11 January 2012

Field Trip Bus Rides Of Yore: Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends

Every so often I use Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends in conversation, and to this day, very few people have ever known what I'm talking about:

Me: Oh man, you know what I'd love to watch right now? One of those Shelley Duvall videos with Calamity Jane or Annie Oakley.
Person I'm Talking To: ...The Shining?
Me: No no, those ones where she'd flop down into a huge easy chair on this saloon soundstage. And she'd tell a story from the Old West.
Person: ...Kubrick?
Me: No, we'd watch these ones on the longer bus rides to field trips back in elementary school. They were on VHS.
Person: Wow, that's really cool of your teachers. They would've never shown us Kubrick.
Me: Clearly, this needs blogging about.

Although there is very little information about this series on the internet, I have managed to dig most of it up. Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends ran from 1985-1987 on Showtime. She created and produced it, which automatically increases my respect for Shelley freaking Duvall by about 100%. This series was my first introduction to many American tall tales, which then must have fermented into some sort of interest in American Studies, which then must have been why I majored in it. Oops, I majored in Shelley Duvall. Too late now!

Here are the tales covered by the series:
  1. Annie Oakley
  2. Casey at the Bat
  3. Darlin' Clementine
  4. Davy Crockett
  5. John Henry
  6. Johnny Appleseed
  7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  8. Pecos Bill
  9. Ponce de Leon
And here are the actors who play them:
  1. Annie Oakley: Jamie Lee Curtis
  2. Buffalo Bill Cody: Brian Dennehy
  3. Casey (at the bat): Elliott Gould
  4. Casey's girlfriend: Carol Kane
  5. Clementine: Shelley Duvall, herself
  6. Clementine's father: Ed Asner
  7. Misc. Characters: Michael McKean
  8. John Henry: Danny Glover
  9. Johnny Appleseed: Martin Short
  10. Jenny Smith: Molly Ringwald
  11. Ichabod Crane: Ed Begley, Jr.
  12. Katrina Van Tassel: Beverly D'Angelo
  13. Pecos Bill: Steve Guttenberg
  14. Slew Foot Sue: Rebecca De Mornay
  15. Side characters: Martin Mull & Megan Mullaly (!!!!!!!1987MeganMullaly???!!!!!!)
  16. Ponce de Leon: Michael York

Please awaken this part of your memory so we can TALK ALL ABOUT IT!

Additionally, I have just purchased the complete series on dvd from Amazon. Let me know when you're free and we'll watch it.

all photos courtesy TallTalesAndLegends.com

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