Friday, November 19, 2004

Mr. & Mrs. North

Mr. & Mrs. North, the TV series, like the radio show before it, was based on the books by Frances and Richard Lockridge. It ran on CBS from October 1952 until July 1954. I picked up three episodes on one dollar DVD not long ago, and last night I watched "These Latins," first telecast on October 31, 1952.

I had fond memories of Mr. & Mrs. North from both radio and TV. One of the reasons I liked the TV version is that I thought Barbara Britton, who played Pam North, was a doll. After watching "These Latins," I still do. The show also starred Richard Denning as Jerry North. I like his work, too, but for me Pam was the big attraction.

"These Latins" has a couple of good guest stars: Katy Jurado and Hans Conried. Katy is the flirtatious "author" of a book Jerry is about to publish, and Hans is an Argentine poet who's madly in love with her. He overacts with zest, loving every line he speaks in his e-Spanish accen', don' joo know. Best line in the show is Katy's, when she tells Hans how well her book is going to do, and Hans says that he wrote it. "I wrote it," the offended Katy says. "You just wrote down the lines." Katy is the murder victim, sad to say, and the solution to the crime is rather perfunctory. Pam, who is not as ditsy as she appears to be, solves it, much to everyone's surprise.

I've read a couple of the Lockridge novels, and Pam reminded me a little of Gracie Allen. However, Barbara Britton does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of Pam for the TV show. No wonder I thought she was cute. And still do.


Cap'n Bob said...

I have the same DVD, Bill, and while I agree that Britton is a babe the plots of those shows were execrable. The sets looked like they were about to fall down, too. All the while I watched the show I kept asking myself, "Is this the Golden Age of television?"

James Reasoner said...

Is that the DVD with the picture of Britton in an extremely short skirt on the back? If so, it's well worth the dollar whether you ever watch the shows or not.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Man! I have got to see this episode. Better still, I must have this DVD--I'll try and get thee hence to a dollar store to find it.

I congratulate Bill and his readers on their fine assessment of female pulchritude with regards to Ms. Britton, by the way, as I pointed out previously here.

Andy J said...

I too thought Barbara Britton was really attractive but it wasn't that that possessed me one day to talk my way into the office of the guy who distributed the MR AND MRS NORTH tv shows. I was always trying to convince small time distributors to sell me their discarded films and while it was usually a fruitless exercise, today at least it provides an interesting memory (I actually cold-called Frederic Ziv one night and had a wonderful conversation with him but no films came of it as he had just sold out to United Artists). In this case, the guy had absolutely no idea of what he had in inventory and was actually looking for someone to go into the warehouse and catalog his library. Of course I volunteered but maybe he viewed that as too much of a conflict of interest. He did say that he might sell me some duplicate films in the future but nothing ever came of it. Ironically, years later, a friend of mine was hired to dispose of the estate of Barbara Britton. We worked out a deal and I got to transfer her personal 16mm prints of the show to tape. Unfortunately, they were just average syndicated prints and none of them had commercials. I now see that my original investment has been rendered all but worthless by the dollar DVD merchants. Sob!