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    Celebrities shouldn't need to apologize for having opinions

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Mar 26, 2010

    Chloe Sevigny speaks her mind and then throws the journalist under the bus
  • Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jun 9, 2009

    Includes:Perry Mason: The Case of the Treacherous Toupee (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Credulous Quarry (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Singular Double (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Lavender Lipstick (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Red Riding Boots (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Provocative Protegee (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Wandering Widow (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Clumsy Clown (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Nine Dolls (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Loquacious Liar (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Larcenous Lady (1960) Perry Mason: The Case of the Waylaid Wolf (1961) Perry Mason: The Case of the Resolute Reformer (1961) Perry Mason: The Case of the Envious Editor (1961) Perry Mason: The Case of the Fickle Fortune (1961) Perry Mason: The Case of the Treacherous Toupee Missing for two years and presumed dead, hard-hearted businessman Hartley Bassett (Thomas B. Henry) suddenly returns and begins make everyone's life miserable all over again, especially his wife Sybil (Peggy Converse). After he fires his heir apparent Peter Dawson (Philip Ober), Bassett is murdered and Dawson is accused. Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) is approached by two eyewitnesses, Richard Hart (a young Robert Redford) and his wife Teddi (Cindy Robbins), who can prove that Bassett is innocent. There are only two problems: each witness claims that a different person is the guilty party--and both witnesses abuptly vanish just before the trial! This is the first episode of Perry Mason's fourth season. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Credulous Quarry Lawyer Richard Hammon (John Conwell) is accused of murdering his wife by running her down with his car. Taking Richard's case is another attorney, Everett Dorrell (Russell Arms), who happens to be crooked. In the end, Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) must not only save Hammon from conviction but must also undo the damage caused by the "rotten apple" attorney. Filmed for Perry Mason's third season, this episode was originally slated to air on March 26, 1960. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker Feeling neglected by her rich husband Carl (Howard Petrie), Alice Gorman (June Dayton) is attracted to Carl's no-good, leeching nephew Jim Ferris (William Campbell). What follows is a treacherous morass of greed, grand robbery ($80,000 worth) and murder, with innocent secretary Betty Wilkins (Sue Randall) taking the rap and Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) rushing to her defense. Originally identified by TV Guide as Perry Mason's fourth-season opener, this episode was actually that season's third entry, preceded by a brace of episodes left over from Season Three. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Singular Double In big trouble after delivering some "hot" money, Lucy Stevens (Connie Hines) fakes her own suicide by driving her empty car into the ocean. She then assumes the identity of her own (fictional) cousin, Carole Morgan, and assumes that her problems are over. Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) enters the scene when the body of Marjorie Ralston (Mary Webster) is found in the wreckage of the "empty" car and Lucy is charged with her murder. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Lavender Lipstick It looks as if Karen Lewis (Pat Breslin), a minor employee of lipstick manufacturer Silas Vance (James Bell), has been caught red-handed as an industrial spy when a bank book containing two huge deposits and a rival manufacturer's phone number is found in her desk. Her boss accuses Karen of selling his secret lipstick formulas to the "enemy", but is willing to forget everything if the girl agrees to, er, "be nice" to him. Not long afterward, Vance is murdered--and because she is the sole beneficiary in his will, Karen is charged with the crime. Calling Perry Mason (Raymond Burr)! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Red Riding Boots As upset as she is over the impending divorce of her parents, Ann Farwell (Elen Willard) is even more upset that her rancher father Burt (John Archer) is keeping company with sexy young Rita Conover (Shirley Ballard). When Rita is murdered, Ann thinks that her mom Jill (Linda Leighton) is the killer, and vice versa. The two ladies spend so much time covering for each other that Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) hardly has time to defend the accused murderer, ranch hand Joe Dixon (Frank Maxwell). This is one of several episodes directed by Laslo Benedek, whose movie credits include the definitive motorcycle-gang epic The Wild One. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Provocative Protegee It looks like suicide when hasbeen concert pianist David Carpenter (Gregory Morton) plunges off a cliff. Then the suspicion arises that Carpenter was actually murdered so that his wife Anita (Virginia Field) could collect his life insurance. But Anita is not the client of Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) in the subsequent preliminary hearing: instead, Carpenter's sexy protegee Donna Ross (Kathie Browne) has been charged with the murder. (Trivia note: the original TV Guide listings identify the suspect as "Donna Loring", a name presumably changed at the last minute for legal reasons). Robert Karnes makes his first appearance as Deputy DA Chamberlin, one of several temporary replacements for absentee regular William Talman (DA Hamilton Burger). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Wandering Widow After unjustly serving six years for murder, Riley Morgan (Dean Harens) is released from prison when merchant seaman Burt Stokes (Casey Adams), who could have cleared Riley disappeared just before the trial, suddenly returns. But the story is far from over: Morgan's exoneration somehow leads to an extortion scheme and a second murder, with Stokes as the victim. Charged with the crime is Morgan's ex-wife Lorraine (Coleen Gray), who fortunately is a client of Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). Paul Langton is cast as Deputy DA Telford, the first of several temporary replacements for absentee series regular William Talman (Hamilton Burger). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Clumsy Clown Judson Curtis (Walter Sande) hopes to gain full control of the circus he co-owns with Jerry Franklin (Robert Clarke) by threatening to reveal that Franklin's wife Lisa (Chana Eden) is still legally married to circus clown Felix Heidemann (Douglas Henderson). Unfortunately for Curtis, he is shot to death during a clown act in full view of a huge audience. This is even more unfortunate for Heidemann, who is identified as the killer--and among the eyewitnesses is Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins), perennial nemesis of attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). In the absence of series regular William Talman (DA Hamilton Burger), Kenneth Tobey appears as Deputy DA Alvin. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Nine Dolls Seven-year-old Peggy Smith (Laurie Perreau) has spent most of her life at the exclusive Westcroft Boarding School. Her tuition has been paid by an unknown person, who has also sent Peggy a doll each year. Curious about her benefactor, and wishing to find out who her parents were, little Peggy consults attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). It turns out that Peggy is the granddaughter of wealthy recluse Courtney Jeffers (Francis X. Bushman), whose hard heart melts the moment he sets eyes on the child. But no sooner has Jeffers acknowledged that Peggy is his granddaughter than he is bludgeoned to death--and the person accused of the crime is Linda Osborne (played by Maggie Mahoney, real-life mother of actress Sally Field), who at Peggy's request is defended by Perry during the inevitable courtroom intrigues. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Loquacious Liar Lewis Martin (Wynn Pearce) considers himself lucky to be alive; he has been kidnapped, driven way in the country, and forced to get drunk, apparently as part of an elaborate frame-up. After his ordeal, Martin contacts Perry Mason (Raymond Burr), accusing his stepfather Judson Bailey (Bruce Gordon) of arranging the abduction in order to get Martin out of the way so that Bailey could take over the family business. Perry is asked to locate a photograph showing Bailey conspiring with the mysterious kidnapper--but the lawyer ends up defending Martin when Bailey turns up dead. H.M. Wynant makes his first appearance as Deputy DA Sampson, one of several temporary replacements for absentee series regular William Talman (DA Hamilton Burger). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Larcenous Lady Mayor Henderson (Arthur Franz) is up for an appointment to the state crime commission, but he is danger of being sabotaged by his overambitious wife Mona (Patricia Huston), who has been purloining city plans and passing them along to crooked real estate agent Tom Stratton (Edward Platt). Now Stratton is blackmailing Mona, hoping to enrich himself at Henderson's expense. When Mona is murdered, however, Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) bypasses both Henderson and Stratton and arrests Susan Connolly (played by future Oscar winner Louise Fletcher) for the crime. Thank heaven that Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) is on hand to expose the real killer. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Waylaid Wolf Playboy Loring Lamont (Tony Travis) lures his father's secretary Arlene Ferris (Andra Martin) to his beach house, with seduction on his mind. The outraged Arlene smacks Lamont in the face and steals his car to escape his clutches. When Lamont turns up murdered, Arlene is accused of the crime, but attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) thinks that the killing is tied in with a mysterious phone call overheard by his client--and he is willing to risk serious injury at the hands of two hired thugs to prove his point. Based on a 1959 novel by Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner, this is one of several fourth-season episodes in which series regular William Talman (DA Hamilton Burger) does not appear; his replacement on this and other occasions is Robert Karnes as Deputy DA Chamberlin. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Resolute Reformer Peter Caine (Douglas Dick), the dissolute son of prominent building engineer William Harper Craine (John Hoyt), is being blackmailed by Debra Bradford (Diana Millay), who claims that Peter was involved in a hit-and-run accident while drunk. This act of extortion is somehow tied in with the murder of building contractor Roger Quigley (James Westerfield), for which Peter's father is charged. Initially hired by a citizen's group to prevent the construction of an aqueduct named after William Harper Crane, Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) ends up defending the man in court. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Envious Editor Future film superstar James Coburn appears as slimy entrepreneur Donald Fletcher, who purchases a highly respected publishing house and converts its output to slezy tabloids and nudie magazines. Unable to legally prevent Fletcher from inflicting further damage, editor Edmond Aitken (Philip Abbott), whose family once owned the publishing firm, may be driven to desperation. Ultimately, Fletcher is murdered--but it is Aitken's wife Alyce (Sara Shane), rather than her husband, who is charged with the crime because she was being blackmailed by Fletcher with nude photos taken during her modelling career. Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) prepares to clear Alyce and ferret out the genuine culprit. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Perry Mason: The Case of the Fickle Fortune Hired to inventory the Bowden estate, Ralph Duncan (Vaughn Taylor), a none-too-bright civil servant, decides to impress his wife Helen by bringing home $153,000 in old greenbacks that he has found on the Bowden property. Of course, Duncan intends to return the money the next morning; unfortunately, the cash is stolen by his no-good cousin Charley (Robert Casper). Not only is poor Duncan accused of theft, but he's also charged with the murder of one Lloyd Farrell (Liam Sullivan)--and it is at this point that Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) enters the story. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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    SXSW Review: 'The Slammin' Salmon'

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Mar 29, 2009

    Broken Lizard returns to peak form with this frequently hilarious ensemble comedy
  • Taxi: Complete Series

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009

    Includes:Taxi: Paper Marriage (1978) Taxi: Money Troubles (1978) Taxi: Like Father, Like Daughter (1978) Taxi: Memories of Cab 804, Part 2 (1978) Taxi: Bobby's Acting Career (1978) Taxi: Blind Date (1978) Taxi: Men are Such Beasts (1978) Taxi: Memories of Cab 804, Part 1 (1978) Taxi: Come as You Aren't (1978) Taxi: A Full House for Christmas (1978) Taxi: High School Reunion (1978) Taxi: One-Punch Banta (1978) Taxi: The Great Line (1978) Taxi: Mama Gravas (1979) Taxi: Elaine and the Lame Duck (1979) Taxi: Substitute Father (1979) Taxi: Alex Tastes Death and Finds a Nice Restaurant (1979) Taxi: Friends (1979) Taxi: Louie Sees the Light (1979) Taxi: Sugar Mama (1979) Taxi: Bobby's Big Break (1979) Taxi: Hollywood Calling (1979) Taxi: Jim Gets a Pet (1979) Taxi: Nardo Loses Her Marbles (1979) Taxi: The Great Race (1979) Taxi: Elaine's Secret Admirer (1979) Taxi: Louie and the Nice Girl (1979) Taxi: Wherefore Art Thou, Bobby? (1979) Taxi: Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey (1979) Taxi: The Apartment (1979) Taxi: Latka's Revolting (1979) Taxi: The Lighter Side of Angela Matusa (1979) Taxi: The Reluctant Fighter (1979) Taxi: Louie Meets the Folks (1979) Taxi: Alex's Romance (1979) Taxi: A Woman Between Friends (1979) Taxi: Honor Thy Father (1979) Taxi: Alex Jumps Out of an Airplane (1980) Taxi: Art Work (1980) Taxi: Fantasy Borough, Part 1 (1980) Taxi: Shut it Down, Part 1 (1980) Taxi: Elaine's Strange Triangle (1980) Taxi: Going Home (1980) Taxi: Fathers of the Bride (1980) Taxi: Tony's Sister and Jim (1980) Taxi: Louie's Rival (1980) Taxi: Guess Who's Coming for Brefnish (1980) Taxi: Shut it Down, Part 2 (1980) Taxi: Tony and Brian (1980) Taxi: Fantasy Borough, Part 2 (1980) Taxi: What Price Bobby? (1980) Taxi: Mr. Personalities (1981) Taxi: Fledgling (1981) Taxi: Like Father, Like Son (1981) Taxi: The Ten Percent Solution (1981) Taxi: Bobby and the Critic (1981) Taxi: Zen and the Art of Cab Driving (1981) Taxi: Vienna Waits (1981) Taxi: Latka's Cookies (1981) Taxi: Call of the Mild (1981) Taxi: Louie Goes Too Far (1981) Taxi: Jim the Psychic (1981) Taxi: Louie Bumps Into an Old Lady (1981) Taxi: Jim Joins the Network (1981) Taxi: The Costume Party (1981) Taxi: Louie's Mother (1981) Taxi: On the Job, Part 1 (1981) Taxi: Louie's Mom Remarries (1981) Taxi: On the Job, Part 2 (1981) Taxi: Thy Boss's Wife (1981) Taxi: Of Mice and Tony (1981) Taxi: Out of Commission (1981) Taxi: Bobby's Roommate (1981) Taxi: Elaine's Old Friend (1981) Taxi: Louie's Fling (1981) Taxi: Latka the Playboy (1981) Taxi: Scenskees from a Marriage, Part 1 (1982) Taxi: Tony's Lady (1982) Taxi: Elegant Iggy (1982) Taxi: Crime and Punishment (1982) Taxi: I Wanna Be Around (1982) Taxi: Travels with My Dad (1982) Taxi: Tony's Comeback (1982) Taxi: Get Me Through the Holidays (1982) Taxi: Cooking for Two (1982) Taxi: Zena's Honeymoon (1982) Taxi: Elaine and the Monk (1982) Taxi: Jim and the Kid (1982) Taxi: Nina Loves Alex (1982) Taxi: Alex Goes Off the Wagon (1982) Taxi: Jim's Inheritance (1982) Taxi: Alex the Gofer (1982) Taxi: Scenskees from a Marriage, Part 2 (1982) Taxi: The Wedding of Latka and Simka (1982) Taxi: Simka Returns (1982) Taxi: The Shloogel Show (1982) Taxi: Take My Ex-Wife, Please (1982) Taxi: Louie's Revenge (1982) Taxi: The Road Not Taken, Part 1 (1982) Taxi: The Unkindest Cut (1982) Taxi: Bobby Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1982) Taxi: The Road Not Taken, Part 2 (1982) Taxi: Louie and the Blind Girl (1983) Taxi: Sugar Ray Nardo (1983) Taxi: Simka's Monthlies (1983) Taxi: Alex Gets Burned by an Old Flame (1983) Taxi: A Taxi Celebration, Part 1 (1983) Taxi: A Taxi Celebration, Part 2 (1983) Taxi: A Grand Gesture (1983) Taxi: Alex's Old Buddy (1983) Taxi: Louie Moves Uptown (1983) Taxi: Arnie Meets the Kids (1983) Taxi: Jim's Mario's (1983) Taxi: Tony's Baby (1983) Taxi: Paper Marriage Now that his visa had expired, Latka (Andy Kaufman) must marry an American girl in order to stay in the country. Elected to locate a suitable bride, Alex (Judd Hirsch) shows up with what can euphemistically be described as a "working girl." Although the subsequent wedding ceremony is a sham, it goes along so swimmingly, and with such a genuine outpouring of emotion, that Latka begins to believe it himself. This episode marks the first series appearance of burned-out hippie "Reverend Jim" Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd), who would become a regular the following season. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Money Troubles Collegiate cab driver John Burns (Randall Carver) and his new bride Suzanne (Ellen Regan) have stretched their budget to the breaking point. Although Suzanne's parents have been helping out, they are now retired and unable to provide another penny. It falls to Alex (Judd Hirsch), the only Sunshine Cab employee with a stable bank account, to come to the rescue -- but will he be in time to prevent John and/or Suzanne from dropping out of college? ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Like Father, Like Daughter Taxi's very first episode gets under way as would-be art dealer Elaine Nardo (Marilu Henner) strolls into the offices of New York's Sunshine Cab company, looking for a job. After a typically hostile "screening" by dispatcher Louie DePalma (Danny DeVito), Elaine is introduced to her co-workers: Alex Reiger (Judd Hirsch), the garage's "father confessor" and the only full-time cabbie in the bunch; aspiring actor Bobby Wheeler (Jeff Conaway); wannabe boxing champ Tony Banta (Tony Danza); shy, clumsy college student John Burns (Randall Carver); and mechanic Latka Gravas, a thickly accented foreigner from an unpronounceable country. Elaine also joins the cabbies' efforts to reunite Alex with his long-estranged teenage daughter, Cathy (Talia Balsam), who is returning from Brazil after a 15-year separation -- but only long enough to change planes. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Memories of Cab 804, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, mechanic Latka (Andy Kaufman) works day and night to repair cab 804, the oldest taxi in the garage and the "mascot" of the Sunshine Cab Company. Each of the cabbies remembers his or her own special experiences while driving the legendary vehicle. Two special guest stars figure prominently in the proceedings: Tom Selleck is cast as a wealthy passenger who very nearly changed the course of Elaine's (Marilu Henner) life, while Mandy Patinkin plays the husband of a pregnant woman who goes into labor while Alex (Judd Hirsch) is behind the wheel of cab 804. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Bobby's Acting Career Taxi briefly moved from its first-season Tuesday night slot to Thursday for this episode in which cab driver and would-be actor Bobby Wheeler (Jeff Conaway) reaches a crossroads in his life. Bobby has given himself three years to land an acting job; if he fails in that period, he'll give up show biz for good. Now, with only 24 hours before the deadline, Bobby has several surprises in store for his friends -- and vice versa. Future Hill Street Blues regular Taurean Blacque is appropriately cast as a cop, while Miami Vice producer Michael Mann also shows up in a pre-celebrity bit part. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Blind Date Intrigued by the sexy voice of answering-service operator Angela (Suzanne Kent), Alex (Judd Hirsch) asks her for a date. On the appointed evening, Alex is shocked to discover that Angela is immensely overweight -- and with a bad attitude to boot. Even with so much working against a lasting relationship with Angela, Alex can't help but be attracted to the girl. And yes, this is the same Angela who served as the "inspiration" for Taxi's familiar theme music. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Men are Such Beasts Try though he might, Tony (Tony Danza) cannot shed himself of his troublesome girlfriend, an overambitious, overpossessive cab driver named Denise (Gail Edwards). Just it when it appears that Denise has finally taken the hint and removed herself from Tony's life, the girl signs up with the Sunshine Cab Company. Eventually everyone finds out why Denise is so enthusiastic, hardworking, and persistent...she's a habitual pill popper. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Memories of Cab 804, Part 1 In the first episode of a two-part story, klutzy John Burns (Randall Carver) smashes up cab 804, the oldest vehicle in the garage and the unofficial "mascot" of the Sunshine Cab Company. As Latka (Andy Kaufman) struggles to save cab 804 from the junkyard, the other cabbies recall their own experiences while driving the legendary taxi. Highlights in this episode include Tony's (Tony Danza) encounter with a would-be suicide (played by Taxi co-creator Ed Weinberger), and Bobby's (Jeff Conaway) slapstick standoff with an inept robber. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Come as You Aren't While preparing a cocktail party for a group of high-profile art dealers, Elaine (Marilu Henner) invites Alex (Judd Hirsch) to attend the soiree to provide some moral support. More than a few feelings are hurt when, on the night of the party, Elaine begs Alex not to tell anyone that he is "only" a cab driver. But the jig is up for both Elaine and Alex when a very special guest arrives. Emmy-winning TV writer Treva Silverman appears as Latka's "date." ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: A Full House for Christmas Christmas is hardly a time of peace on earth and good will to men for Louie (Danny DeVito), especially when his prodigal brother Nick (Richard Forojny) shows up for the holidays. A reckless Las Vegas gambler, Nick insists he has changed his ways and will devote more time to his neglected mother. But the call of the cards and chips proves too strong -- and ultimately the future of Nicky, Danny and everyone in the garage hinges on a single hand of poker. Originally, Nicky was to have been played by series regular Andy Kaufman in his obnoxious "Tony Clifton" alter ego, but according to legend, "Tony" was so disruptive during rehearsal that he had to be literally dragged off the set. (We'll take their word for it when the other cast members insist they weren't in on Kaufman's joke.) ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: High School Reunion Louie (Danny DeVito) is nervous about attending his 20th high-school reunion -- especially since the last time he saw his classmates they had pulled a prank that made him look like a fool. Hoping to "get even" by showing that he turned out better than expected, Louie coerces good-looking, personable Bobby (Jeff Conaway) to attend the reunion in his place. Although aspiring actor Bobby welcomes the "challenge" of impersonating Louie, in the end, it is the real Mr. DePalma who settles accounts with his former high-school nemesis -- or at least that's what he tells himself. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: One-Punch Banta Hired as a sparring partner for champion Carlos Navarone (played by real-life WBC welterweight champ Carlos Palomino), Tony (Jeff Conaway) is amazed when he decks Navarone with a single blow. Armed with a surfeit of confidence, Tony eagerly looks forward to a big-time boxing match -- until he discovers that his K.O. of Carlos was only a publicity scam. Watch for the real punch (as opposed to a "stage" punch) delivered by one boxer to another in the final locker-room scene. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: The Great Line Shy Bobby (Randall Carver) conspires with self-assured Tony (Tony Danza) to come up with a sure-fire "line" for picking up chicks. At Mario's Restaurant, the nervous John finally gets up the gumption to approach a girl and deliver his can't-fail line: "Let's skip the preliminaries -- let's get married." The strategy works a bit too well: the next morning, John finds himself with a brand-new wife and a nonplussed set of in-laws. Ellen Regan makes her first series appearance as Suzanne. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Mama Gravas When Latka (Andy Kaufman) announces that his mother is coming from the Old Country to pay him a visit, the cabbies expect to meet a shy, wizened old lady. But Greta Gravas (Susan Kellerman) turns out to be a busty, Junoesque blonde with an insatiable appetite for food...among other things. Catching Greta in the act of "nik-nik" with Alex (Judd Hirsch), an outraged Latka demands that Alex make an honest woman of his mother by marrying her. But can an "ancient custom" save both Greta's honor and Alex' bachelorhood? ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Elaine and the Lame Duck Future Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development co-star Jeffrey Tambor appears in this episode as self-pitying congressman Walter Griswold (Jeffrey Tambor). Convinced that he is now, always has been, and always will be a loser with the ladies, Griswold evokes the sympathy of cabbie Alex (Judd Hirsch). Hoping to boost Griswold's confidence, Alex arranges a date between the congressman and Elaine (Marilu Henner) -- and if Elaine can't make a man feel better about himself, NO one can! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Substitute Father In the last episode of Taxi's first season, Michael Herschewe appears as Elaine's son Jason, a role later played on a semi-regular basis by David Mendenhall. Obliged to leave town for a while, Elaine (Marilu Henner) leaves Jason in the care of Alex (Judd Hirsch) -- and when he proves unavailable, the rest of the cabbies volunteer their services. So taken are the guys by Jason that they can't spend enough time with him. As a result, the boy is unable to study for an upcoming spelling bee, leading to a hectic cramming session and a surprising finale. Marilu Henner's real-life niece Suzanne Carney appears as one of the spelling-bee contestants...a girl named Marilu. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Alex Tastes Death and Finds a Nice Restaurant Alex (Judd Hirsch) barely escapes death -- and the loss of an ear -- when a mugger takes a shot at him. After this brush with mortality, Alex decides it is high time to quit his job and change his life. This he does by landing a cushy job at a French restaurant. And it just might have worked too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids (Oops, that's a Scooby-Doo line. Let's try again). And it just might have worked too if the rest of Sunshine Cab Company hadn't converged upon the restaurant all at once. (That's better!) ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Friends Obliged to go out of town for a state middleweight championship, Tony (Tony Danza) entrusts the care of his beloved goldfish to his best friend, Bobby (Jeff Conaway). Alas, the self-involved Bobby neglects his responsibility, and before long Tony's pets are "sleeping with the fishes." The inconsolable Tony breaks off his friendship with Bobby, whose ham-handed efforts to make amends succeed only in making a bad situation worse -- or do they? ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie Sees the Light Can it be that nasty Louie (Danny DeVito) is on the verge of reformation? Nervous about an upcoming gallstone operation, Louie promises god that he will mend his ways if he pulls through. The operation is a success, and Louie is as good as his word -- or so it seems. Before long, the skeptical cabbies are placing bets as to how long it will be before Louie reverts to his old obnoxious self...and with real money involved, they're determined to goad the little weasel to the breaking point. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Sugar Mama Oscar-winning actress Ruth Gordon earned an Emmy award for her work in this episode. Gordon is cast as septuagenarian Dee Wilcox, a freewheeling millionairess who is in the habit of hiring cab drivers for the night and lavishing huge sums of money on them -- no strings attached. Dee is so enchanted by cabbie Alex (Judd Hirsch) that she offers him a job as her permanent chauffeur -- but Alex begins to wonder if the effusively generous Dee wants something more than simply the pleasure of his company. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Bobby's Big Break This Taxi episode was originally seen on Thursday instead of the series' usual first-season Tuesday night slot. After years of disappointments and setbacks, aspiring actor Bobby (Jeff Conaway) finally lands a good role in the TV daytime drama "For Better or for Worse." Bent upon burning his bridges behind him, Bobby not only quits his job as a cabbie but also ceremoniously tears up his cab driver's license in the face of despicable dispatcher Louie (Danny DeVito). But when he shows up for work on the set of "For Better or for Worse," Bobby learns that his act of hubris may have been a wee bit too hasty...Michelle Conaway, sister of series regular Jeff Conaway, appears in a supporting part. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Hollywood Calling After two months' worth of reruns, Taxi closed out its first season with two "new" episodes. This one features Martin Mull as Hollywood producer Roger Chapman, who shows up in the garage with plans to make a documentary about a day in the life of a "typical" cabbie. Naturally, aspiring actor Bobby (Jeff Conaway) assumes he will be tapped for the leading role, but Bobby had reckoned without the show-biz ambitions of his fellow cabbies -- except for Alex (Judd Hirsch), who struggles manfully to remain aloof to the excitement, and Louie (Danny DeVito), who has already wangled a huge amount of money from Chapman to act as "production coordinator." As it happens, however, everybody ends up in "development hell." ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Taxi: Jim Gets a Pet Despite being warned by Alex (Judd Hirsch) of the evils of gambling, Jim (Christopher Lloyd) becomes fascinated with horse racing -- and betting on the horses being raced. The result: Jim wins a huge amount of money at the track...and also buys a race horse, whom he names "Gary." The fun begins when Jim tries to sneak his new "pet" into his hovel of an apartment, in preparation for setting the nag free in Central Park. But "fun" is hardly the word when the other cabbies make an unexpected visit to Jim's place. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Nardo Loses Her Marbles Stressed out from juggling her job as a cabbie with her responsibilities as a single mother and her burgeoning art-curator career, poor Elaine (Marilu Henner) finally snaps during a major art-gallery event. Reliable old Alex (Judd Hirsch) offers to drive Elaine home and help her calm down -- a gesture which Elaine apparently misinterprets as an invitation to have sex. But it is only after Elaine agrees to undergo therapy that Alex allows any thoughts of romance to dance in his own head. Cult-film favorite Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul) guest stars as an avant-garde artist, while future Star Trek: Voyager regular Robert Picardo also makes an appearance. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Great Race The garage becomes a unofficial gambling emporium when the cabbies place bets as to whether Alex (Judd Hirsch) can bring in more fare money than Louie (Danny DeVito) during a single night, or vice versa. Elaine (Marilu Henner) is particularly anxious over the outcome of this wager, especially since she has promised to go on a date with Louie if he wins. Naturally, Louie is not above cheating and duplicity to emerge victorious--and for a while, it looks as though the "good guys" aren't going to come out on top in this venture. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Elaine's Secret Admirer Having just broken up a relationship, Elaine (Marilu Henner) is unusually receptive to the unsigned love notes being sent to her by an unknown admirer. Can it be that Elaine's mystery man is Don Reavy (Michael de Lano), the handsome new driver in the Sunshine garage? Whatever the case, Elaine and Don begin dating...and it is then that the real author of the love notes makes himself known -- but only to Alex (Judd Hirsch). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie and the Nice Girl Season two of Taxi gets under way with an Emmy-winning episode that teams series star Danny DeVito (Louie DePalma) with his real-life significant other Rhea Perlman. The cabbies are amazed when Zena Sherman (Perlman), the soft-spoken woman who stocks the vending machines at the garage, confesses to have a crush on the eminently unlovable Louie. Believing that Zena is too timid to admit this, Alex (Judd Hirsch) agrees to act as matchmaker. Alex comes to regret this act of kindness when, after a few dates, Louie boastfully and obnoxiously claims to have "scored" innumerable times with Zena. The truth turns out to be a lot more suprising -- especially to Louie! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Wherefore Art Thou, Bobby? The latest in a long line of setbacks in his acting career befalls poor Bobby (Jeff Conaway). What is especially galling is that the actor who beats Bobby out for the lead in an off-Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet is his new friend Steve (Michael Horton) -- to whom Bobby has been giving acting lessons! Completely frustrated, Bobby vows to give up the theatrical world and remain a cabbie for the rest of his life...or at least that was his plan until Louie (Danny DeVito) opened his big, annoying mouth. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey With this episode, Christopher Lloyd becomes a regular in the role of zonked-out hippie minister Reverend Jim. Running into Jim for the first time since he presided over Latka's faux, first-season wedding, the cabbies compassionately decide to pull the dusty derelict off the street and install him as the garage's newest driver. Characteristically, nasty Louie (Danny DeVito) wants no part of Jim, but changes his mind with a little help from some "really good-tasting" coffee. But will Jim, who apparently hasn't had a cogent thought since the late 1960s, be able to pass his driver's exam? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Apartment When Latka (Andy Kaufman) is evicted from his apartment, Alex (Judd Hirsch) offers to help him find a new place. Even so, Latka locates the perfect place on his own: a luxurious apartment that is ideally suited to his intended lifestyle. Unfortunately, there was a language breakdown during the rent negotiations -- and thus Latka finds that he must cough up 3000 dollars per month. The other cabbies try to bail Latka out by sharing his new apartment and the expenses for the first month...with the usual unexpected results. Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears makes a brief guest appearance. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Latka's Revolting The cabbies are shocked to learn that mild-mannered Latka (Andy Kaufman) was a rebel general in his own country -- and Latka is even more shocked to learn that the long-awaited rebellion has broken out, and he is expected to return to his homeland. During a farewell party for Latka, Elaine (Marilu Henner) asks his second-in-command, Baschi (Lenny Baker), to draw a map of the battlefield so she will have a better understanding of what Latka is in for. As it turns out, the map reveals a whole lot more than anyone expected. Best bit: The "National Anthem," which is obviously being ad-libbed on the spot by Andy Kaufman and Lenny Baker. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Lighter Side of Angela Matusa Suzanne Kent returns in the role of Angela Matusa, the extremely overweight girl with whom Alex (Judd Hirsch) went out on a blind date in the first-season episode of the same name. When Alex meets Angela after a year's separation, he is amazed to discover that she has shed 100 pounds. Angela would now like to parlay her friendship with Alex into a full-blown romance. Alex isn't so keen on this, but he doesn't want to disappoint Angela to the point that she gives up her diet. The apparent solution to the dilemma arrives in a most unlikely form -- or so Alex thinks until Angela lets him in on a bit of new and surprising information. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Reluctant Fighter Marc Anthony Danza, real-life son of Taxi co-star Tony Danza (Tony Banta), is cast in this episode as Brian Sims, an invalid child in need of a kidney operation. When Tony is slated to be the opponent of former boxing champ Benny Foster (Armando Muniz) in the latter's comeback attempt, Tony is thrilled at the prospect of finally making his mark in the pugilistic world. But when it turns out that Benny is idolized by the ailing Brian Sims and that Benny is returning to the ring for the boy's sake, Tony worries that if he wins the big bout, little Brian will ultimately emerge the loser -- big time. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie Meets the Folks The normally outspoken and abrasive Louie (Danny DeVito) is cowed into silence (or at least, near-silence) at the prospect of meeting the parents of his girlfriend, Zena (Rhea Perlman). When time comes for Louie and Zena to go out to dinner with her folks, Louie slips a few bucks to Alex (Judd Hirsch) so that he will accompany him to the get-together -- and keep him from inserting his foot in his mouth. Not surprisingly, Louie manages to make an ass of himself anyway...but Zena's minister father (John C. Becher) does not react to this social disaster in the anticipated manner. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Alex's Romance Dee Wallace Stone makes a return appearance as soap-opera actress Joyce Rogers, a character introduced in the first-season episode "Bobby's Big Break." Proving to be a shoulder to cry on when Joyce is overcome with her insecurities, Alex (Judd Hirsch) somewhat unexpectedly falls in love with her. The test of their relationship arrives when Joyce is offered a fantastic career opportunity -- one that will compel her to move to Los Angeles. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: A Woman Between Friends A mutual attraction for an attractive girl named Janet (Constance Forslund) puts a severe strain on the friendship between Tony (Tony Danza) and Bobby (Jeff Conaway). Alex (Judd Hirsch) rushes in to mediate when the animosity between the two former pals threatens to erupt into violence. The outcome of this crisis boils down to a crucial decision made by Janet -- or rather, the equally crucial decision made before Janet's decision by the other two "points" of the triangle. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Honor Thy Father Alex (Judd Hirsch) is surprisingly unaffected when his sister Charlotte (Joan Hackett) shows up with the news that their father, Joe, has suffered a near-fatal heart attack. It soon develops that Alex has never forgiven Joe for running out on his family years earlier. But when he shows up in the hospital, Alex is overcome with emotion and sobbingly expresses his love for his ailing dad. But there's another surprise in store for all concerned -- and without giving the game away, it should be noted that Jack Gilford is cast in the role of "Joe Reiger." ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Alex Jumps Out of an Airplane After an exciting ski trip during which he managed to overcome several long-standing fears, Alex (Judd Hirsch) has vowed to confront and conquer all of his personal demons. In quick order, he sings in public for the first time, goes a few rounds in the boxing ring, and prepares to go skydiving. As the plane climbs into the upper regions, however, Alex begins to have second thoughts about casting off the shackles of terror -- but it may be too late for him to back out now. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Art Work Elaine (Marilu Henner) has come up with a seemingly foolproof plan to solve her fellow cabbies' financial woes. She has received inside informatioin about an art auction involving the paintings of an artist who is not long for this world. Once the artist dies, the paintings' value will skyrocket. All her friends have to do is bid on the paintings before the artist's expiration -- and all they need is a mere 2000 to do this! Onetime 20th Century-Fox leading man Richard Derr and former Western heroine (Peggy Stewart) appear in cameo roles. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Fantasy Borough, Part 1 In part one of Taxi's two-part, second-season finale, Fantasy Island co-star Herve Villechaize (playing himself) leaves a package of publicity photos in Tony's cab. This inspires Tony (Tony Danza) and the other drivers to discuss their own personal fantasies -- and as usual, these are not only surprising, but hilarious. Highlights include Latka (Andy Kaufman) taking over the dispatcher's job from Louie (Danny DeVito), and Tony discussing politics with CBS newsman Eric Sevareid (also playing himself). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Shut it Down, Part 1 In the first episode of a two-part story, the cabbies are up in arms over the Sunshine Taxi Company's refusal to provide sufficient funds for proper upkeep of their cabs -- especially after Tony's brakes fail at a crucial moment. Organizing into an ad-hoc union, the gang appoints Elaine (Marilu Henner) as its shop steward -- and after an unsuccessful meeting with management, she leads the other cabbies on a strike. As it turns out, however, the lack of maintenance money is not due entirely to negligence, but is largely the handiwork of a certain book-juggling dispatcher named Louie (Danny DeVito). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Elaine's Strange Triangle Forever unlucky in love, Elaine (Marilu Henner) hopes that her current boyfriend, Kirk (John David Cameron), will work out. Typically, however, Kirk does not want to make a commitment because he has eyes for someone else. Less typically, that "someone else" turns out to be Elaine's male co-worker Tony Banta (Tony Danza)! All this leads to riotous conclusion at a gay bar where Tony's adamantly straight buddy Alex (Judd Hirsch) finds himself the center of attention. This episode won an Emmy Award for director James Burrows. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Going Home A private detective (played by Dick Yarmy, brother of comedian Don Adams) shows up at the garage in search of one of the cabbies: burned-out hippie minister Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd). It seems that the detective has been dispatched by Jim's wealthy father (Victor Buono) -- whose name, by the way, is not and never has been Ignatowski -- to bring him back to Boston. As the proverbial black sheep of his family, Jim looks forward to the "reconciliation" with fear and loathing...but there are few surprises in store for all concerned. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Fathers of the Bride Talia Balsam, who appeared as the daughter of cabbie Alex Rieger (Judd Hirsch) in the very first episode of Taxi, reprises the role in this third-season entry. While perusing the social notes in the newspaper, Alex discovers that his daughter Cathy is about to be married. Despite the fact that he has not been invited, Alex plans to attend the ceremony anyway and to bring his co-worker Elaine (Marilu Henner) with him -- a move calculated to make Alex's ex-wife feel as miserable as he does. Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) makes her first series appearance as Alex's neurotic former spouse Phyllis. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Tony's Sister and Jim Former Rhoda co-star (and future voice of Marge Simpson) Julie Kavner guest stars as Monica, the nutty, recently divorced sister of cab driver Tony Banta (Tony Danza). Hoping to create the proverbial Match Made in Heaven, Tony tries to play cupid between Monica and his fellow cabbie Alex (Judd Hirsch). Unfortunately, the ditsy girl is only interested in burned-out hippie "Reverend" Jim (Christopher Lloyd). This episode earned an Emmy Award for writer Michael Leeson. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie's Rival Rhea Perlman, future wife of series regular Danny DeVito, reprises her characterization of Zena Sherman as Taxi begins its third season. Louie DePalma (DeVito), ever-abrasive dispatcher for the Sunshine Cab Company, is even more obnoxious than usual, and for good reason: his girlfriend Zena has dumped him for Dwight (Richard Michenberg), the bartender at Mario's. Will Louie be able to steal his sweetie back, or will he need the assistance of the Sunshine cabbies (specifically, the garage's resident "father confessor" Alex [Judd Hirsch])? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Guess Who's Coming for Brefnish Carol Kane makes her first series appearance as Simka Dahblitz, a woman from the same unpronounceable foreign country as Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman). The growing affection between Latka and Simka reaches an impasses when he discovers that she is a member of a socially inferior class: that is, she is one of the Mountain Persons. Will true love prevail over class consciousness, or will the shamefaced Latka lose Simka to another man? Listen to the "foreign language" bandied about by Andy Kaufman and Carol Kane; it is a tongue of their own invention, extensively improvised during rehearsals for this episode. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Shut it Down, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, the cabbies have gone on strike, with "shop steward" Elaine (Marilu Henner) leading the job action. Hoping to settle the dispute, Elaine has reluctantly agrees to date with the representative of Management -- namely, the repulsive Louie (Danny DeVito). Even after the strike has ended, Elaine must go through with her rendezvous with Louie, and to ease the pain she fortifies herself with booze and sedatives. Sensing that Elaine is none too thrilled with their night out, Louie tries real, real hard to be on his best behavior -- a task that, of course, proves absolutely impossible. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Tony and Brian In this follow-up to the previous episode, "The Reluctant Fighter," Tony (Tony Danza) has become close friends with nine-year-old Brian Sims (played by Danza's real-life son Marc Anthony Danza), who has apparently recovered his health. Hoping to adopt the orphaned Brian, Tony is crushed to learn that the youngster would rather live with a wealthy couple, the Brennans (Michael Fairman, Barbara Stuart). Things take an unexpected turn when Mr. and Mrs. Brennan choose to remain childless -- at least so far as Brian is concerned. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Fantasy Borough, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, the cabbies continue to discuss their personal fantasies, inspired by a package of alluring publicity photos left in Tony's cab by Fantasy Island co-star Herve Villechaize. Unfortunately, reality interferes when Alex (Judd Hirsch) fantasizes about taking a beautiful passenger to his own apartment. But Louie (Danny DeVito) doesn't let reality get in his way as he dreams about wedded bliss with his dream girl, Elaine (Marilu Henner) -- whose own fantasy segues into an out-of-left-field musical production number! This was the final episode of Taxi's second season. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: What Price Bobby? Aspiring actor Bobby (Jeff Conaway) thinks he has it made when a top female theatrical agent (Susan Sullivan) agrees to represent him. Bobby also thinks that the agent is enchanted by his talent. Silly boy! The agent is more interested in a sexual relationship with our hero, proving beyond doubt that the "casting couch" concept knows no gender barriers. The problem: can Bobby break off the affair without jeopardizing his career? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Mr. Personalities Comedian Andy Kaufman, who made a career of assuming "alternate personalities" that he claimed to be unable to control, delivers an acting tour-de-force in this episode. Ever since he adopted the obnoxious alter ego of swingin' bachelor Vic Ferrari in the previous season's "Latka the Playboy," mild-mannered mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) can never tell when he himself will "disappear" and Vic will emerge. Making matters worse, Latka has adopted several other personalities -- his latest being a carbon copy of fellow cabbie Alex (Judd Hirsch)! Clearly, a visit to the shrink is long overdue...and that is where special guest star Barry Nelson comes in. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Fledgling In her capacity as a part-time art curator, Elaine (Marilu Henner) makes the acquaintance of Craig Egan (Paul Sand), a brilliant painter--and a severe agoraphobic. Hoping to coax Craig out of the "safety" of his apartment and into the world at large, Elaine offers to introduce him to her friends at Sunshine Cab. An excellent idea...except that once he has arrived at the garage, Craig is too terrified to get out of the cab that brought him. This episode was orginally produced for Taxi's third season, but held over until season four. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Like Father, Like Son Jack Gilford returns in the role of Joe Rieger, estranged father of cab driver Alex (Judd Hirsch). Much against his better judgment, Alex agrees to meet Joe for lunch at Mario's (the cabbie's favorite hangout), whereupon dear old dad tries to push his son into a date with a stranger named Karen (Barbara Babcock). At first gratified by his father's gesture, Alex is ultimately disillusioned when jaunty Joe tries to make time with Karen himself! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Ten Percent Solution Aspiring actor Bobby (Jeff Conaway) is persuaded that his fellow cabbie, would-be boxing champ Tony Banta (Tony Danza), would be a "natural" for a theatrical career. As a result, Tony shows up at an audition trading dialogue instead of punches. Ultimately, Bobby comes to regret his "discovery" of Tony -- especially when the uniquely untalented pugilist seems poised to become a bona fide movie star. Series producer Ed Weinberger appears in the role of Jerry Lowell. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Bobby and the Critic Incensed over the bad theatrical reviews doled out by critic John Bowman (John Harkins), Bobby (Jeff Conaway) writes a scathing letter to Bowman's newspaper -- then decides that it wouldn't be prudent to mail the missive. But Louie (Danny DeVito) finds the letter and ships it off to Bowman, leading to a citywide "cause celebre" in which dozens of frustrated actors rally around Bobby as their hero. All well and good -- until Bowman shows up to review Bobby's one-man show. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Zen and the Art of Cab Driving The cabbies are astonished when Jim (Christopher Lloyd), a burned-out relic of the 1960s whose appearance and lifestyle can be charitably described as "unkempt" abruptly turns over a new leaf. Virtually overnight, Jim has brought perfection, order, and expensive creature comforts into his life--and he's even begun to take baths and change his clothes. The reason? Well, it seems that Jim had earlier picked up a couple of passengers who were discussing the "secret of success." Future Miami Vice producer Michael Mann also appears in a supporting role. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Vienna Waits The growing attraction between cabbies Alex (Judd Hirsch) and Elaine (Marilu Henner) is further explored in this episode. When Elaine accompanies Alex on a vacation to Europe, Alex is worried that she will feel lonely and neglected while he wines and dines a variety of sexy foreign damsels. But as it turns out, it is Elaine who is the toast of the Continent, while Alex remains alone and ignored...at least until Elaine takes a special kind of pity on him. Originally intended as the opening episode of Taxi's fourth season, "Vienna Waits" was shown second after "Jim the Psychic." ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Latka's Cookies Cookie entrepreneur Wally "Famous" Amos appears as himself in this episode, wherein immigrant mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) learns a few hard lessons about the American capitalist system. Using a special recipe handed down by his dear departed grandmother, Latka hopes to market his family's traditional cookies and make a fortune. Alas, one of the recipe's main ingredients is what can be euphemistically described as a "controlled substance" -- and it looks like Latka's business venture will land him in the slammer. This episode was originally slated to air on January 28, 1981. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Call of the Mild Hoping to escape from the pressures of city life in general and their jobs in particular, all of the cabbies except for Elaine (Marilu Henner) head to the mountains for a weekend getaway. At first, all seems cozy in their isolated cabin, but tranquility quickly segues into terror as the Taxi gang realizes how ill-equipped they are for survival in the wilderness. A missing guide, a total lack of electricity, a blinding snowstorm, and a "eulogy" for a turkey are essential ingredients to the action. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie Goes Too Far Ever since she became a cabbie, Elaine (Marilu Henner) has been forced to fend off the verbal insinuations of lecherous dispatcher Louie DePalma (Danny DeVito). But when Louie spies on Elaine while she's in the ladies' room it is the last straw. In a fully justifiable feminist huff, Elaine reports Louie to his superiors and gets him fired -- thus setting the stage for a hilarious denouement in which the frenzied Mr. DePalma literally falls to his knobby knees to beg Elaine's forgiveness. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Jim the Psychic With six Emmy awards under its belt for the previous season's output, Taxi launches season four with an episode built around the character of burned-out hippie minister Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd). The drivers of the Sunshine Cab company are amazed when several of Jim's "psychic" dreams start coming true. Only Alex (Judd Hirsch) seems to be blasé about Jim's prognostocations -- even when his own death is predicted! The climax of the episode is a slapstick soufflé of dancing girls, baseball equipment, and a mysterious (and very short!) stranger. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie Bumps Into an Old Lady Lecherous Louie (Danny DeVito) is practically salivating over the prospect of going on a training drive with a pretty young cabbie named Janine (Lane Brody). Alas, Louie spends so much time staring at the girl that he fails to keep his eyes on the road--and before long, the cab has run into a little old lady (Iris Korn). The upshot of all this is a million-dollar lawsuit, a court date for Louie, and a hilariously misbegotten attempt to prove that the old lady is faking her injuries. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Jim Joins the Network In this follow-up to the fourth season Taxi opener "Jim the Psychic", disheveled ex-hippie Jim (Christopher Lloyd) continues to amaze his fellow cabbies with his uncannily accurate predictions. Clearly, there is only one job for which Jim is uniquely qualified: that of program scheduler at a major TV network. Martin Short guest stars as Mitch Harris, the network executive who hopes that Jim's prognostications about future TV ratings will mean money in the bank for Harris' bosses. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Costume Party A briefcase left in the back of Bobby's (Jeff Conaway) cab yields an invitation list for a lavish yacht party. Every name on the list is that of a famous celebrity -- and of even more significance, the party is a costume ball. Seizing the opportunity, the cabbies don disguises and masks and pass themselves off as the "beautiful people" who have been invited to the bash. Unfortunately, just having a famous name doesn't automatically make one famous, as our too-eager party crashers learn to their dismay. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie's Mother Julia DeVito, real-life mother of series regular Danny DeVito, appears in this episode as the mother of obnoxious taxi dispatcher Louie DePalma (played by -- who else? -- Danny DeVito). More garrulous than usual, Louie has been driving the cabbies crazy trying to convince them that it was the "right thing" to see his mother off to a nursing home. There is one person, however, who can never be convinced of this: Louie, himself feels guilty that mom stormed out of the DePalma apartment after a vicious argument. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: On the Job, Part 1 In the first episode of a two-part story, the Sunshine Cab Company goes out of business forcing the cabbies to seek employment elsewhere. One month later, Sunshine is up and running again, and the drivers get together to recount their experiences in their new (and very temporary) "outside" jobs. Highlights of this episode include Tony's (Tony Danza) brief and involuntary career as a collector for a bookie, Elaine's (Marilu Henner) misadventures in the secretarial pool, and Jim's (Christopher Lloyd) perambulations as a door-to-door salesman -- without even knowing what it is that he's selling. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie's Mom Remarries Julia DeVito, real-life mother of Taxi co-star Danny DeVito, makes a return appearance as the mother of DeVito's series character, abrasive taxi dispatcher Louie DePalma. Characteristically, Louie is furious that his mom plans to get married again, and to a man who isn't even Italian. In fact, Mrs. DePalma's new fiancé is a Japanese gentleman (Jerry Fujikawa) -- and when she announces her intention to move to Japan herself, the cabbies practically have to scrape the outraged Louie off the ceiling! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: On the Job, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, the cabbies gather together to recall their misadventures in the job pool during the month that the Sunshine Cab Company was shut down. Aspiring actor Bobby (Jeff Conaway) explains how his stint as an Easter Bunny at a children's party ended in disaster, while Alex (Judd Hirsch) ruminates over the strange things that boredom can do to the mind of a night watchman. But while his co-workers are relating stories of failure, Louie (Danny DeVito) insists that he was a huge success during his brief tenure on Wall Street -- and it turns out that he's telling the truth! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Thy Boss's Wife When cab company owner Mr. McKenzie (Stephen Elliott) and his wife (Eileen Brennan) have a violent argument at the garage, Louie sharkishly tells the cabbies than whenever this occurs, Mrs. McKenzie consoles herself by having an affair with the company's handsomest driver -- who of course is then promptly fired. Imagine Louie's surprise when Mrs. McKenzie bypasses the other workers and comes on to him. Terrified that he will lose his job, Louie tries to palm Mrs. McKenzie off on Tony (Tony Danza) -- but he's not out of the woods (or the boudoir) yet! This episode was orginally slated to air on January 14, 1981, then was moved to February 5 before finally premiering one week later. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Of Mice and Tony Having endured one too many hard knocks in the boxing ring, eTony Banta (Tony Danza) has elected to hang up his gloves and become a trainer. Spotting a young fighter named Terry Carver (Ernie Hudson), Tony immediately senses that the kid has potential. He then offers to become Terry's manager...and that's when the trouble starts. The highlight of this episode is Tony's one-on-one with the "Syndicate" (whose members include Taxi scriptwriters Howard Gewirtz and Ian Praiser). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Out of Commission For years, Tony Banta (Tony Danza) has driven a cab to finance his dream -- that of being a champion boxer. Also, for years Tony has spent more time flat on his back than in the center of the ring. Now, the time has come for Tony to give up his dream -- or at least, that is the conclusion of his friends, his doctor, and the boxing commission. Will Tony listen to this advice, or will his pride score a knockout over common sense? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Bobby's Roommate Elaine (Marilu Henner) has nowhere to go when she is forced out of her apartment. Well, almost nowhere: Fellow cabbie and erstwhile Bobby (Jeff Conaway) generously invites Elaine to live in his place while he is on tour with a road show. Things get a bit ticklish when, thanks to a professional indiscretion, Bobby returns home earlier than expected, and Bobby comes home -- with Elaine still installed as his "roommate." What follows is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings that would put a French farce to shame. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Elaine's Old Friend Unwilling to admit to her old-school chum Mary (Martha Smith) that she is merely a cab driver -- and an unattached one at that -- Elaine (Marilu Henner) spins a tall tale about her "wonderful" job and her "dream" boyfriend, a professor at Columbia University. Inasmuch as no such boyfriend exists, Alex (Judd Hirsch) is pressed into service to pose as the imaginary beau. The deception comes off well -- perhaps too well -- but can Alex and Elaine build a genuine relationship on a mountain of lies? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie's Fling Series star Danny DeVito's real-life significant other Rhea Perlman repireses her role as Zena Sherman, off-and-on girlfriend of DeVito's Taxi character Louie DePalma. As a favor to Zena, Louie agrees to act as escort to her friend Emily (Andrea Marcovicci), whose despondency over a busted romance has resulted in an over-dependence upon booze and other substances. One thing leads to another, and by the end of the evening Emily and Louie are an "item." Zena's outrage over being two-timed is nothing compared to the climactic confrontation between a tearful Louie and a "helpful" Alex (Judd Hirsch). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Latka the Playboy Mild-mannered immigrant mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) is frustrated by his lack of success with women. Hoping to improve his social life, Latka locks himself up for several weeks of intense "study," using as his study guides a collection of English-language tapes and several back issues of Playboy magazine. When he emerges, Latka has assumed a new and radically different personality: That of a swinging, womanizing lounge lizard named Vince Ferrari. It has now become part of showbiz folklore that the mercurial Andy Kaufman remained obnoxiously "in character" as Latka's alter ego throughout the filming of this episode, even insisting that the series' producers sign "Vince Ferrari" to a separate contract! "Latka the Playboy" was the final episode of Taxi's third season. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Scenskees from a Marriage, Part 1 In this first episode of a two-part story, a severe strain is placed upon the marriage of Latka (Andy Kaufman) and Simka (Carol Kane). It seems that, during a heavy winter storm, Latka is trapped in a cab with attractive female driver Cindy (Allyce Beasley). And when wife Simka (Carol Kane) discovers how her husband and his companion (who assumed that they would not survive the night) managed to "keep warm," Latka finds himself out in the cold. How can this marriage be saved? Well, it seems that there's this curious custom from the "old country"... ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Tony's Lady To pick up extra money, cab driver Tony (Tony Danza) hires himself out as a chauffeur for a wealthy woman named Christina (Rebecca Holden). Perhaps it goes without saying that Tony becomes enamored of his attractive new boss, and it is equally unnecessary to add that this romance is not going to be smooth sailing by any means, especially since Tony is too shy to let Christina know how he feels about her. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Elegant Iggy Elaine (Marilu Henner) is convinced that an invitation to a fashionable art-society party is her ticket to success in the art world. But she is not so certain that burned-out hippie Jim "Iggy" Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) is the right person to escort her to the party. Alas, just as Elaine has feared, Jim's anti-social behavior threatens to mess up everything. But a hitherto untapped musical talent saves the day for everyone...sort of. This episode won an Emmy Award for writer Ken Estin. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Crime and Punishment Allen Garfield (billed as Alan Goorwitz) guest stars as Mr. Rutledge, the owner of the Sunshine Cab Company. Upon learning that someone in the garage is stealing spare auto parts, he demands that the guilty party step forward. Since that party is light-fingered dispatcher Louie (Danny DeVito), who lacks the guts to own up to his own misdeeds, there is but one way out: Louie persuades assistant dispatcher Jeff (Thom Koutsoukos) to take the rap -- with jaw-dropping results. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: I Wanna Be Around One wonders where Louie (Danny DeVito) was during the great "nuclear scare" of the 1960s, since it is only now that his fears have been aroused by watching a Phil Donahue Show interview about the bomb. No matter -- Louie has determined to be a "survivalist" prepared to face any manner of holocaust, natural or man-made. To that end, our "hero" transforms the Sunshine Cab Company garage into his own personal bomb shelter and has dragooned driver Tony (Tony Danza) and assistant dispatcher Jeff (Jeff Thomas) into being his "survival squad." And, oh yes, Elaine (Marilu Henner) is expected to hang around too -- but not because of her self-preservation skills. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Travels with My Dad Tony (Tony Danza) is apprehensive about his upcoming reunion with his father Angie (Donnelly Rhodes), a merchant seaman who was largely absent while his son was growing up; however, the meeting goes off quite well. In fact, Angie has magnanimously arranged for Tony to take a job aboard his ship, which is bound for Singapore. While Tony certainly could use a scenery change, is he prepared to forsake his friends and his lifestyle for the "call of the sea?" Cult-film favorite Dick Miller appears as Fergie. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Tony's Comeback It has been several months since Tony Banta (Tony Danza) gave up his boxing career, and though he still feels unfulfilled, he is resigned to his decision. All this changes when Tony is apprised of a gallant comeback attempt by former football pro Lucius Franklin (played by genuine NFL veteran Bubba Smith). Inspired, Tony sets about to renew his boxer's license...and one trembles, wondering if Tony is setting himself up for yet another (painful) fall. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Get Me Through the Holidays Louise Lasser makes a return appearance as Phyllis, the ex-wife of cabbie Alex Rieger (Judd Hirsch). Once again, Phyllis is lonely and miserable, and once again she turns to Alex for comfort and solace. This time, Phyllis' depression coincides with the Christmas season -- but even allowing for the spirit of "goodwill to men" (or women), will the taciturn Alex soften up and invite Phyllis to spend the holidays with him? As it turns out, Phyllis' "Christmas Present" is just what Alex has always wanted (but that doesn't mean there are any sentimental strings attached whatsoever!). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Cooking for Two The pig-sty apartment that Jim (Christopher Lloyd) calls home is demolished by a wrecking ball. With no place else to go, Jim decides to move in with Louie (Danny DeVito), whom he regards with something short of accuracy as his "best buddy." This oddest of odd couples provokes a great deal of amusement amongst the cabbies, but things soon take a less than amusing turn when Jim attempts to make dinner -- and burns the apartment to a crisp. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Zena's Honeymoon Rhea Perlman, real-life wife of Taxi co-star Danny DeVito, returns to the role of Zena Sherman. No one is more surprised -- or dismayed -- than Louie DePalma (DeVito) when his erstwhile girlfriend Zena shows up at the garage to announced that she is marrying someone else, especially since he'd convinced himself that she'd come crawling back to him after their last breakup. Never comfortable when swallowing pride or eating crow, Louie does not know how to react to this blow -- and there is worse in store! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Elaine and the Monk Former Fridays regular Mark Blankfield guest stars as Zifka, a monk who hails from the same foreign land as Latka (Andy Kaufman) and Simka (Carol Kane). Though bound to a lifelong vow of silence and sacrifice, Zifka is allowed one day every ten years to "cut loose" and indulge in all worldly pleasures.. This leads to an exhilarating night on the town for Zifka and Elaine (Marilu Henner) -- but will this 24-hour period of reckless abandon lead the merry monk to renounce his vows? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Jim and the Kid Burned-out 1960s relic "Reverend" Jim (Christopher Lloyd) finds himself with a new roommate: A young boy named Terry (Tony LaTorre), who has run away from home. Never mind that Jim's apartment is a hovel and that he himself is one step removed from a babbling lunatic. Terry finds Jim's company infinitely preferable to that of his ultra-strict parents (Rebecca Clemons, Mark Harrison). It takes the combined efforts of Jim's fellow cabbies to convince Terry to meet his folks halfway...and vice versa. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Nina Loves Alex Charlayne Woodard guest stars as Nina Chambers, the newest driver for the Sunshine Cab company. Instantly attracted to Alex (Judd Hirsch), Nina persuades herself that she is in love with him. There is only one thing preventing them from becoming a couple; Nina is an indefatigable optimist, while Alex is a dictionary illustration of the word "pessimist." Eventually, one of the two has a change of heart...and as usual, it's a few beats too late. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Alex Goes Off the Wagon This episode reveals something only hinted at in previous seasons: Cabbie Alex Rieger (Judd Hirsch) is a compulsive gambler. Oh, he has managed to hide and suppress his "affliction" for years, but all this changes after an unusually lucky streak at an Atlantic City casino. Now convinced he is the highest of high rollers, and much against the advice of his fellow cabbies -- especially Jim (Christopher Lloyd), who has bankrolled him -- Alex hopes to fatten his wallet in a local dice game. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Jim's Inheritance The chances of burned-out cabbie Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) passing any sort of competency test is roughly equivalent to a snowball's chance of surviving in hell, but that's just what he must do in this episode. Upon learning that his late father has left him three-and-a-half million dollars in his will -- but with certain very rigid conditions: Jim must prove he is of sound mind, and fast! He must also dress and act like something resembling a normal human being, and for help in this matter he turns to the most "normal" people he knows: Alex (Judd Hirsch)...and Louie (Danny DeVito)? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Alex the Gofer In need of extra money, Alex (Judd Hirsch) takes a second job as general factotum -- or "gofer" -- for a small theatrical troupe. The company's egotistical producer and director have no qualms about mistreating and humiliating Alex, but he seems to take it in stride; he'd always wanted to work in the theater, and this is his chance. Only when another cabbie alerts Alex to the fact that he's being played for a fool does the worm even consider turning -- thereby setting up the surprising conclusion of this episode. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Scenskees from a Marriage, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, a snowstorm has left the marriage between Latka (Andy Kaufman) and Simka (Carol Kane) skating on thin ice. Still smoldering over the events that occurred when Latka and female cabbie Cindy were stuck in the same cab on a cold winter night, Simka wonders if she and her husband can ever patch things up again. There is no alternative but to turn to an old custom from the couple's native country -- which decrees that Simka must sleep with one of Latka's co-workers to even things out! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Wedding of Latka and Simka It is a glorious day for immigrant mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) when no less an authority than Dr. Joyce Brothers (as herself) declares him cured of his multiple-personality syndrome. Now, at long last, Latka can tie the matrimonial knot with his lovely countrywoman, Simka Dahblitz (Carol Kane, repeating her Emmy-winning recurring role). But given the bizarre customs of Latka and Simka's homeland -- not to mention the jaundiced critical eye of Latka's mother (Susan Kellerman) -- will the wedding come off without the usual setbacks attending situation-comedy marriage ceremonies? Familiar character actor Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost) appears as Rev. Gorky. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Simka Returns Carol Kane won an Emmy Award for her performance in this episode, in which she recreates the role of Simka Dahblitz, countrywoman and erstwhile sweetheart of immigrant mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman). Returning to New York, Simka hopes to renew her relationship with Latka, whom she recalls as "simple and sweet." True enough, as far as it goes, but Simka doesn't know about Latka's new alter ego, the obnoxiously aggressive self-styled ladies' man Vic Ferrari (a role for which Andy Kaufman demanded a separate contract from the series' producers -- and got it!). Thus, the episode's main crisis finds Latka vying for Simka's affections...with himself. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Shloogel Show Having made the big move from ABC to NBC, Taxi opens its fifth season with a "Shloogel." And what's a shloogel? Well, it's what newlyweds Latka (Andy Kaufman) and Simka (Carol Kane) call a "group blind date" back in their own country. And it's quite an experience for the folks at the Sunshine Cab Company, as Alex (Judd Hirsch) is paired up with a woman (Carlene Watkins) with whom he'd like to spend the rest of his life (or so he thinks); Tony is teamed with a "dream girl" who proves to be a nightmare (Anne de Salvo); Louie (Danny DeVito) finds out that his blind date (Murphy Cross) is genuinely blind; Elaine (Marilu Henner) is attracted to a gormless nerd (Wallace Shawn); and Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) ends up with actress Marcia Wallace (as herself) -- and celebrates the occasion by singing his own special version of the Bob Newhart Show theme! Although the characters don't know it yet, this episode will prove to have a far-reaching influence on the rest of season five. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Take My Ex-Wife, Please Louise Lasser reprises her role as Phyllis, ex-wife of cab driver Alex Rieger (Judd Hirsch). Showing up at the garage in hopes of a brief reconciliation, lonely Phyllis finds out that Alex is unavailable -- so she promptly comes on to Louie (Danny DeVito). By the time Alex finds out about this, Louie has revealed a lot more of himself than he planned -- literally so! Also in the cast are twin actresses Randi and Candi Brough, best known for their work in the comedy adventure series B.J. and the Bear. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie's Revenge Andrea Marcovicci returns as Emily, the hard-drinking, self-flagellating woman who cruelly jilted Louie (Danny DeVito) in the fourth-season episode "Louie's Fling." Receiving a phone call, Louie discovers that the caller is Emily, who is in the throes of alcoholic desperation. A vengeful Louie schemes to take advantage of Emily's vulnerability in order to get even with her -- but things don't exactly work out that way! ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Road Not Taken, Part 1 In the first episode of Taxi's two-part season-four finale, Elaine (Marilu Henner) mulls over the opportunity to leave the Sunshine Cab Company for a job in Seattle. This inspires the other cabbies to recall the pivotal moments in their own lives. Louie (Danny DeVito) remembers his ascension from driver to dispatcher; Tony (Tony Danza) recollects the moment that he was offered big bucks to take a dive; and Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) harks back to his days of cogency -- and cleanliness -- as a Harvard undergrad (Jim's druggie roomate is played by none other than Tom Hanks). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Unkindest Cut A decidedly pre-Cheers Ted Danson delivers a hilarious guest performance as Vincenzo, an extremely flamboyant -- and extraordinarily expensive -- New York hairdresser. Shelling out 200 hard-earned dollars for a treatment from Vincenzo, Elaine (Marilu Henner) is shocked by the hideous results, which make her look like an electrified mop. Even so, Elaine is too timid to demand her money back, so it falls to her fellow cabbies to come to her rescue. Alas, the imperious Vincenzo refuses to undo his damage -- resulting in a surprising and rather messy act of gallantry from Louie (Danny DeVito). ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Bobby Doesn't Live Here Anymore Former Taxi regular Jeff Conaway returns to the series as erstwhile actor Bobby Wheeler. Freshly arrived from Hollywood, Bobby uses the garage as his unofficial headquarters while he awaits news as to whether or not his TV pilot has been sold to a network. Certain that the show is a "go," Bobby throws a party for all of his old friends -- and of course, whenever something like that happens on Taxi, at least one of the characters is riding for a fall. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: The Road Not Taken, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story, the cabbies recall the "turning points" in their own lives as Elaine (Marilu Henner) considers an offer to leave New York for a new job. In the course of events, Latka (Andy Kaufman) flashes back to the day he left his (unpronounceable) homeland to start life anew in the U.S., and Alex (Judd Hirsch) remembers the humiliating event which convinced him to kiss the corporate world goodbye. This was the final episode of Taxi's fourth season and the last one to be telecast on ABC before the series' move to rival NBC. ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Louie and the Blind Girl Murphy Cross reprises her role as Judy, the blind girl whom Louie (Danny DeVito) dated in the earlier fifth-season episode "The Shloogel Show." The good news is that Judy is undergoing an operation to restore her sight. The bad news, so far as Louie is concerned, is that Judy is undergoing an operation to restore her sight. It's a situation right out of Charlie Chaplin: Will Judy still be as fond of Louie when she looks down and gazes upon his homely mug for the first time? ~ All Movie Guide Taxi: Sugar Ray Nardo Single mom
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    TV Review: ABC's 'Conveyor Belt of Love'

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Jan 5, 2010

    ABC's special almost made the women of 'The Bachelor' look classy and thoughtful
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    HitFix Interview: Mikayla Wingle talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

    Type: Post | Date: Saturday, Oct 29, 2011

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  • 20 Movie Star Films

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009

    Includes:Five Minutes to Live (1961) Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (1970) Death Sentence (1972) The Last of the Belles (1974) The Swiss Conspiracy (1977), MPAA Rating: PG Shalimar: The Deadly Thief (1978) The Concrete Cowboys (1979) Crossbar (1979) Lovers and Liars (1979), MPAA Rating: R Loose Shoes (1980), MPAA Rating: R The Promise of Love (1980) Cuba Crossing (1980), MPAA Rating: R High Risk (1981) BMX Bandits (1983) Somewhere Tomorrow (1983), MPAA Rating: PG Arch of Triumph (1985) Mesmerized (1986), MPAA Rating: PG A Hazard of Hearts (1987) Bail Out (1989), MPAA Rating: R Laser Mission (1990), MPAA Rating: R Five Minutes to Live Johnny Cabot (Johnny Cash) is a bloodthirsty New Jersey gangster who is forced to hide out in a small California suburb after killing a cop during a job gone wrong. He's given a chance to get back in the game by Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback), a crook with a novel plan for a foolproof bank heist. Dorella has been studying the daily habits of the Harper Federal Trust vice president Ken Wilson (Donald Woods). He learns that Wilson and his wife Nancy (Cay Forester) are on a strict schedule every morning and Dorella plans to use their dull routine against them. After Wilson goes to work, Johnny tricks his way into the house with Nancy by pretending to be a door-to-door guitar salesman, and then holds her hostage. At the same time, Dorella visits Wilson at the bank and demands 70,000 dollars in cash. If he doesn't get the loot and contact Johnny by phone at a specified time, Nancy will be killed. What Dorella hasn't counted on is that the Wilson home is not a happy one, and Ken is planning on running away with his mistress that very evening. Meanwhile, the leering, sadistic Johnny taunts Nancy about being "the perfect wife." He does all he can to humiliate her, forcing her to put on makeup and a flimsy negligee, slapping her around and singing menacing songs. When the Wilsons' son Bobby (Ron Howard) comes home from school for lunch, a terrifying showdown with the police leads to tragedy. Guitar legend Merle Travis has a small role as a cowardly bowling alley owner in this crime drama, which was re-released in 1966 under the title Door-to-Door Maniac. ~ Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring Sally Field had her first significant dramatic role in this "generation gap" TV movie. After a year's time in the world of hippies and drugs, Field returns home to the parents who'd all but booted her out. Mom and Dad (Eleanor Parker and Jackie Cooper) try their best to understand their wayward daughter, but still can't overcome their judgmental attitude. When Field's younger sister (Lane Bradbury) begins experimenting with drugs, her parents react with the same blind, close-minded rage that had driven Field away the year before. Realizing that she can never really come home, Field leaves once more, hoping that someday she and her parents can solve their problems without recriminations and screaming. Unlike other "youth" films of the 1970s, Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring refuses to take sides: Field's hippie lifestyle is shown to be just as shallow as her parent's suburban existence. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Death Sentence Originally made for television, this story focuses on a woman selected for jury duty. During a murder trial, she discovers that the accused is the wrong man; she also finds that the real killer is after her. ~ John Bush, All Movie Guide The Last of the Belles No synopsis available. The Swiss Conspiracy Filmed on location in Zurich, Switzerland, The Swiss Conspiracy is concerned with a Swiss bank that discovers some of its clients are becoming the victim of a brilliant blackmailer. The bank's president (Ray Milland) contacts David Christopher (played by David Janssen), a former agent with the U.S. Treasury, to help discover who the blackmailer is and to foil his plot. As Christopher delves into the mystery, he uncovers a complicated web of intrigue, car chases, and shoot-outs that takes all of his wits to unravel. Along the way, Christopher encounters the beautiful Denise Abbott (Senta Berger), with whom he develops a relationship, as well as Rita Jensen (Elke Sommer) and Robert Hayes (John Saxon), who know more than they are willing to tell. ~ Craig Butler, All Movie Guide Shalimar: The Deadly Thief Deadly Thief is the American video title of the Indian feature Shalimar. The title character is played by, of all people, Rex Harrison. He's an eccentric millionaire who assembles the cream of the world's criminal crop for the mother of all heists. They are to steal a valuable ruby-from Shalimar himself. If they fail, the penalty is death-which may be preferable compared to the perils they face in trying to succeed. Interesting variation on themes explored in earlier Harrison vehicle The Honey Pot. The Hindi-language version of Shalimar did OK in Indian theatres, but the English-language version never received British or American release. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Concrete Cowboys Two Montana saddletramps head for bustling Music City and open up a detective agency in this comical adventure that was originally the pilot of a television series. Not only do the two have to accustom themselves to strange big-city ways, they have to learn to become less inept at the gumshoe game as they try to expose extortionists and return a missing singer. Singers Barbara Mandrell and Roy Acuff make cameo appearances. On video the film is titled Ramblin' Man. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Crossbar Adapted from a true story, a pole-vaulter (Aaron Kornylo) attempts to overcome the lack of a leg during the Olympic trials. ~ John Bush, All Movie Guide Lovers and Liars A presumptuous American actress falls for a handsome Italian banker before embarking on the misadventure of a lifetime in this comedy of errors starring Goldie Hawn and Giancarlo Giannini. Anita (Hawn) is an American actress vacationing in Rome. When the free-spirited screen star sets her sights on a friendly banker named Guido (Giannini) who's currently en route to visit his ailing father, she agrees to join him on his trip without realizing that her handsome traveling companion is a married man. In the days that follow Anita and Guido will form a special bond as their journey together leads them from one comic disaster to the next. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide Loose Shoes Preview trailers for movies not coming to a theater near you are collected in this satiric comedy. Loose Shoes is a sketch comedy which takes the form of a series of "coming attractions" for movies that don't happen to exist. The oddball trailers include the Billy Jack parody Billy Jerk Goes to Oz, the family comedy The Shaggy Studio Executive, a ribald Ma and Pa Kettle take-off, a biker film satire called Skateboarders From Hell, a vintage musical short entitled Darktown After Dark, a politically incorrect Charlie Chaplin two-reeler, a Play It Again, Sam goof in which "Duddy Allen" seeks romantic advice from a guy he thinks is the ghost of Clark Gable, and much more. Loose Shoes includes pre-fame performances from Bill Murray, Howard Hesseman, Ed Lauter, and Harry Shearer, while cult favorites Susan Tyrrell, Sid Haig, Jaye P. Morgan, Kinky Friedman, and Van Dyke Parks also appear in the cast. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide The Promise of Love In this drama, a young woman gives up college and marries her boyfriend, a Marine. Unfortunately, he is killed in Vietnam. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Cuba Crossing Assignment: Kill Castro was originally released as Cuba Crossing. Stuart Whitman stars as a mercenary hired to "off" the Cuban dictator. He soon discovers that he will be immediately expendable once the deed is done, and that co-stars like Robert Vaughn should not automatically be trusted. Raymond St. Jacques, Woody Strode and Caren Kaye are among the good actors who appear fitfully in the film; the bulk of the story, however, is carried by such inexpensive unknowns as Mary Lou Gassen. Don't miss jewelry-bedecked pop star Monty Rock III as a "cruiser"--and we don't mean the Evinrude variety. A giveaway that Assignment: Kill Castro had trouble finding an audience is its plethora of alternate titles; in addition to Cuba Crossing, the film was also known as Kill Castro, The Mercenaries and Sweet Violent Tony. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide High Risk Stewart Raffill directs the high-action comedy caper High Risk about a four-man band of theives trying to pull off the perfect crime. Stone (James Brolin), Tony (Chick Venera), Dan (Bruce Davidson), and Rockney (Cleavon Little) hire two inept airplane pilots and plot a major heist. The plan is to rob a mansion in South America belonging to the wealthy drug lord Serrano (James Coburn). After they break open his safe and steal five million dollars, they try to escape the jungle while being followed by the Columbian army and a group of bandits led by Mariano (Anthony Quinn). Ernest Borgnine appears in a brief cameo. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide BMX Bandits PJ (Angelo D'Angelo), and Goose (James Lugton) are bored Australian BMX riders whose bikes have been totaled. Setting off on an intended fishing trip with their friend Judy (Nicole Kidman), they stumble instead upon a cache of stolen police walkie-talkies, which they decide to sell for new BMX gear. Unfortunately, the radios had orginally been swiped by a murderous gang of bank robbers, with whom they soon become entangled. With no more of a plot peg than this, BMX Bandits turns into a movie-long chase. It's nonthink entertainment, true, but the biking scenes are expertly photographed and edited, so you'll be more than happy to go along for the ride. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Somewhere Tomorrow Upon knocking her noggin, a young, recently fatherless woman discovers an amicable apparition; the ghost of a young man who was killed in an aviation accident. As the spirit helps her cope with some of life's difficulties, the two fall in love. ~ Kristie Hassen, All Movie Guide Arch of Triumph Erich Maria Remarque's novel Arch of Triumph was originally adapted to film in 1948 with stars Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman under the direction of Lewis Milestone. This TV-movie remake aired May 29, 1985. Anthony Hopkins and Lesley-Anne Down play the star-crossed lovers whose prewar romance in Paris is endangered by intrigue and revenge. Hopkins, a doctor recently escaped from a concentration camp, rescues Down, the mistress of a dissipated playboy, from committing suicide. Their chance for happiness is sabotaged by Hopkins' desire to wreak vengeance on SS officer Donald Pleasence. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Mesmerized This psychodrama is set in New Zealand during the 1880s and is based on the true story of an orphaned 18-year-old who marries a cruel, much-older man. He constantly abuses her and keeps her under his thumb until she snaps and using hypnotism, kills him. Later she is tried in court. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide A Hazard of Hearts Hazard of Hearts was adapted for television from a 1948 bodice-ripper by Barbara Cartland. Set (where else?) in 1810 England, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter as the obligatory innocent young lass with a dynamite figure. Falling in love with a Rochester-like Marquis (Marcus Gilbert), Helena is whisked off to the mysterious Castle Mandrake ("played" by England's Belvoir Castle and Burghley House). Here, our heroine is menaced by Diana Rigg, the Marquis' evil, possessive mother. First broadcast December 27, 1987, Hazard of Hearts was buried in the ratings by NBC's repeat showing of Terms of Endearment (1983) and ABC's telecast of Stir Crazy (1980). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Bail Out David Hasselhoff plays one of three bounty hunters in search of a much-wanted criminal. The reward is astronomical, so it's understandable that the cops want Hasselhoff and company to make themselves scarce. No matter what the law throws in their path, however, the three heroes will not be deterred. Bail Out costars Linda Blair and John Vernon. Though filmed in 1988, Bail Out wasn't released until 1990, upon Hasselhoff's success on television's Baywatch. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Laser Mission In this action adventure tale, Professor Braun (Ernest Borgnine), an expert in weapons technology, is kidnapped by Soviet terrorists who intend to force him to make a high-tech laser cannon for them. Intelligence agents Michael Gold (Brandon Lee) and Alissa (Debi A. Monahan) are sent in by the CIA to rescue him and recover a cache of stolen diamonds before it's too late for Braun and the world at large. Laser Mission marked Brandon Lee's first starring role in a U.S. feature film, three years before his tragic death while shooting The Crow. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
  • 20 Superstar Movies

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009

    Includes:Five Minutes to Live (1961) Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (1970) Death Sentence (1972) The Last of the Belles (1974) The Swiss Conspiracy (1977), MPAA Rating: PG Shalimar: The Deadly Thief (1978) The Concrete Cowboys (1979) Crossbar (1979) Lovers and Liars (1979), MPAA Rating: R Loose Shoes (1980), MPAA Rating: R Cuba Crossing (1980), MPAA Rating: R The Promise of Love (1980) High Risk (1981) BMX Bandits (1983) Somewhere Tomorrow (1983), MPAA Rating: PG Arch of Triumph (1985) Mesmerized (1986), MPAA Rating: PG A Hazard of Hearts (1987) Bail Out (1989), MPAA Rating: R Laser Mission (1990), MPAA Rating: R Five Minutes to Live Johnny Cabot (Johnny Cash) is a bloodthirsty New Jersey gangster who is forced to hide out in a small California suburb after killing a cop during a job gone wrong. He's given a chance to get back in the game by Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback), a crook with a novel plan for a foolproof bank heist. Dorella has been studying the daily habits of the Harper Federal Trust vice president Ken Wilson (Donald Woods). He learns that Wilson and his wife Nancy (Cay Forester) are on a strict schedule every morning and Dorella plans to use their dull routine against them. After Wilson goes to work, Johnny tricks his way into the house with Nancy by pretending to be a door-to-door guitar salesman, and then holds her hostage. At the same time, Dorella visits Wilson at the bank and demands 70,000 dollars in cash. If he doesn't get the loot and contact Johnny by phone at a specified time, Nancy will be killed. What Dorella hasn't counted on is that the Wilson home is not a happy one, and Ken is planning on running away with his mistress that very evening. Meanwhile, the leering, sadistic Johnny taunts Nancy about being "the perfect wife." He does all he can to humiliate her, forcing her to put on makeup and a flimsy negligee, slapping her around and singing menacing songs. When the Wilsons' son Bobby (Ron Howard) comes home from school for lunch, a terrifying showdown with the police leads to tragedy. Guitar legend Merle Travis has a small role as a cowardly bowling alley owner in this crime drama, which was re-released in 1966 under the title Door-to-Door Maniac. ~ Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring Sally Field had her first significant dramatic role in this "generation gap" TV movie. After a year's time in the world of hippies and drugs, Field returns home to the parents who'd all but booted her out. Mom and Dad (Eleanor Parker and Jackie Cooper) try their best to understand their wayward daughter, but still can't overcome their judgmental attitude. When Field's younger sister (Lane Bradbury) begins experimenting with drugs, her parents react with the same blind, close-minded rage that had driven Field away the year before. Realizing that she can never really come home, Field leaves once more, hoping that someday she and her parents can solve their problems without recriminations and screaming. Unlike other "youth" films of the 1970s, Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring refuses to take sides: Field's hippie lifestyle is shown to be just as shallow as her parent's suburban existence. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Death Sentence Originally made for television, this story focuses on a woman selected for jury duty. During a murder trial, she discovers that the accused is the wrong man; she also finds that the real killer is after her. ~ John Bush, All Movie Guide The Last of the Belles No synopsis available. The Swiss Conspiracy Filmed on location in Zurich, Switzerland, The Swiss Conspiracy is concerned with a Swiss bank that discovers some of its clients are becoming the victim of a brilliant blackmailer. The bank's president (Ray Milland) contacts David Christopher (played by David Janssen), a former agent with the U.S. Treasury, to help discover who the blackmailer is and to foil his plot. As Christopher delves into the mystery, he uncovers a complicated web of intrigue, car chases, and shoot-outs that takes all of his wits to unravel. Along the way, Christopher encounters the beautiful Denise Abbott (Senta Berger), with whom he develops a relationship, as well as Rita Jensen (Elke Sommer) and Robert Hayes (John Saxon), who know more than they are willing to tell. ~ Craig Butler, All Movie Guide Shalimar: The Deadly Thief Deadly Thief is the American video title of the Indian feature Shalimar. The title character is played by, of all people, Rex Harrison. He's an eccentric millionaire who assembles the cream of the world's criminal crop for the mother of all heists. They are to steal a valuable ruby-from Shalimar himself. If they fail, the penalty is death-which may be preferable compared to the perils they face in trying to succeed. Interesting variation on themes explored in earlier Harrison vehicle The Honey Pot. The Hindi-language version of Shalimar did OK in Indian theatres, but the English-language version never received British or American release. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Concrete Cowboys Two Montana saddletramps head for bustling Music City and open up a detective agency in this comical adventure that was originally the pilot of a television series. Not only do the two have to accustom themselves to strange big-city ways, they have to learn to become less inept at the gumshoe game as they try to expose extortionists and return a missing singer. Singers Barbara Mandrell and Roy Acuff make cameo appearances. On video the film is titled Ramblin' Man. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Crossbar Adapted from a true story, a pole-vaulter (Aaron Kornylo) attempts to overcome the lack of a leg during the Olympic trials. ~ John Bush, All Movie Guide Lovers and Liars A presumptuous American actress falls for a handsome Italian banker before embarking on the misadventure of a lifetime in this comedy of errors starring Goldie Hawn and Giancarlo Giannini. Anita (Hawn) is an American actress vacationing in Rome. When the free-spirited screen star sets her sights on a friendly banker named Guido (Giannini) who's currently en route to visit his ailing father, she agrees to join him on his trip without realizing that her handsome traveling companion is a married man. In the days that follow Anita and Guido will form a special bond as their journey together leads them from one comic disaster to the next. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide Loose Shoes Preview trailers for movies not coming to a theater near you are collected in this satiric comedy. Loose Shoes is a sketch comedy which takes the form of a series of "coming attractions" for movies that don't happen to exist. The oddball trailers include the Billy Jack parody Billy Jerk Goes to Oz, the family comedy The Shaggy Studio Executive, a ribald Ma and Pa Kettle take-off, a biker film satire called Skateboarders From Hell, a vintage musical short entitled Darktown After Dark, a politically incorrect Charlie Chaplin two-reeler, a Play It Again, Sam goof in which "Duddy Allen" seeks romantic advice from a guy he thinks is the ghost of Clark Gable, and much more. Loose Shoes includes pre-fame performances from Bill Murray, Howard Hesseman, Ed Lauter, and Harry Shearer, while cult favorites Susan Tyrrell, Sid Haig, Jaye P. Morgan, Kinky Friedman, and Van Dyke Parks also appear in the cast. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Cuba Crossing Assignment: Kill Castro was originally released as Cuba Crossing. Stuart Whitman stars as a mercenary hired to "off" the Cuban dictator. He soon discovers that he will be immediately expendable once the deed is done, and that co-stars like Robert Vaughn should not automatically be trusted. Raymond St. Jacques, Woody Strode and Caren Kaye are among the good actors who appear fitfully in the film; the bulk of the story, however, is carried by such inexpensive unknowns as Mary Lou Gassen. Don't miss jewelry-bedecked pop star Monty Rock III as a "cruiser"--and we don't mean the Evinrude variety. A giveaway that Assignment: Kill Castro had trouble finding an audience is its plethora of alternate titles; in addition to Cuba Crossing, the film was also known as Kill Castro, The Mercenaries and Sweet Violent Tony. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Promise of Love In this drama, a young woman gives up college and marries her boyfriend, a Marine. Unfortunately, he is killed in Vietnam. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide High Risk Stewart Raffill directs the high-action comedy caper High Risk about a four-man band of theives trying to pull off the perfect crime. Stone (James Brolin), Tony (Chick Venera), Dan (Bruce Davidson), and Rockney (Cleavon Little) hire two inept airplane pilots and plot a major heist. The plan is to rob a mansion in South America belonging to the wealthy drug lord Serrano (James Coburn). After they break open his safe and steal five million dollars, they try to escape the jungle while being followed by the Columbian army and a group of bandits led by Mariano (Anthony Quinn). Ernest Borgnine appears in a brief cameo. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide BMX Bandits PJ (Angelo D'Angelo), and Goose (James Lugton) are bored Australian BMX riders whose bikes have been totaled. Setting off on an intended fishing trip with their friend Judy (Nicole Kidman), they stumble instead upon a cache of stolen police walkie-talkies, which they decide to sell for new BMX gear. Unfortunately, the radios had orginally been swiped by a murderous gang of bank robbers, with whom they soon become entangled. With no more of a plot peg than this, BMX Bandits turns into a movie-long chase. It's nonthink entertainment, true, but the biking scenes are expertly photographed and edited, so you'll be more than happy to go along for the ride. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Somewhere Tomorrow Upon knocking her noggin, a young, recently fatherless woman discovers an amicable apparition; the ghost of a young man who was killed in an aviation accident. As the spirit helps her cope with some of life's difficulties, the two fall in love. ~ Kristie Hassen, All Movie Guide Arch of Triumph Erich Maria Remarque's novel Arch of Triumph was originally adapted to film in 1948 with stars Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman under the direction of Lewis Milestone. This TV-movie remake aired May 29, 1985. Anthony Hopkins and Lesley-Anne Down play the star-crossed lovers whose prewar romance in Paris is endangered by intrigue and revenge. Hopkins, a doctor recently escaped from a concentration camp, rescues Down, the mistress of a dissipated playboy, from committing suicide. Their chance for happiness is sabotaged by Hopkins' desire to wreak vengeance on SS officer Donald Pleasence. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Mesmerized This psychodrama is set in New Zealand during the 1880s and is based on the true story of an orphaned 18-year-old who marries a cruel, much-older man. He constantly abuses her and keeps her under his thumb until she snaps and using hypnotism, kills him. Later she is tried in court. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide A Hazard of Hearts Hazard of Hearts was adapted for television from a 1948 bodice-ripper by Barbara Cartland. Set (where else?) in 1810 England, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter as the obligatory innocent young lass with a dynamite figure. Falling in love with a Rochester-like Marquis (Marcus Gilbert), Helena is whisked off to the mysterious Castle Mandrake ("played" by England's Belvoir Castle and Burghley House). Here, our heroine is menaced by Diana Rigg, the Marquis' evil, possessive mother. First broadcast December 27, 1987, Hazard of Hearts was buried in the ratings by NBC's repeat showing of Terms of Endearment (1983) and ABC's telecast of Stir Crazy (1980). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Bail Out David Hasselhoff plays one of three bounty hunters in search of a much-wanted criminal. The reward is astronomical, so it's understandable that the cops want Hasselhoff and company to make themselves scarce. No matter what the law throws in their path, however, the three heroes will not be deterred. Bail Out costars Linda Blair and John Vernon. Though filmed in 1988, Bail Out wasn't released until 1990, upon Hasselhoff's success on television's Baywatch. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Laser Mission In this action adventure tale, Professor Braun (Ernest Borgnine), an expert in weapons technology, is kidnapped by Soviet terrorists who intend to force him to make a high-tech laser cannon for them. Intelligence agents Michael Gold (Brandon Lee) and Alissa (Debi A. Monahan) are sent in by the CIA to rescue him and recover a cache of stolen diamonds before it's too late for Braun and the world at large. Laser Mission marked Brandon Lee's first starring role in a U.S. feature film, three years before his tragic death while shooting The Crow. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
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    Type: Post | Date: Saturday, Oct 24, 2009

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    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Oct 8, 2010

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