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Monday, May 30, 2022

Film Noir #8


Noir: Bewitched and The Bigamist

BEWITCHED (1945) --- Forty millions were said to have listened to this on radio, so said MGM’s trailer, idea to presell a modest programmer written and produced by Arch Oboler, an airwave wunderkind off O. Welles pattern who might in the end have been a greater mainstream success than Orson, if not a more accomplished talent. Bewitched was near as Metro came to “experimental,” as in doing something out of their ordinary and entrusting much to singular artist that was Oboler (only five foot one, really?). He had directed a single film prior, Strange Holiday, which among others (Claude Rains, Gloria Holden) featured my elementary school band teacher Priscilla Lyons, who had I but known once worked with Dracula’s Daughter, would never have got a moment’s peace in her mid-sixties classroom. You could say, then, that Bewitched was Oboler’s Magnificent Ambersons after Kane that was Strange Holiday, if one wanted to belabor similarities between Oboler and Welles. Bewitched has a cult, if a small one. I recall one collector being quite proud of his print, at a time when MGM titles were nearly impossible to come by on illicit-owned 16mm film.

dealt with dual personality on serious, near-clinical terms, detail of which head doctor Edmund Gwenn explains to a 1945 public assumed to have never heard of such malady. So how common are split personas? I might name several of acquaintance without knowing any to be textbook instances. Phyllis Thaxter has an evil side that kills, perhaps a film-first apart from horror usage. Her sickness is a matter of much discussion, after fashion of radio where talk is chief, Oboler laying down his diagnosis, via Gwenn, as though he seconded in medicine behind dramatist skill. Door prize to murderess Thaxter is getting away with the crime once Governor Minor Watson is convinced it was the other Thaxter who was guilty, him promising a cursory investigation, maybe brief treatment, to clear the mess up. Psychiatry fascinated folks in the forties, lots willing to suspend disbelief however specious Oboler explanations were. There was key ad art of Phyllis Thaxter with scissors in attack mode for lure, and yes, she uses them on Henry H. Daniels, Jr., formerly a most obscure of Meet Me in St. Louis household, kept to ever smaller parts after. Don Miller had nice things to say about Bewitched in his B Movies book, a key study that came years before others cared about small budget stuff. Warner Archive offers a DVD.

THE BIGAMIST (1953) --- Is bigamy still a crime? I wonder because so many things that were verboten are not any longer. It seems in a way quaint to watch a movie about a man with two wives unless it's a comedy. Have there been, among oceans of rom-coms, one where a man or woman turns up with two or more spouses? Not that I would necessarily care to watch them, as I found The Bigamist something of an ordeal. Maybe it was the waiting for hapless Edmund O’Brien to be caught, which of course, he inevitably would be. He isn’t a bad sort, just one trapped by circumstance of not wanting to disappoint alternating wives Joan Fontaine and Ida Lupino. It is Eddie’s kind nature and selflessness that puts him on the pan, and we are sorry at seeing him fry. How often do such sympathetic figures turn up in noir?

Would it even be possible to marry twice or more today? Surely spyware loosed upon us would prohibit it. Even in 1953 such things could not have been easily managed. O’Brien does not do his crime for anything other than consideration toward mutually likeable partners. This is a triangle with no one to root against, or favor to exclusion of the other. The ending implies that O’Brien will keep one of his wives, maybe both if the trio has their way. I’d like to have seen The Bigamist end with husband/wives headed happily home to a menage a trois. These folks give every promise of making a go at it. Director Ida Lupino had almost as free and easy deal with husband Collier Young (writer-producing) plus star Joan Fontaine (Young's ex), forming their own threesome to make The Bigamist. Imagine Code quagmire had The Bigamist offered the ending we prefer. Here was noir offbeat for not a shot being fired or fist connecting. There is even kindly S. Claus (Edmund Gwenn) and several in-jokes referring to his most famous part. Gwenn refreshingly sees piteous circumstance of title figure O’Brien but judges him harshly anyway, status quo to be maintained whatever a viewer’s sentiment. The Bigamist is part of an Ida Lupino Blu-Ray set (of four) from Kino. My chips are down for this as one of her most interesting auteur efforts.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

MGM Feeding Families

Around The World Under The Sea (1966) with TV Talent

TV faces gone down, down to plant devices that will alert us to earthquake and typhoon danger. I skipped this Ivan Tors adventure in 1966 because it didn't have monsters, but wait, there was one that turned up briefly for a second half’s borrow from Disney's 20,000 League playbook. No fault with the cast. Unless yours was household without TV (were there any by then?), this looked more like Around the Sea In 80 Days, what with faces off hit programs new and old. Picture Rio Bravo had they left out John Wayne and Dean Martin, TV star supports in full charge of narrative. Around The World was road, better water, test to determine fitness for features at Metro --- would we pay then to see U.N.C.L.E man David McCallum or Flipper's Brian Kelly? It helped to spend real money and for a good director (Andrew Marton), Around the World no cheater as often the lot of TV (or its personnel) transposed to movies. MGM supplied Tors with $1.8 million for the negative, which may have been too generous, as it was mostly kids who would attend, their quarters not enough to avert a $400K loss.

The TV-starry cast acquits well --- you wonder in hindsight how Brian Kelly missed being a bigger screen name --- he'd have been a good man to fight Harryhausen creatures, given the chance. Shirley Eaton was there and lately off Goldfinger, a sure selling slant, especially as hers were bosom and legs constantly ogled by men on board the far-flinging ship. MGM wanted the dependable family audience Disney had enjoyed, but that had everything to do with marketing, mastery of which seemed Disney’s alone. Latter thrived even where output was weak, synergy a concept virtually invented by the Burbank outlier. What Metro needed was absolute parental trust in whatever they released, again an asset Disney had that none could duplicate. Around the World Under the Sea was meant for a wider audience than would attend, and in modest way, it would anticipate a coming blockbuster trend for child-friendly product to pay for itself with youth admissions, alas another ten years past this '66 release.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Film Noir #7


Noir: Because of You, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and Between Midnight and Dawn

BECAUSE OF YOU (1952) --- So it’s noir when Kino puts it in a box set and calls it that. Fine, am willing to suspend disbelief where obscurities like Because of You get released, under whatever umbrella. Because of You is melodrama of mother love like myriad others, only this has Loretta Young. Did she get a percentage for being here, like others of approximate age who swapped star recognition for placement in utterly routine genre projects? (U-I paid Linda Darnell $7500 per week for a guaranteed ten weeks when she did The Lady Pays Off) Not to diminish Because of You, for Universal made these expertly, and no star was shamed for being in them. This was Young’s penultimate theatrical feature, one more and then TV exclusive. She was thirty-nine and looking less, credible opposite five years her junior Jeff Chandler. Don’t know how that was managed but will guess avoidance of nicotine and alcohol figured in, these being robbers of youth from peers, many around a shorter time and younger than Young. Did Chandler reflect on his kiss-mate having once been Lon Chaney’s leading lady? (Senior, not Creighton) Apologize now for before being snide re her acting, Young ideal for a set-up like this. Because of You read my thoughts and disposed of Alex Nicol right when I wanted them to. A second half better than the first departs the crime theme and zeroes in on rapprochement of LY with a moody kid she lost for breaking parole and helping Alex smuggle drugs out of Tijuana and … well, enough about that. Why spoil your upcoming 95-minute pleasure?

Just Noticed: Her Expression is the Same in Both Stills Above

Vet actresses seized the bit of early television and did the anthology thing. Loretta Young was one, plus Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Wyman, June Allyson, others. Young spoke later of playing a widest variety of parts for those half-hours. My vague recollection of The Loretta Young Show is swirling entry through a door her voluminous dress could barely get past, being intro for each show. All that and versatile acting too. Episodes are at You Tube and stream elsewhere. Don’t know how much cash Young realized from TV but bet it was immense. Wiser heads knew tubes were the future and cast lots there early. Should someone want an untrod topic for women pioneering in media, let them resurrect anthology programs done during the fifties, because here is where actresses achieved much that has been little seen in a last sixty-seventy years, big enough names to have creative control and see dramas done their way. It would take digging and research (all those prints!), but this strikes me as a project well worth someone (other than me) doing. Because of You is of sort that would not be around much longer, for it and ones like it were nurtured by a system which support beams held less and less strength. Television giving same stories at much diminished cost was accepted because these were at least convenient and more importantly free. Plot/outcomes were so familiar as to demand less attention than accorded them when fresher and in theatres. What was focused on in shared darkness became mere background for busy households. Loretta Young would have understood this and so confined her dramas to half-hour not taxing to home viewers who had more pressing and immediate concerns. Because of You is available on Blu-Ray, among boxed noirs from Kino.

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (2007) --- From a folder I call “desperation noir,” which for many comes to how much he/she can endure before becoming desperate him/herself. Is there damage from surfeit of these? I regret watching all the Sopranos, nasty scenes from which still haunt my dreams. Parents used to worry for children influenced by juve delinquent movies or terrified by spook shows, but oh my stars, look at us now. A friend had teenagers who watched entire so-far run of The Walking Dead over a family beach week. What sort of mental health could derive from this? Warren William were he still around might prosper on the anti-depressant racket, it booming for plenty good reason if what currently streams is evidence. Charm of the cobra that is Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is well-construction and it being so compelling, a late project for Sidney Lumet who surely confided in friends how times had changed. You can’t take your eyes off shows like this… but keep valium handy to wash it down. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is of worthless brothers who frame a family-owned jewelry store robbery where their mother (then-80 year old Rosemary Harris) is shot down and killed. I was in tremulous state from this point to the end.

Is much of modern noir offspring of R.Widmark pushing the old lady down stairs? No longer an outrage as in 1947, we wonder nowaday what’s wrong  where such does not happen. Still we stay to bitter ends, in Devil instance Albert Finney at his son’s hospital bedside, and don’t say you weren’t warned. Structure is wonky after fashion(able) examples of The Killing, much later Pulp Fiction and the one (by now many) that play backwards, which Devil sort of does. There is something satanic about films so ugly that compel so much. Remember how relaxing it once was for Jane Greer to double-cross Robert Mitchum? Another distinct downer re Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character snorting up and or mainlined by a scuzzy dealer. Then I remember what happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman, his death drug-induced … and yes, in 2014, dead on the bathroom floor, a syringe still in his arm, two envelopes of heroin beside him. Such a fine actor to finish like this. Movies can and do get too close to life, today more than ever it seems.

BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN (1950) --- Radio-car canvasses Columbia backlot and occasional L.A. streets, Mark Stevens and Edmond O’Brien badges on the job. Gordon Douglas does workmanlike direction. It doesn’t get dull thanks to likeable officer pairing, Stevens on wolf as much as police patrol (quarry is Gale Storm), while O’Brien obsesses over thugs getting away with thuggery. The boys room together at one boarding house or rental after another. They end up with duplex situation beside Storm and her mother, where childish antics presage rivalry to determine which she will choose to cast marital lot with. Neither might be any sensible woman’s choice, but women were lots more adaptable in 1950, or so writers figured for tales told in rudimentary, formula-driven ways. Movies spoke unlike life, but Between Midnight and Dawn, modest as it was, cut at times truthful slice off fruit too ripe 
otherwise. There are moments to stun, a child hung by feet out a high window, never a favored plot device with me, action quick and ruthless where and when it comes.

Violence in Code films has capacity for surprise, us expecting a pull-back but getting full-face instead (remember The Big Heat, also from Columbia). Between Midnight and Dawn pleases if cops on duty, neither rogue, fill your cup, and there’s nighttime whale of a chase through crowded downtown that makes one wish all location had been done on real locations. Much of noir, especially by majors, amounted to such hybrid. They had city streets on site to shoot, cheaper done that way of course, but backlots rob atmosphere, especially where the real thing gets used for parts only, always the best parts (Act of Violence compromised along same lines). Between Midnight and Dawn was good for only so much in rentals, $548K domestic being limit here. Chances are it played lower on most bills. For Columbia, crime thrilling was barely up from westerns unless Glenn Ford was around. A small show like Between Midnight and Dawn benefits from visual boost via high-def, Blu-Ray offered as part of an Indicator box set from Region Two.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Lead-Up to Memorial Day


War As It Happened and After

THE FIGHTING LADY (1944) --- Documentaries taken for granted from earliest silent days acquired new urgency now that there was worldwide war to confront. Nature and exploration themes gave way to intense reportage of combat and casualties recorded on screen. This was realism permissible for being based on truth as gathered by army personnel flown into zones of danger with cameras compact enough to capture death and destruction in the sky, images taken from aircraft attacking enemy installations. Here for once was excitement not faked, movies never before so intense because they had not seen such opportunity to film carnage as it happened. The Fighting Lady was feature length and in color, 16 mm the format enlarged to 35mm for theatrical use, prints by Technicolor. At 61 minutes, The Fighting Lady could head the bill or support a co-feature. Either way, it was focal point of programs. Action followed an aircraft carrier as it closed in on island positions held by the Japanese. Enemy zeros attack and are shot down in bunches. As morale enabler The Fighting Lady would not be surpassed. The producer was Louis de Rochemont, who had begun in newsreels several decades before and was now engaged with Twentieth Century Fox to follow up The Fighting Lady with a series of fact-derived dramas to include The House on 92nd Street and Boomerang. De Rochemont is not remembered so well as he should be, despite being for a while among perceived pioneers of truest-to-life filmmaking.

We come to know crew aboard the carrier as individuals, most to survive, but some to perish in the relentless move toward Japanese strongholds. Flyers were of course a most endangered group. I lately heard a statistic that less than ten percent of active air combatants survived the war. Was this accurate? The Fighting Lady plays like a Hollywood war movie minus fictional frills. It was narrated by Robert Taylor, who was himself serving with the Navy. Among this actor’s gifts was a voice we could all envy, him ideal for narration spots. Hundreds of men were stationed aboard, so naturally some would be recognized back home by patrons going to see The Fighting Lady. Exhibitors benefited considerably from shrieks of recognition when a son, brother, or sweetheart was identified by one or more members of the audience. This carries forward where comments at YouTube refer to fathers or grandfathers who served aboard the carrier and are singled out by descendants watching The Fighting Lady online. YouTube transfer by the way is as good as one could hope for. I was thrilled to finally see it after years wondering what the experience would be like. The Memphis Belle, San Pietro, and The Battle of Midway are famed and justly so, director pedigrees a help (Wyler, Ford, Huston), but truth to assumptions long held, this one may have them beat.

The Fighting Lady
played heavily through spring of 1945, by which outcome of the war could be anticipated, bombing raids into Tokyo by now an ongoing occurrence. The Fighting Lady served as rousing record of our inevitable victory in the Pacific, even as it preceded Japan’s surrender by some months. Broadway’s Victoria Theatre played The Fighting Lady as a single and crushed records. Other venues paired it with war-themed features, Sunday Dinner for a Soldier, Objective Burma, whatever did not mind serving as second fiddle. The Independent Film Exhibitors Bulletin referred to The Fighting Lady as a “sock thriller,” warning that those with weak stomachs may prefer to opt out of screenings. Trades regarded it as mere patriotic duty to laud the film. Chances are that audiences by 1945 were inured to screen actuals that showed death and damage close. The Fighting Lady would sort of evaporate after the war as it no longer served immediate purpose, being history now and just another of documents to file away. Other than usefulness as stock footage, what more could be accomplished with it? It's fortunate we are to have The Fighting Lady on You Tube.

PURSUIT OF THE GRAF SPEE (1956) --- A serious British bid for worldwide markets, this was initial UK plunge to VistaVision, the sharp-as-pin process owned by Paramount and sold as "Motion Picture High Fidelity." Graf Spee was known as Battle of the River Plate in home port; we could be surprised it wasn't called that here, as the title suggested action, and Pursuit of the Graf Spee on face value was obscure at the least (imagine calls to the boxoffice: What's this picture about?). Rank Films would distribute American prints, having opened a stateside office for that purpose in mid-June, with two releases planned for November 1956, Graf Spee and As Long As They're Happy, a comedy with Jack Buchanan which title might also have described Rank hope for mood of US exhibitors (the company had a total of 14 features in late '57 circulation). CBS network was helpful via a You Are There documentary about the real-life Graf Spee incident, that broadcast on October 13 and plugging the Rank attraction. Most encouraging was interest Pursuit of the Graf Spee generated in the South, the film having "solidly broken down the Dixie "line,"" according to Variety. The strong Paramount circuit, dominant in Southern markets, took a look at Pursuit of the Graf Spee and figured it a good bet as action lure.

An October 16 premiere in New Orleans preceded saturation to 200 regional playdates, but Rank wanted to hold down expense of Technicolor/VistaVision prints, saying they'd lose money beyond 6 to 8,000 bookings planned. Smaller accounts would be a forfeit for simple reason that "anything beyond 8,000 dates wouldn't be economical," said Rank rep Irving Sochin. "When we service accounts paying $12, $15, and $20 for an engagement, we automatically lose $5 on each date," adding that "a major company can write that off against something else. We can't." This meant regional, and limited, handling for Pursuit Of The Graf Spee, those 200 or so prints having to make do for countrywide use. December '56 saw Pursuit of the Graf Spee headed for New England, the Rank office having brought over starlet April Olrich, barely glimpsed in the film, but useful withal for Yank promotion, her Boston function to run a classified ad in the Harvard Crimson for an escort to local publicity haps. Biz was "spotty" at some sites, "booming" in others, as at Chicago's 606-seat Loop Theatre, which catered mostly to arty crowds, but packing solid for Pursuit Of The Graf Spee. The film is available on DVD, and there is a stunning Blu-ray from Germany that is one of the best VistaVision captures I've seen.

Visitor to the Set Mae West with Kevin Dobson 

MIDWAY (1976) --- A Universal economy epic that was proud of old combat footage it used in lieu of staging action fresh, the 70's a time to exploit fading but familiar faces hired in bulk. All this could suggest a scale larger than what was spent, rivals chasing another Longest Day after Fox hit with theirs. Warners led with star-laden counterfeit that was Battle of the Bulge, still entertaining because the topic compelled, as would be case with Midway. Seems only 20th gave out with real goods, Patton and Tora! Tora! Tora! putting money and effort to recount of past war. Midway has aroma of something tabbed for television that got spun to theatres at eleventh hour. A problem from the start is Japanese personnel speaking English, unlike Tora! which had integrity to permit native speech and use subtitles. 1976 was late to have old-timers Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, and Robert Mitchum still in command, but who else could be got (relatively) cheap, supply recognizable names, and convey such authority? Trouble was sprawling circumstance (132 minutes) reducing them to more-less extended cameos plus impose of a "personal" story with Heston's son Edward Albert wanting to marry a Japanese girl on the heels of Pearl Harbor. You'd think Heston intervening on their behalf would land the lot in military prison, but it's played on 70's-friendly "progressive" terms not the least in keeping with historical reality. Universal could have done Midway as easily, and more appropriately, on Made-For-TV terms.

Monday, May 02, 2022

How Meaningful Can One Movie Get To Be?


An Earth Stood Still Since '51, Then '62

Step forward please if The Day the Earth Stood Still resonates in your filmgoing life. “Going” for most was distance from chair to television, or consult with remote, as fewer each day know The Day the Earth Stood Still from theatrical experience. If they did, it would make them eighty or pushing that. Having known many who discovered Earth first upon its network premiere (March 3, 1962, on NBC), I’ve come to appreciate how meaningful that evening was for a generation now seventy years young or approaching it. These are folks who would not give one Day the Earth Stood Still for ten Star Wars, or any other sci-fi touched down since 1951. It is then, like all the rest, a generational thing, as in my childhood treasure is better than yours. I can be marginally more objective for yes, having seen The Day the Earth Stood Still on TV at age ten, but not having had life altered by it, being fonder of The Thing also seen first around a same time.

I wanted perspective broader than my own and so asked a collector friend of many decades what it was like seeing The Day the Earth Stood Still when it was new. Skip was at Day first runs, present for others of the burgeoning 50’s sci-fi cycle. He liked Day, but not so much as previously seen Rocketship XM, which boasted space travel Stood Still, with its “slow parts” and “no action,” lacked. Then there was Destination Moon, “boring,” Skip recalls, but for color, Man from Planet X registering as faintly, The Thing his favorite of the lot. So how did The Day the Earth Stood Still become fandom’s preferred of shared hindsight? Was it seeing Earth first and forever more on television, then of course, home video and now streaming? (lately on Amazon and Vudu in 4K). The Day the Earth Stood Still is a story with ideas, a thought provoker best contemplated in quiet setting, and more ideally, solitude. Earth was peacenik sci-fi cued to the sixties more than fifties from whence it came. A certain quiet pervades and that I suspect was what gave this one home-view status well above fly-saucers and bug-eye aliens tendered elsewhere.

I found out how The Day the Earth Stood Still rated when my father came across a Channel 8 broadcast in 1965 and saw values he had not associated before with a thought-low genre. “If science-fiction is like this, I don’t mind your sitting up late to watch it.” Would this relax till-then parental stance toward my midnight habit? Testing what seemed new policy within the week, I announced intent to watch Channel 3’s “science-fiction” offer for Friday late night. What was the picture, they asked? THE GIANT GILA MONSTER, I chirpily replied, to which response was mute resignation, whatever good will came of The Day the Earth Stood Still mere puff of transient smoke. It seemed there was growing up to do before I would properly appreciate The Day the Earth Stood Still. Its message was plain, but was more Klaatu, less Gort, the deficit for child that was me? As with all 50’s sci-fi where robots figured, posters would foreground them. Gort was the principal for purpose of selling, a seeming contradiction to serious message The Day the Earth Stood Still tried to impart. The robot stands resolutely still for virtually all of run time, and it is Michael Rennie he picks up and carries, not Patricia Neal, her hair dark, not blonde (the half-sheet), her clothing intact always and never low-cut (the three-sheet). Had Earth’s promotion gone amok done product more harm than good?

Children were said to go about schoolyards reciting Klaatu, Barada, Nikto. Not where I attended. Perhaps in 1951 or immediate post 3/3/62. Seems love was either not had for The Day the Earth Stood Still or was intense. Few met it halfway. I knew a 16mm collector of many years whose first feature purchase was The Day the Earth Stood Still, $250 in hard-earned mid-seventies money. This was when Cinefantastique devoted much of Volume 4, Issue 4, to deep explore of The Day the Earth Stood Still, pioneering instance of one film historicized with no rock left unturned. Author Steve Rubin (since noted for his series of James Bond Encyclopedias) was able to track down and interview most all of Earth’s creative team, with remarkable result no one could achieve today, seventieth year having passed since The Day the Earth Stood Still was released and participants gone (apart from Billy Gray … is he all that remains?). Cinefantastique’s epic article is measure of what The Day the Earth Stood Still meant/means to constituents. Greater love hath fans for few else I can think of.

The Cinefantastique article in 1976 pre-dated Star Wars. Honors list of science-fiction was a shorter one: The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of theWorlds, Destination Moon, Forbidden Planet. 16mm projected prints of these were highlight of sci-fi gatherings where fans could see them on a hotel ballroom screen as opposed to shrunk TV. People who possessed such rarity stayed close to projectors unspooling their trove. Never mind how dupey or damaged 16mm was. They would do because they had to do, quite the contrast to what now can be viewed at home, not only The Day the Earth Stood Still in 4K, but War of the Worlds on souped-up UHD (as in Ultra-High-Definition). Yes, wires supporting saucers reveal themselves again in the latter, and 4K handed me a Stood Still surprise not noted before, enhanced clarity pulling back curtain on Times Square immobilized by Klaatu not in 1951, but 1938, theatre marquees advertising Love Finds Andy Hardy, with Marie Antoinette playing across the street. Was Klaatu able to accomplish time travel in addition to his other gifts?

Very much alongside The Day the Earth Stood Still in fan estimation is Invaders from Mars, except it’s been for intent and purpose lost since new (1953). Independently produced, this was invasion but briefly conducted upon theatres, then gone but for odd bookings (our Liberty had a 1965 encore, a single “Late Show” one Saturday night), then black-and-white broadcasts to chill Cinecolor’s unique affect. A DVD to much later follow was but faint reflection of what Invaders from Mars once looked like. Closest I came to true encounter was Moon Mullins giving me a 35mm trailer with Cinecolor’s signature bright blue soundtrack. This was 1973, and I figured to never see the picture proper beyond this two-minute souvenir. Now comes restoration of found elements on Blu-Ray/4K for September release. Scott MacQueen of Doctor X and Wax Museum fame is involved, an assurance of quality result. What does Invaders from Mars mean to others of my generation? Everything it would seem, perhaps more even than The Day the Earth Stood Still, as all is told from a child’s viewpoint, Jimmy Hunt sole witness to alien touchdown and no one believing him, including parents claimed by body snatcher Martians. Lots saw Invaders from Mars on television and were traumatized by it, despite half portion that B/W amounted to. We’ll not recapture such first impressions however pristine discs end up. Going just part-way on a sentimental journey is yet value few would dispute, so expect this edition to sell brisk among the faithful, Invaders from Mars a perhaps last of sci-fi trophies to be reclaimed, if not acme of the entire lot.
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