The Sunday Intertitles: The Power of Positive Thinking

Yes, but they seem curiously OK about it. Blasé, almost.

And they do it with their usual good spirits.

But they don’t let that spoil their sunny mood.

Ambushed, schmambushed, so long as you’ve got your health.

And they maintain a positive attitude, that’s the main thing.

These things happen. What are you gonna do?

But she’s delighted to finally be shot of that idiot Larry.

All images from William Witney’s THE PERILS OF NYOKA. You can hear Brad and Leo affectionately discussing an “underrated guy” in ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, which, given Tarantino’s oft-stated enthusiasm for WW’s work, seems to me a subtle hommage. But not as subtle as mine.

7 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitles: The Power of Positive Thinking”

  1. David Ehrenstein Says:

  2. Tony Williams Says:

    Doesn’t QT own a cinema in Hollywod? If so, why does he not run a season of Witney films there and invite Witney’s friend and Woolrich expert Mike Nevins to give a presentation there? That he has not done so yet reveals that again he is all mouth and no substance.

  3. Has he definitely not shown any Witney? Maybe he’s saving it up for his retirement.

    I wish he’d have produced something for Jack Hill or Monte Hellman et al.

  4. bensondonald Says:

    I would have loved to see that first recap rendered as “GORILLA — Attacks Nyoka and Larry in Vultura’s Temple.”

    Only vaguely recall “Perils of Nyoka”. Vultura impressed me as not so much villainous as in a really bad mood.

    The first Nyoka serial, “Jungle Girl”, is on DVD from VCI — a nice print with British Censor Board notices. That one has some surprising editing in the first episode, intercutting between a witch doctor putting a curse on Nyoka’s father and her father’s evil twin shooting him in a distant city. Thereafter it’s all straightforward efficiency, with the notable detail of Nyoka never catching on that the evil twin has replaced her father.

    While I’m babbling through writer’s block, I recommend “Tailspin Tommy”, also available from VCI? It’s an okay serial, unique in its feints towards normalcy: Tommy lives with his parents; his girlfriend is an aviatrix who works as a waitress; he works for a small air service being targeted by a less scrupulous competitor. It doesn’t go very deep, but just imagine Flash Gordon bringing friends home for dinner or Nyoka needing a job. This is balanced by some odd digressions, mainly to set up borrowed stunt and effects footage.

  5. Tony – having lived in LA and gone to the New Beverly, what I remember is that they insisted on showing stuff on celluloid, primarily from QT’s own personal collection. Maybe QT doesn’t have any good prints of Witney’s work or access to them?

    It’s been a while since I lived in LA, though, so this might have changed.

  6. Tony Williams Says:

    Thanks, Mr. K. However, I’ve seen reasonably good copies of Witney’s work from his friend’s personal collection including the great Zorro serial. I’m sure that spending some money on digital restoration prior to showing DVD versions would be better than nothing. MASTER OF THE WORLD and I ESCAPED FROM DEVIL’S ISLAND, plus the BONANZA episodes exist in good copies. e.g.

  7. QT definitely owns a ton of Witney films, he reportedly runs them for friends and the westerns influenced the fact that in Django all the horses have names, one of that film’s few nice details.

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