In a soaring new chapter in the epic story of the Man of Steel,Superman Returns to fight for truth and justice! While old enemy Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey--Seven,L.A. Confidential) plots to render him powerless,Superman (Brandon Routh) must face the heartbreaking realization that Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth--Beyond the Sea),has moved on with her life. Or has she? From the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space,Superman blazes an epic journey of redemption to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction. The X-Men's Bryan Singer takes the helm in this superpowered epic action-adventure that reunites Superman with a world that's almost learned to live without him.
Our Miss Brooks: Exchanging Gifts / Halloween Party / Elephant Mascot / The Party Line
Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952--56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name.
Connie (Constance) Brooks (Eve Arden), an English teacher at fictional Madison High School.
Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), blustery, gruff, crooked and unsympathetic Madison High principal, a near-constant pain to his faculty and students. (Conklin was played by Joseph Forte in the show's first episode; Gordon succeeded him for the rest of the series' run.) Occasionally Conklin would rig competitions at the school--such as that for prom queen--so that his daughter Harriet would win.
Walter Denton (Richard Crenna, billed at the time as Dick Crenna), a Madison High student, well-intentioned and clumsy, with a nasally high, cracking voice, often driving Miss Brooks (his self-professed favorite teacher) to school in a broken-down jalopy. Miss Brooks' references to her own usually-in-the-shop car became one of the show's running gags.
Philip Boynton (Jeff Chandler on radio, billed sometimes under his birth name Ira Grossel); Robert Rockwell on both radio and television), Madison High biology teacher, the shy and often clueless object of Miss Brooks' affections.
Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan), Miss Brooks' absentminded landlady, whose two trademarks are a cat named Minerva, and a penchant for whipping up exotic and often inedible breakfasts.
Harriet Conklin (Gloria McMillan), Madison High student and daughter of principal Conklin. A sometime love interest for Walter Denton, Harriet was honest and guileless with none of her father's malevolence and dishonesty.
Stretch (Fabian) Snodgrass (Leonard Smith), dull-witted Madison High athletic star and Walter's best friend.
Daisy Enright (Mary Jane Croft), Madison High English teacher, and a scheming professional and romantic rival to Miss Brooks.
Jacques Monet (Gerald Mohr), a French teacher.
Our Miss Brooks was a hit on radio from the outset; within eight months of its launch as a regular series, the show landed several honors, including four for Eve Arden, who won polls in four individual publications of the time. Arden had actually been the third choice to play the title role. Harry Ackerman, West Coast director of programming, wanted Shirley Booth for the part, but as he told historian Gerald Nachman many years later, he realized Booth was too focused on the underpaid downside of public school teaching at the time to have fun with the role.
Lucille Ball was believed to have been the next choice, but she was already committed to My Favorite Husband and didn't audition. Chairman Bill Paley, who was friendly with Arden, persuaded her to audition for the part. With a slightly rewritten audition script--Osgood Conklin, for example, was originally written as a school board president but was now written as the incoming new Madison principal--Arden agreed to give the newly-revamped show a try.
Produced by Larry Berns and written by director Al Lewis, Our Miss Brooks premiered on July 19, 1948. According to radio critic John Crosby, her lines were very feline in dialogue scenes with principal Conklin and would-be boyfriend Boynton, with sharp, witty comebacks. The interplay between the cast--blustery Conklin, nebbishy Denton, accommodating Harriet, absentminded Mrs. Davis, clueless Boynton, scheming Miss Enright--also received positive reviews.
Arden won a radio listeners' poll by Radio Mirror magazine as the top ranking comedienne of 1948-49, receiving her award at the end of an Our Miss Brooks broadcast that March. I'm certainly going to try in the coming months to merit the honor you've bestowed upon me, because I understand that if I win this two years in a row, I get to keep Mr. Boynton, she joked. But she was also a hit with the critics; a winter 1949 poll of newspaper and magazine radio editors taken by Motion Picture Daily named her the year's best radio comedienne.
For its entire radio life, the show was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, promoting Palmolive soap, Lustre Creme shampoo and Toni hair care products. The radio series continued until 1957, a year after its television life ended.
The Great Gildersleeve: Labor Trouble / New Secretary / An Evening with a Good Book
The Great Gildersleeve (1941--1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, first introduced on Oct. 3, 1939, ep. #216. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in a quartet of feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.
On Fibber McGee and Molly, Peary's Gildersleeve was a pompous windbag who became a consistent McGee nemesis. You're a haa-aa-aa-aard man, McGee! became a Gildersleeve catchphrase. The character was given several conflicting first names on Fibber McGee and Molly, and on one episode his middle name was revealed as Philharmonic. Gildy admits as much at the end of Gildersleeve's Diary on the Fibber McGee and Molly series (Oct. 22, 1940).
He soon became so popular that Kraft Foods—looking primarily to promote its Parkay margarine spread — sponsored a new series with Peary's Gildersleeve as the central, slightly softened and slightly befuddled focus of a lively new family.
Premiering on August 31, 1941, The Great Gildersleeve moved the title character from the McGees' Wistful Vista to Summerfield, where Gildersleeve now oversaw his late brother-in-law's estate and took on the rearing of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle and followed by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) and Leroy Forester (Walter Tetley). The household also included a cook named Birdie. Curiously, while Gildersleeve had occasionally spoken of his (never-present) wife in some Fibber episodes, in his own series the character was a confirmed bachelor.
In a striking forerunner to such later television hits as Bachelor Father and Family Affair, both of which are centered on well-to-do uncles taking in their deceased siblings' children, Gildersleeve was a bachelor raising two children while, at first, administering a girdle manufacturing company (If you want a better corset, of course, it's a Gildersleeve) and then for the bulk of the show's run, serving as Summerfield's water commissioner, between time with the ladies and nights with the boys. The Great Gildersleeve may have been the first broadcast show to be centered on a single parent balancing child-rearing, work, and a social life, done with taste and genuine wit, often at the expense of Gildersleeve's now slightly understated pomposity.
Many of the original episodes were co-written by John Whedon, father of Tom Whedon (who wrote The Golden Girls), and grandfather of Deadwood scripter Zack Whedon and Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog).
The key to the show was Peary, whose booming voice and facility with moans, groans, laughs, shudders and inflection was as close to body language and facial suggestion as a voice could get. Peary was so effective, and Gildersleeve became so familiar a character, that he was referenced and satirized periodically in other comedies and in a few cartoons.