QUESTION: John Rich, the director of Wives and Lovers, was better known as a television director best known for working on many popular series. For which of the following series did he not direct numerous episodes?
A) Gilligan's Island
B) My Mother the Car
C) The Brady Bunch
D) All In the Family
Have you ever heard of an "exploitation song"? That's when a song is written and recorded to advertise a movie despite that the filmmakers never had any intention of including it in the actual movie. "Wives and Lovers," written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, is an exploitation song. Oddly, the song is probably better known that the movie it was created to promote. Written in 1963 and sung most famously by Jack Jones, the song "Wives and Lovers" is an amazingly sexist recommendation to stay-at-home moms that they had best pretty themselves up after a day of cleaning and cooking and tending to the kids so that they can then be appealing to a husband whose eye is likely to wander at work thanks to all the pretty secretaries. The catchy tune led to the song winning a Grammy Award the next year for Best Vocal Performance, Male. We can't help but wonder if it did inspire any women who had self-esteem issues to try ever harder to please their men.
The movie the song was written to promote beat a similar drum. Van Johnson plays Bill Austin, a deadbeat husband and struggling writer who is tended to by devoted wife Bertie (Janet Leigh). When Bill's sexy agent, Lucinda, played by Martha Hyer, sells Bill's screenplay for big bucks and he hits the high life, jealous games and threats of divorce inspired by suspicions of infidelity ensue. Some might regard this as a very strange, sexist comedy farce. Others might see it as a normal relationship movie. We're not quite sure how to regard those others. The sheet music for the popular David-Bacharach song is on display by one of the organs in our Toy Box.
ANSWER: B) My Mother the Car. One of the most memorable one-season television shows of the 1960's, My Mother the Car did not have the honor of John Rich's talents behind it. Rod Amateau and David Davis dominated the show as directors of the most episodes (14 and 9 respectively)