SAIGON — James Garner, the latest Hollywood actor to play the USO Borscht Circuit in Vietnam, feels that the main reason the U.S. public hasn't been sold on the war is because the United States was not attacked.
Garner, a Purple Heart veteran of Korea, says that he personally feels the situation is much like it was in Korea when General Matthew Ridgway addressed the troops and asked, "If you see a burglar coming, do you want to stop him at the back fence or wait until he gets into the house?"
"Here in Vietnam we couldn't wait for some sensational incident to happen or it would have been too late to help these people save their country from communism," Garner added.
The prospect of making a Vietnam tour caught Garner off guard, he readily admits. "I asked them what they thought I could do — no songs, no dances, no jokes. But here I am."
Traveling solo around the country, he has arrived at the conclusion that "the morale here is about 100 percent higher than it was in Korea."
Occasionally Garner runs across a GI who wants to try him for size. "They might ask if I was over here on some tax write off, or how much I get paid. When I explain that I'm an ex-rifleman private with the 24th Inf. Div.'s 5th Regimental Combat: Team, and came over for nothing, everything is OK."
As for Hollywood and the war, Garner feels it will be some time before any pictures based on the Vietnam war are produced.
"There are a lot of technical problems — getting the right equipment, finding the right locations and such, but above all it is too soon. The pictures made about the Korean War didn't do well at the box office, but World War II pictures are well received now."
Garner is not worried about his most recently released film doing well. "Grand Prix," the story of European auto racing, seems well along the road toward soaking up 40 or 50 million at the box office.
This was a labor of love for Garner, who was a California hot-rodder in his youth.
While he developed a great admiration and respect for the men who drive the powerful Formula I cars, Garner doesn't hesitate to admit that it isn't for him.
Garner, star of the highly successful "Maverick" TV series, is getting ready to mount up again soon when he plays Wyatt Earp to Jason Robards Jr.'s Doc Holliday in a picture that takes up the great lawman's career after the battle of the OK Corral.
ByWALLY BEENE as published in the Stars and Stripes
ABOVE TWO PHOTOS: I believe this is the only Rockford Files episode that has a woman older that James Garner playing a love interest of his. The beautiful Lauren Bacall was born in 1924 where as James Garner was born in 1928.
AMAZINGLY BOTH GARNER & BACALL ARE BOTH WITH US TODAY IN 2012.
The above images are from the filming location directly outside Western Costume Rentals located at: Next to the Paramount Motion Pictures Group, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
THANKS TO ROBERT HOWE FOR THIS CORRECTION
ABOVE & BELOW PHOTOS: The 1700 Block of Ocean Park Blvd
Above is the image from the Rockford Files (1979) in which you can see Marty's Liquor located at 1736 Ocean park Blvd.
BELOW: Today - Marty's Liquor has changed its name to Marty's Gourmet Wines.
ABOVE TWO IMAGES: Jim Rockford and Kendall Warren (Lauren Bacall) leave a florist shop.
The florist shop in 1979 was Juliana Flowers located at 2318 Lincoln Blvd in Venice, CA.
As of recently it was Florist Artist Flower Shop.
The Standard gas station across the street is still located there expect for much more modern Chevron signs.
ABOVE THREE PHOTOS: The Baja Cantina Restaurant & Bar located at
311 Washington Boulevard, Marina Del Rey, CA
The top two images were from 1979 Rockford Files episode and the photo directly above is of recently (2011).
ABOVE PHOTO: Not the first time Gene's Auto Sales was in a Rockford Files Episode...
It was also in the two part episode titled GEARJAMMERS.
Gene's Auto Sales was located at 220 S Victory Blvd Burbank, CA.
Ross Reynolds Fiat Auto Sales was located across the street.
NBC's TV "Chicago Fire" is filmed almost exclusively in the Chicago land area. If you keep an eye open you can catch yours truly in some of the episodes. So far I have been in 6 of the first seasons episodes. They use real Chicago cops and firefighters as extras and actors in this TV series.
It is your blogmaster on the set of CHICAGO FIRE. I have played a uniformed Chicago cop in 6 of the show's episodes so far! Keep your eyes open... and play WHERE'S WALDO???
I wish all the filming locations were this easy to identify. In the above video clip from this episode, Jim Rockford reads off the address he is visiting and it truly is the actual address he is at including the apartment number (105).
11558 West Riverside Drive Los Angeles, CA
Not only does Jim Rockford verbally states the location but the mail he is looking through also contains the same correct address of this filming location.
This shot in the same episode shows the old Citizens Bank Building.
Gibby's Place Restaurant & Bar was located at 13300 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, CA. It was actually a real restaurant & bar but the true name of the business wasn't Gibby's Place. Anybody know what the real name of this place was? Today the Prudential Realty Co. occupies the building at 13300 Ventura Blvd.
ABOVE IMAGES: Still frames from this episode of the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel. The baby blue interior is a sign of the 1970's! Below is the way the Marriott Airport Hotel appeared during this period. The Marriott Hotel has spent millions of dollars in updating this large hotel.
ABOVE IMAGE: Aerial shot overlooking the 300 Block of East First Street during the late 1970's as seen in this episode. Florsheim Shoes is on the left Merit Savings Bank is on the right.
ABOVE IMAGE: Aerial shot overlooking the 300 Block of South Broadway during the late 1970's as seen in this episode. The Astro Theater can be seen on the left.
Above Images: The Spotlight Club THEN & NOW.
Located at 1601 N. Cahuenga in Los Angeles.
ABOVE IMAGE: This inside bar scene is suppose to be the interior of the Spotlight Club. But based on the doorway being totally different than the exterior shot, I would guess this is a studio/stage bar located at NBC / Universal studios. I do love the sign on the wall just past the man sitting at the bar that reads "CHILI 20 CENTS"