#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 3

The 2018 Reel Infatuation Blogathon was such a blast! Thanks to all who participated in any way., especially my co-hostess Ruth of Silver Screenings.

Silver Screenings

Image: The Vintage Glitter Box

The Reel Infatuation Blogathon is terrific fun. Discovering people’s character crushes is an enjoyable experience, but it’s also uplifting.

Essays that praise the good in others are refreshing. We could use a little more of that, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks to Maedez of Font and Frock and A Small Press Life for her ideas and for asking me to join the party. Thanks also to all participants for your enthusiasm, and for giving us some “new” films to watch.

Today is the last day of the blogathon, but if you post an entry later this evening (or tomorrow), we’ll add you to the list. Just leave a comment below.

Now, sit back and enjoy today’s Reel Infatuations.

Font and Frock
Artemus Gordon from The Wild, Wild West (1965-1969)

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society
Dennis Mulvy from Luxury Liner (1948)

Life’s Daily Lessons…

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[2018 Reel Infatuation Blogathon] Artemus Gordon, the Secret Service Agent of My Dreams

At this time last year I was super busy writing about not one, not two, but three of my biggest character crushes! Narrowing it down to a single fictional person was too hard, so I went large with ambition. 

First up was the irrepressible Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolfe series of books by Rex Stout. (Read the original post here.) Archie is witty, sly, highly intelligent, and almost too charming for his own good.

Then it was The Night Stalker‘s Carl Kolchak’s turn to be honored. (Read the original post here.) Carl is an irreverent, sarcastic every-man who always manages to do the right thing, even when the right thing requires an almost super-human amount of courage.

Last, and in no way least, was Hamilton Burger from Perry Mason. Hamilton gets an immense amount of flack for doing the very things which make him such an honorable man. He is a dedicated public servant whose sense of fair-mindedness and justice never wavers. (Read the original post here.)

Why this trip down memory lane? It’s neither for kicks nor clicks, rest assured. No, it’s simply because my choice of character crush for this year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon embodies ALL of the above-mentioned characteristics.  In one merely human man, you ask? In one merely human man, I reiterate.

Here’s why Artemus Gordon (Ross Martin) ticks off as many boxes as three extraordinary people.

Artemus Gordon

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ARTEMUS GORDON, THE SECRET SERVICE AGENT OF MY DREAMS:

Artie

Being a Secret Service Agent in a steampunky version of the Old West is quite demanding. In addition to dealing with all of the usual hazards (assassins and villains of every stripe and motive), they must face, outsmart, and defeat countless other challenges, as they work to shield the president and ordinary folks alike, including: magic/magicians, mad scientists, the supernatural, and impressive weapons the likes of which have never been seen. Fortunately for the sleepy citizens of the burgeoning United States of America, James T. West and Artemus Gordon are at the top of their field.  There isn’t a scary or violent situation they won’t run into, head-first, with a first class plan. Sometimes they emerge beaten or broken, but emerge they always do. Thanks, guys!

Jim and Artie

Jim is serious (and seriously handsome), dedicated, smart, fearless, and quick-thinking. He even has a sense of humor, making him pretty fine character crush material in his own right.  I won’t be upset if you prefer him. After all, the show’s title refers to both a place and a person. This person:

Jim

Of course, a team requires at least two people. Jim couldn’t do what he does so well, without the help of another, even more impressive agent. That agent is, of course, Artie. Or, “Gordon, Artie Gordon,” if you prefer. (Series creator, Michael Garrison, called the show “James Bond on horseback.”)

Agent Gordon is, well, remarkable. By any metric. Seriously remarkable. He meets and exceeds all of the standard Secret Service requirements as well as Jim does, but Artie is an overachiever of the highest caliber. Jim doesn’t do anything that Artie couldn’t, but Artie does things that Jim couldn’t master given a time frame of one hundred years. 

Jim and Artie (in disguise)

Artie is basically the Lon Chaney of the 19th century. His impersonation skills are legendary. If a disguise is necessary, he creates one…no matter how complex. He doesn’t stop with the visual, but completes the package with a believable characterization and appropriate accent (taking advantage of star Ross Martin’s fluency in a half-dozen languages). Not one to master a task or two and call it a career, he is also the inventor of cool high-tech gadgets which serve to get our heroes out of any jam, no matter how fraught. 

In or out of costume (his repertoire consists of 100+ people), Artie is quick with a quip or put-down. He’s defused many a potentially deadly situation with well-timed sarcasm or clowning, and isn’t above cunning and conning. The man IS a government agent, after all. 

What he does, and however he gets there, is always for the greater good of both individuals and collective humanity. He’s there to see evil vanquished and justice prevail, fairly, in a wonky world composed of every shade of grey. 

Artie

Perhaps his most shining asset is, however, a fully developed ability to charm. No matter the situation, he’s equipped with a winning smile and what can best be stated  as a little something extra, or: that amorphous, elusive thing known as magnetism. Ya have it or ya don’t. Jim wears that fine blue suit to match his sparkling eyes and perfect physique, but Artie has it. And for that, we should all be thankful. 

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THE WILD WILD WEST (1965-1969):

The Wild Wild West (end credits for Episode 17, Season 2)

(Thanks MeTV for the screenshots. That’s the wonderful Victor Buono in the bottom right corner.)

  • 4 Seasons
  • 104 Episodes
  • Starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin

Ross Martin as Artemus Gordon

This is my entry in the Reel Infatuation Blogathon, hosted by Silver Screenings and yours truly.

2018 RI Banner (Flesh and the Devil)

#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 2

Silver Screenings

Image: The Vintage Glitter Box

It’s been another fabulous day here at the Real Infatuation blogathon. We’re feeling the character crush love!

Bloggers: If we missed your post today, fear not – we’ll include you in tomorrow’s recap.

Haven’t signed up, but still want to join the fun? You bet! Just leave a comment below.

Meanwhile, please enjoy today’s Reel Infatuation entries.

Whimsically Classic
Moondoggie from Gidget (1959)

I Found it at the Movies
Constant Doyle from Perry Mason (Season 6, Episode 16, 1963)

Thoughts All Sorts
Mr. Nobley from Austenland (2013)

James Garner, Best-Dressed POW. Image: Showpass

Silver Screenings
Hendley the Scrounger from The Great Escape (1963)

Join us tomorrow for Day 3 of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon!

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#ReelInfatuation 2018 – Day 1

Silver Screenings

Image: Reaction Gifs

It’s difficult to think of anything more fabulous than a day at the spa, unless you’re talking about the Reel Infatuation Blogathon.

We’ve just spent a glorious day reading about characters who are admired, and why they are special. It’s joyful and refreshing, and it helps restore a little faith in humanity. Thanks to Maedez, of Font and Frock and A Small Press Life, for asking us to co-host this wonderful blogathon. This is her brainchild.

Bloggers: If we missed your post today, fear not – we shall include you in tomorrow’s recap.

Until then, please indulge in today’s Reel Infatuation entries.

The Story Enthusiast
Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Movie Movie Blog Blog
Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Words Seem Out of Place
Angela from Married to the Mob (1988)

Caftan Woman
Lee Chan from the Charlie…

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Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017-Day 3

Another Reel Infatuation Blogathon has come and gone! The sharing of fictional crushes was, as always, almost too much fun. Thanks to all of the readers and bloggers who joined us this year.

See you next time!

Before you go, please check out these awesome entries from Day 3! If you participated and don’t see your entry here, or if you finish it after this post goes live, just let us know and we’ll add it!

LEMON SHARK: Spike (James Marsters) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Spike

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PURE ENTERTAINMENT PRESERVATION SOCIETY: Jerry Flynn (Lew Ayres) in King of the Newsboys

Jerry

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REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS: Hank Moody (David Duchovny) in Californication

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THE MIDNITE DRIVE-IN: Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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THE FLAPPER DAME: Paul Verrall (William Holden) in Born Yesterday

Paul

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OLD HOLLYWOOD FILMS: Wally (Jack Carson) in Mildred Pierce

Wally and Mildred

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4 STAR FILMS: Christine Doinel (Claude Jade) in Stolen Kisses, Bed & Board, and Love on the Run

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FILM MUSIC CENTRAL: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers and Thor

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CARY GRANT WON’T EAT YOU: Doug (D.B. Sweeney) in The Cutting Edge

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CINEMA: Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) in The Best Years of Our Lives

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LIFESDAILYLESSONSBLOG:  Jamie and Claire Fraser–The Outlander book series

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KM SCOTT’S THE CRAZY BACON SHOW: Rose (Lili Taylor) in Dogfight

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FONT AND FROCK: Hamilton Burger (William Talman) in Perry Mason

Perry and Hamilton

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Thanks so much to my co-hostest with the mostest, Ruth of Silver Screenings.

[Reel Infatuation Blogathon] Not Incompetent, Irrelevant, and Immaterial: The Case of the Crush-Worthy DA

Integrity is not considered an aphrodisiac. It is usually given a place-setting at the moral banquet, but rarely makes an appearance during discussions of sex-appeal. 

Rebels dominate this conversation. Six-pack abs and an air of danger are optional; attitude isn’t. But rebels, like all culturally celebrated things, don’t need my words in order to shine. They are ubiquitous in the American pop culture landscape. Finding them attractive and charming is not only acceptable, but, by this point, to be expected. It is, dare I say, the norm.

This brief post is my attempt at adding a faint notch in the other, largely overlooked column.

Here are ten bullet-pointed reasons why I have a crush on Hamilton Burger (William Talman), the beleaguered District Attorney on Perry Mason, who is the embodiment of the phrase I’m just doing my job. And his job–that of putting away criminals–is a worthy one. He’s not a hitman or kitten killer. He doesn’t whack old ladies on their kneecaps or push toddlers off of swings. He prosecutes suspected murderers.

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  • Hamilton Burger is a consummate professional. He never enters a courtroom less than fully prepared. His demeanor, although occasionally tetchy, is always proper. He follows the rules. Facing off against California’s most gifted defense attorney is difficult, but he holds his own. Only H.B. can approach Perry Mason in lawyerly skill. When he loses a case to P.M., he does so graciously…and is relieved by the fact that an innocent person is now free. Why? Because…
  • His only goal is for justice to be served. Even when it is at the expense of his own prosecutorial record (which, let’s be real, must be perfect when he is not facing P.M., or he wouldn’t have a job). Which brings me to…
  • He controls his ego, his ego doesn’t control him. Or he wouldn’t survive in an environment where P.M. constantly has the winning hand.
  • His self-esteem is healthy. Losing to P.M. does not make him neurotic or doubtful. He maintains his self-worth regardless of what happens on the job, but is never arrogant.
  • He is flexible and open-minded. H.B. changes his opinion as new facts are presented. He moves where the flow of information takes him, even when it is against his professional interests.
  • He’s smart, and smart is sexy.
  • He’s witty. H.B. has the perfect voice for, and a nice way with, sarcasm, which he uses often.
  • He’s honest and upstanding. No one ever seriously doubts his integrity (including P.M.). He’s scrupulously ethical, and everyone knows it. True decency is a turn-on.
  • There are no hard feelings. Burger and Mason are more-or-less friendly acquaintances outside of work. They respect each other and occasionally have post-case drinks together.
  • He has a nice smile, and more lawyers should have smiles like his.

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Perry Mason (1957-1966)-Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins, and William Talman.

Lawyers Perry Mason and Hamilton Burger, January 1958

This is my final post for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon, which I am co-hosting with Ruth of Silver Screenings.

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Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017 – Day 2

Here’s the Day 2 Recap! Enjoy.

Silver Screenings

It’s been a fabulous Day 2 here at the Reel Infatuation Blogathon! We’ve been swooning all day.

Bloggers: Font and Frock will be hosting Day 3 tomorrow, so if you post after this tonight’s recap, we’ll be sure to include you on Sunday.

Enjoy today’s entries!

Font and Frock
Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) in The Night Stalker (1974-75)

Sister Celluloid
Mike Mitchell (Rod Taylor) in Sunday in New York (1963)

Silver Screenings
Lucky Garnett (Fred Astaire) in Shall We Dance (1937)

Superfluous Film Commentary
Princess Aura (Ornella Muti) in Flash Gordon (1980)

Crítica Retrô
Eight Reasons to Admire Anthony Perkins

Champagne for Lunch
Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) in The Bad Seed (1956)

Join Maedez at Font and Frock for the Day 3 recap tomorrow!

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[Reel Infatuation Blogathon] Dear Mr. Kolchak

Dear Mr. Kolchak,

You don’t know who I am, but I’ve been following your career. Not the public side of it, although the articles that make it to print in newspapers across the country are fine. You’re a talented newsman, no matter what you write about. I know that your editor at the INS forces your hand. It’s understandable why he wants to play it safe. I don’t really blame him. Or, at least I wouldn’t if you weren’t so good at the other thing. You’ve really a natural calling, and, well, thank god. Thank god, because there are so few people willing to do what you do, and fewer still who do it as well.

You’re probably wondering how I know about this shadow vocation of yours. I can’t say, of course. I’m confident that you’ll appreciate my need for circumspection. I also hope you will accept my word of honor that I’m not only aware of all you’ve done, but am sincerely thankful and much relieved at your continuing success as a vanquisher of the highest order. This is the truth.

 And I’m not alone.

I’ve been tasked by the others with writing this letter. I’m not sure why they chose me, other than I’m decent with a turn of phrase. The reason behind this missive is clear enough: we’re all afraid–terribly afraid–that you’ll burn out. It always happens. Please don’t worry, though. If anyone is capable of overcoming the risks associated with this way of life, it’s you. How do we know this? Why, you’re the best we’ve ever seen. Here’s why.

  1. You’ve got style. Not sartorially speaking (although I dig your seersucker suit and that hat, which is a controversial opinion in my circle), but, well, in the way that you do things. You have aplomb. It sets you apart. If you were more reputable, it might even be called charm.
  2. You have the kind of bravado that opens doors. Too many of those thresholds lead to dangerous places. Oh, well! One cannot find vampires and zombies by staying in the office counting column inches.
  3. You’re tenacious, sometimes to the point of foolhardiness. When it comes to hunting the supernatural, there’s a fast-moving line between being stubborn and being dead. But you walk it well, my friend. Keep up the good work.
  4. You know that resources are for the resourceful. If anyone fully uses his contacts, both to and beyond the law, it is Carl Kolchak.
  5. You understand that research is your best life-line. Killing the undead requires study, dedication, practice, and fidelity to certain strange or mystical laws. Straying beyond a certain point is lethal. Which brings me to…
  6. The need to think on one’s feet, while staying more-or-less on course. You know when to take seemingly ridiculous chances, and when to adhere to the plan at hand. Smart, ballsy choices save lives.
  7. You’re a regular habitué of some pretty shady, scary places. The pursuit of werewolves and ghosts doesn’t exactly take you into the light. You spend considerable chunks of time in dark, closed-in, fetid spaces, following and fending off depraved, insatiable, murderous creatures.
  8. Hunting evil comes first for you. You’ve no personal life to speak of, and we are sorry about that. Life is a series of choices. Thank you for constantly making the correct ones, Carl Kolchak.
  9. You’re perfectly ordinary. Are you a superhero? An Olympian? A world-renowned expert on anything? No, no, no. Your actions are proof that anyone can make a positive difference in the world.
  10. Other people’s opinions don’t matter to you. Law enforcement and government officials think you are, at worst, insane, a murderer, or both. The best you come off is as a charlatan. I won’t mention how your co-workers feel…You persist.
  11. You persist. Through everything. You trudge past your own ignorance and unbelief only to meet up with that of others (who, unlike you, rarely change their minds), live with a sketchy reputation, are willing to look foolish and misunderstood, and put your life at risk for the greater good of humanity. All for little to no thanks.

We hope this letter stands as proof that your courage and selflessness have not gone unnoticed. You are appreciated, Carl Kolchak. You are necessary. You are the nightstalker. For the love of all that is good, please stay true to your principles. Don’t stray from the light. We need you. Desperately.

M.

This post is part of the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon, which I’m co-hosting with Ruth of Silver Screenings.

Darren McGavin Reel Infatuation Banner

  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)-Starring: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt.