Monday, 21 November 2016

The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957)


An interesting and well-paced film hampered by low-budget constraints



Directed by László Kardos
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Bernard Gordon
Music by Ross DiMaggio, George Duning
Cinematography: Benjamin H. Kline
Edited by Charles Nelson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Running time: 71 minutes


Cast


Victor Jory: Dr. Murdock
William Hudson: Dr. Jess Rogers
Charlotte Austin: Carol Adams
Jean Willes: Tracy
Ann Doran: Mrs. Ford
Paul Cavanagh: Cooper
George Lynn: Dr. Freneau
Victor Varconi: Dr. Myer
Friedrich von Ledebur: Eric
Tina Carver: Big Marge Collins
Barbara Wilson: Anna Sherman


video
Trailer

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Monday, 7 November 2016

The Land Unknown (1957)


A rather simplistic sci-fi adventure film


Directed by Virgil W. Vogel
Produced by William Alland
Written by Charles Palmer, William N. Robson, László Görög
Music by Henry Mancini, Hans J. Salter, Herman Stein
Cineatography: Ellis W. Carter
Edited by Fred MacDowell
Distributed by Universal-International
Running time: 78 minutes


Cast


Jock Mahoney: Cmndr. Harold 'Hal' Roberts
Shirley Patterson: Margaret 'Maggie' Hathaway
William Reynolds: Lt. Jack Carmen
Henry Brandon: Dr. Carl Hunter
Douglas Kennedy: Capt. Burnham 
Phil Harvey: Machinist's Mate, Steve Mill


video
Trailer

Read on for more......

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

A thoughtful, philosophical, intelligent and sensitive Sci-Fi film


Directed by Jack Arnold
Produced by Albert Zugsmith
Written by Richard Matheson
Screenplay by Richard Matheson, Richard Alan Simmons
Based on The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson
Music by Irving Getz, Hans J. Salter, Herman Stein
Cinematography: Ellis W. Carter
Edited by Albrecht Joseph
Distributed by Universal-International
Running time: 81 minutes
Budget: $750,000
Box office: $(US)1.43 million


Cast


Grant Williams as Scott Carey
Randy Stuart as Louise Carey
April Kent as Clarice
Paul Langton as Charlie Carey
Raymond Bailey as Doctor Thomas Silver
William Schallert as Doctor Arthur Bramson
Frank J. Scannell as Barker
Helene Marshall as Nurse
Diana Darrin as Nurse
Billy Curtis as Midget 
Orangey as Butch the cat

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film from Universal-International and was adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson from his novel, The Shrinking Man.




This film together with 20 Million Miles to EarthKronos and The Monolith Monsters, all from the same year, left an indelible impression on me for almost six decades. 

video
Trailer



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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Tribute To John Agar

(January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002)

“…. if I give anybody any enjoyment, I'm doing my job, and that's what counts."


Early Life

John Agar was born in Chicago, Illinois into a wealthy Chicago meat packing family as the oldest of 4 children on Jan 31, 1921. He was educated at the Harvard School for Boys in Chicago and Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois. He graduated from Trinity-Pawling Preparatory School in Pawling, New York, but did not attend college.

After the death of his father, John and his family moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1942. 

Read on for more.....

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Deadly Mantis (1957)

An entertaining low budget sci-film with lots of action


Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by William Alland
Written by William Alland, Martin Berkeley
Music by Irving Gerts, William Lava
Cinematography: Ellis W. Carter
Edited by Chester Schaeffer
Distributed by Universal-International
Running time: 79 min


Cast


Craig Stevens: Col. Joe Parkman
William Hopper: Dr. Nedrick Jackson
Alix Talton: Marge Blaine
Donald Randolph: Maj. Gen. Mark Ford
Pat Conway: Sgt. Pete Allen
Florenz Ames: Prof. Anton Gunther
Paul Smith: Corporal
Phil Harvey: Lou
Floyd Simmons: Army Sergeant
Paul Campbell: Lt. Fred Pizar
Helen Jay: Mrs. Farley




“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” 

The Deadly Mantis opens with a camera zoom-in on a map showing the North Atlantic Ocean followed by a small island in the Weddell Sea close to the Antarctic Circle. A huge volcanic eruption then occurs after which the camera tracks across the map to Greenland and then on to a point close to the North Pole.

For those of us today who are accustomed to experiencing the increasing effects of global warning, we witness with somewhat less surprise than what might be expected huge areas of ice breaking up.

What is surprising is that the breakup and melting of the ice reveals the body of a giant praying mantis!



video
Trailer

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Friday, 16 September 2016

A Tribute to Willis O'Brien




Pioneering motion picture special effects artist who pioneered the technique of stop motion animation and created "the most startling and intriguing monsters who have ever invaded screenland."


video
King Kong vs T-Rex




Early Life

Willis O'brien was born on 2 March 1886 in Oakland, California. His father, William O'Brien was self-educated and was a noted etymologist. He also spent 15 years as assistant district attorney for Oakland. Poor investments coupled with some bad luck forced the O’Brien family into poverty when Willis was just 11 years old.

Before he began working in film, Willis O’Brien worked short stints as a cowboy, professional boxer. farmhand, factory worker, fur trapper, bartender, draftsman in an architect's office, railroad brakeman and surveyor. He then went on to become a cartoonist for the San Francisco Daily News, and worked as a professional marble sculptor.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

A rather ludicrous but strangely ridiculously entertaining sci-fi film


Directed by Nathan H. Juran
Produced by Jacques R. Marquette
Written by Ray Buffum
Music by Walter Greene
Cinematography Jacques R. Marquette
Distributed by Howco International
Running time: 70 min.
Budget: $58,000 approx.



Cast


John Agar: Steve March
Joyce Meadows: Sally Fallon
Robert Fuller: Dan Murphy
Thomas Browne Henry: John Fallon
Ken Terrell: Colonel in Conference Room
Henry Travis: Colonel Frogley
E. Leslie Thomas: General Brown
Tim Graham: Sheriff Wiley Pane
Bill Giorgio: Russian


A powerful alien disembodied brain from the planet Arous, by the name of Gor invades and takes control of the body of scientist, Steve March. Gor uses March as part of his nefarious plan to control the world by threatening to destroy any nation that challenges his total domination.


video
Trailer


How can this new threat to Humanity be thwarted? 


Read on to find out….