening and close, seen (on YouTube) at the 48:27 - 50:03 mark. (Thankfully Fanning's source material is uncut, so we have respectable 52-minute hours of the era, instead of today's near unwatchable hours clocking in as short as 41:30.)
Steiner's close is tracked into other episodes' pre-fade-outs too. George Duning and Leith Stevens provide original scores as well. Of course Alex North's theme, 'The Long, Hot Summer,' with Jimmie Rodgers' vocal in an abbreviated form, provides the basis for the main title. This being 20th Century Fox, Lionel Newman is credited as Music Supervisor on each end credit.

So, are chances slim-to-none, scores from this show turning up on a CD set, either exclusive to the series or combined with other properties?
Fanning has posted his entire inventory. The entire run of 26 is housed at UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Now that I've spotlighted the music I'll shine on some of the dramatics, onscreen and off. Edmond O'Brien commands the screen as Will Varner. Of course the main theme is the antagonism between him and Ben Quick, played convincingly by Roy Thinnes. But some of the take-aways are cruelly comical, watching him shoot son Jody (Paul Geary) down to size. OMG, does he let him have it. Nancy Malone as Clara Varner is as classy as she was on "Naked City" as Paul Burke's lady friend, Libby. In two episodes we see her horseback riding skills as Clara's an equestrian. Believably, we witness her and Ben's relationship go from sour to sweet; hot actually. Hollywood veteran Ruth Roman plays Millie, who runs the inn in Frenchman's Bend and is Will's lady friend. One year before her standout role as Sandy on "Peyton Place," Lana Wood co-stars as Eula, from the other side of the tracks. And Jody's smitten with her.
For a series lasting only a season it did have a high body count on cast defections. Tisha Sterling as Jody's girl friend (fiancee, says Will), Susan, the supreme spoiled Southern belle / borderline-bitch. But oh, is she pretty; yet gone after three. Then the big man himself, O'Brien, splits after 13. Dan O'Herlihy, his replacement, suffers mightily in comparison IMO. Finally, just a few episodes shy of the concluding 26th, Paul Geary is out; replaced by Tom Lowell, late of "Combat!".
Speaking of "Combat!" the show utilized MGM's extensive backlots for the Varner's mansion, Quick's farm and the town, Frenchman's Bend -- plus wooded and rural settings. An arrangement necessitated by 20th's selling off its massive backlot -- rivaling Metro's in size -- to developers of L.A.'s new, wonder division, Century City.
Getting back to Roy Thinnes, many of us have enjoyed listening to Dominic Frontiere's themes and cues from his next series, Quinn Martin Productions' "The Invaders," in addition to watching the episodes on CBS Video's "The Invaders" DVD sets. On the bonus track Thinnes notes he wrapped "The Long, Hot Summer" on a Friday in February ('66) and reported for filming his first day playing David Vincent the following Monday when filming on the pilot for "The Invaders" commenced. And complains "The Long, Hot Summer" being filmed in b&w may have been a contributing factor to so-so ratings resulting in no second season. Myself, I'd watch a second season with the initial Will Varner, Edmond O'Brien; otherwise 'pass.'
. . . Before bordering on, and boring you with, TMI, back to the genesis for this post:
The suggestion "The Long, Hot Summer" series is CD worthy.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

If there was a set devoted to 20th Century Fox Television shows (ones that wouldn't be viable by themselves - Julia, The Monroes, Cade's County, Braacken's World, etc)

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   George Flaxman   (Member)

I remember viewing all the series when it broadcast in the UK in the 60s. We only had a B&W tv then, but I'm surprised it wasn't made in colour. I liked it and would be interested in a CD set either by itself or with others like Cade's County, which I didn't watch but it had a great Mancini theme which got a single release at the same time as Mancini's Mystery Movie theme from the 70s. All of those scores would be great too, but pleas for them have been falling on deaf ears for about 50 years now... which leads me to Colombo. Be still my beating heart.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

If there was a set devoted to 20th Century Fox Television shows (ones that wouldn't be viable by themselves - Julia, The Monroes, Cade's County, Braacken's World, etc)

And there's also "12 O'Clock High", "The Felony Squad" and "Arnie".

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

If you want to see "The Long, Hot Summer" series out on D.V.D. don't expect anything because both the feature film (which was based on a novel by William Faulkner) it was based on and the series are owned by Disney. The novel was again made as a television film in 1985.

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