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Ghosts of Marathons Past - Earlier Films, Years (Read 38382 times)
Reply #30 - Feb 27th, 2014 at 7:07pm

da_Bunnyman   Offline
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Frank wrote on Feb 27th, 2014 at 12:46pm:
L.A. Connection wrote on Feb 27th, 2014 at 9:03am:
Nice piece on three time Marathon film, I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE:

http://blackholereviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/i-married-monster-from-outer-space-...

[img]


It’s a terrific movie and one of the chief reasons why I attended my first marathon, SF3.  I missed seeing this one in my youth and was determined to catch up with it as the look of the aliens always fascinated me.  I have watched it dozens of times since then and I like to say that had Douglas Sirk directed a science fiction movie it would have been much like IMAMFOS. 
***********SPOILER****************
An alien race has lost its’ females and they are looking for a way to carry on the race by attempting to mate with earth women.  They slowly begin to abduct and impersonate the human males through a combination of a weird cloud and some sort of transference device that allows them to copy the humans.  They take over the body of a character (played by Tom Tryon). He is engaged to marry the heroine (played by Gloria Talbot – stalwart 50’s science fiction female lead).  Their plan to propagate the race through human females is not working.  They are unable to get the earth women pregnant.  Gloria Talbot’s character soon catches on that something is very wrong and her alien husband reveals the plot to her.  She tries to get help but quite a bit f the town has been duplicated.  Themes of sexual repression, frigidity and rape are touched upon but never explored (after all, this was the 50’s). 
The town itself is populated with all manner of sordid and unsavory types.  There is a cheapness and squalor in the downtown area.  Nasty, angry men and women all on the make for something or other populate the town.  Underneath the shiny suburban exterior, this is not a pleasant burg, by any means.   
The plight of the aliens is not ignored either and there is a touching moment wherein one of the aliens in its’ true form is looking through a store front window at a child’s baby doll and you can sense the desperation in the race as they approach extinction. 
The cast is uniformly solid in this low budget affair.  The budget is low but the few effects are mostly well done.  The ray guns and transmitter devices are very effective as are the devices that hold the hosts in suspended animation.  The lighting is top notch for setting the mood.  The entire town feels unfriendly and folks appear cold and calculating.  The sense of formless fear and menace is palpable. 


Let's be honest Frank, nothing you write could be more of a spoiler than the title of the film itself. Smiley
 

I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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Reply #31 - Feb 27th, 2014 at 10:36pm

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Very nice piece, Frank. I really held up better on repeated viewings than I would have thought.

I think the vivid title has diminished serious analysis over the years
 
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Reply #32 - Mar 1st, 2014 at 12:47pm

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One of the most obscure films to ever grace the Marathon screen was SPLIT! way back at SF/15. It had a short life on VHS, and has all but seemed to have disappeared from view.

My memories of it were that it was an ambitious but chaotic curio. I'm glad I saw it, but, couldn't exactly recommend it.

Here's a recent Daily Grindhouse article on it:

http://dailygrindhouse.com/2014/02/28/25th-anniversary-project-underrated-lo-fi-...

...
 
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Reply #33 - Mar 5th, 2014 at 12:32pm

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In light of screening The World, The Flesh and The Devil I would like to nominate a Marathon re-screen of The Day The Earth Caught Fire.  This terrific end-of-the-world movie only played once at the marathon way, way back at SF5.  .  It is a minor classic.  It is a nuclear disaster apocalyptic film starring stalwart Edward Judd, the incomparable Leo McKern and the marvelous Janet Munro.  Directed and co-written by Val guest, best known for directing several Hammer science fiction classic films.  The entire cast of actors is terrific in this movie. 

*****************MAJOR SPOILERS STORY RECAPPED *****************************
The film begins with a man walking the deserted streets of London.  The opening orange tinted sequence adds to the sense that temperatures are abnormally and dangerously high.  Steps have been taken to remedy this crisis but it is as yet unknown if they will be effective.  The story then reverts to several months earlier and the black and white film begins to revel the genesis of the apparent disaster.    
Edward Judd plays once talented reporter Peter Stenning whose once finely honed journalistic skills have been dulled thanks to a bad divorce and a growing dependency on alcohol.  His problems have led to his now being given secondary writing assignments.   Frankly, he has lost his passion for reporting the news.  His editor is, at last, starting to lose patience with his reporter.  Stenning has one close friend at the newspaper, talented reporter Bill Maguire (so ably portrayed by Leo McKern). 
Stenning is asked to get weather data from the Met Office.  He calls over and has an argument with an operator who refuses to connect him with anyone other than the press office.  He insults her and decides to go over in person.  He gets nowhere fast and as he is shown the door he decides to try and obtain the information using deception.  He then (unbeknownst to him) has another run in with the operator Jeanie (Janet Munro).  They argue but eventually get together.
It is soon learned that the US and the USSR have simultaneously set off two nuclear bomb tests at different points of the globe.   Initially, it is believed that the bombs have shifted the tilt of the earth causing the severe weather changes.  However, the government is trying to hide the fact that the bombs have actually changed the orbit of the earth and that it is on a collision course with the sun.   As scientists and the two superpowers try to fix the problem that they created, we get a glimpse of a world suffering from extreme heat and lack of water.  The world goes a little mad and folks start disregarding laws that will soon not matter. 
The Day The Earth Caught Fire was filmed in the middle of the Cold War and the arms race.  Rather than having nuclear warfare wipe out humanity, the movie uses the novel concept of a nuclear test error as the cause of our end.  Unlike many science fiction films of the 50’s, the story does not revolve around the people trying to “fix the problem” and save humanity.  It is rather a story about a lonely, damaged man seeking comfort and salvation.  He is at a crossroads in every sense of the word.  The decisions and path he chooses will affect his career, his sobriety and his chance for any future happiness.  Unfortunately, there may be no future and that decision is out of his hands.  In a sense, Peter represents the larger world of humanity.  He is bitter, cynical and prone to self-destructive behavior.   His skewed and narrow vision of reality has led him to the brink.   Our governments in the film have similarly led all of humanity to a brink.  The movie leaves us without turning the final page.   Will Peter and the world get a second chance at starting over?   
       

Tidbits:
Look for Michael Caine as policeman in a very early role (Judd ad Caine were real life friends).  Also, the woman who plays May was Judd’s real wife.  Tragically she died of a brain hemorrhage at 34). 
There is a scene in the movie wherein Janet Munro is drying herself off after a bath and there is a brief glimpse of her bare breasts.  This would have passed muster in European prints but not likely here in the US.    It’s a brief scene but it is there and I wonder if American censors caught it.  Peeping Tom was released one year earlier and that is usually regarded as the first post-code English language film to have any nudity.  A very brief scene of a bare breast exposed by actress Pamela Green.  The Day The Earth Caught Fire is an early example of nudity in an English language film.  It would be a couple of years until Jayne Mansfield would perform a nude scene n Promises…..Promises!
 

I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death.
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Reply #34 - Mar 5th, 2014 at 9:38pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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TERRIFIC film. 35mm prints have been spotted, too!

I'm 99% sure the nudity was only in the 'continental' version that didn't play the USA upon its original release.

Frank wrote on Mar 5th, 2014 at 12:32pm:
In light of screening The World, The Flesh and The Devil I would like to nominate a Marathon re-screen of The Day The Earth Caught Fire.  This terrific end-of-the-world movie only played once at the marathon way, way back at SF5.  .  It is a minor classic.  It is a nuclear disaster apocalyptic film starring stalwart Edward Judd, the incomparable Leo McKern and the marvelous Janet Munro.  Directed and co-written by Val guest, best known for directing several Hammer science fiction classic films.  The entire cast of actors is terrific in this movie. 

*****************MAJOR SPOILERS STORY RECAPPED *****************************
The film begins with a man walking the deserted streets of London.  The opening orange tinted sequence adds to the sense that temperatures are abnormally and dangerously high.  Steps have been taken to remedy this crisis but it is as yet unknown if they will be effective.  The story then reverts to several months earlier and the black and white film begins to revel the genesis of the apparent disaster.    
Edward Judd plays once talented reporter Peter Stenning whose once finely honed journalistic skills have been dulled thanks to a bad divorce and a growing dependency on alcohol.  His problems have led to his now being given secondary writing assignments.   Frankly, he has lost his passion for reporting the news.  His editor is, at last, starting to lose patience with his reporter.  Stenning has one close friend at the newspaper, talented reporter Bill Maguire (so ably portrayed by Leo McKern). 
Stenning is asked to get weather data from the Met Office.  He calls over and has an argument with an operator who refuses to connect him with anyone other than the press office.  He insults her and decides to go over in person.  He gets nowhere fast and as he is shown the door he decides to try and obtain the information using deception.  He then (unbeknownst to him) has another run in with the operator Jeanie (Janet Munro).  They argue but eventually get together.
It is soon learned that the US and the USSR have simultaneously set off two nuclear bomb tests at different points of the globe.   Initially, it is believed that the bombs have shifted the tilt of the earth causing the severe weather changes.  However, the government is trying to hide the fact that the bombs have actually changed the orbit of the earth and that it is on a collision course with the sun.   As scientists and the two superpowers try to fix the problem that they created, we get a glimpse of a world suffering from extreme heat and lack of water.  The world goes a little mad and folks start disregarding laws that will soon not matter. 
The Day The Earth Caught Fire was filmed in the middle of the Cold War and the arms race.  Rather than having nuclear warfare wipe out humanity, the movie uses the novel concept of a nuclear test error as the cause of our end.  Unlike many science fiction films of the 50’s, the story does not revolve around the people trying to “fix the problem” and save humanity.  It is rather a story about a lonely, damaged man seeking comfort and salvation.  He is at a crossroads in every sense of the word.  The decisions and path he chooses will affect his career, his sobriety and his chance for any future happiness.  Unfortunately, there may be no future and that decision is out of his hands.  In a sense, Peter represents the larger world of humanity.  He is bitter, cynical and prone to self-destructive behavior.   His skewed and narrow vision of reality has led him to the brink.   Our governments in the film have similarly led all of humanity to a brink.  The movie leaves us without turning the final page.   Will Peter and the world get a second chance at starting over?   
       

Tidbits:
Look for Michael Caine as policeman in a very early role (Judd ad Caine were real life friends).  Also, the woman who plays May was Judd’s real wife.  Tragically she died of a brain hemorrhage at 34). 
There is a scene in the movie wherein Janet Munro is drying herself off after a bath and there is a brief glimpse of her bare breasts.  This would have passed muster in European prints but not likely here in the US.    It’s a brief scene but it is there and I wonder if American censors caught it.  Peeping Tom was released one year earlier and that is usually regarded as the first post-code English language film to have any nudity.  A very brief scene of a bare breast exposed by actress Pamela Green.  The Day The Earth Caught Fire is an early example of nudity in an English language film.  It would be a couple of years until Jayne Mansfield would perform a nude scene n Promises…..Promises!

 
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Reply #35 - Mar 7th, 2014 at 11:21am

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Last year's Marathon film, WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH is getting a limited release this week. The reviews haven't been kind.

It wasn't great, but not that bad:

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/war-of-the-worlds-goliath
 
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Reply #36 - Mar 14th, 2014 at 2:08pm

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Joe Dante takes on PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES on today's Trailers From Hell:

http://trailersfromhell.com/planet-vampires/

 
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Reply #37 - Mar 19th, 2014 at 4:49pm

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...

Long overdue for a repeat marathon showing.

Five Million Years To Earth
For my money, the best of the Quatermass movies although I enjoy them all including the underrated Quatermass Conclusion see the entire TV mini-series not the butchered version that was released for the movies. The truncated version played the marathon. The Creeping Unknown and Enemy From Space (never shown) are both good but unfortunately, Hammer decided to go with a leading player who would be recognizable to American audiences in order to sell the movie in the States. Brian Donlevy was Irish born but he was raised in the States and was well known for playing tough guys in many terrific movies. He was a good actor but clearly he was not right for the role of Quatermass. His approach to the role seems half-hearted. He also enjoyed his drink and this may have caused a few problems off and on camera. However, the movies are well written and enjoyable despite the low budgets. When Andrew Keir stepped in to play Quatermass in Five Million Years To Earth or Quatermass And The Pit, they found someone far more suitable to the character. Quatermass was gruff and brusque but at the same time he was a top scientist. Andrew Keir delivers the goods. Along with the terrific James Donald, Barbara Shelley and Julian Glover they form a fine core of actors for this movie.
My chief complaint with the Quatermass series if that they tend to ignore the Professor’s previous adventures. In the films, the authorities are always astounded to learn of alien life. Clearly, the presence of the weird is present in the first two films, The Creeping Unknown and Enemy From Space. Yet with every film, the presence of alien life is met with skepticism. You would think that since the events of Enemy From Space took place wherein an alien invasion almost succeeds by taking control of the human populace, that a special group would have been created to deal with such matters. It’s a minor quibble, but it is a nagging one for me.

**************story overview spoilers******************************

A construction crew is working to add an extension to the London subway at Hobbs End. Workers unearth skeletal remains and work is stopped in order to investigate the find. Paleontologists determine that the skeletons are hominids far older than any previously found on earth. In fact, they are about 5 million years old. The mystery deepens when they unearth a metallic object in the ground. Fearing that it is an old UXB from WWII, the military takes control of the area and shuts done the dig. Quatermass becomes involved accidentally. He has been railing against his plans for moon colonization to become a military project with Colonel Breen. Colonel Breen is called in to the site of the UXB for is expertise and QUatermass accompanies him to the site. The Colonel insists that it is an UXB and that its’ strange look may have been one of the Nazis experimental bombs. Quatermass disagrees with the Colonel.
The situation intensifies when Quatermass and the paleontologist realize that one of the skeletons is found undamaged in an interior chamber of the object meaning that the object itself must be five million years old. It turns out that the object is a spaceship containing the mummified and preserved bodies of the alien crew. They are removed for examination. The military maintains that it was part of some elaborate Nazi hoax designed to frighten and bewilder the populace. As the rest of the film unfolds, we learn about the about the aliens, their purpose in coming to earth, the origin of man. We also discover tat unearthing the vessel, will give rise to a menace that may result in widespread death and destruction.

 

I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death.
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Reply #38 - Mar 19th, 2014 at 9:02pm

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I second the motion!
 
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Reply #39 - Mar 21st, 2014 at 6:59pm

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...

SF4 had a schedule loaded with classic sci-fi titles like The Thing (1951) Body Snatchers (1956) Monolith Monsters, Forbidden Planet.
And then there was this one. The Bed Sitting Room is an absurdist comedy about a Britain that has pretty much been destroyed. But the remaining population, all 20 of them, try to pretend everything is fine.
The BBC goes door to door giving the last newscast, people mutate into apartments, furniture, parrots, dogs, etc. A man in a bomb shelter screams the question "have they dropped it yet?" a guy on an excercycle is the power company and a man is made prime minister because of his inside leg measurement. And of course the film ends with a rousing chorus of God Bless Mrs Ethel Shroake (last known distant relative of the royal family.)
Needless to say this film did not go over too well with the marathon crowd. But then this was a few years before the Pythons hit the USA. Wonder how it'd go over today?

I've always liked it since seeing it at The Welles comedy festival months before. The weirdness makes it work for me.
Most frightening thing about it might be that the devastated landscapes and huge piles of shoes, plates and scrap  metal were there all ready. Just waiting to be filmed as the end of the world.
Check out the truly odd trailer.
And remember Stretch and Repent!
 

I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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Reply #40 - Mar 21st, 2014 at 9:24pm

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Hmm. Interesting note about an Orson Welles comic festival.

Might explain why this curio showed up so early in Marathon history considering the dozens and dozens of films (like WESTWORLD! that got skipped over in its stead).



da_Bunnyman wrote on Mar 21st, 2014 at 6:59pm:
[img]

SF4 had a schedule loaded with classic sci-fi titles like The Thing (1951) Body Snatchers (1956) Monolith Monsters, Forbidden Planet.
And then there was this one. The Bed Sitting Room is an absurdist comedy about a Britain that has pretty much been destroyed. But the remaining population, all 20 of them, try to pretend everything is fine.
The BBC goes door to door giving the last newscast, people mutate into apartments, furniture, parrots, dogs, etc. A man in a bomb shelter screams the question "have they dropped it yet?" a guy on an excercycle is the power company and a man is made prime minister because of his inside leg measurement. And of course the film ends with a rousing chorus of God Bless Mrs Ethel Shroake (last known distant relative of the royal family.)
Needless to say this film did not go over too well with the marathon crowd. But then this was a few years before the Pythons hit the USA. Wonder how it'd go over today?

I've always liked it since seeing it at The Welles comedy festival months before. The weirdness makes it work for me.
Most frightening thing about it might be that the devastated landscapes and huge piles of shoes, plates and scrap  metal were there all ready. Just waiting to be filmed as the end of the world.
Check out the truly odd trailer.
And remember Stretch and Repent!

 
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Reply #41 - Mar 21st, 2014 at 9:44pm

da_Bunnyman   Offline
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As I recall it played in a double feature with Bedazzled so may have been a comedy, British film or British comedy festival.
 

I can't complain but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far.
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Reply #42 - Apr 9th, 2014 at 10:11pm

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Talk about coming full circle. A TV show based on THE TRUMAN SHOW which is based on a fictional TV show.........


http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/paramount-tv-unveils-first-development-slate-tha...

Paramount TV Unveils First Development Slate That Includes Series Takes On ‘Narc’ & ‘Truman Show’, Firms Up Executive Team
By NELLIE ANDREEVA |

A year after Paramount Studios signaled its re-entry in TV with the relaunch of Paramount Television, the start-up division has set its first development slate. As expected, it includes mining well-known properties from the Paramount movie library. That includes a crime drama with roots in Joe Carnahan’s Narc, with Carnahan writing and directing the pilot, and a re-imagination of the Jim Carrey hit The Truman Show....


 
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Reply #43 - May 17th, 2014 at 3:24am

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More new on the Thunderbirds reboot - http://tuppencemagazine.co.uk/entertainment-news/thunderbirds-reboot-itv-2015/ - Former bond girl, Rosamund Pike, gets in on the action as Lady Penelope and Fonejackers' Kayvan Novak is lined up to play Brains apparently!
 
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Reply #44 - Jun 18th, 2014 at 9:21pm

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Daniel Keyes, author of the book FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON has passed on. The film CHARLY was based on the book and Cliff Robertson won a Best Actor Oscar for playing the leading role. Much of it was shot in and around Boston.

It played well in its Marathon showing at SF/30 in 2005.

...

RIP.
 
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