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'Bye Bye Birdie': 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Classic Ann-Margret Musical

Today, it seems audiences know "Bye Bye Birdie" only from the prominent mention of it on "Mad Men," when the Sterling Cooper agency tried to copy Ann-Margret's minimalist opening number for a diet soda commercial. But when the movie musical premiered 50 years ago (on April 4, 1963), it was a huge smash. It made an instant star out of the Swedish-born actress, as well as boosting the fame of co-stars Dick Van Dyke and Paul Lynde. Based on the Broadway hit musical, "Bye Bye Birdie" was seen as a trenchant pop cultural satire at the time. Everyone knows that Conrad Birdie, the hip-swiveling rocker who is drafted into the Army, and who stages a publicity stunt on the Ed Sullivan show by agreeing to kiss a teen fan before reporting for duty, is inspired by Elvis Presley, who had to put his career on hold in 1958 when he was drafted. But
See full article at Moviefone »

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin

It's California during the goldrush and posh Boston butler Griffin (Roddy McDowall) and his master Bryan Russell hook up with down-at-heel actor Quentin Bartlett (Richard Haydn), who's got his hands on a treasure map. However, casting an envious eye on them is bent judge Karl Malden, a master of disguise, who pinches the map when the trio arrive in San Francisco. Attempting to get the parchment back, they enjoy a succession of adventures and Griffin also finds himself falling for his master's saloon singer sister.
See full article at Sky Movies »

Fess Parker: TV Star, Wine Impresario, and Sing-Along King of Santa Ynez

Fess Parker, who died yesterday at 85, was a childhood hero of mine as the star of the TV series Davy Crockett. I got to know him, however, because he was a neighbor of Michael Jackson’s—we first met in 1993, as the zoo animals were being evacuated from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch during a vicious wildfire. A courtly six-foot-six, Parker had retired from acting years earlier but maintained his fame by creating a successful winery and picturing himself in his trademark coonskin cap on the labels of his bottles. He was the unofficial mayor of Los Olivos, the beautiful winemaking town in the Santa Ynez valley north of Santa Barbara, and he presided over the luxurious Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Spa with his charming wife of 50 years, the chanteuse Marcella Rinehart. Fess and Marcella held community sings around the piano in the lobby of their inn on Thursday nights,
See full article at Vanity Fair »

When Major Leaguers Play Themselves: "Safe at Home!" and "Seinfeld" - The Boyfriend

  • IFC
By Matt Singer

In honor of the start of the 2008 baseball season, Ifc.com has been paying tribute to the national pastime's long relationship with the movies every day this week by giving you everything you'd ever want to know about the odd little quasi-autobiographical ditties in which baseball players have played themselves. Peanuts and crackerjacks not included.

"Safe at Home!" (1962)

Directed by Walter Doniger

As Themselves: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle

Game Story: A young baseball fan living in Florida named Hutch (Bryan Russell) boasts to his Little League team that his inattentive father is, in fact, best friends with Yankee greats Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. When his teammates call his bluff, Hutch hitches his way to Fort Lauderdale and sneaks into the Yanks' spring training complex, where he's befriended by
See full article at IFC »

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