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Rate "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawks"
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7 50%  50%  [ 2 ]
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Total votes : 4
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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:44 am 
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Episode: 50 - The Remarkable Mrs. Hawks


Original Air Date: December 18, 1961
Starring Cast: John Carradine, Paul Newlan, Hal Baylor, Bruce Dern, and Jo Van Fleet
Writer(s): Donald S. Sanford {Based on a the story by Margaret St. Clair}
Director: John Brahm

Welcome to the Isle of Aiaie, home of prize winning pigs, owned and operated by the widow, Mrs. Hawks. Always in search of a new Mister in her life, she can never seem to find one who'll stick around - although she does keep trying. In the meantime, she does have her pigs ...



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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:29 pm 
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Episode 50: The Remarkable Mrs. Hawks - Margaret St. Clair meets "Thriller," now this is just fun. I've always enjoyed St. Clair's short stories in general. A woman who was writing Sci-Fi and horror since the mid 40s was rare enough but here stories were genuinely unique. Her work was also adapted for Night Gallery - The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes and Brenda - which also score highly with me and this story, Mrs. Hawk, is no exception.

Our Plot:

Mrs. Cissy Hawk, widow, who raises prize winning hogs on her farm for pampered piggies, Isle of Aiaie. Always on the look out for a young, lonely man to share her company - gotta love cougars - she seems to never be able to settle down with just one, yet here hog farm continues to grow and prosper. When a con man hobo - Jason Longfellow, recruits two on the lame petty thieves to investigate Mrs. Hawk, his suspicions as to her growing farm and disappearing suitors are confirmed. Believing he can outwit both the local Sheriff, Tom Ulysses Willetts and Cissy Hawk, he soon discovers Mrs. Hawk is more resourceful and cleverer than she lets on. Even our good Sheriff discovers that the best of intentions does not always make good bedfellows.

Now, anyone who remembers their Greek Mythology should instantly recognize from where this story originates. Between the names, Cissy, Jason, Ulysses, Isle of Aiaie you would be hard pressed not to make the connection. Being that this is one of my favorite sections of the Odyssey, I instantly found this dark comedic episode engaging and cleverly done.

Our Players:

Jo Van Fleet as Mrs. Cissy Hawk. Ok, she's in her mid 40s but she carries such an enjoyable charisma about her, she is easily believable and still sexy. A shame this was her only Thriller episode, but we can enjoy her other performances in AHP.

Side Note:Van Fleet co-starred in "The King and Four Queens" with Outer Limits actress Sarah Shane. During an email conversation with Ms. Shane, I mentioned that Jo Van Fleet had slapped her in a scene and it looked real - was it? Shane informed me that apparently director Raul Walsh wasn't getting what he wanted out of the scene and knowing Jo was from the Actors Studio, he told her to improvise - which she did. I guess Walsh got the scene he wanted?

Paul Newlan as Sheriff Tom Ulysses Willetts. This is Newlan's 4th and final Thriller episode. Although never having huge onscreen times, the time he has he makes the best out of. As mentioned before, if he looks familiar - other than Thriller episodes - he was also in Twilight Zone's 5th Season episode, "The Brain Center at Whipples."

John F'N Carradine as Jason Longfellow. Did this guy ever turn in a bad performance? As a gentlemen hobo and former Phi Beta Kappa, he's shrewd and unscrupulously charming. Alas, he isn't as smart as he believes or as unaffected by Cissy's charms. This is Carradine's 2nd and last Thriller. Note his piccolo skills as the show opens. ;)

Bruce Dern as Johnny "Nanos" Norton. He's the 1st petty thief we are introduced to before the opening credits. Young, handsome, and incredibly naive. This is Dern's only Thriller appearance but we can catch him in several cult movies and, lest we forget, the Outer Limits Zanti Misfits.

Hal Baylor as Pete Gogan - our 2nd thief and Johnny's accomplice. Just as smart as Johnny, much to his dismay. A solid character actor throughout the 60s and 70s he is best remembered - by me anyway - as Michael the smiling enforcer from the cult classic, "A Boy and His Dog."

Overall:

Although humorous there is an underlying sinister dark comedy aspect to this episode. Brahm's directing style lends itself quite well to keeping this edgy feel. The attention to the Mythology and Carridine's character of Longfellow alone makes this an unexpectedly enjoyable episode. The story is well crafted, paced and Van Fleets interaction with all characters seems natural and hearkens back to her role of Kate in East of Eden.

My real nit-picks on this episode is the sound effects and music cues. The piccolo becomes annoying and the bewitched "effect" sounds spoil the mood.


8!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:36 pm 
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This is quite a unique episode of THRILLER.

An updating of ancient Grecian myths which take place not in a metropolitan city but in a rural/country setting!
One wonders if somebody like Earl Hamner Jr. or Montgomery Pittman had ghost-written this script for Donald S. Sanford. :)

The unlikely combo of folksy Americana with Greek legend is an impressive enough juxtaposition for an idiosycratic
THRILLER episode; however, this very fertile soil for a plot is watered down by an unfortunate doses of hillbilly moonshine. :wasted:
Despite the presence of the farmland setting and John Carradine, "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawks" ain't no "Grapes Of Wrath"! ;)

A definite curiosity piece such as this deserves a rating above "5", however I think an "8" is a little too high for my tastes.

This is a THRILLER episode reserved only for those times when we wish to "pig out"! :dance: :yack:


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:09 pm 
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An interesting modern version of an old Greek myth. I like the play here, though not sure I care for the ending

Spoiler

explaining the obvious and using Mrs. Hawk as the actual Circe, living infinitely like Walter Jameson, or the TZ episode of Cleopatra. I would've preferred this if it were truly just a modernized version of Ulysses, Circe and the Greek tale.
Strong acting chops by the cast and nice direction by John Brahm. Haven't seen an episode I did not like just yet.

7!

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Thanks to the "Thriller Episode of the Week" feature here on the site, I finally dusted off the Thriller DVDs and settled in to watch this. I'm going to cheat and echo everything DrM stated in his post earlier in this review thread. This is such a strong cast. John Carradine is just the coolest and Jo Van Fleet is so good at flirting with the entire all-male cast. John Brahm's direction is excellent again. He always brings some interesting shots and camera angles. Check out the way Mrs. Hawks strides toward the camera in the opening scene. I also got quite a charge out of seeing Boris Karloff pick up a small pig while delivering his monologue.

I can't get over how good these episodes look on plain old DVD. Image did a fantastic job with the video quality. I just wish I could say the same for the audio. I am constantly messing around with the volume when watching the DVDs because the commercial intros and outros are much louder than the actual episode dialogue and music.

Anyway, this is another really good Thriller episode.

My Rating: 8 - Very Good

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:20 pm 
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I saw it a while back, for maybe the first time. Apart from all the other reasons to like it, I'll watch almost any weird thing with Bruce Dern (even if he isn't actually playing a spooky character in it).

It also has an attraction for mythology fans, and I don't just mean the obvious "Circe" connection. There are those lines about her tragic niece "Maddie." Of course, John Carradine's character picks up on that right away.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Cute, darkly comedic. Good story type I like to call "just another victim", where someone discovers the plot but is defeated by the monster or supernatual being of some kind. The other type I call a "good triumphs over evil" type story, like some other Thrillers. I'll go with 7 as well for this one.


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