Everyone Loves a Glamorous Villain - Monday, May 11, 2015

Superhero movies are pretty much impossible to escape these days, especially with the Disney-Marvel franchise and last week's release of the new Avengers movie.  Here at the American Treasure Tour, we are happy to be behind the curve, eighteen years behind, in fact.  Yes, we're still talking about the movie posters recently added to the Toy Box here in our collection.  Which brings us to one of the most popular superheroes of all time:  Batman.  Our question for you is if you feel that Batman himself is more of a draw than his villains, or vise versa?  

Today's poster, celebrating the 1997 film Batman & Robin would suggest that the bad guys are more interesting than the heroes because, well, the heroes don't even make an appearance.  You have Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), and Bane (Michael Reid McKay AND Jeep Swenson).  No Batman, no Robin, no Batgirl.  It's unlikely the audience minded, though, since the reception of this film was less than stellar.  In fact, it was so poorly received that plans for another sequel were scrapped, and Batman would not reappear again until 2005's Batman Begins, a reinvention by Christopher Nolan that proved a great success.
QUESTION:  Which of the following actors did not portray Robin?
A)  Burt Ward
B)  Joseph Gordon-Levitt
C)  David McCallum
D)  Chris O'Donnell

WAR!!!  Loyal readers will recall that, on Friday, we celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Palo Alto in 1846 between American forces under Zachary Taylor and Mexican forces.  The battle took place in Texas, a few miles north of the Rio Grande River, which President James K. Polk regarded as the border between the two countries.  Mexico disagreed.  Well, three days after the victory at Palo Alto, Polk declared war against Mexico.  Funny how that happened.  Spoiler Alert: America will win.

DOUG.  Today we celebrate the birth and life of actor Doug McClure.  Born today in 1935, McClure started acting in his twenties, but got his big break when he was case in The Virginian, from 1962 to 1971.  He got typecast as a cowboy from that, and starred in a number of westerns prior to the 70s.  Science fiction and airplane disaster films dominated his career from then until his early death in 1995.  McClure will be forever loved by fans of The Simpsons as half of the inspiration for the Phil Hartman-voiced Troy McClure.  

QUOTE:  My Pa always said, "Live fast, die laughing."  That's the way to do it! - Doug McClure

ANSWER:  D)  David McCallum.  The former star of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has done voice work for Batman cartoons, but never starred as - or voiced - Robin.