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"Oh, boy. A heel-a-copter airplane!" "Jiminy," thinks Johnny, "if only I could get a ride in one of those."
...
Barbara Ann Scott gives Johnny a peck on the cheek. Embarrassed, he puts his head on her chest.
"Jiminy," thinks Johnny, "if only I could get a ride in one of those!"
  — Narrarator and Crow


419 - The Rebel Set
0419
Air Date December 12, 1992
Movie Director Gene Fowler
Year 1959
Cast Gregg Palmer, Kathleen Crowley, Edward Platt, John Lupton, Don Sullivan, Gene Roth
Short Johnny at the Fair
Preceded by 418 - Attack of the the Eye Creatures
Followed by 420 - The Human Duplicators

The Short

Synopsis

At the 1947 Canadian National Exhibition, a young boy ditches his parents and sets off for adventure, meeting some celebrities along the way, including world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, Canadian figure skater Barbara Ann Scott (who won the gold medal in the 1948 Olympics), comedians Ole Olsen & “Chick” Johnson, and former Canadian prime minister McKenzie King. This short was narrated by Lorne Greene.

Information

  • The short was released by Rhino Entertainment on DVD on Mr. B's Lost Shorts, part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 6

The Movie

Synopsis

A coffeehouse proprietor recruits three losers: a struggling actor, an unknown writer, and the ne’er-do-well son of a once-famous movie star. His plan: to carry out a million-dollar armored car heist during a four-hour train layover in Chicago.

Information

The Episode

Host Segments

Prologue: Joel attempts to read the Bots a scary story, but Tom and Crow are too jaded and aren't biting, until Joel produces the unrelenting terror that is Life's Little Instruction Book...

Invention Exchange (Segment One): While Dr. F has an even scarier book, Frank introduces the time saving but rather cumbersome Quick Primp Kit styling station, where as Joel removes all the trouble from modern art production with the Mark Rothko Paint-by-Number kit.

Segment Two: "Co-starring with Scott Baio" acting lessons.

Segment Three: Inspired by the movie, Joel asks the Bots what they'd do with a four-hour layover in Chicago, but only Crow gets into the spirit. Rather too into it.

Segment Four: Joel hosts a writing workshop with the Bots using the supposed Merritt Stone method, but seems interested only in stories that reference, take place on or otherwise involve trains.

Closing (Segment Five): Murder on the Orient Express style, Tom "Hercule Poirot" Servo has an elaborate process of elimination to settle once and for all the identity of Merritt Stone, but things end up becoming much more confused and Servo's head explodes. Down in Deep 13, a now also obsessed TV's Frank fares no better.

Stinger: The weird old beatnik poet proclaims, "I am bugged!"

Other Notes

  • Tom is correct, Merritt Stone isn't the train conductor and doesn't appear in The Rebel Set. The role is played by fellow Bert I. Gordon regular Gene Roth.
  • For the record:
    • Merritt Stone played the spider-eaten dad Pete Flynn in Earth vs the Spider, the clergyman in Tormented, a uncredited role as a cop near the end of War of the Colossal Beast and the king in The Magic Sword.
    • Apart from the train conductor in this movie, Gene Roth played the sheriff in both Earth vs the Spider and Attack of the Giant Leeches as well as the lunch stand guy in Tormented.
    • Jack Kosslyn played a lieutenant in The Amazing Colossal Man, the KTLA newscaster in War of the Colossal Beast, Fraser in Earth vs the Spider and the ogre in The Magic Sword
    • The only experiment in which all 3 men appeared was Earth vs. the Spider. Coincidentally, none of these 3 actors appeared in any subsequent experiments after The Rebel Set.
  • At the end of the final host segment, Frank identifies Gene Roth as having appeared in "She-Demons, a 1958 film with Irish McCallahan". The actress' name is actually Irish McCalla.

Obscure References

  • "RUN, VON RYAN!"

A quote from the 1965 World War II movie Von Ryan's Express.

  • "Jeez, the horse from 'Equus' had it better than this!"

Equus is a play about a mentally ill stable boy who blinds six horses.

  • "He's about so high." "Well, yes, there was a Mr. Barty here..."

A reference to little-person actor Billy Barty.

  • "Hey, Vern!" "Ernest does a dime in Attica!"

Ernest P. Worrell was a character in a series of commercials, and later movies, including Ernest Goes to Jail.

A play by Samuel Beckett,  in which an old man listens to monlogues he has recorded on tape over the course of his life.

  • "May I..."Dance" with your dates?"

​Line from Animal House spoken by a burly bar patron who confronts the Delta Tau Chi frat boys trying to "fit in" at a 'black bar'.

  • "Ya know, the committee to re-elect the president!"

​Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign was run by an organization with the acronym CREEP : the Committee to RE-Elect the President. Its list of prominent members was pretty much a roster of those tried for various crimes revolving around the Watergate scandal.

  • "Visit the offworld colonies!"

Referencing the inviting offers spoken through the city intercoms from Blade Runner.

  • "Reverend" "...blue jeans"

A pun on the title of the Neil Diamond song, "Forever In Blue Jeans".

  • "Art Linkletter! They all have Art Linkletter on them!"

Art Linkletter was the long-time spokesman for the boardgame The Game of Life, and appeared on the $100,000 bills in that game as late as the 1985 revision.

  • "Alright, who wants gum?"  "I DO, I DO!"

Trident commercial shown in the nineties

  • "I write about the life of the mind."

A reference to the movie Barton Fink -- in that movie, Barton declines a similar offer from a working-class guy to give hims stories he can use.

  • "A screaming comes across the sky..."

The first line of the novel Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon , which I highly recommmend you all read.

  • "In nomine Patri!"

Latin for "In the name of the Father", this is part of the blessing bestowed by a priest during a Catholic mass.

Video Release

  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2007 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 12, a 4-DVD set with Secret Agent Super Dragon, The Starfighters and Parts: The Clonus Horror.
  • The DVD features a trailer for the original film and an interview with Don Sullivan, who played George Leland in this movie and Chase Winstead from The Giant Gila Monster, recorded for this release. He discusses how he got into Hollywood, The Rebel Set and even MST3K.
  • The DVD packaging incorrectly states that The Mystery Science Theater Hour Jack Perkins wraps are included for this movie, where Secret Agent Super Dragon has wraps based on it instead.


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