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The Outer Limits: Cry of Silence (1964)
Eerie Offering from The Outer Limits
To me, this is the most eerie of all the Outer Limits episodes. This seems to be to the contrary of other user reviewers. I must agree that the script is clunky and the special effects are quite medieval. However, the concept of this episode intrigued me strongly enough that I kept coming back to it a number of times in order to fully understand what it offered.
The cast is minimal. 3 people (4 if you count the brief glimpse of someone driving a pickup at the beginning).
The eeriness seems to stem from the fact that the two heroes of this tale are stuck in a canyon devoid of the sounds of any life. We find out later that a force from beyond our galaxy has invaded the canyon and would like to communicate with people from our planet, but can't seem to find a way. So, it/they inhabit(s) tumbleweeds, frogs and rocks in an attempt to dialog, but can't, because they don't know the proper means to understand the human intelligence they sense is present in the canyon.
Eddie Albert and June Havoc are the unfortunates who have stumbled into this forsaken canyon. June senses the presence of the alien immediately, while it takes Eddie Albert a bit to wise up.
Enter Arthur Hunnicut, wonderful character actor (El Dorado, The Twilight Zone), to add thickness to the plot. It's not quite apparent what Arthur is in the story - is he a farmer who inhabits the farmhouse the threesome finally reach or is he someone investigating the phenomenon of the alien presence that has landed in the canyon? Eddie Albert allows the alien presence to enter his psyche in order to discover more about it (them?). The result is something some would call overacting. I personally was swept in by the intensity of Albert's performance in manifesting the alien's forlornness in coming to a planet where it senses intelligence, but can't connect.
There is one unintentionally humorous moment where Albert vows to Havoc that he will lay aside his desire to own a farm. The irony being that, shortly after this series, Albert starred in the sitcom, Green Acres as a city lawyer who is pleased as punch to have purchased a farm, much to the chagrin of his cosmopolitan wife, Eva Gabor.
What I appreciate about this episode is the concept of individuals finding themselves in a place that is remote and away from almost all human contact, only to realize and sense the presence of an invisible being or beings whose presence is being manifest in odd and uninterpretable ways.
Cheyenne: Big Ghost Basin (1957)
Had to see this again as an adult
I remember seeing this episode as a tot. I'm not sure how old I was, but I remembered it as a child completely different than when I recently saw it again as an adult.
It may have been a re-airing in the area I lived in because there is no way I could have remembered it from its original air date of 1957. I would have been too small. It must have re-ran in my area in 1959 for me to be able to remember it at all.
As a child, I remember being intrigued with monsters. Once again, it must have been in 1959 when I saw this because this is the first time I heard about Bigfoot (a.k.a. Sasquatch). My mother mentioned a little ways into the episode that the creature must be a Bigfoot.
It wasn't until 1958 that the phenomenon, previously known as Sasquatch, had been referred to as Bigfoot. My parents would have been aware of this phenomenon because an acquaintance of theirs was Jerry Crew, the man who, evidently, was tricked into reporting evidence of a creature dubbed 'Bigfoot' with 16 inch feet. This took place near Eureka, CA.
It was later revealed in 2002, that Crew had been misled. Crew's boss, Ray Wallace, at the time of the 'Bigfoot' sighting, died that year. Wallace's family revealed that he (Wallace) loved to play pranks... and that he had carved some wooden 'feet,' strapped them on and tramped around in the mud at the area where Crew was working, thus leading him to believe a monster had wandered through the site (true believers in 'Bigfoot' have never accepted Wallace's family's admission).
Watching this episode as an adult was disappointing, after having believed all these years that the episode was about a Bigfoot and not a Bear. Even then, it's curious that the viewing audience seemed to have been led to believe that this was a monster of some sort (the glowing eyes staring out from the dark), prior to the Bigfoot hoax that followed it. Perhaps this episode inspired Wallace to concoct this hoax?
As scary as this episode was, there is a glaring plot flaw. Bears and other woodland creatures fear fire. Any Bear who had been singed by fire would fear it and run from it rather than risk being burned again by stomping it out and covering it with dirt - unless of course, it was Smokey the Bear. Perhaps Smokey helped to inspire this episode as well.
Good Morning, World (1967)
Lives of morning D.J. team
It's hard to add much to what's already been said about this show. All I have to say is, it was cute, clever, smart and entertaining.
Billie De Wolf was perfect as the uptight boss with A.R. (anal retentiveness). Pencil thin mustache and whiny voice. Scowly eyebrows.
Joby Gray was great. I remember one episode where the two DJs were hosting a fund raiser and he kept trying to sing his "Banana" song.
Speaking of songs, the opening sequence with the "ting ting ting" sound along with the conglomeration of still photos in succession of the two DJs getting ready for an early morning radio show was very entertaining in itself.
Joby and Ronnie Schell played well off of each other. I can't understand why it was canceled after so few episodes.
Doctor Dolittle (1967)
I can't be as kind as many of the other commenters. I didn't see it when it first came out, although, I was inundated with the "Talk With the Animals" song everywhere I turned. Seems like we even played it in our junior high band.
I was under the impression that this was the most heralded musical in history with regard to the hype surrounding it. It was only recently that I realized that it was panned by the critics.
I finally watched it on Turner Movie Classics and realized what a "snoozer" it was. I kept thinking there might be some romance between someone in the film - Samantha Eggar and Rex Harrison... Samantha Eggar and Anthony Newley... Samantha Eggar and Geoffery Holder... Samantha Eggar and the Push-Me-Pull-You... Anthony Newley and Geoffery Holder... anything that would give this story a little life.
Rex Harrison is a great actor and carried this exhausting effort as bravely and heartily as he possibly could, however, in the end, it was a pointless story that dragged on and on and on.
"Talk to the Animals" was a reasonably good song for a musical, however, the rest of the songs rated "banal" in my estimation. Even Anthony Newly couldn't seem to pull it out of the fire with his pleasant voice and apt song styling.
It seems that the only thing that might have held children (since it was a family movie) would have been the animals, which weren't really used all that dramatically.
As much as I admire the actors who performed in this insipid tale, I have to say, it barely held my interest. My apologies to those who truly loved this movie.
The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)
Great low-budget sci-fi flick!
Who wouldn't want to see a movie called, "The Hideous Sun Demon"? What a great title for a fifties "B" sci-fi thriller! The pan at the beginning from the ambulance to the sun (the catalyst for what turns our subject into the hideous monster) works well.
Radiation is such a great vehicle for "plausibility" in changing otherwise normal human beings and animals into "hideous" monsters! This movie is no exception. Released in 1959, this movie would have been riding on the nuclear concerns of that era.
The explanation as to how a man could wind up turning into a reptile-like creature is less than plausible, but heck... who cares? The fun of the movie is watching the life of the tortured genius and how he deals with the effects the nuclear accident.
The scenes of our hero standing on the cliff, contemplating ending it all show the depth of his despair, however, it is never explained why this character is so brooding. We can understand the impact of having to reorder his life in order to keep from becoming his lizard-like other self, however, we are never informed as to why he has become so recklessly dependent on the bottle. This would have helped deepen the character.
The song the blonde Marilyn Monroe wannabe (Trudy) sings to him is, well, "Torchy." "Strange Desire." It says it all, eh?
Speaking of songs, I actually enjoyed the happy little rock and roll tune that's played while he's having the tar beaten out of him by "Mugsy" and friends.
One mystery I'll never be able to solve... how'd he get his coat back from blondie (Trudy)?
We see the tender side of this man when he is being aided by the child in the pump house at the oil fields. This helps us to see more dimension in the man and how his alter-ego, the scaly monster is not really who he is.
The interaction between the busty blonde babe and himself are a bit puzzling. Why does he come on so strong when they are at the beach and why does she cozy up to him after backing away so strongly? Probably just awkwardness in the script writing.
The scenes of the monster running about are good. Clarke handles the physical aspect of being a superhuman monster well.
With regard to the police shooting scene on the top of the structure the monster is being chased on, was this officer Barney Fife with only one bullet? He shoots the monster, then when the monster rushes him (the policeman), he throws his gun at him. What the heck?
This movie is a classic tragedy in so many ways. The monster side of Clarke, although changed psychologically, is never looking for trouble. He just wants to get out of the sun so he can return to his human self. However, the complications of his own bad choices put him in touch with the wrong element and he retaliates when he is being harmed physically.
This sets him up to be hunted by "those who don't understand," thus ending his pathetic existence.
This movie actually ascends it's "B" rating in many ways. It is a must-see for those who enjoy the black and white fifties sci-fi.
Casey Jones (1957)
When Gilligan's Island first came out, I remember my family and I exclaiming whenever we saw Alan Hale Jr. appear on the screen, "Hey, it's Casey Jones!" I truthfully don't remember much about the series, as I was but a tyke when I watched it, other than seeing Alan Hale Jr's friendly, smiling face looking out from the train as the opening credits rolled. I remember liking the show and our family sitting around the t.v. enjoying Hale's characterization of the legendary engineer. I enjoyed the other comments and remember it as good, wholesome family entertainment.
When I was in my twenties and living in Los Angeles at the time, I took my fiancé (now, wife) to visit Alan Hale Jr's Fish and Chips Restaurant in Glendale. Hale just seemed like a very happy and likable fellow as well as a great character actor.
The Art of Love (1965)
Make... this... available... for... PURCHASE!
I was just talking to my wife about this hilarious movie from the mid-sixties and decided to look it up on the web. I first saw it on an afternoon movie show, "Dialing for Dollars" from the Bay Area of California.
The premise is nothing short of genius - an artist (Dick Van Dyke) pretends to commit suicide in order to make his paintings more valuable. His best friend (James Garner) helps him pull it off, but horns in on Van Dyke's girl. When Van Dyke finds out about it, he decides NOT to surface after his disappearance starts to look like a murder. His buddy is implicated and Van Dyke decides to let his "friend" sweat it out through a trial (where Van Dyke shows up in an "old man" disguise" a la his old man character from Mary Poppins) where Garner is sentenced for murder.
Others on this forum seem to remember the old lady who likes to watch be-headings murmur "Guillotine. GUILLOTINE!" while Garner is being led to his execution.
My favorite scene, though, is where Van Dyke is trying to make it to the execution in time to reveal he is not really dead in order to save his friend at the last minute.
He's riding in a cab and there is a traffic jam in a small town on the way there. Van Dyke nervously tells the cab driver to hurry because he has to get to his best friend's execution. The driver pulls the cab to a sudden stop, exits the cab, pulls Van Dyke to his feet by the lapels exclaiming, "What kind of a ghoul are you?", throws him on a dirt pile and drives off.
The hilarity of this scene is Van Dyke running around with his long lanky legs trying to find a way to the prison where Garner is about to be executed.
Kudos to the writer, director and actors in this madcap, scream of a movie!
A Man Called Shenandoah (1965)
Wandering the West to find Memory
When Robert Horton got done with Wagon Train, he starred in this short-lived t.v. show. It was a Western about a guy who gets shot in the head, gets amnesia and wanders around the West trying to remember who he is.
I barely remember this show, but remember liking it.
It was one of those shows like The Fugitive, or The Guns of Will Sonnett that would give a little hope of finding what the point of what the show was about but would fall just short at the end and dash all your hopes. In Horton's case, it would be finding a clue or almost remembering who he was and then losing it.
It didn't last too long. Perhaps the premise didn't allow for enough development of plot and character.
The Green Slime (1968)
Pond Scum in Space
Robert Horton moved on from Wagon Train (or Trailmaster - whichever title you prefer) and starred in THIS pre-Star Wars chiller-diller space thriller, which beckons us to exclaim a major, "GO FIGURE!" I saw it in the theater when it first appeared. I saw the poster and told my friend we had to see it. I mean, who could resist a movie called "The Green Slime"? This was cheezola of the lowest caliber - my favorite kind.
It's been so long, I need to re-rent it, so I don't remember that much about it except the bad acting and poor special effects. I do remember a rocket take-off that was so obviously a Japanese-style miniature set, you could almost see the finger prints.
The green slime monsters' outfits were hilarious! It seems to me that giant one-celled space bacteria don't really need a giant cyclops-like eye in the middle of their foreheads (foreheads either, for that matter), but then, maybe that's just me.
This movie was obviously not going for an Oscar, but hey... it's a must-see for anyone who can truly appreciate bad acting, a terrible plot and awful special effects. It's a triple-threat! And, oh yes! Special kudos go to the truly awful theme song. It's definitely worth the rent if you can find it somewhere.
Blaze Glory (1969)
Powerfully funny send-up of classic Westerns
This absolutely had to be an offering from the sixties. It was the kind of stuff teens like myself loved - a spoof of the classic Western, a la Warner Brothers and Bugs Bunny. The sniveling baddie dubbed "The Pug-Nose Kid" has a bit of a Richard Widmark/Dan Duryea quality about him while Blaze reminds us of the deep voiced, sparse-worded Gary Cooper (the deep voice was supplied by Ted Cassidy - i.e. "Lurch" from the Addams Family).
The fact that the voices were (obviously) dubbed and hyperbolized made it all the more hilarious.
The stop motion "horse" riding action causes one to ponder, how'd they do it? You can almost figure it out, but not quite. This is genius filming.
Blaze's "fifty-gallon" white hat is perfectly exaggerated to symbolize the square-shouldered good cowboy in contrast to the Pug-Nose Kid's facial scar and black leather duds.
Blaze's all-American outfit is reminiscent of Evil Keneivel's outfit or perhaps, Peter Fonda's helmet from Easy Rider.
This spoof has it all - the stage-coach robbery, the damsel tied to the railroad tracks, the cliff-hanging fistfight and the ultimate hero's victory. All clichés, readily poked-fun-at and exaggerated by the brilliant script and cinematography. And, oh yeah, the score isn't bad either.
And, if I'm not mistaken, isn't there a very similar short about a motorcycle gang with similar special effects? If someone knows the name of this one, please leave a note on it.