Creature Feature Double Feature

This week in keeping with the December theme of Alfred Hitchcock month, I thought I would bring a double feature this week.

This weeks films are 2 movies that if asked who directed them, people might get a answer correct on a guess. These are 2 films that I think lots of people have heard of, but just never watched. The first film is from 1954 and it is called … Dial M for Murder

Ray Milland as tony Wendice
Grace Kelly as Margot Mary Wendice
Robert Cummings as Mark Halliday

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

When a old tennis pro marries a woman for her money and things start to go bad, he plot a way to kill her. But when plan A does not seem to do it, a better plan B is put into action.

Interesting fact about the film:
The 1954 film was shot with M.L. Gunzberg’s Natural Vision 3-D camera rig. This rig was notable for being the same rig that started the 3-D craze of 1953 with Bwana Devil and House of Wax. Intended originally to be shown in dual strip, polaroid 3-D, the film played most theaters flat due to the loss of interest in the 3-D process in conjunction with the time of its release. In February 1980, the dual-strip system was used for the revival of the film in 3-D at the York Theater in San Fransico. This revival did so well that Warner Brothers re-released the film in the single-strip system 3-D version in February 1982.

Our second film is titled … Rope!

James Stewart as Rupert Cadell
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

When two men kill off a classmate they feel is below them, they host a party with the body in the apartment, just to challenge themselves in perfecting the “perfect crime”.

Something to look for when watching this movie:
Alfred is known for making cameos in his films and Rope! is not exception. See if you can find how many times Alfred shows up in the film.


Don’t forget to check out the North by Northwest post for how you can win a DVD copy of North by Northwest, but HURRY, contest ends on December 16th.

Creature Feature: Forbidden Planet

forbidden planet

Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius
Anne Fracis as Altaira “Alta” Morbius
Leslie Nielson as commander J.J Adams

Director: Fred M. Wilcox

A group of astronauts from Earth are heading to Altair IV to check up on a group that had left Earth 20 years prior and have not been heard from. When the ship lands they come to find that only 2 of the original crew are left and that the planet holds secrets beyond anything humans could even dream of.
But not only dose the world hold secrets and riches to help advance mankind, but it holds a deep dark secret that only 1 person knows about.

Things to keep in mind when watching this film:
At about $125,000, Robby the Robot was a very expensive film prop for the time. The electrically-controlled landcar or “dune buggy” driven by Robby and the tractor-crane truck offloaded from the spaceship were also built for the film. Robby was later featured in the film The Invisible Boy and appeared in numerous television series and movies. Like the C-57D, Robby (and his vehicle) appeared in episodes of The Twilight Zone.

2- Disc Special Edition: (post from Amazon)
On the DVDs
On disc 1 of the colorfully designed 2-disc 50th Anniversary Edition of Forbidden Planet, the movie is presented with a new digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements, with soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, offering considerable improvement over the film’s previous DVD release. A selection of deleted scenes were taken from a faded and scratchy 16-millimeter “work print” that had originally been viewed by composers Louis and Bebe Barron as they were creating the film’s unique electronic score; they consist of full or partial scenes cut from the final film– mostly for good reason, but collectors (and those who first saw this rare material on the original Criterion Collection laserdisc) will welcome their inclusion here. The “lost footage” is crude special-effects test footage, primarily of interest to sci-fi historians and aficionados. Given the fact that the original “Robby the Robot” cost over $100,000 to build in 1955, it’s easy to see why MGM wanted to get their money’s worth: An excerpt from the 1950s TV series “MGM Parade” shows Forbidden Planet star Walter Pigeon appearing briefly with Robby, and the popular robot gets even more attention as a guest star in “The Robot Client,” an episode of the Thin Man TV series (starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk) that originally aired on Feb. 28, 1958. Disc 1 also includes a gallery of seven science-fiction movie trailers dating from 1953 (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) to 1960’s The Time Machine.

Disc 2 begins with 1957’s The Invisible Boy, a still-enjoyable B-movie that served as Robby’s post-Forbidden Planet showcase. Here, filmdom’s favorite automaton plays sidekick to a young boy (Richard Eyer) who turns invisible when he gets caught up in a super-computer’s scheme of global domination. Also included are three documentaries, ranging from very good to excellent: In addition to reuniting the surviving cast members of the ’56 classic (including Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, Richard Anderson, Warren Stevens, and Earl Holliman), “Amazing! Exploring the Far Reaches of Forbidden Planet” is an appreciative tribute to Forbidden Planet with some of Hollywood’s foremost sci-fi fans including special effects masters Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett, SF movie expert Bill Warren, and others. “Robby the Robot: Engineering a Sci-Fi Icon” is a featurette about the robot’s design, creation and pop-cultural history, featuring original “Robby” designer Robert Kinoshita, Bill Malone (current owner of the original Robby), and Fred “The Robot Man” Barton, a lifelong robot fanatic who now sells fully authorized, full-scale replicas of Robby for sci-fi fans with deep pockets. Closing out disc 2 is “Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us,” a 2005 documentary from Turner Classic Movies, written and directed by Time magazine critic Richard Schickel. It’s a thoroughly comprehensive survey of ’50s sci-fi and its influence on the next generation of film directors, including engaging interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, Ridley Scott and James Cameron.


Pick up a copy of Forbidden Planet (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Creature Feature – War of the World’s

Looking for a good classic movie to watch this week? Well let me pick one out of my classic collection and give you a suggestion of one to watch.

war of the worlds

Gene Barry as Dr. Clayton Forrester (also played the grandfather in the 2005 version of War of the Worlds)
Ann Robinson as Sylvia Van Buren (also played the grandmother in the 2005 version of War of the Worlds)

Byron Haskins

While on vacation in Pine Summit, Dr Clatyon Forrester (Gene Barry), a world renowned physicist, is called in to examine a giant meteorite that has crashed in the town of Linda Rosa. As the meteorite cools, its true nature is revealed being an alien spacecraft. With the governments of the world powerless against these martian invaders, it is up to our heros to find a way to kill off the aliens before the aliens kill off the humans.

Things to keep in mind when watching this film:
The final Martian attack at toward the end of the film was orginally slated to be in 3-D, but was later scrapted due to cost.

The footage of different nations joining together to fight off the martians, is real WW2 stock footage. The film accrued $2 million in distributors rentals, making it the top grossing science fiction film of 1953. This is also the first on screen adaptation of H.G Wells book War of the Worlds. This film also won the Oscar for Special Effects.