Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
IO Hic Cedar Rapids Gazette: Mon., Nov. 18, 1971
Making Directing Debut
Mary’s Most Difficult Task — Yelling ‘Action!’
By Bob Thomas
LOS ANGELES (AP) - it s not (me of our great shows. But the comforting thing is that even our worst shows are better than most of the other series that are on television.”
Mary Tyler Moore uas letting it all hang out The show she referred to was “A Boy’s Best Friend”, and it marked her debut as a director. She was frank, modest, about its quality, but she left no doubt about her pride in the series itself, ‘‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.
The ( BS Saturday night romp remains a television phenomenon. Not only does the show itself maintain a consistently high quality of comedy, but her MTM Enterprises has also spawned winners in ‘‘The Bob New hart Show ”, ‘ Rhoda” and “Friends and Lovers”.
Since she and her husband, Grant Tinker, head the enterprises, there is no need to ask how she got the job as director. But why?
Less Than Exciting
"Last season we had a couple of directors on the show that were — well, less than exciting,” she said in her trailer-dressing room at ( BS Studio ('enter after a strenous dance lesson.
"I thought about how hard all of us in the cast had to work in directing ourselves, without hurting the directors’ feedings.
“Then a few weeks ago I was in Grant's office and we were talking with Arthur Price (MT executive) about a show that was coming up. ‘You know.’ I said. I think I d like to direct.’ “They spun around and said, ‘Good for you!’ ‘Terrific!’ And so I was committed. ’’
The production staff had to plan carefully for Mary’s directorial debut, fashioning a script in which her acting duties were minimal The story concerns Ted Baxter, the pouter-pigeon TY announcer, and his discovery of his mother’s plan to be married.
“Ted completely falls apart," the star-director related, “He is a hypochrondriae anyway, and now all of his odeipal instincts well up and make him a complete vvrec k “Then he gets a call from his mother — we never see her in the show — saying that she isn t going to get married after all, she s just going to live with the man. That destroys Ted altogether.”
The show is resolved when
Theater Time for Monday
WORLD - "The Mad Ad-ventures of ‘Rabbi’ Jacob” — 1:50. 3 411, 5:35, 7.30, 9:30; shorts - 1:30. 3:20. 5:15. 7.10, 9:10.
TIMES - “The Trial of Billy Jack” - 1:50. 5:10, 8:30.
Screen Actors Guild
Election Results Told
HOLLYW(X)D (UPI) -Among the winners of three-year terms on the national board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild are Carroll O’Connor, Lome Greene, Robert Vaughn and Jessica Walter
EASTOWN I - “Jeremiah Johnson” — 7:15, 9:15.
EASTOWN 2 - “The Blazing Saddles” — 7:30, 9:10.
MARION - Features at ll, 12:20. 1:40, 3. 4:20. 5:40, 7, 8:20, 9 40.
COLLINS — “Chinatown”
— 7:45; “The Parallax View”
- IO 05.
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Ted has a man-to-man talk with his mother’s suitor, who turns out to he a mild little 80-vear-old who is only seeking her happiness.
The segment will appear Saturday.
Mary admitted that she had some trepidation about directing because “I’m not a leader. I'm a joiner, a listener, a reactor ”
'l aking charge of a set was “alien to my nature, and I kept asking myself, Am I up to it?’
“Finally I just did what I do
in acting. I knew what was expected of me and what I expected of till' other actors. So I tried to draw that from them " Normally the director stands behind the cameras during “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, which is shot with three movie cameras before an audience.
Mary did her own brief scenes before the' camera, then dropped back to oversee the rest of the action.
Her biggest problem was remembering to say “Action! ” to commence each sc ene.
“I’ve always heard the
director say ‘Action!’ and it just didn’t seem natural for me to be doing it," she said.
“But I wasn’t as bad as Nancy Walker, when she dim ted one of our shows She said ‘Start,’ ‘Go ahead’ or Do it1' — anything but ‘Action!’ ”
Directing in films and television has traditionally been a man’s world, but Mary thinks that should change.
“I know that some men .ire afraid of women in business, afraid that the role-reversal will threaten their masculinity.” she observed.
“Some women are reluctant to seek positions ut authority, thinking that demeans their feminity ll doesn t You don't have to lie aggressive to he assertive. ”
She has been urging other women to direct, notably the show’s script supervisor; Marge Mullen.
“W ithout her. there might not be a Mary Tyler Moore Show’,” Mary remarked, “When we did our first show, we had one performance without cameras to test the audience reaction
“They hated it. Rhoda — Valerie Harper — was too caustic with Mary, and people resented her.
“We all went back to the office in despair and said. ‘Where do we go from here?’ Nobody could think of anything until Marge said. ‘Maybe you could have the little girl say to Mary, Don’t take Aunt Rhoda too seriously; she’s really neat. ’
“That did it The audience saw through a child’s eyes that Rhoda didn't really mean her crac ks to Mary."
Candidate Cites Dog Bite Cost
for his campaign.
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) -According to newspaper law it a dog bites a man, it s not news. But according to James l^inni of Huntington Woods, ii a dog bites a candidate, it s a campaign expense.
Lanni, a Republican who unsuccessfully opposed state Rep Phillip Mastin (D-Hazel Park) listed expenses of $2,263
That included $211 98 which he attributed to an encounter with a dog during his door-to-door campaign rounds.
Lanin's statement filed with the Oakland county clerk listed the following: $18 50 to replace a pair of pants ruined - dog bite.
Mary Tyler Moore
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