Whit Bissell - News Poster


Warlock (1959)

As the first wave of ‘adult’ westerns began to fade, 1959 gave us a burst of genuinely adult stories about the famed lawless towns of the frontier. Henry Fonda is at his moody best in a replay of his earlier Wyatt Earp, de-mythologized as just one more self-oriented opportunist in a land where even lawmen have an angle to play. But Fonda’s gun skills are impressive, and his deadly Clay Blaisedell is halfway to becoming the soulless ‘Frank’ from Once Upon a Time in The West. Edward Dmytryk almost rights his capsized directing career, and Robert Alan Aurthur’s screenplay delivers both an intense drama, & great gunslinging action.



Twilight Time

1959 / Colo / 2:35 widescreen / 122 min. / Street Date May 21, 2019 / Available from Twilight Time Movies / 29.95

Starring: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, Dolores Michaels, Wallace Ford, Tom Drake, Richard Arlen, DeForest Kelley, Frank Gorshin, Vaughn Taylor, Don Beddoe, Whit Bissell,
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

A super-classic receives a super ‘Olive Signature’ Blu-ray release. CineSavant clears up some online rumors complaining that the disc producers didn’t do a full restoration. The original release Superscope version of Don Siegel’s soul-shaking chiller has been handsomely remastered — and with the extras we’ve awaited for 12 years.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers


Olive Films

1956 / B&W / 2:1 widescreen / 80 min. / Olive Signature Edition / Street Date October 16, 2018 / 39.95

Starring Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Jean Willes, Virginia Christine, Whit Bissell, Richard Deacon, Bobby Clark, Dabbs Greer, Marie Selland, Sam Peckinpah.

Cinematography Ellsworth Fredericks

Film Editor Robert S. Eisen

Original Music Carmen Dragon

Written by Daniel Mainwearing from a magazine serial by Jack Finney

Produced by Walter Wanger

Directed by Don Siegel

One of the greatest of 1950s science fiction films transcends the genre so neatly that many don’t see it as Sci-fi at all,
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Seven Days In May

As Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas tighten the screws in a life and death face-off between a traitorous general and his whistle-blowing aide, John Frankenheimer keeps upping the ante in this brilliantly directed political thriller scripted by Rod Serling in 1964. Good-guy politicos Fredric March and Edmond O’Brien push back against the gathering storm while conspirators Whit Bissell and Hugh Marlowe keep adding fuel to the fire.

The post Seven Days In May appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
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Rob Zombie Wants to Direct a Remake of The Creature From The Black Lagoon

One of my favorite classic Universal monster movies is The Creature From the Black Lagoon. There is just something about the setting, the characters, the story and the monster design that sucked me right in. 

The film was actually supposed to be part of Universal Pictures' Dark Universe, but we don't know exactly where that whole plan currently stands at the moment. Regardless, if the studio ever does decide to move forward with a remake of The Creature of the Black Lagoon, Rob Zombie is interested in taking it on.

During an interview with HDNet that was uncovered by JoBlo, the director expressed his interest in the film saying:

"One thing I always thought was possible was to remake the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Because the creature itself, in that phenomenal suit they constructed, could be exactly the same. So I think Creature from the Black Lagoon could be a cool one.
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The Hallelujah Trail

Blown up to Road Show spectacular dimensions, a fairly modest idea for a comedy western became something of a career Waterloo for director John Sturges. But it’s still a favorite of fans thrilled by fancy 70mm-style presentations. A huge cast led by Burt Lancaster, Lee Remick, Jim Hutton and Pamela Tiffin leads the charge on a whisky-soaked madcap chase. It’s all in a fine spirit of fun. . . so where are the big laughs?

The Hallelujah Trail


Olive Films

1965 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 155 min. / Street Date February 27, 2018 / available through the Olive Films website / 24.95

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Lee Remick, Jim Hutton, Pamela Tiffin, Donald Pleasence, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, John Anderson, Tom Stern, Robert J. Wilke, Dub Taylor, Whit Bissell, Helen Kleeb, Val Avery, Hope Summers, John Dehner.

Cinematography: Robert Surtees

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Original Music: Elmer Bernstein

Written by John Gay from the novel by William Gulick

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Raw Deal (1948)

Style can be the star in Classic Noir, making a less prestigious film more entertaining than one with bigger names. Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor and Marsha Hunt spin an excellent crime-love-murder triangle, for a road picture that’s one of the best Noirs not made by a big studio. Director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton dial up the intensity for an experience as rich as the best pulp crime fiction.

Raw Deal



1948 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 79 min. / Special Edition / Street Date January 16, 2018 / 39.99

Starring: Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland, Raymond Burr, Curt Conway, Chili Williams, Regis Toomey, Whit Bissell, Cliff Clark, Greg Barton, Tom Fadden, Ilka Grüning, Ray Teal.

Cinematography: John Alton

Film Editor: Alfred DeGaetano

Original Music: Paul Sawtell

Written by Leopold Atlas, John C. Higgens, from a story by Arnold B. Armstrong & Audrey Ashley

Produced by Edward Small

Directed by Anthony Mann
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Not as a Stranger

What? Doctors aren’t perfect? And some practicing doctors are incompetent? Stanley Kramer’s All-Star medical soap opera takes two unlikely students (Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra) through med school and confronts them with a number of pat dramatic complications. But the movie belongs to top-billed Olivia de Havilland, who lends a touch of class to the entire iffy enterprise.

Not as a Stranger


Kl Studio Classics

1955 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 135 min. / Street Date January 9, 2018 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Charles Bickford, Myron McCormick, Lon Chaney Jr., Jesse White, Harry Morgan, Lee Marvin, Virginia Christine, Whit Bissell, Jack Raine, Mae Clarke, John Dierkes, King Donovan, Franklyn Farnum, Paul Guilfoile, Nancy Kulp, Harry Lauter, Juanita Moore, Jerry Paris, Stafford Repp, Carl Switzer, Will Wright.

Cinematography: Franz Planer

Film Editor: Fred Knutson

Original Music: George Antheil

Written by Edna and Edward Anhalt,
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He Walked by Night

Do you think older crime thrillers weren’t violent enough? This shocker from 1948 shook up America with its true story of a vicious killer who has a murderous solution to every problem, and uses special talents to evade police detection. Richard Basehart made his acting breakthrough as Roy Martin, a barely disguised version of the real life ‘Machine Gun Walker.

He Walked by Night



1948 / B&W /1:37 flat full frame / 79 min. / Street Date November 7, 2017 / 39.99

Starring: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell, James Cardwell, Jack Webb, Dorothy Adams, Ann Doran, Byron Foulger, Reed Hadley (narrator), Thomas Browne Henry, Tommy Kelly, John McGuire, Kenneth Tobey.

Cinematography: John Alton

Art Direction: Edward Ilou

Film Editor: Alfred De Gaetano

Original Music: Leonid Raab

Written by John C. Higgins and Crane Wilbur

Produced by Bryan Foy, Robert T. Kane

Directed by Alfred L. Werker

Talk about a movie with a dynamite
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Drive-In Dust Offs: Psychic Killer (1975)

Revenge films have been around for a very long time; one can look to The Virgin Spring (1960), Straw Dogs (1971), or Death Wish (1974) for their rise from serious drama to movies of a more exploitive nature. Psychic Killer (1975) adds a unique twist to the tale by having astral projection as a means to the violent ends. Quirky and laden with creative deaths, it very much embraces its weirdness, providing a fun carpet ride for the whole family (at least according to its mind-boggling PG rating).

Released stateside in December by Avco Embassy Pictures, Psychic Killer, aka The Kirlian Force, only cost $250,000 and came and went like a phantom in the night. Critics paid it no mind either, and it was relegated to video store shelves and gas station rentals. On the surface, that’s understandable; a B cast with a former actor turned fairly unproven B director (Ray DantonDeathmaster), and
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Seven Days in May

A military coup in the U.S.? General Burt Lancaster’s scheme would be flawless if not for true blue Marine Kirk Douglas, who snitches to the White House. Now Burt’s whole expensive clandestine army might go to waste – Sad! John Frankenheimer and Rod Serling are behind this nifty paranoid conspiracy thriller.

Seven Days in May


Warner Archive Collection

1964 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 118 min. / Street Date May 8, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan, John Houseman, Hugh Marlowe, Whit Bissell, George Macready, Richard Anderson, Malcolm Atterbury, William Challee, Colette Jackson, John Larkin, Kent McCord, Tyler McVey, Jack Mullaney, Fredd Wayne, Ferris Webster.

Cinematography: Ellsworth Fredericks

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Original Music: Jerry Goldsmith

Written by Rod Serling from the book by Fletcher Knebel, Charles W. Bailey II

Produced by Edward Lewis

Directed by John Frankenheimer
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A Brief History of the Creature from the Black Lagoon Franchise

Jim Knipfel Mar 8, 2019

The Creature From the Black Lagoon kicked off one of the most successful trilogies in early horror movie history.

The poor Gill Man never had a chance. Arriving six years after the golden age of Universal Horror was capped with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1954’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon was never able to clumsily shuffle his way into the expanded universe shared by Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, and, if briefly, The Invisible Man.

Of course, given the three-film franchise’s contemporary time frame and American setting, it would’ve been a stretch anyway to find some reason to have him mix it up with the Wolf Man. In that way, the Gill Man was like the Mummy, forced to carry his series alone. Even if this aquatic fish face would go on to become the most iconic and influential cinematic monster of the 1950s,
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Leonard Nimoy Tribute – Tribbles Double Feature at Schlafly Bottleworks May 6th

“Most curious creature, Captain. Its trilling seems to have a tranquilizing effect on the human nervous system.”

The Star Trek episodes The Trouble with Tribbles and Trials and Tribble-ations both screen at Schalfly Bottleworks in Maplewood Wednesday May 6th beginning at 8pm

You never know what’s brewing at Webster University’s Strange Brew cult film series. It’s always the first Wednesday evening of every month, and they always come up with some cult classic to show while enjoying some good food and great suds. The fun happens at Schlafly Bottleworks Restaurant and Bar in Maplewood (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143).

It’s a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy at this month’s Strange Brew Film Series. One of the most popular and deservedly so episodes of Star Trek prime is The Trouble with Tribbles (Season 2, Episode 15 – but you knew that!). A rather self-important diplomat played
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Grant Not Gay at All in Gender-Bending Comedy Tonight

Cary Grant films on TCM: Gender-bending 'I Was a Male War Bride' (photo: Cary Grant not gay at all in 'I Was a Male War Bride') More Cary Grant films will be shown tonight, as Turner Classic Movies continues with its Star of the Month presentations. On TCM right now is the World War II action-drama Destination Tokyo (1943), in which Grant finds himself aboard a U.S. submarine, alongside John Garfield, Dane Clark, Robert Hutton, and Tom Tully, among others. The directorial debut of screenwriter Delmer Daves (The Petrified Forest, Love Affair) -- who, in the following decade, would direct a series of classy Westerns, e.g., 3:10 to Yuma, The Hanging Tree -- Destination Tokyo is pure flag-waving propaganda, plodding its way through the dangerous waters of Hollywood war-movie stereotypes and speechifying banalities. The film's key point of interest, in fact, is Grant himself -- not because he's any good,
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TCM Celebrates Oscar Nominee Blyth's 85th Birthday

Ann Blyth movies: TCM schedule on August 16, 2013 (photo: ‘Our Very Own’ stars Ann Blyth and Farley Granger) See previous post: "Ann Blyth Today: Light Singing and Heavy Drama on TCM." 3:00 Am One Minute To Zero (1952). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Ann Blyth, William Talman. Bw-106 mins. 5:00 Am All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Ann Blyth. C-95 mins. 6:45 Am The King’S Thief (1955). Director: Robert Z. Leonard. Cast: Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven. C-79 mins. Letterbox Format. 8:15 Am Rose Marie (1954). Director: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas. C-104 mins. Letterbox Format. 10:00 Am The Great Caruso (1951). Director: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Mario Lanza, Ann Blyth, Dorothy Kirsten, Jarmila Novotna, Richard Hageman, Carl Benton Reid, Eduard Franz, Ludwig Donath, Alan Napier, Pál Jávor, Carl Milletaire, Shepard Menken, Vincent Renno, Nestor Paiva, Peter Price, Mario Siletti, Angela Clarke,
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Bogart and the Stuff That Both Dreams and Nightmares Are Made Of

Humphrey Bogart movies: ‘The Maltese Falcon,’ ‘High Sierra’ (Image: Most famous Humphrey Bogart quote: ‘The stuff that dreams are made of’ from ‘The Maltese Falcon’) (See previous post: “Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Movies.”) Besides 1948, 1941 was another great year for Humphrey Bogart — one also featuring a movie with the word “Sierra” in the title. Indeed, that was when Bogart became a major star thanks to Raoul Walsh’s High Sierra and John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon. In the former, Bogart plays an ex-con who falls in love with top-billed Ida Lupino — though both are outacted by ingénue-with-a-heart-of-tin Joan Leslie. In the latter, Bogart plays Dashiel Hammett’s private detective Sam Spade, trying to discover the fate of the titular object; along the way, he is outacted by just about every other cast member, from Mary Astor’s is-she-for-real dame-in-distress to Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Sydney Greenstreet. John Huston
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Casablanca Hero Goes Villainous in Film Noir The Scar

Paul Henreid: Hollow Triumph aka The Scar tonight Turner Classic Movies’ Paul Henreid film series continues this Tuesday evening, July 16, 2013. Of tonight’s movies, the most interesting offering is Hollow Triumph / The Scar, a 1948 B thriller adapted by Daniel Fuchs (Panic in the Streets, Love Me or Leave Me) from Murray Forbes’ novel, and in which the gentlemanly Henreid was cast against type: a crook who, in an attempt to escape from other (and more dangerous) crooks, impersonates a psychiatrist with a scar on his chin. Joan Bennett, mostly wasted in a non-role, is Henreid’s leading lady. (See also: “One Paul Henreid, Two Cigarettes, Four Bette Davis-es.”) The thriller’s director is Hungarian import Steve Sekely, whose Hollywood career consisted chiefly of minor B fare. In fact, though hardly a great effort, Hollow Triumph was probably the apex of Sekely’s cinematic output in terms of prestige
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DVD Review: "Peter Gunn:- The Complete Series" Released By Timeless Video

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By Harvey F. Chartrand

Peter Gunn: The Complete Series is now available for the first time ever as a 12-dvd box set from Timeless Media Group… all 114 episodes, with a running time of over 58 hours.

Peter Gunn – created and produced by Blake Edwards – ran for three seasons – from 1958 to 1961. This classic detective show was a delightful blend of film noir and fifties cool, featuring a modern jazz score by Henry Mancini (a bonus CD of the soundtrack is included in the set), outbreaks of the old ultra-violence, a gallery of eccentric and sleazy characters (usually informants, gangsters and Beat Generation bohemians), and great acting by series leads Craig Stevens (as Gunn), Lola Albright (as his squeeze, sultry nightclub singer Edie Hart) and Herschel Bernardi (as Gunn’s friend and competitor Lieutenant Jacoby, who seems to work all by himself 24 hours a day
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Making Of The West: Mythmakers and truth-tellers

The “adult” Western – as it would come to be called – was a long time coming. A Hollywood staple since the days of The Great Train Robbery (1903), the Western offered spectacle and action set against the uniquely American milieu of the Old West – a historical period which, at the dawn of the motion picture industry, was still fresh in the nation’s memory. What the genre rarely offered was dramatic substance.

Early Westerns often adopted the same traditions of the popular Wild West literature and dime novels of the 19th and early 20th centuries producing, as a consequence, highly romantic, almost purely mythic portraits the Old West. Through the early decades of the motion picture industry, the genre went through several creative cycles, alternately tilting from fanciful to realistic and back again. By the early sound era, and despite such serious efforts as The Big Trail (1930) and The Virginian (1929), Hollywood Westerns were,
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Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante on Low-Budget Lark 'I Was a Teenage Frankenstein'

Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante on Low-Budget Lark 'I Was a Teenage Frankenstein'
I Was a Teenage Thanksgiving Turkey! week concludes at Trailers from Hell with director and Tfh creator Joe Dante introducing "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein," the hurried follow-up to the American International Pictures sleeper hit "I Was a Teenage Werewolf." "Speak! You have a civil tongue in your head. I know, because I sewed it back myself!" says Prof. Frankenstein, played by popular character actor Whit Bissell in one of his rare leading roles. This hurried followup to Aip's sleeper hit I Was a Teenage Werewolf hardly scales the same low budget heights but it's fun anyway. Several plot points are cribbed from Hammer's Curse of Frankenstein.
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31 Days of Horror: ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ should have stayed from whence it came

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Directed by Jack Arnold

Written by Harry Essex and Arthur A. Ross

U.S.A. 1954

The Universal monsters that so many people recognize and accept as iconic and saw the light of day on the cinema screen were products of the 1930s, the two most popular being of course Frankenstein and Dracula, each released as early as 1931. By the 1950s, the studio’s output with regards to ‘classic’ creatures had dwindled considerably, even though science-fiction flicks were tremendously popular by then, with plenty of adventures concerning the invasion of outer-space attackers descending upon our planet. There was one particular outing that would, in fact, have a lasting impact on the collective minds of monster movie fans, that being Creature from the Black Lagoon. Part of the film’s popularity had to do with its presentation in 3D. Yes, studios were testing that technology out even
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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