Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C".
BY LEE PFEIFFER
Jim Nabors, who epitomized the image of a friendly country boy, has died at age 87 at his home in Hawaii. Nabors was plucked from obscurity when Andy Griffith caught his nightclub act in L.A. in the early 1960s and cast him in the role of Gomer Pyle, the affable but simple-minded filling station attendant in "The Andy Griffith Show". The program was always among the top shows in the ratings and Nabors' exposure on the show gained him instant fame. The character of Gomer became as iconic as Griffith's Sheriff Andy Taylor and Don Knotts' deputy Barney Fife. Nabors' popularity extended into a second career as a pop singer. When he first sang on an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show", many viewers thought his operatic baritone voice was dubbed. However, they soon learned that Nabors had a magnificent singing voice. His career as a singer saw him perform for decades to sold-out audiences in top venues around the world. His albums went gold and platinum. Nabors starred in one of first television spin-offs with "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C". The show was another major hit produced by Andy Griffith. In the series, which ran from 1964-1969, Nabors continued to play an inept but honest and lovable character who took pride in being a Marine. The United States Marine Corps agreed to extend cooperation to the series because of the positive light Nabors cast on the corps. Nabors found the perfect foil in Frank Sutton's Sgt. Vince Carter, his long-suffering superior who bore the brunt of Pyle's penchant for causing problems. The two men would be reunited years later as co-stars on Nabors' TV variety hour. Nabors also dabbled occasionally in feature films, co-starring with his friend Burt Reynolds in "Stroker Ace", "Cannonball Run II" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas".
Don Knotts, Andy Griffith and Jim Nabors.
In real life Nabors was gay and had been with his partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, at the time of his death. The two had married in 2013. Nabors always looked back fondly on "The Andy Griffith Show" and the people associated with it. He remained loyal and grateful to Griffith for elevating his career. In 1986 Nabors returned once more to the role of Gomer Pyle for the TV movie "Return to Mayberry", which reunited him with most of the living cast members. The telecast proved to be a ratings blockbuster.
British sex film was a truly unique beast. Finding its feet at the back end of
the 1950s, proliferating throughout the 60s and 70s, and all but gone the way
of the dodo by the early 80s, sex may have been the selling point but scarcely
was it delivered upon. Usually depicting the act itself as a bit of a lark and
something to be sniggered at, due to restrictive British laws at the time the
menu in this country was mostly comprised of light titillation as opposed to
the more, er... shall we say ‘gratifying’ material being served up to European
and Stateside audiences. With little to see beyond pert pink posteriors and
bountiful bare bosoms, visuals whose stimulation value was already negligible were
often further quashed by the wince-inducing sound of a slide-whistle.
films that general audiences probably think of in regard to this period of time
– if indeed they think of them at all – are the likes of the Confessions
comedies, which is hardly surprising, for their appeal was unprecedented and
the first in the series, Val Guest’s Confessions of a Window Cleaner, was the
highest grossing British film of 1974. Yet looking at the 70s alone it’s
remarkable just how many light-hearted boobs’n’bums films were birthed. I
should know, I saw a fair few of them at a crummy, long-gone little cinema in
Winchester. Most of them were excruciatingly awful too, albeit in an inexplicably
1992 ‘Doing Rude Things’ by David McGillivray was published and at that point
was the only book of its kind. An assembly – and expansion upon – a series of
articles that had originally appeared in the short-lived ‘Cinema’ magazine 10
years earlier, it chronicled the highs and lows of almost a quarter of a
century’s worth of British sex films, from 1957’s Nudist Paradise to 1981’s
last gasp, Emmanuelle in Soho.
to those with a passion for British exploitation cinema the name David
McGillivray will be a familiar one. A former writer for, among others, the
BFI’s lamentably deceased ‘Monthly Film Bulletin’, he would go on to pen
scripts for such cinematic schlockers as House of Whipcord, Satan’s Slave and Schizo,
several of which also found him lurking on-screen in some minor capacity.
Associated in the main with the ilk of those aforementioned terrors, David’s single
foray into the arena of the 1970s sex film was the amusingly monikered comedy I’m
Not Feeling Myself Tonight, a frothy brew awash with familiar thespian talent
of the era. [Oh, yes, it should be mentioned that a plethora of household names
populated these critically dismissed but publicly embraced oddities. From
Bernard Lee and Arthur Askey to Irene Handl and Jon Pertwee, from Brian Murphy
and Barry Evans to Windsor Davies and Richard O’Sullivan, dozens of ‘respectable’
actors shelved their pride to participate in these movies. But then in the
clime of widespread unemployment that plagued the industry back then – and is regrettably
still rife – work was work and beggars couldn’t afford to be choosers.]
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Acorn Media.
season of the smash hit U.K. dramedy, plus over 1.5 hours of bonus content;
Martin Clunes (Arthur & George) and Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly)
stars Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Avatar), Art Malik (True Lies, Homeland),
Blu-ray Debut from Acorn on December 12, 2017
gentle comedy with loads of wit and zest” —The Globe and Mail
stirring, and completely addictive” —Slate
quirky” —Los Angeles Times
bloody hilarious” —London Evening Standard
considered one of the most successful British series in the U.S., U.K. and
worldwide, DOC MARTIN, Series 8 makes its DVD/Blu-ray debut on December 12,
2017 from Acorn TV, an RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand. Martin
Clunes (Men Behaving Badly) returns as Dr. Martin Ellingham in the eighth
series of this smash-hit British comedy. In these all-new episodes, the doctor
continues his practice in the picturesque seaside town of Portwenn, while
raising his son with wife Louisa. The DVD and Blu-ray 3-Disc Sets feature 8
episodes, plus a bonus disc with behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews
their ups and downs as a couple, Dr. Martin Ellingham and his wife, Louisa (Caroline
Catz, Murder in Suburbia), are finally living together with their son, James
Henry, but their problems are far from over. With Louisa’s encouragement, James
Henry has grown attached to Buddy the dog, but Martin is disgusted by the
four-legged friend. In need of a new nanny, Louisa finds herself juggling too
many responsibilities and considers switching careers, causing a rift with Martin.
Portwenn is abuzz as the residents prepare for a wedding. The Larges hope to
profit from the festivities, but when Martin’s aunt Ruth (Emmy® winner Eileen
Atkins, Cranford) considers selling the family farm, her decision causes
trouble for their business endeavors. As some relationships bloom and others
falter, can Martin cope with all the changes—or will he risk the fragile accord
he’s forged with his family? Guest stars in Series 8 include the return of Caroline
Quentin (Dickensian) and Sigourney Weaver (Avatar) as a forthright American
tourist anxious for the Doc’s time.
BONUS DISC: Behind-the-scenes
featurettes on the production process (70 min.) and interviews with the cast
and guest stars (41 min.), including Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice,
Joe Absolom, Eileen Atkins, Selina Cadell, and Caroline Quentin.
December 12, 2017 SRP: $39.99 each
Set: 8 episodes – Approx. 413 min., plus bonus – SDH Subtitles – UPC
3-Disc Set: 8 episodes – Approx. 413 min., plus bonus – SDH Subtitles – UPC