Saturday, November 20, 2010

Michael Callan and the Utter Coolness Thereof

Photo scanned by Kate-Gabrielle of Classic Film Scans
Michael Callan is really-- JUST COOL. He's wonderful in dramatic parts (he had surly J.D.s down so well! ;-D), BRILLIANT in comedy, he danced stupendously (he originated the role of Riff in West Side Story on Broadway), and he's a stinkin' icon for mind-smushing entertainment of the 60's!

I love him.

I also think Michael Callan is far too under-appreciated. Of the many "teen star" types of the 60's, Michael was quite unique, in fact, I wouldn't even categorize him in that "teen star"/Frankie Avalon type (even though Frankie is also awesome, of course, haha). Michael was (I say "was" in terms of his film career, he is still very much alive and well) very interesting in that, although he CLEARLY belonged to the 60's, he also possessed this almost 30's screwball, nonchalant charm. (I hope the preceding sentence made SOME sense! ;-D)

Of course that nonchalant charm could occasionally be silenced, like for instance, whenever he decided to randomly beat up Alan Ladd. ;-D

Michael Callan and his gang of "punks" mugging Alan Ladd in 13 West Street
Oh my gosh! The trailer for 13 West Street is just TOO hilarious not to share!

ANYWAY, back to the utter coolness that is Michael Callan. Another unique piece of Michael, was his background. He was a Broadway dancer and musical star, yet his first film was They Came to Cordura. A western. In fact, he hardly ever starred in films which revolved around his dancing ability. It simply melded into and become part of "him" as an actor. Of course even though he may not be playing a dancer, he definitely dances a lot in his films (random dances that in are always in movies-- he just makes them seem brilliant!).

An exception to that not playing a dancer, but still being a dancer rule comes from Gidget Goes Hawaiian. Where he does in fact play a dancer. My favorite scene. The Mambo. Wowzie Kazam.

Something particularly Michael Callanish that one notices after watching a few of his films (or watching Gidget Goes Hawaiian approximately 63, 426 times ;-D) is the restlessness he is always displaying onscreen. He's literally slightly hopping up and down on one leg-- ALMOST CONSTANTLY! His characters are always moving, always thinking-ahead. Which is probably why he so often played the charming, but irresponsible/rakish/untrustworthy guy. AKA: The perfect role for Michael Callan.

His "absolutely useless" Clay Boone in Cat Ballou
In fact, he got a whole TV show, created for the sole purpose of allowing Michael Callan to swagger around for 30 minutes every week doing absolutely nothing...but smiling. Briliant.

You can watch a whole episode of Occasional Wife here (I PROMISE it's hilarious):

Michael's real-life marriage to his Occasional Wife costar, Patricia Harty. (Also scanned by Kate-Gabrielle)

Basically, what I'm trying to tell you with this post is that Michael Callan is brilliant. And you should definitely check out some of his films. Because he IS necessary viewing for all so-called students of Mind-Smushing Entertainment. That is all.

(Not really. I just end paragraphs with "That is all", because it sounds cool.)

I actually made a tribute to Michael Callan using clips from a bunch of his different movies and a couple television appearances. (And if you are by any chance one of the few people who watched this originally last week when I posted it on Twitter: this is a revised version-- with the glitches taken out and some clips added, removed, or changed.)

Michael with Jane Fonda on the set of Cat Ballou
Official Michael Callan recommends from The Millie:

  • Cat Ballou - OF COURSE! It's probably his most famous role. AND IT'S SO MUCH FUN!
  • Gidget Goes Hawaiian - I mustache this movie. Which is odd considering I can't STAND the two lead actors (James Darren and Deborah Walley), but Michael (and Carl Reiner....and Joby Baker) makes up for that by being awesome.
  • Mysterious Island - Too cool for school! Michael gets to battle giant crabs, and dodo birds, and bees AND float around in a hot air balloon. WHAT?! Yeah.
  • Bon Voyage! - Yeah, Deborah Walley shows up again. BUT IT'S PARIS. AND MICHAEL DANCES. AND TOMMY KIRK HAS A FAKE MUSTACHE. 
  • The Cat and the Canary - He's the "American" cousin. He's cool.
Okay, basically, I'm just going to name every Michael Callan film ever yeah. Just know that you can watch anything Michael Callan at any time and KNOW that's it's going to be awesome. THAT is the basic life principle you should be taking away from this post! ;-D

Dancing in Gidget Goes Hawaiian


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I just wanted to wish the beyond awesome, cool, beautiful, inspiring, AWESOME Kate-Gabrielle a Happy 24th Birthday!

She is so amazing and I just LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE her!
Having a bit of birthday cake to celebrate Kate!

Happy Birthday You-Who-Shares-The-Right-Side-Of-My-Brain!

A cooler post is coming later today! -Millie


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