20170528

FALCON CREST

The morning reading of Jacqueline Perrault's will was first shown on TV back in November 1983 in the 7th episode of the 3rd season of 'Falcon Crest'. Written by Stephen Black and Henry Stern, 'The Last Laugh' attracted a 23.3% rating (roughly 19.5 million TV households were counted watching). In the episode, attorney John Osborne read Jacqueline Perrault's last will and testament. 

Attending the reading were Angela, Lance and Melissa, Phillip Erikson, Chase, Maggie and Cole, Dr. Michael Ranson and Richard. In her will, Jacqueline Perrault gave and bequeathed her grandchildren, Cole and Victoria $1 million each; daughter-in-law Maggie all her jewels and furs; nephew Michael Ranson the McCave vineyard in the fictional Tuscany Valley (real life Napa Valley) which at the time was occupied by Richard so Michael could use as his personal residence.

Jacqueline gave and bequeathed her son Chase and Angela's son Richard (the Cain and Abel of 'Falcon Crest') $5 million each with $50 million to be equally divided by the end of the year (either 1983 or 1984) on the condition Richard made a sincere and honest effort to become friend with Chase - otherwise the $50 million would be given and bequeathed to the Sisters of Hope at the covenant of St. Martha in Paris, France. 

The net cash balance valued at $250 million would to be reinvested in corporate ventures; Melissa's son Joseph, Jacqueline gave and bequeathed $1 million to be held in trust until Joseph turned 21 and on the condition Joseph would to leave Falcon Crest and acknowledged her grandson Cole was his father. At this stage Angela made the outburst, "The audacity of that woman! Joseph Cumson is my great grandson. He belongs to me. It’s outrageous." Angela vowed to fight Joseph's inheritance "as long as there is a breath left in my body." 

And for the last laugh, Jacqueline hereby gave and bequeathed her former sister-in-law, Angela, a room key to suite 1825 at the Taste hotel in San Francisco where Angela would to find a note left on the pillow revealing it was on that bed Jacqueline and Angela's lawyer Phillip Erikson had made love. By the end of the 1982-83 TV season, 'Falcon Crest' - which immediately followed 'Dallas' every Friday night - appeared "to have ingrained itself into the consciousness of many viewers." 

By 1983, Michael Robbins started selling world-class wine from his famous $20 million Napa Valley wine estate, Spring Mountain Vineyards - the setting for 'Falcon Crest'. He conceded, "It ('Falcon Crest') was almost heaven sent. Our sales are better by 10% over last year (mid-1982). We'd been looking for a second label to do something with our leftover wines and wines we could buy. We want to turn out a fine varietal wine at a fraction of the price of Spring Mountain, which is expensive."

Walt Shotwell told readers Mike Robbins, then 58 years old "was a Depression kid who graduated from Dowling High School in 1941. He then received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Acdemy at Annapolis, Maryland (where he once dated Grace Kelly). He had commanded an LST landing craft. In 1954, he left the Navy with an engineering degree. Mike Robbins wanted to open an electrical shop in Des Moines but it didn't work out, so he left for California where he did well on real estate and received a law degree from the University of San Francisco. He met and married Shirley and took his first sip of wine – an act that changed his life."

The success of 'Falcon Crest' which attracted a 35% share of the audience in the 1982-83 season brought unwelcome publicity for Mike Robbins. He explained, "I live here. And now we're hiding out from the 'Falcon Crest' groupies. You can imagine trying to live with that kind of situation. We'll look up and see people looking through our windows.

"When we're away, they'll come into the house and start browsing through the library, going through our silver. They're not looking to steal anything, they just want the thrill." It was understood over 80% of the weekend traffic at the time winding up Spring Mountain Road was the result of 'Falcon Crest' with one tourist family in the summer of 1983 wishing to know where Jane Wyman lived.

1989 marked the end of Ronald Reagan's 2 terms in office. The 40th President of the United States was said to feel satisfied with his Reagan Revolution which "aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon government." That year, 'Falcon Crest' underwent a total revamp. The new producer Jerry Thorpe of 'I Love Lucy' outlined, "The whole 'Falcon Crest' staff and crew has changed from top to bottom.

"We are starting from scratch. That is not a criticism of the former staff, which did a good job. But to do a turnaround and revamping, you need a different crew. I find all this exciting. It's a challenge. TV, I feel, needs innovative changes. There are so many derivatives already." It was noted the Reagan Revolution had also been described as an "innovative program".

Jerry Thorpe of 'I Love Lucy' continued, "None of us comes from a soap background but it seems to us the 'gothic mysteries' are not working anymore; the show now will be a hybrid of 'Wiseguy' and 'Falcon Crest'. The show will also open up – even though we're not going up to Napa on location this year (the 1989-1990 season), we're shooting outside 3 or 4 days a segment instead of 2." Shirley Eder reminded, "Six weeks a year, the cast and crew of 'Falcon Crest' takes up residence in the Napa Valley to do mostly exterior scenes around the real houses we see on the show."

Jerry Thorpe added, "I've done everything, except a soap opera. They've pretty much run their course. The shows that are working are like 'Wiseguy'. What I am setting out to do with 'Falcon Crest' is have a show not exactly like 'Wiseguy' but pointed towards that tone. 'Falcon Crest' will be less cerebral and less gothic. We're going to change the show's rhythms.

"As an example, traditionally major scenes tend to run 5, 6, 7 pages, and they become somewhat talky. You're always at the risk of them playing out long before they're over. Ours will not exceed 2, 2½ pages. The writing is focused much more on the visual. We'll rattle some cages, I'll tell you that. But it's better to be theatrical and entertaining than not.

"Our new composer/arranger is from the group 'Missing Persons'. The look and lighting will be more 'film noir' – darker, mysterious. The show's been changed drastically. There'll be deeper shadows, danger lurking and much more of a sense of movement. It will be kind of like a 'film noir', except in color." Jane Wyman would continue in her role. Margaret Ladd maintained, "She's the glue that holds us all together as a family." 

20170527

FALCON CREST

The TV series, 'Falcon Crest', which starred Jane Wyman as Angela Gioberti and Stephen Elliot as Douglas Channing had been described as "the inter-generational chronicle of one wine-making family, the Giobertis, and their struggle to keep tight control over their vast holdings." Abby Dalton played Jane Wyman's on-screen daughter, "I've had the first script for only a few days, so none of us is sure where the stories and characters will be going. 

"I do know that there are two branches of the central family, and there will be many conflicts. Julia has been skipped over as an heir to the vineyards and the winery. She wants to make sure that her son doesn't lose out. She's a very strong and determined woman." Bill Hayden continued, "The opening episode lays the groundwork for all sorts of future conflict and rivalry while introducing the series' principal characters in a dramatically interesting framework. 

"The main character is Jane Wyman, who provides a superbly bitchy and multi-faceted portrayal of the iron-willed, rich, powerful and often feared matriarch who is intent on orchestrating intrafamily rivalries as she expands her own power and holdings." Jane Wyman maintained, "The estate known as Falcon Crest is the building upon which the story is constructed and my character, Angela Channing, is the most crucial part of the architecture."

In one scene, Angela told her lawyer Phillip Erikson, "You know Phillip this is my favorite time of day - between light and dark." In another, "The past affects the future." And finally, "Risk is what it's all about. All of Falcon Crest was built of courage, to take chances." Anne Archer played advertising executive Cassandra Wilder observed, "The best parts for women are now (in the 1980s) in television. And the women on series are now bigger than life and powerful women. When an important television part comes along now all the major actresses will take it. It's become a new thing for stars to move back and forth between movies and roles in the prime-time soap operas."

Bill Hayden added, "In comparison to Jane Wyman's role, the rest of the characters appear low-key. However, they are finely fleshed out by a formidable cast." At one time Joan Collins watched 'Falcon Crest' told 'News America Syndicate', "They must be kidding. They have a woman on there (Sarah Douglas, Ursa in 'Superman') that's obviously supposed to be me, but it doesn't quite work."

David Selby offered, "We're a show that relies on the relationships between the characters. It's melodrama, but that doesn't mean it can't be well-written and well-acted. I like the format. You're not solving the crime of the week each night. But I think it's dangerous to rely on a cliffhanger. How do you keep topping yourself each year? Yet I know a lot of money and jobs are riding on doing just that."

In the 1982-83 season, E.G. Marshall played Henri Denault and Lana Turner played Jacqueline Perrault, the chief of the Cartel – a complex organization that in order to run it effectively the superior required courage to use the "raw and unadulterated power" available. Carlo Agretti and Angela Channing learnt about Henri Denault's activities as a Nazi collaborator during World War II which brought him sufficient wealth to build  his empire.

Henri Denault told Richard Channing, "I was a pragmatist. The opportunity was too great for me to allow archaic notions of morality and patriotism to stand in my way." Jacqueline sold Angela's son to Henri, "I remember the war just ended. Also Denault wanted a baby boy and I needed money. We all had to make compromises. We had to! My last husband's fortune gave me enough to push Denault aside and I took over (as chief of the Cartel)."

Robert Foxworth directed 15 episodes of 'Falcon Crest'. He recounted, "I enjoy the overall creative aspect of directing. I like coming up with images and staging and working with actors. I like having them do new things. I'm very easy as a director because I like actors. I want to see them explore themselves." Anne Archer acknowledged, "One thing I can't get used to is how fast they work on these shows. You just finish a rehearsal and it seems they're printing the film. You have to deliver the goods on the first take. I've noticed that the people who are on these shows give remarkable performances. They know their characters so well they become identified with the person they play."

Gina Lollobrigida played Francesca Gioberti, the Italian half-sister of Angela. Gina told the press, "I thought we were doing a rehearsal and the director says, 'That's a take.' I don't mind speed in movies. I have always worked very hard. In the first picture I did with Frank Sinatra ('Never So Few'), they were rewriting the script every night. Frank said, 'If you want another take, just say so,' which was unusual for him. After every scene he said, 'It's OK, Gina?'"

Of Francesca, "They changed the character and the situations to make it more suitable. My character is Italian, and that's good. She and Angela have the same father. He went off to Italy, met a pretty girl and had another daughter. Naturally, Angela is not happy to find a new sister she has to share her land and wealth with." Leslie Caron played a French philanthropist from Chase Gioberti's past, Nicole Sauguet.

Leslie remarked, "Television has always made me nervous. The pace is so fast. They give you the script the night before and you have to memorize it quickly. Also I am an actress who likes to move a lot. I don't like to be static. On TV, the director often asks you to stay put. The staging is more limited. It's mostly closeups. I am not becoming a permanent member of the 'Falcon Crest' cast. I appear in the series just long enough to create havoc. I play a most wicked, wicked woman."

Before 1987, Leslie had lived in England for 12 years, in the U.S. for 8 years and in France for 11 years. "I always carried a French passport and I have returned to Paris because it is one of the most cultural cities in the world – with so many museums, dance companies and theaters. In Paris, there are 360 films a week to choose from and 100 plays. Many of the films are old classics.

"Frenchmen stand in long queues to see them. We look at films differently than Americans do. I have an apartment near Musee D'Orsay with a view of the Seine. It is a wonderful city in which to live, and it is so close to all the other beautiful European capitals. After 11 years in Paris it is very difficult for me to think about living elsewhere."

Earl Hamner expressed, "Some people say that Earl Hamner has betrayed his commitment, as if 'Falcon Crest' is something shabby. I think it's a valid exploration of human characters and family situations. The public gets vicarious thrills from watching the rich take pratfalls and suffer. Richness seems to magnify drama." 'Knight-Ridder News Service' pointed out, "There is one more member of the family who needs explanation. He is a bird wearing a feathered hood and sitting on a pedestal in the last scene.

"Angela and Lance both pet him as awkwardly as if they were rubbing sandpaper. They never bother to explain about him, so here goes: The bird is a falcon used in the ancient sport of falconry. He wears a hood to blind him and keep him docile. In the sport, humans remove the hoods and use the birds to hunt with. They kill, then return to perch on their masters' fists."

Earl stated, "We do human drama that seems to please big audiences because of legitimate conflicts: traditional family vs. fractured family, power vs. weak, wealth vs. poor." Robert Foxworth disclosed, "We shoot all up and down the coast, and, when we're up in the Napa Valley, I get to go to some of the best restaurants every night. The best thing in the world is to relax in one of those mud baths they have up there, then go out to a restaurant and drink some of that wonderful wine."

Set in California's wine-making capital, Napa Valley (45 miles north of San Francisco), the location was also one the state's most popular tourist attraction, especially during the weekend and throughout the summer. The centerpiece of 'Falcon Crest' was the 12,000-square-foot Victorian house, Villa Miravalle (meaning Valley View) built in 1885 by Albert Scroepfer.

Villa Miravalle sat on top of the 257-acre Miravalle estate, which was also home to the Spring Mountain Winery founded in 1968 and the 24-acre St. Clements Vineyards. Michael and Shirley Robbins bought Villa Miravalle in 1974, renamed the house Falcon Crest in 1981 for the TV series. As noted, "The house is a memento of another era." The exterior of the house and the vineyard scenes shown on television were filmed at Napa Valley.

By the 1983-84 TV season, the Falcon Crest wines went on sale. Michael Robbins, a lawyer who also studied winemaking in France told the press his wines were made in the French tradition. Spring Mountain produced 3000 cases of the first Falcon Crest Napa Valley Chardonnay 1980 which sold for $13.99 a bottle and 1500 cases of the Falcon Crest Napa Valley Gamay Beaujolais 1981 which sold for $6.00 a bottle. Of the grapes on 'Falcon Crest', Robert Foxworth revealed, "They're all plastic. The studio brought in 5 tons of plastic grapes to hang on those vines."

20170523

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In October 1967, the TV series 'Star Trek' explored the parallel universe in the episode 'Mirror, Mirror' written by Jerome Bixby. In the episode, Spock was preparing to beam up Captain Kirk, Scott, Dr. McCoy, and Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise from the Halkan home world when a storm passing through the Halkan system transported the four into a parallel universe where the Federation was replaced by an Empire spearheaded by Spock with a goatee. 

In 1979, the morning cartoon series, 'SuperFriends' paid homage to the volcano eruption which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum back in 79AD. In the episode, 'Universe of Evil', Superman tried to stop Mount Vesuvius from exploding only to find himself switched from his universe of good into a parallel universe of evil. Mount Vesuvius last erupted in 1944, just before the end of World War II. 

In October 1996, the TV sitcom, 'Seinfeld' took viewers into the parallel universe known as Bizarro World written by David Mandel when Elaine discovered her latest ex-boyfriend Kevin was the reverse of Jerry who did everything the exact opposite. In one scene, the trio of Jerry, George and Kramer came face to face with their exact opposites Kevin, Gene and Feldman. 

"The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957," the Australian professor in physics, Howard Wiseman, told the 'Daily Mail' in 2014. "In the well-known 'Many-Worlds Interpretation', each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realized – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonized by the Portuguese.

"But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all. On this score, our 'Many Interacting Worlds' approach is completely different, as its name implies." The 'Daily Mail' reminded, "The Many Worlds theory was first proposed by Hugh Everett, who said that the ability of quantum particles to occupy 2 states seemingly at once could be explained by both states co-existing in different universes. Instead of a collapse in which quantum particles 'choose' to occupy one state or another, they in fact occupy both, simultaneously."

Dr. Michael Hall added, "The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world, our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics. In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton's theory nor quantum theory. We also believe that, in providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to test and exploit quantum phenomena."

At a conference held in Dedham, Massachusetts, back in 1984, fifty scientists met to find out if the universe was one big computer. 'The Los Angeles Times' reported, "The information revolution created by the computer is beginning to have a broad impact on the philosophy of science and on the fundamental way scientists view the world. 

"Not only are computers making their way as useful tools in the application of science and of business, they are also starting to reshape basic ideas about how the universe is organized. The change may help scientists solve major problems in physics, biology and chemistry. The notion here is that the universe is one big computer. The scientists met to consider what computers might tell them about physics and biology, and what physics and biology might tell them about how to build computers that think. 

"Their goal was to explore the question: What do computers, physics and biology have in common? Among the problems they talked about were evolution and the origin of life, the structure of atoms and molecules, the organization of the brain and neural networks, and the description of a wide variety of physical processes that are lumped together as 'chaos' – defying all efforts to explain them with current mathematics."   

Compuer scientist Daniel Hillis: "Maybe chaos is really a computing machine. There’s a sense that something is about to happen in scientific things. We understand a lot more about information than we did 20 years ago (say 1964). This has reverberations in all fields of science. The microscope was a tool for exploring things. The parallel computer will be a tool for us to explore things that are too big for us to figure out."  

Computer scientist Joseph Traub: "In the history of science, we’ve always had some kind of model to explain the world. After Newton, it was masses and springs. But computer concepts are now (in 1984) being used to build models in physics and biology. For the next few decades (1990s and beyond), the computer is going to be the paramount paradigm used to build models. It’s going to dominate our lifetimes."

Physicist Stephen Wolfram: "The computer is a useful practical tool; that’s widely appreciated. What's not so well appreciated is that the concepts on which computation is founded may be of considerable significance in understanding all sorts of science. The reason that computer theory can be applied to physics is that physics is just computation. There is actually a chance that there will be a major advance in scientific thought as the result of computational and information ideas."

Biologist Michael Conrad: "Biology is even more complicated. It brings in many modes of thinking that don't fit into mathematics. The amount of information processing in nature is much more than you can fit in any computer." As reported, "Living creatures have some self-organizing principle that maintains their stability despite numerous failures – small and large – along the way. 

"Computers have no such principle. In general, the problem is that humans have been constantly learning since birth, and they are somehow able in an instant to find the appropriate bit of practical knowledge to fit most situations. The scientists at the conference here believe that organization is somehow the key to solving the problem, but there are scant ideas for getting a machine to do it. 

"Despite small areas of progress (at the time), artificial intelligence, the goal of computer scientists since computers were developed, remains an intractable problem (at the time). As long as the tasks are severely restricted, computers can do them. But when faced with real-world situations, computers fall on their faces (at the time)." Researcher Tad Hogg: "If you change a few atoms in a rock, the rock is still the same. But if you change a computer program just a bit, you get complete garbage out."

20170521

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In his 1988 book, physicist Fred Alan Wolf argued, "We all exist as conspiracies of parallel universes. All our experiences that we say are occurring here and now are also occurring in other universes. Our knowledge of something real and out there gives us the individual experiences we have. The ability to decide what's what and when's when, and where's where – our sense of experience and our sense of will that moves us through space and time with matter – can only result, according to the parallel universes interpretation of quantum physics, when there is a conspiracy, a merging together of the different choices in different universes." 

The parallel universes referred to the science-fiction concept of 2 worlds exisiting side by side but never intersecting. Nickie McWhirter elaborated, "There are many universes, according to some learned astrophysicists. Each universe is a duplicate of the next, but every decision made by every being has a consequence. Every consequence changes something and influences the next decision." 

Tony Gabriele added, "Parallel universes pop up a lot in science fiction. The idea is, when somebody gets in a time machine and travels backward in time, and then changes something in the past, he creates a divergent parallel universe in which future events may turn out differently from the events in the original universe, as a result of what he altered." Henry Ford coined the phrase time travel.  

Tony Gabriele continued, "But I'm told that you can mess up the future inadvertently, through unintended consequences of your actions. Like, you travel in time back to, say, 1952, and there in the past you stop for breakfast at a diner. Except that while everybody else in that 1952 diner is chowing down on sausages and hash browns, you, being the 1990s health nut that you are, keep asking the waitress how come they don't have any oat bran cereal with skim milk and fat-free muffins.

"And because of that the waitress gets distracted and lets some customer's breakfast get cold, and because of that the customer leaves in a huff, and because of that he doesn't watch his driving and rear-ends somebody's Studebaker, and because of the resulting traffic tie-up the local congressman has to prolong his meeting with the local factory owner and misses his train to Washington, and because of that an important bill is defeated in committee, and so on and so on, and the next thing you know you've gotten Senator Joe McCarthy elected president in this parallel universe. All because you couldn't eat some hash browns like everybody else."

In the parallel universe of television in 1982, 'Knots Landing' tried to mirror the reality of the other world by tackling the energy crisis (fuel shortages and high cost). Written by Sara Ann Friedman, Gary Ewing decided to mortgage his Seaview Circle house in the cul-de-sac to partner with Abby in an investment on new technology - methanol. The methanol refinery was in Mexico.

However there was a law which would not allow methanol from being imported across the border to prevent Mexican bringing moonshine into the U.S. Hence Gary, Abby and Val flew to Sacramento to convince the state senator Riker to get the law repeal or they would go out of business. Senator Riker was also the chairman of the repeal bill committee. The trio were hoping he could get it to the floor to be voted on in the current session of the senate legislature.

The bill was called FC 90-97 repeal of a grain alcohol import restriction. Initially senator Riker refused asking the trio to hang on until the next session. He claimed there were more pressing issues which had to take priority such as 6 crime legislations to deal with plus a nursing home regulation bill. In the end, Abby was able to convince senator Riker to assist.

Abby: There are people who have a lot of money and they use that money to get what they want. There are people who have power and they use that. You use whatever you have, whatever tools you can find, whatever resources are available. Use them to get what you want.

Valene: I think that I better keep my eyes on you all the time.

Abby: How else are you going to learn?

Asking the question "Did the universe come into being by chance or by design?", the astronautical engineer Eugene F. Mallove made the observation in 1985: "Some cosmologists are proposing that the universe has been perfectly 'designed' for life in a way that could not have happened 'by chance'. Cosmologists are far from claiming a 'proof of God'. Yet in the open scientific literature, they are exploring the very meaning of 'chance creation'.

"Scientists believe that life, as we know it on Earth, originated and evolved on a planetary surface only by the grace of many congenial circumstances – not too warm, not too cold, the right chemicals, the right energies, neither too little nor too much stability in the environment. The reason cosmologists are so astonished by the 'coincidences' they find in nature is that our universe is set up to do 3 very unusual things: fester the complexity epitomized by life, permit highly complex objects to stay intact over long periods of time and yet allow for gradual change that can lead to even greater complexity.

"Our universe allows something as intricate as our genetic code to come together chemically from very basic materials. It also allows that code to survive unchanged for eons. If the universe were hostile to complexity, the molecules might break down in short order, or never form at all and, of course, we would no longer exist. Yet it does allow for change, and therefore evolution.

"In some alternate universe a crystal, for example, might develop that was very complex and very long-lived, but if it could not evolve, there is no apparent way that it could ever become self-aware. Why is the universe set up in such a precise, delicate, highly improbable way? These physicists ask. There is an infinity of ways that the universe could have been set up that would have been more 'simple', with fewer improbably coincidences.

"Of course, in almost any of these 'simpler' universes, the odds for the development of anything as complicated as life – no matter how you imagine it – would be nil. In short, the cosmologists are asking why the laws of physics are as they are – with the precise forms and exact numerical constants that repeatedly show up in their calculations. It is extraordinary that science has come so far that it can question the 'why' and not just the 'what and how' of physics.

"Then there is the 'many worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanics. This theory, invented by Hugh Everett III in the 1950s, suggest that the universe continuously bifurcates at each measurement by an 'observer' into a treelike infinity of parallel and disconnected worlds. All possible things happen 'somewhere'. In one universe, a cat dies; in another he continues to live. So we have a set of infinitely expanding parallel universes in this theory, too – more opportunity to get anthropic 'coincidences' by sheer chance."

20170520

THE DAY THE BUBBLE BURST

Black Tuesday - October 29, 1929. Described as "Wall Street's darkest hour", the fateful day was remembered as "the day that shook the world" and saw the nation lost $50 billion, some 10 times the Union budget of the Civil War, kicking off one of America's bleakest decades – the Great Depression. Believing a lot of people really did not understand what happened, 20th Century-Fox "spared no expense to make the memory cut deep and true" in recreating the Roaring '20s in a 3-hour TV movie. 

The movie, based on Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts' 1979 book, 'The Day the Bubble Burst', was filmed in September 1980 but kept "in the can" until February 7, 1982. Up against Part I of the 1978 movie 'Superman', 'The Day the Bubble Burst' could only manage a rating of 12.7%. 'Superman' Part I attracted a rating of 29.6% (about 24.2 million TV households) and a 42% share of the audience (roughly 55 million men and women were counted watching). 

Some $750,000 were spent to build the same replica of the New York Stock Exchange as it was on the day the market went mad. Around 600 extras were reportedly hired to appear in the stock exchange. After watching 'The Day the Bubble Burst', viewers would understand – graphically the effect that the inflation, subsequent crash and depression had on average citizens across the country. 'The Day the Bubble Burst' was regarded "a magical piece of remembrance." 

Using the real names of almost all the individuals who played a major role in the financial disaster, David Ogden Stiers (Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester in 'M*A*S*H') played William Crapo Durant, the founder of General Motors. Durant wanted unlimited credit on the runaway market asked Herbert Hoover to ease the Federal Reserve Board's control on Reserve rates, which was putting a brake on credit. 

Speaking to 'United Press International' in 1982, David Ogden Stiers maintained, "It's not 'important' – it's imperative (to undertake different acting projects). I feel the need to expose myself to other experiences, writers, actors and audiences to bring new energy, attitudes and a heightened awareness of my value to an on-going project. It's a matter of need for me. I attended Juilliard as an actor but I also studied music there. 

"I'm slowly opening a second career with a fair working knowledge of music by conducting symphony orchestras. There is tremendous joy in conducting. Everything must be relayed through the tip of the baton. It's an intriguing combination of academic knowledge, style, body language, rhythm, timing and a test of memory. Shakespeare, of course, is what I enjoy doing most. Playing his roles fills up in me what TV erodes. 

"It allows me to use my mind and my feelings and the sum of my experiences. The wonderful part is that you can appear in Shakespeare again and again and never hit it, all the while learning more and more about yourself. Shakespeare is a test like none other for the actor. Working in those classic plays touches me most deeply, uses me most deeply. How can there be anything more useful than dealing with the basic themes of life which were Shakespeare's concerns? Working in his plays gives me more artillery to bear on episodic television which is hard work in itself, more toilsome but less spiritually rewarding." 

Audra Lindley (Mrs. Roper in 'Three's Company') played financial astrologer Evangeline Adams who had 100,000 loyal subscribers to her newsletter. Audra acknowledged, "She was amazing. She was very scientific about her predictions. She called it her 'beloved science.' She was no charlatan. She seemed to have psychic powers. And the most important people in the world came to her – J.P. Morgan, Mary Pickford, Edward VII. She got them out of the market before the crash. 

"I only worked in one scene with the other actors. After that, most of my work was spent doing the astrological charts for the cameras (at a mansion in Pasadena, California). The only other actor in the whole film who worked longer than 3 days was Richard Crenna. He worked 4 days. Evangeline Adams was a Marie Dressler type, so I’m not quite sure why they picked me for the role. I couldn't play Evangeline Adams as she really was. That wouldn't mean anything. Joe (director Joseph Hardy) and I had talks about how to play her dramatically and symbolically." 

Donna Pescow of 'Saturday Night Fever' was not even born when the 1929 stock market crashed. She was born in 1954. On 'The Day the Bubble Burst', Donna played a woman who father had lost over $5 million and the business he built. "Gloria was part of a speakeasy lifestyle and a decadent society that did things on impulse, yet she was an intelligent woman who was also a writer and spoke several languages fluently. She actually led two lives. 

"All the insanity that was going on with the margins (stock bought on 90% margin) … It's interesting for people who don’t know anything about it and, of course, for people who do know about it to see it in retrospect. It was all just sort of a big Monopoly game, using real money. They're (referring to the various stories in the picture) totally unrelated except in the final part of the movie, when you see how and why the crash affected each person. It's like a mini-series within itself, or 'The Poseidon Adventure' with tickertape." 

Relying on 14.5 million words of raw material from transcripts of interviews, newspaper cuttings and worldwide research, Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts wrote the 484-page book (with source notes and bibliography) 'The Day the Bubble Burst'. Wendell Cochran then 'Des Moines Register' business editor remarked, "It is one of the days that haunt American history, not unlike December 7, 1941 or November 22, 1963. 

"The events of the day were similar to Pearl Harbor, which we regard as having dragges us into a war we had already been fighting for most of two years, and the day that John F. Kennedy died in Dallas, which we mark as the end of Camelot, but which we know had already started to rot in faraway Asian jungles. Still, we Americans like things neat and clean, to have beginnings and ends. So we have come to think of October 29, 1929 as a watershed, as the start of the Great Depression. 

"It was not. It was, precisely, what Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts say it was: The Day the Bubble Burst. And that is one of the most useful points in this readable volume: That things had been careening out of control for months – years, perhaps – prior to the stock-market crash. Somehow, a great portion of the population had come to believe that economic nirvana had arrived, that things only went up in value. It was, after all, the age of unreason. Speculation fever swept the country. 

"Our boys had dashed across the ocean to rescue Europe from the bootheels of the Huns. Prohibition, the noble experiment, was law. Women were given the vote. Anything was possible. Forget that Germany financed its huge war reparations debt by borrowing from those to whom it 'owed' the money, setting off the potential for explosive inflation that would bring a beast to power (Adolf Hitler). Ignore falling corn prices. If American factory output slumps, impose high tariffs to keep out foreign goods. 

"A good many of the events described in this well-researched and well-written account were illegal, even in 1929. A great many more of them are illegal today (1979), thanks to those events (50 years ago). From the standpoint of a business journalist, there’s another troubling theme in the fabric of this book. In short, too many journalists forgot to serve the readers. And we always get into trouble when we do that."

Bobby Ray Miller observed, "It's an exciting book for those who like to read tales about great events. It uses previously untapped memoirs, documents, private papers, and many interviews with survivors of the event. The authors capture the feeling of the era, the hope that ruled the investors before the bubble burst – and the despair of the aftermath. This book focuses on people all over the country whose lives are affected by the market and the crash.

"It also follows many more who wheeled and dealed their ways into and out of millions of dollars. This is not history for the textbooks. Textbooks are too dry for this kind of treatment. This is interesting history, alive with people and the events that affected them. It is both a fascinating story and fascinating history." Larry Eichel added, "'The Day the Bubble Burst' offers its share of images that linger after the reading. It was an event, that, perhaps even more than World War II, would scar a generation, fundamentally altering attitudes about the value of money and the promise of the future. The authors are journalists, not economists, and so can be forgiven the total absence of economic analysis in their account."

20170514

TELEVISION

Around 1983, Donna Mills bought a green Jaguar. Donna informed Fred Robbins, "As long as a car got me where I was going, it didn't matter a bit to me what kind it was. I've had okay cars but nothing special, ever. About the time I knew 'Knots Landing' would be a hit, and was asking myself what I would really like to have to celebrate that, I found myself spending a lot of time driving to and from the studio. And I suddenly thought, 'That's it! I'm going to have a very special car, a beautiful car, a Jaguar.'" 

Joan Van Ark told 'TV Guide' in 1989, "I've known Donna through 3 different cars. When she joined the show, she was driving a cherry red Mustang. We all had our 450SL Mercedes and thought it was kind of small town, a high-school cheerleader car, but she liked it. Since then she has had the stars classic dark green Jaguar and what we call the diva car - the beige Jaguar. But, you know, all of them express a part of her personality." 

On the show, Donna played Abby, a bookkeeper at Knots Landing Motors. When Donna first appeared, David Jacobs recalled, "Abby drove up in a Volvo station wagon with 2 kids." Donna remarked, "Abby Ewing is a role model for women. I think she was one of the first characters to successfully juggle her children and a career, and she goes toe-to-toe and doesn't back off." 

Psychiatrist Dr. Gregory Young was working at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Dayton in 1983 had spent close to 20 years researching 12 styles of personality and wrote his findings in the 1978 book, 'Your Personality And How To Live With It'. Speaking to Barbara Burtoff, Dr. Gregory Young explained, "Why 12 and not 13, or 3 or 3 million? I don't know. 

"What I do know is that since I first began to recognize separate styles in my psychiatric practice, I have encountered only 12 distinct styles. Together with my staff and the personnel of several hospitals, I have identified these same 12 again and again, in persons of all ages, races, ethnic groups, economic levels, educational levels, both sexes. Each style had its fundamental attitudes, strengths and weaknesses."

Barbara told readers, "You won't get results after an hour or two of viewing 'Dallas', 'Dynasty', 'General Hospital' or 'Guiding Light', but if you program yourself to watch on a regular basis, these shows can be used as teaching tools for understanding personality styles. Dr. Young even has some of his patients tuning in between appointments. He keeps video equipment in his office and discusses behavior of the characters at therapy sessions, occasionally with instant show replay. 

"Dr Young says it is productive because the soaps are teeming with emotional conflicts waiting to be resolved and easily identified personality styles. Under 'Influencing Personality', TV examples are Abby on 'Knots Landing', Blake Carrington on 'Dynasty', George Jefferson on 'The Jeffersons', Scotty Baldwin on 'General Hospital' and Jonathan Hart on 'Hart To Hart'. Dr. Young says there is nothing casual about this man or woman. 

"He/she is thorough, systematic, efficient and in need of controlling every aspect of life. A perfectionist, when he/she orders a 3-minute egg and it is cooked 3 minutes and 10 seconds, he/she knows the difference and registers disappointment. If this individual is your friend, you can count on him/her to be a good storyteller, articulate, persuasive and ready to take responsibility and help if you have a problem. 

"This person is so punctual, you can set your watch by him/her. This individual doesn’t know how to kill time. Even leisure hours are programmed to be spent productively. This may wear on your nerves after a while. At work, he/she functions best when allowed to be the team leader or given well-defined responsibilities. He/she can be difficult as the boss, the influencing personality tends to be rigid, inflexible, set in his/her ways of thinking. 

"This person never has small problems, only crises. When something does go wrong, he/she sees it as a catastrophic reminder that he/she is less than perfect. In dating and marriage, the influencing person likes to dominate, manipulate, change your ways. He/she is strongly opinionated and can be a bully. If children have the same personality, friction and conflict are certain."

Donna Mills left in 1989. She recounted, "My character went off to Japan to be the trade ambassador to Japan, and I think she's probably taken over the country by now (2005)." 'Knots Landing' "was born in an altogether different TV era – but it moved with the times, never losing its suburban-1970s soul. Its central characters kept a vestige of their 1960s idealism," Deborah Wilker recognized. Michele Lee offered, "Karen was always an activist. I'd like to say I don't know where she'd be. Most likely she'd be involved with the community politically in some way. I think she could go in many different directions."

"But standard 1980s production costs of about $2 million a show were suddenly too high in the 1990s," Deborah continued. David Jacobs maintained, "I think 'Knots' could run forever. This show wasn't ready to come to an end. If it had, it would have been like someone who was still healthy, but had a heart attack. Like when my grandfather died at 74. He wasn't ready.

"We've never been timely; we've never been trendy. We never cared whether Reagan was president. We never tried to be 'Hill Street (Blues)'. We could have been renewed if we'd take a few hundred thousand dollars off the license fee. We got renewed this year (the last year 1993) because we took a big cut in the fee. That made it hard to tell good stories."

Speaking to 'FYI Television Inc.', Deborah Wilker and 'Gannett News Service', Michele Lee pointed out, "There was just a certain innocence about the show that represented a kind of hope. It was real. There was never anything like it on television. It's not all TV's fault. The viewer has really changed. We're in a different world today. I'm not sure we'll ever see the same ratings shares we saw years ago.

"This cul-de-sac was a microcosm of our society where people just wanted a little bit of what was good in America. We changed as America did. We went through 4 presidencies, and you saw it reflected on the cul-de-sac, whereas on other shows you wouldn't see that. You have to remember that 90% of what we do really relates to people."

Lawrence Kasha added, "We are always asking ourselves could it happen this way. We keep young couples living in tiny apartments. We add drama while characters are doing everyday chores – folding laundry, cleaning the house, preparing lunch, getting their children ready for school. Things happen in the supermarket. You don't see this on the other shows." 

In 1983, an exhibition celebrating the 25 years (1958-1983) of designs by Yves Saint Laurent was held at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New Jersey. In an interview with the 'Asbury Park Press', Yves Saint Laurent enthused, "When I saw the exhibition, I was so struck that the things I designed in 1962 are very close to what I designed in 1982 and 1983. I think what I made in 1962 could be worn now (in 1983) and things made in 1983 could have been worn in 1962."

'Asbury Park Press': What advice would you give to aspiring designers? Should they study fashion design or apprentice and work for an established designer as you did with Dior? 

Yves Saint Laurent: I tell students it's nice to have dreams. But before dreaming comes reality you have to learn the technique, the cuts, the basic things of the work. 

'Asbury Park Press': What percentage of your business is done in the United States? And what about in France? What, if any, impact has the strong U.S. dollar had on your business? 

Yves Saint Laurent: In the United States, it’s one-quarter. We never take France alone. We take France as part of Europe. In Europe, it's a one-quarter, also. Japan is 30% now (in 1983). The impact of the dollar has been excellent for us. It's not because the franc has been devalued. We have a lot of licensed agreements who bring to France royalties. And also, with all the exports we do, we are selling more than ever. 

More American people and other people in the world buy more of our fashions. I have had a very long love story with America. From the beginnings, the Americans were among the first to recognize my work – always. The first person I put into my company when I opened my own couture house with an American was Mack Robinson of Atlanta, a businessman. Then after I had another man important to me in the company, behind the financial end, Richard Salomon, now of Charles of the Ritz. 

Americans really helped me at the beginning, and I will never forget them. This show is my confirmation of my feelings about American people. What is happening today (in 1983) with designers is fashion, and what I'm doing is style. That's where there is the difference. Fashion is like mathematics. It's not just not to make dreams real. It has to be technical. A woman has to be comfortable and elegant and seductive in clothes. 

I have to design 4 collections a year – 2 ready-to-wear and 2 haute couture collections. I have no time to go out for public relations. I work hard. I am a man of work. I spend a lot of time in my house in Paris, in my palace in Morocco, and in my castle in Normandy. I love my friends and go out for lunch and dinners. But most of my time is spent in working. 

My work room is my studio with clothing systems. Other systems are in charge of directing what I do and create, such as a print or a design for a dress or a fabric which is used afterward for bed linens, for towels, for ties, for sweaters, anything that comes under license. In perfuming, I give my own creation in a different way. I decide the name and the scent, such as Options. I did a couture line called Options. I was in the mood for Options and decided to create it. I also do the packaging for the design. 

Worldwide, perfumes excluded, retail sales are $1 billion. Perfume is $400 million. Options, by itself, accounts for retail prices of $200 million. It’s No. 1 today (in 1983). The U.S. is 35% of the world market in perfume. French manufacturing brings to the collection, worldwide, $75 million for ready-to-wear made in France and sold exclusively in our boutiques throughout the world, called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche line. The U.S.A. represents $27 million in those sales. 

It was understood perfumers were mostly employed by companies that create fragrances commissioned by clients such as couturiers Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren. Jean-Claude Ellena told Laren Stover in 1980, "We work as a team. If you don't like anonymity, you leave (and start one own company) … but it is necessary for people to know that perfumers, and not designers, create the perfume."

20170513

PERFUME

By 1988, perfume had become a $3-billion industry in France. Around the world it was a $10-billion retail business. "Perfume is as old as civilization," Jill Johnson Piper explained. As reported, "The literal translation of the Latin phrase per fum is 'by smoke', which reveals its ancient purpose as an incense offering to the gods. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible the use of fragrance for personal as well as religious uses is noted. 

"A significant milestone in the history of fragrance was the reign of Cleopatra, 'the eternal feminine,' who believed in every means of overwhelming the senses. She used scented lotions on herself and even on the sails of her barge. From her time on, perfume has been used by women in ever increasing amounts." The 'Los Angeles Times' observed, "The Old Testament tells how Queen Esther bathed '6 months with oil of myrrh and 6 months with sweet odors and with things for the purifying of the women' before her marriage to King Ahasuerus of Persia."

1961 Oleg Cassini: Does perfume really make a woman more attractive to a man, or is it just something pleasant to wear? 

Edouard Cournand: Let me ask you a question. Does champagne do anything to you or does it just quench your thirst? Perfume is like a glass of champagne. It actually stimulates the nervous system. If you are in a happy mood, or a nostalgic mood, perfume will intensify it. The same is true of a romantic mood. 

Jill Johnson Piper continued, "Cleopatra bathed herself in fragrant oils and salves before her rendezvous with Marc Antony and Caesar." Jedu Bin Hassan added, "It was the fragrance of this beautiful woman that brought Rome to ruin. From that inception, perfume has carried its weight in gold. At one time, you could trade precious oils for diamonds and lapis lazuli." 

As understood, "Crusaders brought perfume from Palestine to Europe during the Middle Ages. As commerce spread through the Renaissance, perfumes were introduced to France and England, and ultimately to the New World, where colonists spent $2.3 billion on personal fragrances in 1986." Perfumes were known in France as "noses". The world capital of perfumery was Grasse in France. "When western Europe settled down to a high degree of civilized society, kings and emperors brought perfume into prominence for personal use and France was established as a leading producer of fragrances as early as the 1530s."

Oleg Cassini: You say perfume acts like champagne. The effects of champagne can be traced scientifically. Do we know anything about the scientific response to perfume?

Edouard Cournand: Oh, yes. Scientific findings have established that odors bypass the reasoning areas of the brain. Scents are known to release hormones into the blood stream and to actively stimulate the motor impulse.

"Far more is spent on promoting a perfume in modern France than on creating one," Stanley Meisler reported. "It cost Christian Dior $11 million in 1985 just to launch the perfume 'Poison' on the European market." Robert Ricci remarked, "Perfume is changing from a universe of charm into a universe of shock." To clarify, "A perfume is an alcoholic compound that generates a scent pleasing to the human sense of smell.

"The compound is made up of any or all of 3 primary materials: fragrant vegetable materials such as the petals of jasmine; animal scents such as musk from the male musk deer of the Himalayas, and chemical synthetics that reproduce fragrances such as violet and vanilla that are hard to capture naturally." Jacques Polge created 'Coco' maintained, "A formula for a perfume is not a chemical formula. A formula is worthless unless you know your primary materials.

"The formula lists the primary materials and the proportions used of each. But there may be at least 20 varieties of each material. You must know them. We keep the formula for ‘Chanel No. 5’ in a safe under lock and key. But, if you stole it, you would not know what to do with it. I get 60 to 100 ideas a year. Very few, of course, ever become a perfume that is marketed. Those are the limits of all composers of perfumes. But that does not hold me back."

Robert Ricci insisted, "90% of women choose a perfume for its fragrance, only 10% for its concept and marketing. I'm not against marketing, but the primordial thing is creating the fragrance." 'Scripps Howard News Service' informed, "Technology has changed the way perfumes are manufactured, but the basic principles remain unchanged. Essential oil are extracted from flowers and plant substances, and then blended with animal substances, synthetics, alcohol and water."

Tom Yaegger of 'Maybelline' told the press that in order to slow the volatility rate (the rate at which fragrance evaporated), fixatives, supplied by animal substances such as musk and ambergris, had been added to the blend. Other additives, including anti-oxidants and sunscreens, were added to prolong the shelf life of the product. "The concentration of essential oils in a fragrance determines whether it will be a perfume (parfum), a cologne or a toilet water (eau de toilette).

"The concentration of perfume is 10% to 20% oils dissolved in 80% to 90% alcohol. Colognes contain 3% to 5% perfume oils dissolved in 80% to 90% alcohol, with water making up the balance. Toilet waters have about 2% oils to 60% to 80% alcohol, the balance consisting of water. Based on the dominant characteristics of essential oils, fragrances are divided into 8 basic families, such as Oriental, floral, aldehydic, floral bouquets, modern blends, woodsy-mossy-leafy, spicy blends, and semi Orientals.

"To test a fragrance, it is necessary to wear the scent for several hours, because the smell you perceive in the bottle will be different from the smell once it's applied to your skin. In the bottle you'll smell the first note, which has the highest concentration of alcohol. On your skin, the first note will evaporate within 15 to 20 minutes, and the complex second note will emerge. After about an hour, you will be able to detect the final note. Because of the different acidic level of every skin, fragrance operates differently on everyone. Add to that the vagaries of personal preference, and fragrance becomes a subjective experience."

Jean-Claude Ellena made the point, "A perfumer may make 100 efforts to arrive at his idea. It must be seen as an artistic effort. You have an idea and you try to approach it, but you may never really reach it. Whether a product is natural or synthetic has no importance for the perfumer, but it's hard to convey that to the public. The result is what counts.

"There's a slow evolution of the perfume as the different products evaporate. But overall, a good perfume has the same theme from beginning to end. You have to have a sense of the market. You don't create anything original that way. There are some perfumers who have no imagination, who merely follow the whims of the public. Me, I like to impose my ideas. All the words you use to describe tangible objects can be used to describe the image of a perfume."

Allan Mottus argued, "French perfume houses have to deal with the international market today, and that means creating in New York or Paris." Fifth generation Frenchman Philippe Guerlain told Kay O’Sullivan in 1984, "The art of making perfume is not a science. To have the ability to make perfume you must have a specific developed sense." Of his cousin Jean-Paul, Philippe Guerlain expressed, "It is this ability, plus the practise and the teaching he received as a child from his grandfather, Jacques, whom I regard as one of the greatest trainers.

"Let's be frank, the winds of change blow from the West and in Europe the West means America. There was a gap between the American and French perfumes, but we have breached it. The Americans like stronger perfumes, we have to supply it. The Americans invented marketing but our man was born in France. We haven't gone that far yet."

A good perfume was said would generally contain 4 elements: flower, animal, root and spice. To elaborate, those elements could be, "flowers, fruits, spices, leaves roots, seeds, grasses and mosses, resins, bark, wood Beaver, the musk deer, the sperm whale, the civet cat." At the 1978 International Conference on Perfumery held in Barcelona, Spain, Edmond Roudnitska told guests, "A fine perfume is one that produces a 'shock' in us, an olfactory shock which excites the senses on first contact … followed by a psychological shock … all the more enduring as the perfume steadily develops its form, dissipating slowly, revealing to us … if not its structure, which is generally but little apparent, at least the details of its silhouette. Such a form, if it is original, will register itself in our minds."

Claiming "many people cringe when perfume prices are mentioned, but they don't consider the cost of other luxuries – theater, restaurant dinners and the like," Robert Ricci made the comment, "There is a lot of workmanship (labor) connected with it (creating perfume). Perfume can provide a lasting pleasure." Robert Ricci was 22 when he assisted his mother established the family couture business (back in 1932). He told 'Associated Press' in 1974, "In 29 years I've developed only 5 perfumes because each takes me about 5 years. I always design with a particular woman in mind and strive for a woman. You shouldn't be overpowered 50 feet away."

Elizabeth Sirot made known, "It takes 300,000 petals of jasmine to produce one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of concentrate. That kilo costs us 450,000 francs ($80,000 in 1988). A few years ago, a eunuch came into our store on the Champs Elysees to buy perfumes for the 40 women in a harem. And there was a shiek who bought 'Shalimar' to fill his pool. But those days are gone."

Vivian Brown reported in 1974, "It is necessary to cut 4 million flowers in order to get 2 pounds of absolute of jasmine, an ingredient of good perfume. It takes about 250 workers from sunrise to noon, which is the best time of day to cut the flowers. The oil extracted from them now (in 1974) costs about $2,500 a pound. Essence of rose is higher even than that, about $3,000 for the same quantity."

Edmond Roudnitska created 'Femme' perfume told the 'Los Angeles Times', "A perfume can be a work of art like a symphony or a master's painting and therefore deserves the same respect." Jean-Pierre Tornai told Mark Chester in 1989, "This is a highly competitive and complicated business. It's a woman's business, yet it needs men to run it." The 11 years between 1975 and 1986, manufacturers introduced 485 new women's perfumes onto the market.

Jean-Pierre Lerouge-Benard of Molinard (founded in 1849) told Mark Chester, "Years ago, the perfumer was considered just an artist. Nowadays (by 1989), he must be a good businessman as well as be creative. This is a risky business. We have to anticipate what kind of fragrance will be in vogue before actual production. It takes perhaps 4 years to develop the concept, create the formula, research, package and market it as a product."

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