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Friday, May 6, 2011

Vintage TV Guide Ads: Horror Chills, Sci Fi Thrills, 70s T-Shirts & Technology

This second installment of 'Vintage TV Guide Ads' is chock full of short lived TV premieres, 'First Time On Network Television' theatrical and Made For TV Movies, Television Specials and products considered state of the art at the time. For nostalgia lovers, I hope you enjoy these images! Above is an ad from the January 29th-Feb. 4th, 1977 TV Guide for the premiere of a notorious and rare stuntman special in which Knievel never actually did the stunt. He was laid up in a hospital bed after crashing during a practice run of "Jumping the Shark", or a tank full of them, anyway.

STAR WARS (1977) was astoundingly influential on virtually everything in the late 1970s and onward. Its stamp can be seen in numerous ads seen here. One such show that attempted a science fiction slant was this short lived programmer entitled THE FANTASTIC JOURNEY (1977). The story is reminiscent of LAND OF THE LOST (1974-1977) in that a family goes missing in the Bermuda Triangle and end up on a mysterious island.

Speaking of STAR WARS, here's a K Mart ad for super 8 film for the movie--in B/W, color, with or without sound.

Here's the ad for the Television premiere of the popular THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1978-1982).

Here's an ad promoting both the HULK and a bizarre TV movie premiere about werewolves in Hawaii! I've not seen it (or did and just don't remember it), but it sounds like a good time on the small screen.

THE ANDROS TARGETS (1977) was yet another TV show that never made it, this one being one of many detective programs. Plots about porn rackets were very popular in action/cop shows and that storyline is utilized here for the premiere episode.

And above is a lineup of shows that DID make it....

Check out these late 70s ads, above and below, for TV's, Betamax machines and microwaves!

It's early digital!

Big microwave! Big price!!

Comedian Jonathan Winters in a Disney Halloween special

Thomas Tryon's novel, 'Harvest Home' was adapted into a five hour mini series entitled THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME that aired Monday, January 23rd and Tuesday January 24th, 1978. This spookshow about city dwellers running afoul of ancient evil in an isolated Connecticut village will be of interest to those who enjoyed the original THE WICKER MAN (1973) and other similar pictures.

For Clint Eastwood fans, it's 1974's THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT--which I've yet to see, but it sounds like a good time in what appears to be a character driven road movie about a young danger seeker taking up with a bank robber who's being pursued by his former partners.

Charles Bronson will always be remembered for his tough cop roles including the DEATH WISH series and others like THE STONE KILLER (1973) and 10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983), but he much preferred doing non violent roles whenever the opportunity arose. FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976) was one such occasion. It's a delightful, if unusual romantic comedy western about a bank robber who falls in love with a widow while his partners check out the bank in the next town. From Noon Till Three, the two seemingly spend a lifetime together, fall in love and then get separated by a strange twist of fate. What follows is both humorous and heartbreaking. It's a fine Bronson vehicle recommended for his most devoted of fans.

Here's a T Shirt ad from 1977 which shows you just what was popular at the time in both TV, on the radio and on the silver screen.

This ad for a new STAR TREK television series (shown here as STAR TREK 2) from the November 26th-December 2nd, 1977 TV Guide was soon scrapped in favor of the theatrical and extravagant STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1978). Incidentally, when that film failed to be the massive success Paramount had hoped for, another STAR TREK 2 was announced, but was intended as a television movie. Of course, that idea was eventually scrapped and the much more popular STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) was (thankfully) put together.

On Saturday November 12th at 9pm, NBC aired "THE GODFATHER--as you've never seen it before!" This newly re-edited version was compiled during production of APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) after a typhoon destroyed the Philippine sets created for the production. Actors and technicians were sent home till new sets could be constructed. Re-edited in chronological order, the first two films were combined together utilizing approximately 70 minutes of cut footage. Airing as MARIO PUZO'S THE GODFATHER: THE COMPLETE NOVEL FOR TELEVISION, the nine hour epic was spread out over four nights starting Saturday November 12th at 9pm on NBC.

BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS was an intriguing idea for a television program that began in 1976. It would likely be a difficult enterprise to gather so many stars today considering the sheer weight of the modern stars ego. It was a competitive sports program with teams made up of the 'Big Three' Networks--ABC, NBC and CBS. Various stars of popular TV shows were pitted against various members of the opposing stations. You can watch a number of the episodes on youtube.

Ending things on a spooky note are the following three items of interest--THE BERMUDA DEPTHS (1978) played theaters overseas, but went straight to Television in America. A great cast, a haunting story and a mesmerizing score enhance this romantic ghost tale about a man returning to his boyhood home to find out what happened to his father and finds a beautiful woman, a mysterious legend and something big beneath the oceans waves. A Japanese-US co-production, it was preceded by the likewise co-pro's THE LAST DINOSAUR (1977) and followed by THE IVORY APE (1980). THE BERMUDA DEPTHS has amassed a healthy cult following since it first appeared as the ABC Friday Night Movie at 9pm on January 27th, 1978.

Airing at the same time as THE BERMUDA DEPTHS that fateful night on January 27th on the CBS Network was THE WORLD BEYOND. This pilot for a possible, but unscheduled series never caught on. It was apparently meant to be in the vein of THE NIGHT STALKER television series, which only ran for a single season. THE WORLD BEYOND dealt with a writer who nearly dies during an operation, later awakening from his ordeal and discovering he can communicate with the dead.

Here's a show that looked and sounded great--TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED. This rare and short lived show (not to be confused with the British series of the same name) was similar to THE TWILIGHT ZONE. William Conrad narrated this supernatural-science fiction series.



Will Errickson said...

What wonderful stuff! Ah, the memories... Thanks for posting.

Samuel Wilson said...

Beautiful, man. This blog is some kind of national cultural treasure.

venoms5 said...

@ Will: One thing that's been fun about perusing these old guides is noticing just how different television was back then when compared to now. In relation to the type of programming.

@ Sam: Wow, thanks, Sam, that's kind of you! That is one of the reasons for this blog to act as a sort of memory diary in an effort to keep them alive.

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

Excellent work as always Brian - of special note I thought was the advertisment for Betamax players. My parents had a fully operational Betamax player as late as 1992. It was an advantage when renting videos in the late 80's...the Betamax section, though tiny, would always have at least one copy of the latest big release, no waiting around for us to the see the big films. One film I clearly remember seeing on Betamax was BATMAN (1989).

venoms5 said...

Thanks, Shaun, I'm glad I included them now! Some of these were last minute additions. I made a list of things I want to scan from each of these TV Guides, but I go through them one last time to see if there's anything else that might be of interest. This was one occasion where I'm glad I did! We never had a Betamax machine, but I remember seeing a plethora of the tapes in the video stores.

Maynard Morrissey said...

ah, brilliant just brilliant!!

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