Thursday, July 24, 2014

When James Brown met Alfred Hitchcock... and Frankie Avalon

Because of an embargo on early reviews, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Get on Up, or whether I think Chadwick Boseman is a Best Actor contender for his get-the-funk-outta-da-trunk portrayal of James Brown. What I can say, I think, is that I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the film's re-creations of events and performances documented in The T.A.M.I. Show and The Night James Brown Saved Boston.

And, yes, I was amused by the allusion to Ski Party, a 1965 teen-skewing romp starring Frankie Avalon (who gets a none-too-complimentary shout-out in Get On Up) and showcasing James Brown (and The Famous Flames) in an on-camera rendition of "I Feel Good."

But I really wish the filmmakers also had made room for a re-creation of this surreal showbiz moment -- which, as I have said before, only serves to reinforce my long-held suspicion that, back in the day, The Mike Douglas Show had the most eclectic guest lineup of any talk show, at any time, anywhere on TV.

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