'60 film 'Ice Palace' on DVD

By David Inman

The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal

Published: Thursday, March 10 2011 3:58 p.m. MST

Robert Ryan and Richard Burton in "Ice Palace."

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Q: In the late 1940s or early '50s there was a movie about two friends growing up in Alaska. When each of them grew up, they got married. One of them had a hatred for Eskimos. I don't know why. His friend was saved in a blizzard by Eskimos, and he married the family's daughter. The other guy married a pillar of society. Each of them had a child, and when they grew up they fell in love and got married. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?

A: Sounds like the 1960 film "Ice Palace," with Richard Burton and Robert Ryan as the friends. The cast also includes Martha Hyer, Carolyn Jones, Jim Backus and Ray Danton.

And it's on DVD.

Q: Could you tell me the name of a movie (made for TV, I think) from the 1970s? It was about a girl athlete named Billie or Bobby.

A: You're thinking of "Billie," a 1965 film with Patty Duke in the title role. The movie wasn't made for TV, but it's filled with familiar TV faces, including Jim Backus (Mr. Howell on "Gilligan's Island"), Charles Lane (Homer Bedloe on "Petticoat Juction"), Dick Sargent (Darrin No. 2 on "Bewitched), Ted Bessell (Don Hollinger on "That Girl") and Richard Deacon (Mel Cooley on "The Dick Van Dyke Show").

Oh — and it's on DVD.

Q: There's a commercial for Travelers Insurance that shows a doll house and little toy figures. The music playing is a theme song from an old TV series or game show. Could you please tell me what it's from?

A: The music is titled "Puffin' Billy," and it was the theme song of the daily CBS show "Captain Kangaroo" from 1955-74.

Q: At the end of "The Shawshank Redemption" it states "In memory of Allen Greene." Who is Allen Greene?

A: Greene was the agent and mentor of Frank Darabont, who directed the film and adapted the screenplay from a Stephen King story. Greene died just before the film was completed.

Q: In the 1970s I remember a show where a man and women with their children headed west to stake a land claim. The parents and their wagon were swept away during a river crossing, leaving the children alone to survive the taming of the West. What was the name of that series?

A: Sounds like "The Monroes," which ran on ABC from 1966-67. The new head of the family was oldest son Clayt Monroe, played by Michael Anderson, Jr. Other Monroe siblings were played Barbara Hershey (as daughter Kathy), Keith and Kevin Schultz (as twins Jefferson and Fennimore) and Tammy Locke (as daughter Amy).

The main claim to fame of "The Monroes" is that it aired following "Batman" on Wednesday nights. However, before you could say "Surf's up!" it was canceled, trounced in the ratings by "The Beverly Hillbillies" on CBS and "The Virginian" on NBC.

Q: What was the name of the animated series in the 1950s or early '60s with characters named Master Cylinder and Poindexter and what was it about?

A: That was "Felix the Cat," a series of animated cartoons that was produced in 1960 and syndicated. Poindexter was the brainy nephew of one of Felix's frenemies, the Professor, and Master Cylinder was the main villain, showing up in different disguises.

Some of the cartoons are on DVD, if you'd like to relive whatever it was you felt when you watched them long, long ago.

Q: I saw a Laurel and Hardy movie on television some years back in which there was a scene where the boys had just been thrown out of a building and were lying in a heap on the front porch, defeated, dejected, and motionless. From somewhere in the background came a tune and, almost involuntarily, one by one, parts of their bodies started moving to it until, in a short time, they were both up and dancing in unison, spirits recovered and ready again. Do you happen to know the name of that movie?

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