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 The Night of the Gowing Corpse
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1444 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  19:47:48  Show Profile
Glowing Corpse plot is the theft of Franconium. Why did the French believe that the U.S. could protect their invention instead of their own government? This episode is the first to present a woman as the instigator of a plot. Cluny Ormont (Kipp Hamilton} has not one redeeming characteristic. The greatest problem I have with reviewing this episode is that Rita (Kipp’s name before Hollywood) is what my mother called a shirttail relative. I grew up seeing pictures of her at family outings although I never met her. Because of this, I cannot view her performance objectively. Therefore, I will rely on the rest of you for that. We hear of Aunt Maude for the first time in this episode. Artie tells Jim that his Aunt Maude said, “Everyone should have a hobby.” Wouldn’t this have been a great quiz question. I know I would have gotten it wrong.

Artie is wonderful. He has some clever lines. He is still portrayed as being a subordinate of Jim but you can not hold Ross down. The scene where Jim reveals he is wearing a bullet proof vest is so good because of his acting. Jim says that the reason he let Amelie (Marion Thompson) get his gun is that she did not have one. Artie reacts with a laugh. By the way, is this the last we see of the vest? Ross’s Expressman disguise is one of the best. He is so annoying. We are treated with two inventions of Artie. The reservoir with five minutes of air Artie says would help if you were being drowned. I think it was clever that it was not used to save Jim from drowning but from poisoning. We see a camaraderie that is more visible than in previous episodes. Their talk about the dangers each one of them faces in their job shows a caring on both sides.

I think the show would have been better if they had not revealed that Cluny is behind the theft so soon. It would have been better to reveal her when Jim found Lt. Renard (Phil Pine).
I thought Jim’s “flashlight” was charming. It is this type of detail that I am fond of seeing.

Robert Conrad looks like he is enjoying his role. He has a relaxed feeling about him. I especially liked the look on his face when Cluny tells Jim how orchards are protected against insect pest. It is a look of such distaste. That is why I do not understand the end when he enters the room smiles because he thinks Cluny is there and is disappointed when she is not. I liked the devise of having the beginning and ending almost identical. It was amusing.

K Mills
SS novice field agent

849 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  20:16:16  Show Profile
Wait a minute! Did I read that right??? You're related to someone that was on WWW??? Mary, that makes you royalty!! THe best part of this episode is Artemus. The inventions, the smartypants comments, the tub scene, he is cute wet, and Robert Conrad hanging over the lime pits. I give this one

"I've got a chrome-plated heart."
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  06:06:01  Show Profile
Still waiting for CH to deliver this DVD. They’re supposed to have me on a weekly schedule but they can’t seem to get it straight. I will post my review as soon as I can watch it.

Mr. Phelps
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n/a
deleted

72 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  06:31:30  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by JimPhelps

Still waiting for CH to deliver this DVD. They’re supposed to have me on a weekly schedule but they can’t seem to get it straight. I will post my review as soon as I can watch it.

Mr. Phelps



Jim,

Just a thought. IF you know that you are going to keep all the dvds you get from this series, why not just call Columbia House up and tell them you want to order the whole series all at once. They will give you a discount on each dvd, plus discounted shipping (it shouldn't be more than $18.25 per disk). Since they are still waiting for some of the later dvds to get to the warehouse, you won't be paying for all of them at once. You'll still only be charged as they are released (which seems to be about once every week or two).

Just a thought. I did it, and haven't had any problems. I'm up to volume #6, and trucking right along.

Gary
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  06:46:12  Show Profile
Very good. I'll call them today.

Thanks

Mr. Phelps
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n/a
deleted

72 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  13:24:07  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by JimPhelps

Very good. I'll call them today.

Thanks

Mr. Phelps



Please let us know how that turns out.

Gary
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3908 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  22:24:44  Show Profile
"The Glowing Corpse" is my personal favorite among the Freibergers. This, I think, is the first episode where they got almost all the series' elements right, and rightly coördinated. The primary villains are unconventional. The plot has a nice dash of international intrigue and plenty of clever anachronisms (Franconium for radium; the radioactive register instead of a Geiger counter—much more visual). Enough women and shirtlessness to please everybody. West has some spectacular fights; Artemus, a nice disguise and witty ripostes. After so many deadly serious episodes, the humor between the agents comes as a welcome relief (for which, I guess, we have Henry Sharp to thank in this, his first story and teleplay for the series). Unlike other episodes and the rather disappointing TV reunion movies, in "The Glowing Corpse" the balance between adventure and comedy is just right. Too much of the former, and the spoofery pales. Too much of the latter, and the result is campy silliness. Markowitz's score nicely captures both the melodrama and the whimsy; I think it's one of his finest.

We hear of Aunt Maude for the first time in this episode. . . . Wouldn’t this have been a great quiz question.

It was a great quiz question: one of the among the first I ever posed. This was back in the days when almost the only players of WQ were sassy and me. With that question I paired the obvious bookend: When was the last time Artemus, in or out of disguise, ever referred to his Great Aunt Maude?

I think the show would have been better if they had not revealed that Cluny is behind the theft so soon. It would have been better to reveal her when Jim found Lt. Renard (Phil Pine).

In Act II, I suppose the idea was for us to learn that Cluny was a baddie but to be unsure about Renard, until his corpse started glowing. The red herring wasn't developed well enough to be much of mystery, however.

I thought Jim’s “flashlight” was charming. It is this type of detail that I am fond of seeing.

Here's another detail I love: The swish of a penlight across West's eyes in those close-ups (Act III) where he is searching for the Franconium in the darkened laboratory, mimicking the fractured light of the spinning vanes. A really nice touch by the director and cinematographer. The scenes in the fun house—however anachronistic—are also well done: another instance where filming in black & white was a decided advantage.

I liked the devise of having the beginning and ending almost identical.

If you carefully compare the teaser and tag, you'll spot a nice blooper!



P.S. For anyone interested, (1) France lost the Franco-Prussian War; (2) I'm off to grandma's house with the family. See ya in a couple of weeks.
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2003 :  08:30:12  Show Profile
Please let us know how that turns out.

Gary


Received this message today from CH:

An order for the following is currently being
processed.

WILDWST:GLOWING
WILDWST:GR EMIR
WILDWST:TERROR
WILDWST:TORTURE
WILDWST:STEEL

Thank you so much for the advice! That’s really cool.


Mr. Phelps
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n/a
deleted

72 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2003 :  10:09:55  Show Profile
Fantastic Jim! I'm glad to pass that CH info along, because I didn't know about it till someone mentioned it to me a couple of months ago after I got my first WWW dvd. I checked it out and haven't regretted it (when you get discounts on the dvds and shipping, it's well worth it)!

Gary
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AdorableBlue
SS novice field agent

948 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2003 :  06:55:06  Show Profile  Visit AdorableBlue's Homepage
quote:
If you carefully compare the teaser and tag, you'll spot a nice blooper!
There is?? I like this eps, though not on top of the list. Got a little lost on the storyline initially - the part where West read about Renard's finger. I couldn't understand that scene and the finger! It bothered me for a while and I'm not sure if I have that resolved. West's comment about the finger was after the meal scene where Renard and the botanist were. After his comment, the scene went to the dead Renard in a box. OK, OK, even as I write this, I'm still at a loss! What was the deal about the finger?

Other than that I'd rate it

AdorableBlue
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2003 :  06:08:15  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by AdorableBlue

quote:
If you carefully compare the teaser and tag, you'll spot a nice blooper!
There is?? I like this eps, though not on top of the list. Got a little lost on the storyline initially - the part where West read about Renard's finger. I couldn't understand that scene and the finger! It bothered me for a while and I'm not sure if I have that resolved. West's comment about the finger was after the meal scene where Renard and the botanist were. After his comment, the scene went to the dead Renard in a box. OK, OK, even as I write this, I'm still at a loss! What was the deal about the finger?

Other than that I'd rate it

AdorableBlue


I will have a full review of this episode in a few days (after the DVD arrives). I personally haven’t seen “Glowing Corpse” in approximately 10 years, but if I recall correctly I believe Lt. Renard had a prosthetic finger and the franconium (radium) makes non-living objects glow. As a side note, I recently bought the “radioactive register” used in this show for my niece and nephews, it actually reacts to heat, the warmer it is the faster the vanes rotate.

Mr. Phelps
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2003 :  08:37:28  Show Profile

Just got word from Columbia House that my DVD’s should be arriving this week. They will be sending me all that are available right now except for the disc containing “TNOT Grand Emir”, it seems they have run out of that one(!) and are in the process of making more, it will be mailed to me when it is ready in a couple of weeks. That’s a good sign; it shows that people out there are buying up these DVD’s faster than Columbia House can put them out. Hopefully, the people at Columbia House will take this to mean that customers are interested in purchasing the entire series. Keep your fingers crossed.

(I need to watch “TNOT Glowing Corpse” so I can add my comments to the message board)


Mr. Phelps
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2003 :  10:43:09  Show Profile
(I finally got several WWW DVD’s from Columbia House so I can continue to contribute to our episode reviews. Here we go…)

TNOT Glowing Corpse
A memorable first outing for director Irving J. Moore (who would go on to direct nearly 25% of the entire series), “TNOT Glowing Corpse” is an enjoyable and popular episode from the series’ first season. It’s been mentioned before, but the plot revolves around the theft of an imaginary radioactive substance called franconium, no doubt named after the country of its discovery. Like many episodes in the West series the story here is really not a who-done-it (at least not after the end of the first act) but a why done it. After the ruse to convince Amile that she has killed Jim, we follow her to the haunted house in the amusement park, there we meet the real mastermind: Cluny Ormont, niece of franconium’s discoverer Dr. Ormont, and consulate botanist. It’s just my personal preference but I think it would have been better to leave the identity of the mastermind a secret until Jim discovers the crate containing Lt. Renard’s body and the franconium. The orchid Jim finds in Amile’s hand and on Lt. Renard would have given the audience clues to the real villain’s identity, but since we know at this point that Cluny is behind the theft, her leaving orchids on victims and potential victims seems foolish and arrogant on her part, a deliberate arrow pointing her out to Jim and Artie.

Perhaps this is by design, Kipp Hamilton (the series first major female antagonist) plays Cluny as arrogant, and totally ruthless, she will not let anything stand in the way of obtaining the dangerous radioactive substance for mother Prussia. It’s unclear whether Cluny is a Prussian agent employed to steal the franconium or just a patriot, signs seem to point to the latter since there are too many coincidences, Cluny is Dr. Ormont’s niece so this naturally gives her access to the consulate. In another nod to “Bond” we have a memorable henchman, the silent and deadly Ironfoot. Ironfoot seems almost completely indestructible (like another Bond villain who got his start on WWW), certainly his legs are, and he’s powerfully built as well. I have to say though in the final fight between Jim and Ironfoot, Ironfoot tosses his revolver but it’s not too far away, if I were Jim I would have gone after the gun and stopped him that way but then we wouldn’t be able to watch Artie’s “chemical leech” in action.

Speaking of gadgets, this episode introduces us to a few new ones and uses some of the old standards. Aside from the bulletproof vest there’s Artie’s so-called “chemical leech” which can support a man’s weight for about 10 to 15 seconds, then there’s Artie’s portable oxygen mask, both of these devices are used prominently in this episode, (along with the familiar explosive from the boot heel) if it were not for them Jim would not have been able to escape from the fumigation chamber and get the drop on Ironfoot at the end. The scenes introducing us to the “leech” and the mask are laced with black humor, in both instances Jim arrives to find Artie in what looks like a deadly fix, both are false alarms but it does give Jim a chance to show us his concern for his partner (they may not be friends yet) as he rushes both times to rescue Artie from what seems like dire peril.

Sue Kessler’s book describes Jim as still being “a little hard” on Artie in this (the 9th) episode. This is true, Jim still doesn’t respond to Artie’s more casual nature, when he jokes of his famous “Aunt Maude” Jim just gets back to business, he also speaks to Artie about a security check he “ordered” as if Jim is a senior agent over Artie, much will change in their relationship and the next episode (TNOT Dancing Death) points the way. Artie’s Irish delivery man is hilarious (as usual), it’s great fun watching as he drives Cluny up the wall insisting that there’s a trunk to be picked up at her address, it also provides Jim with a bit of a distraction for his break out of the fumigation chamber. It seems that the writers and producer Frieberger were beginning to realize that the two work best as a team, although both seem to work quite independently of each other they come together for the final confrontation with Cluny. Typical, (in what was almost becoming a running gag) for these early episodes however Artemus is knocked out and Jim alone must defeat Ironfoot. However, it’s an exciting final battle, a classic confrontation against what seems like unbeatable odds, but not if you’re James T. West.

The commercial break artwork is pretty good in this episode as well. My favorite break is the one for Act I, Jim’s just been “shot” and collapses to the floor, the camera begins to zoom in and the image dissolves into the lower right frame (the lady), I enjoy the music for that break, it’s one of my favorites from the b&w season. We have a close-up of the strange timing device for the bomb planted in the guys’ room, and the break for Act III follows the rule of leaving our hero in a hopeless situation. The final break, which is a shot of the jocular Consul-General, is refreshing and different for the first season that relied heavily on stock shots of “The Wanderer” riding off into the horizon to end Act IV.

Overall, a lot of fun, full of many West standards, and enjoyable to re-watch, I give this episode three prosthetic noses out of four.


Mr. Phelps
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3908 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2003 :  11:12:53  Show Profile
If you carefully compare the teaser and tag, you'll spot a nice blooper!

Since no one rose to the bait, I'll spill: Look again at the tag, the cut right after the establishing shot of the French consulate. You'll see that West is dressed in the same outfit that he wore in this episode's teaser but a different costume from that in the rest of the tag (the usual bolero jacket and suit). In fact, look closely and you can quickly see Lt. Renard in the background of the tag—which makes no sense as he's been dead since Act III. Obviously the producers cheaped out: choosing not to stage and reshoot a different foyer scene, they simply clipped and reused one from the teaser.

With that question I paired the obvious bookend: When was the last time Artemus, in or out of disguise, ever referred to his Great Aunt Maude?

Would you like me to leave this one a mystery, until we reach the episode in question? Sort of a long-term Weekend Quiz, until the real ones resume next month?
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1444 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2003 :  11:51:35  Show Profile
quote:
Would you like me to leave this one a mystery, until we reach the episode in question? Sort of a long-term Weekend Quiz, until the real ones resume next month?



Leave it a mystery for awhile.
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JimPhelps
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
417 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2003 :  07:02:17  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by ccb

If you carefully compare the teaser and tag, you'll spot a nice blooper!

Since no one rose to the bait, I'll spill: Look again at the tag, the cut right after the establishing shot of the French consulate. You'll see that West is dressed in the same outfit that he wore in this episode's teaser but a different costume from that in the rest of the tag (the usual bolero jacket and suit). In fact, look closely and you can quickly see Lt. Renard in the background of the tag—which makes no sense as he's been dead since Act III. Obviously the producers cheaped out: choosing not to stage and reshoot a different foyer scene, they simply clipped and reused one from the teaser.

[i]


D’oh! Totally missed that one and it’s not too hard to miss. In the teaser Jim was wearing one of his long tail frock coats, which he uses only for formal occasions. The only episode where Jim wore the long tail type coat for the whole episode was “TNT Wizard Shook the Earth”

Mr. Phelps
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