Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Operation Mad Ball" Sighting

It's Turner to the rescue.

Richard Quine's delightfully anarchic and long-lost
"Operation Mad Ball,"
the Jack Lemmon comedy never released on home entertainment by its maker, Columbia Pictures, will be broadcast on Saturday, July 19th at 8 a.m. (est).

This is great news, given that, inexplicably, neither "Operation Mad Ball" (1957) nor "The Notorious Landlady" (1962), also directed by Quine and starring Lemmon, was included in the deal that Turner struck last year with Sony to broadcast 500 Columbia titles from the 1950s and '60s. I use the word inexplicable because Sony managed to include the likes of "The Flying Fontaines" (1959) and "The New Interns" (1964) in the agreement.

A Turner rep explains the sudden turnaround this way: "While 'Operation Mad Ball' and 'The Notorious Landlady' weren’t part of the Columbia deal, we do have access to the films for our air through Sony."

So the good news is that "Operation Mad Ball" will see the light of day again. And hopefully, the next step will be a long-overdue DVD release.

The not-so-good news is that there is no air date for "The Notorious Landlady." So far.

Keep your fingers crossed.

(Artwork: Arthur O'Connell, Jack Lemmon, Kathryn Grant/Crosby and Ernie Kovacs in a publicity shot for Richard Quine's "Operation Mad Ball")

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Daryl Chin said...

Yes, was going to note this.

Also: later that same day (Saturday, July 19), TCM will broadcast YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY FROM IT (1956), the Dick Powell-directd musical version of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, also starring Lemmon; this will be at 10:15 PM.

If this keeps up, here's hoping for THE NOTORIOUS LANDLADY soon.

joe baltake said...


Thanks for thinking about keeping me posted. This really is a rarified world, this movie blogesphere, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Wow, great news. I'll be burning that baby to DVD.

I'm still kicking myself that I didn't speak to Kathryn Grant when I saw her a year or so ago at one of those celeb collector's shows here in Burbank, CA. It was just so packed, and I spent most of my time schoozing with Dwayne Hickman (star of my all-time favorite TV show), Kevin Sorbo (girlfriend's a huge Herc fan), and the American Graffiti cast. Grant wasn't really much of an actress, I guess, but she's in two of my 50s faves (Anatomy of a Murder being the other one).

Come to think of it, I somehow forgot to ask Hickman what it was like to work with my favorite director, Leo McCarey, on "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!" Can I get a do-over?