Sunday, February 8, 2015

William Talman: Belated Birthday Tribute and Movie News

I really wanted to get a post up on Wednesday. I really did. And I thought and thought and thought . . . and couldn’t seem to come up with a very original way to say Happy 100th Birthday to the awesome William Talman. I still can’t, after all the posts I’ve already made for him and Hamilton, but I wanted to acknowledge his milestone birthday before we get any farther removed from February 4th!

A local station is going to show the movie The City That Never Sleeps this coming weekend. I’ve been debating whether to give it a try. I know William plays the bad guy in it, but it’s still a movie I haven’t seen him in yet. And he’s so amazing at whatever he does that I know it will be an incredible performance.

MeTV is currently showing the four season 6 episodes with guest lawyers. I’ve been enjoying re-watching them again; two of them are among my all-time favorite episodes ever (The Libelous Locket and The Two-Faced-Turn-A-Bout). Hamilton has a lot of great scenes in all the episodes, and the one coming up tomorrow is the one where he and Della have that intriguing “hostile witness” exchange.

I’m always impressed by how he conducts himself in the Bette Davis episode, Constant Doyle. Back in the 1960s, it would have been so easy to have had people giving a female lawyer a really hard time. But Hamilton is so perfectly professional and gracious and never looks down on Constant because she’s a woman (or because of any reason, really). Even when he’s absolutely bewildered by her trenchcoat display, he sounds baffled when he objects instead of argumentative.

I still don’t agree with Perry’s comment that Hamilton called him ten times exclaiming that he wants Perry to get well so he’ll have someone easy to face off against. I think Perry was probably joking. Hamilton may have called once, and said something like that jokingly, but I can’t feature him doing it ten times. Nor do I think Constant was harder to beat than Perry. But it was a fun case and it was awesome to see a female lawyer appear (for the only time in the series proper).

I never fail to get the giggles in The Libelous Locket when Professor Lindley pins Andy down on his joke about the Martian nine feet tall. Hamilton does a brilliant facepalm right then and his expression is classic. He’s sure that’s not going to help the prosecution’s case one bit, despite Andy’s exclamation that he was only kidding.

Any time Hamilton is in a scene, it can never be dull. He always has some perfect expression or comment to make. Even when he isn’t the focus of a scene and is only present in the background, such as while watching Perry conduct an examination of a witness, he’s very involved in what’s going on. I always like watching to see what William Talman does at those moments. Sometimes he observes Perry. Sometimes he writes or makes notes on a piece of paper. It always looks very natural and logical. The fact that he always knows how to handle those moments when he’s on camera, yet isn’t the focus, is one more sign of what an impressive actor he was.

How wonderful to think that the world has had knowledge of William Talman’s existence for 100 years. What a treasure! Happy birthday to a great actor and noble man!

And some news on the movie front: Next week, starting with the 16th, MeTV will finally have a week of showing Perry movies for their nightly Mystery Movie thing at 12:30 A.M. (or 11:30 P.M., for Mountain and Central timezones), right after the nighttime Perry. It’s no problem for night owls like me, but those going to bed at more decent hours had best have VCRs or DVRs ready. The lineup will be as follows:

The Notorious Nun
The Murdered Madam
The Lethal Lesson
The Musical Murder
The Maligned Mobster

None are movies that MeTV has previously shown, so it’s doubly important to grab the chance if you’re interested. I will definitely be watching, although as always, I will be missing those of the cast who are sadly absent. I wish they could have at least recruited Richard to come onboard and play Lieutenant Drumm again (maybe as a Captain by then or something). I know it would be the wrong locale if everyone relocated to Denver within the storyline, but still, it would have been such fun. And it would have given the police character more of a role again. One thing that surprises me about the movies is that the police characters rarely have a decent-sized part or are even well-rounded characters at all. That was a big part of the Perry series proper. I wonder why they felt it was not important enough to transfer to the movies as well?


  1. Happy belated birthday to Mr. Talman! 100 years. Wow :).'

    Good catch on that. Maybe it cost too much money to include more police scenes?

    Just glad that they're airing them again. Maligned Mobster looks like it'll be a good one especially.

    1. Indeed!

      Hmm. Good question. It was easy for me to catch that, since the police characters in the series are among my most favorites. Tentatively I would say it shouldn't have cost that much more in the movies. They must have just wanted to focus on other things more.

      It does! Definitely an intriguing dilemma for Perry.