“The Sterile Cuckoo”

The Sterile Cuckoo, is the 1965 novel by John Nichols. It tells the story of a quirky young couple whose relationship deepens despite their differences. The successful movie adaptation was filmed by Alan J. Pakula in 1969. The film version of the novel was adapted by Alvin Sargent and It starred Liza Minnelli and Wendell Burton. The Sandpipers sing “Come Saturday Morning” which became a Top 10 hit.

Liza Minnelli plays Pookie as an appealing eccentric who gradually cracks up as her hang-ups surface. Pookie is basically interested only in herself — boringly so, at times. But at least she cares enough to make an effort to reach someone else. Pookie fastens herself to Jerry for neurotic reasons, but she chooses the wrong guy.

There’s Miss Minnelli’s justly celebrated telephone scene, during which she begs, pleads and cajoles Jerry in an attempt to salvage their relationship. This scene is considered one of the greatest piece of acting in the history of the movies. It will probably should have won Miss Minnelli an Oscar.

“The Sterile Cuckoo” is not as good as it should have been because it lacks consistency of tone. But parts of it are awfully good, and Miss Minnelli who became a star is one hell of an actress.

Ground Breaking Comedy Movie


Someone had the great idea to make the sidekick a Black Dude in a Buddy Movie and they struck gold, forever changing how movies are cast. It also launched stand up comic Richard Pryor into orbit. The Movie stars Gene Wilder and Jill Clayburgh (They have chemistry together) in an old fashion train journey picture reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock. All the cast is marvelous especially the great Patrick McGoohan as a colorful villain. There would be no Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Chris Tucker or Martin Lawrence if there hadn’t been a Richard Pryor breakthrough.

“We’ll Always Have Paris”

In this episode, the Enterprise respond to a distress call from Dr. Paul Manheim (Rod Loomis). Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) must deal with his former love Jenice (Michelle Phillips), who is now Manheim’s wife.

I thought that Michele Phillips was “incredibly radiant” a Star Trek fan, is better known for being a member of the 1960s group The Mamas & the Papas.

I later read that fans complained of a lack of chemistry between Michelle Phillips and Patrick Stewart, but I personally believed they played it just right. Captain Kirk might take advantage of the situation but Picard never would.

More over the conflicted nature of the Phillips character was committed to her husband but also wanted to see Picard once more. It probably could have been the most romantic episode in the world but it was toned down to fit into a sci-fi episode.

The story of the episode was influenced by the film Casablanca, “We’ll Always Have Paris” is named in reference to the Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman film Casablanca as well as the title of the episode and the love triangle in the story, the Blue Parrot Café from the film is directly mentioned by Captain Picard.

The image of 24th century Paris was a matte painting, Paris, 22 years previously on April 9th, “a warm spring day”, Picard and Jenice use the holodeck to recreate one more encounter at a Paris café, before she returns with her husband to the planet.

Paul Newman and Sidney Portier

Paris Blues (1961).

Original Music: Duke Ellington
Principal Cast: Paul Newman (Ram Bowen), Joanne Woodward (Lillian Corning), Sidney Poitier (Eddie Cook), Louis Armstrong (Wild Man Moore), Diahann Carroll (Connie Lampson).

The plot featured Poitier and Newman as American expatriate musicians living in Paris after World War II. Newman is studying classical music while earning a living playing in a jazz club owned by a woman with whom he is having a casual affair. Poitier enjoys life abroad as an escape from the racial hatred he experienced at home in America. They meet two young vacationing schoolteachers, Carroll and Joanne Woodward, and pair off. Carroll eventually convinces Poitier it’s better to return to the States and face bigotry head-on rather than hiding out in a foreign country. They leave together with plans to marry. Newman gives up his bachelor status and casts his fate with Woodward after it becomes clear his classical music career is going nowhere. But at the last minute, he meets her at the train station to tell her he wont be going back to America with her after all.

In the Harold Flender novel on which the movie is based, the story centered only on a black jazz musician who falls for a black schoolteacher vacationing in Paris. For the screen, producers hedged their bets by adding a white couple and casting the very popular Newman and Woodward team. Some viewers have suggested that the film might have been an even stronger examination of race (and a more interesting love story) if the black man had paired off with the white woman and vice versa. There was even a rumor that that was the intention going into production but it’s never been confirmed.

Poitier’s beautiful co-star almost didn’t take the part, but Carroll couldn’t resist the script because although it was a contemporary love story, “it showed some social and political awareness and presented black people as normal human beings.”

In real life, the couple had been married since 1958, They would continue to have one of the longest personal and professional partnerships in Hollywood, and have acted together in seven other films.


What was all the fuss about?

I was not allowed to see Valley of the Dolls  when it first came out. I finally saw it on TV years later and I laughed at how simple it was. And it was but it still went on to be one of the most written about controversial pictures ever made.

Patty Duke’s first adult role against advise.

Judy Garland imploding on the set and getting fired from the movie even though the role was written for her.

Sharon Tate  was murdered by Charles Manson in what became the most notorious Murders in history.

Jackie Susanne number one book becoming the most talked about movie of the decade.

Theme song was huge hit for Dionne Warrick and one of my favorites.

In honor of Patty Duke who passed away last week I thought It might be interesting to take a look at it. Here in pictures is Valley Of The Dolls: