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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Spelling It Out, or TV Movies: A Primer by Michael Barrett
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 7:09 AM   
 By:   fuzzball   (Member)

All of those 'ABC Movie of the Week' type movies, it seems to me, make for a great and fertile source of DVD releases. Except for the few exceptions such as the Night Stalker films, it amazes me that more has not been released. I'd love to see The Immortal, with Christopher George, which became a short lived series, or A Cold Night's Death. A genuinely creepy movie scored, if I remember right, by Gil Melle.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   LRobHubbard   (Member)

Warner Archives is releasing DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK this month.
And fans of A COLD NIGHT'S DEATH can watch it in its entirety on YouTube.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 7:52 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Michael, it's not only those in the States (and "of a certain age") who are familiar with those TV Movies. I grew up in Scotland, and saw absolutely every single TV Movie you mentioned in your blog! The scarier ones usually turned up as part of the Friday night horror film seasons.

Wow, so many great composers and so many great scores out there. If I started naming names I wouldn't know where to stop. You mentioned some good ones already.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Reading your blog reminded me yet again how much TV has changed from those days where you could count all the channels on one hand. Not to mention NO TV from around midnight till 6:00 or so except on the weekends when it went to perhaps 2:00 with old, sometimes spooky movies. At least that was the case in the 60s & early 70s when I grew up, but it started to change in the 70s as the broadcast day began to be extended to 24 hours on the channels.

I don't remember a whole lot about the music in those TV movies, but upon watching some of them in reruns, when you can find them on TV, I was struck at how great some of Billy Goldenberg's score's were. I know it might be impossible for many reasons, but I would love to have a Goldenberg Box set to include some of his more haunting scores. Who knows, maybe one day!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 10:42 AM   
 By:   Great Escape   (Member)

A few of the great ones I remember (and you're right about Trilogy of Terror):

Trapped - Dennis Weaver or James Brolin (I think) with stomach trouble gets locked in a department store after hours with attack dogs.

The Reluctant Heroes - WWII comedy in the Kelly's Heroes style with Ken Berry, Cameron Mitchell, Jim Hutton and Warren Oates.

Escape of the Birdmen - WWII POW escape movie with Doug McClure and Richard Basehart.

Questor Tapes - A Gene Roddenberry pilot that never went to series with Mike Farrell as an android.

City Beneath the Sea - An Irwin Allen ensemble sci fi piece that was a pilot for a new series that never happened.

The Blue Knight - The pilot for the George Kennedy series which featured William Holden in the title role.

The Marcus-Nelson Murders - The pilot for Kojak which was WAAAAAAYYYYY better than anything the series ever gave us.

Savages - Andy Griffith hunts down a young guy in the desert (Timothy Bottoms?).

True Grit - A sequel starring Warren Oates as Rooster Cogburn.

The African Queen - A remake starring Warren Oates in the Bogart role.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:01 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Let's not forget the "classic" Killdozer. I always thought it would make for a good double feature with the theatrical movie The Car! I liked Gargoyles a lot too, but they didn't drive vehicles, only rode on top of them.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   Great Escape   (Member)

Let's not forget the "classic" Killdozer. I always thought it would make for a good double feature with the theatrical movie The Car! I liked Gargoyles a lot too, but they didn't drive vehicles, only rode on top of them.

I never saw Killdozer but I sure remember it. That was James Brolin, I think.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Let's not forget the "classic" Killdozer. I always thought it would make for a good double feature with the theatrical movie The Car! I liked Gargoyles a lot too, but they didn't drive vehicles, only rode on top of them.

I never saw Killdozer but I sure remember it. That was James Brolin, I think.


James Brolin was the star of The Car. Big Clint Walker was the star of Killdozer (1974) which was about a bulldozer that gets inhabited by some sort of alien life force when it hits a rock (a meteorite actually) that contains it. It then goes on a mad killing spree. Just as as silly and as much lame fun as it sounds and a great movie to watch after a few beers! smile

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:18 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Anyone with an interest in these TV movies should seek out a copy of MOVIES MADE FOR TELEVISION, by Alvin H. Marrill. It's a great resource, though my copy (a Da Capo republication of the first edition) doesn't list which network the film originally aired! However, music credits are included in each and every entry.

So many memories of TV movies, though I was just a kid then, I do remember TBS airing these films during the weekday at 12:05 PM or thereabouts. Stuff like Deliver Us From Evil, Gargoyles, and Scream of the Wolf.

Now maybe some of you will buy FSM's fine score release of Hawkins on Murder/Winter Kill/Babe! My single-favorite FSM release.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

OK, you got me started.

Great Escape, both TRAPPED (a.k.a. DOBERMAN PATROL) and THE QUESTOR TAPES are on YouTube. I don't know how to post links, but they're there. And both have absolutely classic Gil Mellé title music. Something rings a bell about THE BLUE KNIGHT. I can actually hear the theme music in my head as I write. Something tells me there's a Henry Mancini connection, but the thing I'm hearing in my skull is pure Oliver Nelson. Can't be bothered checking the IMDB right now - this is a "pub chat", isn't it?

Mark, KILLDOZER! I believe that was a Theodore Sturgeon story? I get the feeling that the movie didn't do the great writer much justice. But Gil Mellé (again) did the score, so it wasn't all bad. GARGOYLES, the other one you mention, caused a furore here! Everybody in my class (I was about 16) were talking about it the next day - "Wow!" "Brilliant!" etc. I don't think "the youth of today" (hmmmm) would react so enthusiastically. The great End Title theme is going through my head at the moment, and has displaced THE BLUE KNIGHT for the time being. Robert Prince - great composer for this kind of stuff. He also did a fantastic End Titles for THE DEAD DON'T DIE (zombie thriller), all octave-jumping and chord changes in the Billly Goldenberg manner.

Schidt! I've mentioned a film nobody did before on this thread!. I didn't want to start.... I'll never stop.

THE END

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Just seen the other posts posted while I was posting! Great Escape had doubts about the star of TRAPPED/ DOBERMAN PATROL. Not Dennis Weaver, but James Brolin (who was also in THE CAR, as you all know).

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:32 PM   
 By:   Michael Barrett   (Member)

Anyone with an interest in these TV movies should seek out a copy of MOVIES MADE FOR TELEVISION, by Alvin H. Marrill.

Marill's book was one of my treasured reference books! (I was a strange teen. Ah, who wasn't?) I ordered it from something called Nostalgia Book Club. The first edition had a lot of wasted space (and lots of big pix) and not always a complete cast; the next edition was more efficient, uglier, and yet truncated some of the cast lists. This is an example of the kind of reference nobody would publish in today's IMDB age, for better or worse.

Ooh, another one I never saw and always wanted to: DR. COOK'S GARDEN, with Bing Crosby as a killer.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:45 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Anyone with an interest in these TV movies should seek out a copy of MOVIES MADE FOR TELEVISION, by Alvin H. Marrill.

Marill's book was one of my treasured reference books! (I was a strange teen. Ah, who wasn't?) I ordered it from something called Nostalgia Book Club. The first edition had a lot of wasted space (and lots of big pix) and not always a complete cast; the next edition was more efficient, uglier, and yet truncated some of the cast lists. This is an example of the kind of reference nobody would publish in today's IMDB age, for better or worse.


Marrill seems to have a preference for Lloyd Bridges and Cloris Leachman, as both actors get lots of face time in that first edition. As far as Cloris' many pics in the book, I think that's just swell...

Back in 1977, I didn't know from Meryl Streep, but I knew of Karen Valentine! wink

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Michael! DR COOK'S GARDEN! I saw that! And I've got the tune now going through my head! It has now displaced both.... eh, the other two that were going through my head! Robert Drasnin! I knew it was him when I heard the beginning of the score. It was like... something else he did!

Actually, I DO remember all those scores. I taped the Titles onto cassette back then and played them to death.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

. GARGOYLES, the other one you mention, caused a furore here! Everybody in my class (I was about 16) were talking about it the next day - "Wow!" "Brilliant!" etc. I don't think "the youth of today" (hmmmm) would react so enthusiastically.


Gargoyles was big with my pals too back in high school when it came out. We all tried to sound like Bernie Casey's Gargoyle, voiced by Vic Perrin I believe. It was electronically altered and sounded like he had swallowed a snare from a drum so that was kind of hard to do. We just talked in a higher pitched voice while jiggling our Adam's apples up and down rapidly with our forefingers, sort of like we did to sound like Zanti Misfits from The Outer Limits. "Teach me how to read Diana." Ahhh the important things I still remember and all the silliness that made growing up so much damn fun. Hooray for TV!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Brad Wills   (Member)

Here's a link to a site that has a pretty comprehensive list of genre made-for-TV movies listed by year.


http://www.terrortrap.com/television/televisionterror.htm

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2009 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Thanks Brad. I think I saw about 90% of those movies listed up until about 1979. And the majority had great scores by great composers. What a decade for TV music, and it's all lying in the vaults somewhere, or reduced to dust.

 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2009 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I just found both complete movies for Killdozer and Gargoyles on YouTube. Here's part 1 for both, enjoy!

Killdozer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyL8CJgS5LU&feature=related

Gargoyles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPy34DUom_c&feature=player_embedded

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2009 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   Brad Wills   (Member)

For those of you who get the Fox Movie Channel, they'll be airing 1974's WHERE HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE GONE?, with Peter Graves and Verna Bloom, this coming Friday, 8/14, and 4:30 a.m. Set your DVR's!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2009 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   James Corry   (Member)

Jerry Goldsmith scored ump-teen million made-for-TV-movies ("The Brotherhood of The Bell" comes to mind) and even Bernard Herrmann scored one in 1968 called "Companions In Nightmare" which hasn't been seen here in the States since the early 80's.........
The list goes on and on. Some really memorable movies and some terrific scores! Unfortunately, most of these films are as rare as black tulips.....

James

 
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