Sunday, June 19, 2016

This Week in Fright Film History June 19 - 25, 2016

Them! (1954) a science fiction film about a nest of gigantic irradiated ants was based on a story treatment by George Worthing Yates, which was developed into a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman and Russell Hughes. Directed by Gordon Douglas, and stars James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon and James Arness. Them! (1954) which is of the first "nuclear monster" movies, and the first "big bug" film, was released on June 19, 1954.

          Jaws (1975) directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The film which starred Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw was released theatrically June 20, 1975. Jaws (1975) has been erroneous been
given the distinction of be the first blockbuster.At the time of Jaws (1975) a film that exceeded $100,000,000 in ticket sales was considered a “Blockbuster”.  Films such as Gone With the Wind (1939), Ben-Hur (1959) and The Sound of Music (1965) had earned well over 100,000,000. Jaws (1975) did encourage many Hollywood producers to make higher budget films with wide commercial appeal and promote these films with extensive advertising blitzes before their release, thus beginning what is known as the “Blockbuster Era” in Hollywood.

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello was released on June 23, 1955.

Irving Pichel an American film director and actor who played  Sandor, Countess Marya Zaleska’s servant in Dracula's Daughter (1936) was born on June 24, 1891.

Colin Clive was an-English stage and screen actor. Although Clive appeared in over 18 films and numerous stage played it is the role of Henry Frankenstein in Frankenstein(1931) that he is best remembered for. Clive would reprise his role as Henry Frankenstein in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).  In his portrayal of Henry Frankenstein, Clive set the standard for the mad scientist role in films for decades to come.  Clive died on June 25, 1937 from complications of tuberculosis he was only 37 years old.

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