Monday, August 08, 2011

Buster Crabbe

This summer, with my Roku and my Netflix, I watched a lot of old Flash Gordon. Apparently, a lot of Hollywood did because they are iconic. As you watch, I swear, you can see these old serials and movies in current movies. Most definitely with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and they admit it too. Buster Crabbe was perfect. He even did a Buck Rogers serial.

With Netflix, I just started watching the 1970s Buck Rogers starring Gil Gerard and Erin Gray. I don't know why I am watching these again--I remember loving them in my teens on Saturday afternoon TV. Special effects still hold up today, even if the disco dancing doesn't. All that aside, they are ok. Gotta put them in perspective. Even with Twiki and Dr. Theopolis being blatant ripoffs of R2-D2 and C-3PO, this is good TV. And funny, it lasted TWICE as long in number of episodes as the original Battlestar Galactica.

I just put two and two together watching the second episode, "Planet of the Slave Girls." Buster Crabbe's name showed up in the credits as a special guest star. He plays a pilot and what's his name? Yep, Gordon!

They treated it really well. He even got to say how he had been doing this since before Buck Rogers was born. Yes, Buck is supposed to be 500 years old, but when Crabbe says, "I know so," I think the whole audience really did know so too.

Buster Crabbe died in 1983, just a few years after this appearance. Since I just discovered it, Mr. Crabbe, I need to salute you for a job well done all those years. You inspired a lot of imagination. Quite literally, movies would not have been the same without you.

1 comment:

Gernot said...

Matt, I have all three Flash Gordon serials (and Buck Rogers), and I try to watch the Flash serials at least once a year.

I remember an older brother talking me into watching my first chapter almost 40 years ago. "He's cooler than Superman AND Batman PUT TOGETHER!" Heh. I HAD to see it after such a build-up! :)

Flash Gordon got me watching many more serials, and I've enjoyed 90% of them all! :)

I'll always miss Flash, Dale, Barin, Zharkov, and Ming. :)

Thanks for a great post, sir! :)