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Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/26 - Fun Stuff

I noted in the newspaper that WNYC, channel 22 on Cablevision in NYC, would be running The Colossus of New York (1958) last night. Although the title rang a bell, I couldn't remember anything about it. I correctly assumed it's sci-fi. The story is initially compelling but breaks down completely half way through. Still, it's fun - and only 70 minutes. The plot is simple: a Nobel Prize winner/ humanitarian dies tragically. His dad, a surgeon, preserves his brain, which he manages to program to power a robot. As is often the case in the genre, things go haywire. Otto Kruger and Ross Martin play father and son, Mala Powers the grieving widow, John Baragrey the brother, Ed Wolff the Colossus. Wolff had only ten credits from 1925-'59, seven of them uncredited, as was the case here. The lack of work is easily explained - there aren't many roles for someone seven-feet-four. He passed away at 59 in 1966. The most notable aspect of Colossus... is the piano score by Van Cleave, who had a long career behind the scenes on the big and small screen. IMDb lists 131 credits under his name for Music Department, 45 for composer. He composed for The Twilight Zone, Naked City, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel and other shows. Although many of the movies he worked on were quite successful, he was not credited, which seems odd given the long lists that roll at the end. So here is a shout out to Mr. Cleave, who was only 60 when he passed away in 1970. And here's a shot of the Colossus:

An Idaho woman claims she crashed her car into a deer being chased by a Sasquatch, according to a brief article in today's NY Post. Police found no evidence of the crafty beast. Here's a rare shot of an instance when he/it wasn't at the top of its game:

It was a surprising session of the floating book shop, chiefly because it didn't rain, despite heavy cloud cover. My thanks to Monsey, who bought a book she left behind yesterday: Reaching to Heaven: A Spiritual Journey Through Life and Death by James Van Praagh, and to the elderly woman who insisted on paying for John Grisham's The King of Torts despite the fact that she donated six paperback best sellers. I had a visit from the killer B's: B.S. Bob, who still believes indictments of the Clintons are in the works; author Bill Brown, who made a quick exit because of the cold; and Bad News Billy, who grossly overpaid for a classical music compilation. He was wearing a jacket he was given recently at a reunion honoring the 1966 undefeated St. Francis Prep football team, on which he was the third string fullback. My thanks also to the local Super who provided the laugh of the day - four works of non-fiction, two on running an escort service, another on the entire sex trade, the other a simple guide to business acumen. I can't help wonder who in his building owned them.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

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