Category Archives: Fred F. Sears

Happy Thanksgiving.

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It’s not exactly the perfect Thanksgiving photo, but it’s not exactly the perfect special effect, either. It’s the turkey-ish monster from The Giant Claw (1957), produced by Sam Katzman and directed by Fred F. Sears. As you can tell by the still, Katzman’s cost-cutting really hurt this one. But when you’ve got Mara Corday, who cares about the monster?

Have a happy Thanksgiving. And if you’re traveling, especially by air, keep an eye out.

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Filed under 1957, Fred F. Sears, Mara Corday, Sam Katzman

DVD News #44: Tales From The Prison Yard 6-Film Collection.

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Mill Creek Entertainment and Columbia have done us another big favor, this time assembling a big collection from the big house (for a February 2016 release): Tales From The Prison Yard. It gives us six prison movies, ranging from a Sam Katzman quickie to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail (1973). For me, the attraction is two more Fred F. Sears pictures to add to my collection.

Convicted (1950)
Directed by Henry Levin
Starring Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, Millard Mitchell, Dorothy Malone, Will Geer

Cell 2455 Death Row (1955)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring William Campbell, Marian Carr, Kathryn Grant, Harvey Stephens, Vince Edwards

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Escape From San Quentin (1957)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring Johnny Desmond, Merry Anders, Richard Devon, Roy Engel

City Of Fear (1959)
Directed by Irving Lerner
Starring Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Patricia Blair, Steven Ritch

The Valachi Papers (1972)
Directed by Terence Young
Starring Charles Bronson, Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, Joseph Wiseman

The Last Detail (1973)
Directed by Hal Ashby
Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Carol Kane

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Filed under 1950, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1972, 1973, Charles Bronson, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fred F. Sears, Mill Creek, Sam Katzman

DVD Review: The Night The World Exploded (1957).

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Directed by Fred F. Sears
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Jack Natteford and Luci Ward
Director Of Photography: Benjamin H. Kline, ASC

Cast: Kathryn Grant (Laura Hutchinson), William Leslie (Dr. David Conway), Tristram Coffin (Dr. Ellis Morton), Raymond Greenleaf (Governor Chaney), Charles Evans (General Bortes), Frank J. Scannell (Sheriff Quinn), Marshall Reed (General’s Aide), Fred Coby (Ranger Brown), Paul Savage (Ranger Gold), Terry Frost (Chief Rescue Worker)

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Mill Creek Entertainment’s arrangement with Columbia has resulted in some terrific DVD sets, many in the horror/sci-fi neighborhood — and at a great price point. One of the recent ones is the oddly-named, but wonderful, Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection.

The Night The World Exploded (1957) is some great Sam Katzman sci-fi nonsense (that takes places almost entirely in the daytime). The newly-discovered Element 112 is expanding and exploding in the underground pockets created by drilling, mining and other earth-mangling activities — threatening to knock the earth off its axis or blow the whole thing to bits. It’s up to a team of earthquake-predicting scientists to sort things out before it’s too late.

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One of the advantages of possessing absolutely no scientific knowledge is the pseudo-scientific babble that propels movies like The Night The World Exploded plays well. And there’s a lot of it in this one, delivered by a capable cast. There’s also the assured direction of Fred F. Sears and Benjamin Kline’s great cinematography (with some shooting at the Iverson Ranch). Thanks to Kline, these Katzman pictures look better than they deserve to.

The Night The World Exploded played with another Katzman-Sears picture, The Giant Claw. It’s a decent giant monster movie spoiled by maybe the worst-looking movie monster in cinema history.

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The Night The World Exploded looks terrific in this set from Mill Creek Entertainment. Columbia supplied them with a clean, crisp 1.85 transfer — the other five films in the collection look just as good. I didn’t see any bit rate problems from squeezing six movies onto two discs. Vintage Sci-fi Six-Movie Collection comes recommended.

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Filed under 1957, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray Reviews, Fred F. Sears, Mill Creek, Sam Katzman

DVD News #37: Vintage Sci-Fi Six-Movie Collection.

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Mill Creek has brought out a number of these collections, scooping up stuff from the Columbia vaults (some might say from the dumpster) and bringing them out at great prices — and in their proper aspect ratios! It’s hard to keep up with ’em all. I’m really excited about this one, which gives us another picture from the underrated, overlooked Fred F. Sears.

The Night The World Exploded (1957)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring Kathryn Grant, William Leslie, Tristram Coffin, Raymond Greenleaf, Charles Evans, Frank J. Scannell

The 27th Day (1957)
Directed by William Asher
Starring Gene Barry, Valerie French, George Vaokovec, Arnold Moss, Stefan Schnabel, Friedrich von, Ledebur

Twelve To The Moon (1960)
Directed by David Bradley
Starring Ken Clark, Michi Kobi, Tom Conway, Anthony Dexter, John Wengraf, Robert Montgomery, Jr.

Valley Of The Dragons (1961)
Directed by Edward Bernds
Starring Cesare Danova, Sean McClory, Joan Staley, Danielle De Metz, Gregg Martell, Gil Peerkins

The H-Man (1958)
Directed by Ishirō Honda
Starring Yumi Shirakawa, Kenji Sahara, Akihiko Hirata, Eitarô Ozawa, Koreya Senda, Makoto Satô

Battle In Outer Space
Directed by Ishirō Honda
Starring Ryô Ikebe, Kyôko Anzai, Minoru Takada, Koreya Senda, Len Stanford, Harold Conway

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Filed under 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fred F. Sears, Gene Barry, Ishirō Honda, Mill Creek, Toho, William Asher