Directed byEdmond O’Brien and Howard W. Koch
Starring Edmond O’Brien, John Agar, Marla English, Emile Meyer, Carolyn Jones, Claude Akins, Hugh Sanders, William Schallert, Richard Deacon, Vito Scotti
Howard W. Koch directed one of my all-time favorite sleazeball crime pictures, Big House, USA (1955). He preceded it with Shield For Murder (1954), starring Edmond O’Brien (who co-directed).
O’Brien’s a detective who kills a bookie for the cash he’s carrying. When he finds out there was a witness, guess it’s time for more killing. O’Brien is joined by a dream cast that includes John Agar, Marla English, Carolyn Jones, Claude Akins, William Schallert, Richard Deacon and Vito Scotti.
Where has this movie been all my life? Lucky for us all, it’s coming to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. Man, I can’t wait.
Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Starring John Agar, Jean Byron, Philip Tonge, Robert Hutton, John Carradine
These 50s sci-fi movies are really well-represented on Blu-ray. (It’s a shame the new Japanese Blu-ray of The Thing turned out to be the 81-minute re-release version.) Well, here’s another one — Edward Cahn’s Invisible Invaders (1959), a very cheap, quite short and surprisingly effective bit of hokum — with a bit of anti-nuke stuff tossed into the mix.
John Agar’s a scientist. John Carradine is conked out in a lab explosion. And the producers were certainly glad the aliens turned out to be invisible. Maury Gertzman, who shot some great stuff for Universal in the 40s and early 50s, makes this thing look far better than it should. Can’t wait to see it in anamorphic high-definition this June. All 67 minutes of it.
Directed by Curt Siodmak
Starring Richard Carlson, King Donovan, Jean Byron, Harry Ellerbe, Leo Britt
Kino Lorber has announced a June Blu-ray release for The Magnetic Monster (1953), a low-budget, high-quality (as I see it) sci-fi picture from Curt Siodmak. It stars the great Richard Carlson as a scientist warning us about the dangers of radiation. Nobody handles 50s pseudo-scientific dialogue as well as Carlson. Recommended.
Directed by Christian Nyby
Produced by Howard Hawks
Starring Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, Paul Frees, John Dierkes, James Arness
It scared me to death as a kid. It’s one of my Top 10 favorite films. And it’s coming to Blu-ray in Japan. The Thing (1951) deserves a gorgeous hi-def transfer. Let’s hope it gets it.
It’s been so much fun writing about movies at 50 Westerns From The 50s. Cowboy movies, that is. And after almost five years, I figured it was time to branch out a bit.
For this new blog, I wanted a name that served as an in-joke, lifted from some old film I love. Afghanistan Banana Stand, from The Hot Rock (1972), was taken. Pacific Edible Seaweed Company from It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) was too long. Mayor Of Shark City, a line from Jaws (1975), just seemed weird, as did Half-Ass Astronaut from the same movie. Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, from another favorite film, didn’t do much for me. And I realized that the research station in The Thing (1951) isn’t called by name. Then into my head popped the Hannibal 8.
Things’ll get underway soon.