Our Miss Brooks was a long running and popular CBS Old Time Radio show. It began airing in 1948 and lasted until 1957. In fact it was so widely received that it spawned a TV adaptation from 1952 until 1956. Furthermore it even was made into a feature length movie!
Of course since this is the beginning of December. Our episode this week is entitled “Magic Christmas Tree”. Which focuses on Miss Brooks, who is played by Eve Arden, finding herself alone on Christmas Eve. Thanks in no small part to an enterprising young boy, she finds that she had purchased more than a festive tree. It is as the boy tells her, in fact a magic Christmas tree. Which naturally means that hilarity ensues shortly after the purchase and maybe a little wish fulfillment too.
Now this isn’t the first time we’ve visited Our Miss Brooks!
Thanks to listener Rick Doherty we talked about this show on the 57th episode of the podcast. Truth be told he has also suggested an appropriately holiday themed episode later in the month.
So without further ado, pour yourself a cup of eggnog, and join us for Retro Radio Memories. As we get into the Holiday Spirit with Our Miss Brooks!
If you have any comments or feedback for the show you can e-mail them to at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also reach me on Twitter and of course on Facebook .
On the last Retro Radio Memories Podcast we shared a wonderful bit of Old Time Radio, Our Miss Brooks, all thanks to a listener request. When trying to find some info on the series I stumbled on this eight minute clip from the Hour Magazine TV show (1980 – 1988) that featured a reunion with two stars of the radio show and TV adaptation, Eve Arden and Richard Crenna.
I have no recollection of the Hour Magazine TV series, although I certainly am familiar with it’s host Gary Collins from his work on 1972’s The Sixth Sense and 1980’s Hangar 18.
Hello, dear viewers. I felt the presentation of a film had been lacking on our broadcasts for far too long. That is why I have chosen for your evening’s entertainment an absurd Televised film called ‘Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell’.
The story for Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell involves a family man who finds his loved ones put in very real danger after they have adopted a frisky little German Shepherd puppy, for you see the seller didn’t warn them that beast is now a minion of Satan. Heh, heh.
Will he be able to save not only the souls of his family but find a successful way to thwart such a force of darkness? Turn off the lights. Gather your own dear ones to your side….and enjoy our offering this evening on Saturday Frights.
(The Projectionist kind of neglected to mention the fact that this made-for-tv movie has a steallar cast! You have Richard Crenna (Rambo) as Mike Barry, Yvette Mimieux (The Time Machine) as Betty Barry, their two kids are played by Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann who both starred in 1975’s Escape to Witch Mountain and it’s 1978 sequel Return from Witch Mountain.
You also have Martine Beswick (Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde), R.G. Armstrong (Predator), and Ken Kercheval (Dallas). -Vic)
Last night I watched a horror double feature of The Evil and Twice Dead. Now I did not cleverly put these two films together, instead I watched them together because they came packaged as a double feature as part of the Roger Corman Cult Classic’s Collection. See how that works out:
Now get a load of the official descriptions of these films: The Evil
Psychologist C.J. Arnold (Richard Crenna) and his wife Caroline (Joanna Pettet) buy a dilapidated historical mansion with a dark past in hopes of restoring the estate and making it a drug rehabilitation clinic with the help of some of his students and current patients. When he opens a secret door in the basement of the house, Arnold inadvertently releases a malevolent presence in Gus Trikonis The Evil. Yowsers! Also starring Victor Buono, Andrew Prine and Cassie Yates.
A family moves into a mansion in a crime-infested urban neighborhood, but the ghost of an actor who died in the mansion is not the only thing they need to watch out for: there is also a punk street gang roaming the area looking for trouble. Tom Bresnahan (Ski School), Jill Whitlow (Night Of The Creeps) and Todd Bridges (Diff rent Strokes) star in the haunted-house thriller Twice Dead. You will be twice as scared as usual.
I have not seen either of these films, but from these descriptions, I was so sure that Twice Dead was going to be the standout film for me, so I decided to watch it second (I did not watch the trailer until after I watched both movies). Wow, was I wrong. The Evil is great! I guess it is a low budget affair, but I am not sure how and Richard Crenna is great in the film. He is one of those underrated talents out there. He and the great supporting cast really bring the scary in this one and the chills you get watching it are genuine. Not some low budget thrown together shooting in the dark and hope you scare people chills, but honest to goodness tension mounts and I believe the actors chills. When it ended I kept thinking, well if this movie is this good, then Twice Dead is going to knock my socks off. It most certainly did not.
It is okay, and I like the premise of a helpful ghost who takes on punks, but compared to the gravity of The Evil, Twice Dead is like watching Saturday Morning Cartoons right after a tense cop drama. Completely inappropriate. If you are going to watch this double feature, make sure you start off with Twice Dead, or better yet split them up on the weekend and watch Twice Dead on a rain afternoon and save The Evil for a some late night thrills.
Crenna shines on this set, but I would not be a proper fan of 70s and 80s nostalgia if I didn’t point you towards Bridges in his appearance in Twice Dead. Yes he is in it, but he is not the star and I think he is wasted in the film, since he is actually a pretty decent actor. If you need a horror fix, which of course you will need this month, pick up The Evil, it is on my “must-watch” list and since it is bundled with Twice Dead you get a nice bonus that will give you some good laughs.