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For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.
Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on RCN TV with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.
The plot is simple: a swinging bachelor has to grow up after his young 16-year-old illegitimate son he did not know about shows up and wants to spend time with him.
It is a light-hearted movie with some decent jokes and humorous moments and is a fine flick to watch if you’re in the mood for a feel-good film.
However, it is a significant vehicle to see five very special people involved in this production–three of them actors just before they embarked on other roles that would make them household names.
Bill Bixby plays the role of the bachelor and, prior to this film, was seen in small roles on some prominent television shows like My Favorite Martian. He did have starring roles but on unsuccessful TV shows (The Magician), and had larger parts in rather mediocre film releases (The Apple Dumpling Gang.)
Shortly after starring in Congratulations, he would take over the role as Dr. Bruce Banner–the alter ego to the Incredible Hulk. Bixby would end up playing this role throughout the remainder of his life, starring as the beaten down protagonist in search of a remedy for his experimentation with gamma ray radiation. His own “Hulk” television show and later television movies spanned three decades.
Congratulations also starred Jack Albertson, who had much greater success in films than Bixby at this point, but was a couple years away from starring in the role that he would be best remembered by – Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Tom Bosley was also featured in this film, just a few years before he would become “Mister C,” son to Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham on the long-running sitcom Happy Days. Bosley would also continue to star in popular shows like Murder, She Wrote and The Father Dowling Mysteries and had other prominent television guest starring appearances.
Last but not least, the film stars Ann Southern who had already made a name for herself in comedic films and television performances. So good, in fact, that the Queen of Comedy, Lucille Ball, once referred to Southern as the “best comedian in the business, bar none.”
One more prominent name associated with Congratulations was its producer, Aaron Spelling. Later in this same decade, Spelling would embark on creating shows like Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island, Dynasty and Hart to Hart and then Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Charmed, 7th Heaven and more.
To see the full listing of classic programming on RCN TV, check out the weekly listings here on our website.