Archive for February, 2020

The Mummy 1959 – Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee


Here is a favourite of mine from Hammer Films.  I am sure that the advertisement below is from an American newspaper because I don’t remember this as a Double Feature – and in my mind anyway ‘The Mummy’ would have been top billed.


This may have been a re-release some years after 1959

In 1895, in Egypt, the British archaeologists John Banning (Peter Cushing), his father Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) and his uncle Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) discover the tomb of Princess Ananka (Yvonne Furneaux). Stephen Banning finds inside the tomb The Scroll of Life and reads it, awaking The Mummy of Anaka’s keeper and former lover Kharis (Christopher Lee). He has a heart attack and goes insane.

Later the Egyptian Mehemet Bey (George Pastell)  steals the scroll and controls The Mummy. Three years later, in England, we see Stephen Banning in a mental institution and John, his son.  has married.

The drama is about to start – and it does



The Mummy 1959


The Mummy 1959


The Mummy 1959 2


The Mummy 1959


The Mummy 1959 3

The Mummy 1959  ABOVE – An early scene from the film where excavations are taking place – a very good and large studio set


The Mummy 1959 4


The Mummy 1959 ABOVE – One of the best scenes in the film – where The Mummy breaks into Peter Cushing’s house intent on killing him – and would have done but for the intervention of his wife played by Yvonne Furneaux who so closely resembles  the Princess Ananka who Kharis ( The Mummy) had fallen in love with centuries before.

Kharis stops in his tracks as he sees the girl he loves


The Mummy 5


The Mummy 1959 ABOVE – Kharis captures and carries away Laura Banning and drops with her, into a swamp. His great love for her – expressed in his eyes and expression – is evident as he lets her go before he is shot and sinks into the mire.  A gripping and yet very sad scene where we feel such sadness for  Kharis The Mummy.

The Mummy 1959 6


The Mummy 1959 ABOVE – again an early scene from the excavation set.  I would love to have been there in Bray Studios and looked at and walked on this film set.

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Denham Film Studios – a Staff Picture

I had a message recently from Mark Searle who lives in Australia.  His father worked at Denham Film Studios   in that ‘golden era’-  and he says :-

‘My Dad,William Harry Searle  worked at Denham Film Studios as a Set Maker after the War.  He also made Models of Ships etc.

His Father was the Production Manager at Denham and Pinewood I think!

‘I used to hear so much about Denham when I was growing up.I’m certain it helped mould/develop my Fathers interesting and outgoing personality.

Denham Film Studios


Here is one photo I have ABOVE

My sister has a box of Dads old photos and I shall get in touch with her and proceed to scan & send.

All the Best.Mark W Searle. 

PS My Dad is the younger Bloke with Black hair in the middle front, smiling.


Many Thanks to Mark for sending this photograph and I look forward to seeing the other ones that his sister has.

Denham Film Studios should have been the pinnacle of Film Production – and for a time it was. It would have been better had Denham survived and not Pinewood just down the road,  because this was a big site with massive potential but it seems that a decision was made to let it go – something that saddens me to this day.

Denham Film Studios 3


The ‘Dream Factory’ – ABOVE is a photograph of it being built probably taken in 1935

Denham Film Studios

The ‘Dream Factory’ – ABOVE is a photograph taken much later when Denham was really active making films


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The Secret of Treasure Mountain 1956 – Press Book

This is a film I keep coming back to – a film that has stayed with me from my young days and one which I have witten about on here before that I just could not identify because I did not know the title. It was only a chance request from a friend who asked me to obtain  a copy of a Glenn Ford film called ‘Lust for Gold’ so when it duly arrived  sat down and watched it to find that scenes of an Indian attack in a very impressive  and large studio set I had seen before – and  knew that I had not seen Lust for Gold’ before.

On searching further I found that certain action  scenes from Lust for Gold had been used in  ‘The Secret of Treasure Mountain’ – and these were the scenes. From that knowledge I had the film title that I had wanted. That was not the end the story because this film was not out on DVD nor was it attainable in any way – until out of the blue a 16 mm film appeared on one of the well known sites online – so I bought it.

A local colleague transferred it to DVD for me but almost simultaneously  a DVD copy had been released by a specialist company in the USA – so I bought that.

The Press Book which accompanied this film is one that recently came into my possession – it is not one of the best nor the most original but nevertheless it is a fascinating item as it gives us some more details on the film.


The Secret of Treasure Mountain 2


One little snippet from the book – the production company were on location when they filmed a scene where William Prince was to be attacked by a rattlesnake – however the snake which had been acquired from a local zoo just went into hibernation when the location action was due to be done so this had to be filmed again back at the Columbia Ranch in warmer temperatures. This allowed the sequence to be completed.

The Secret of Treasure Mountain


The Press Book tells us that Valerie French was a young English Actress who had made her Hollywood film debut in Jubal – a Western starring Glenn Ford.

The Secret of Treasure Mountain


The Secret of Treasure Mountain – William Prince is a young stage and screen actor who coincidentally had made his last film appearance in Lust for Gold – so he had fought the Indian battle twice on screen it seems

The Secret of Treasure Mountain 2


The Secret of Treasure Mountain – Raymond Burr played the baddie in this one as he tended to do – this was just before he gained International TV success as Perry Mason and later Ironside.



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3 D Films of 1953

I have just come across this poster which is a great example of just how exciting and enticing these 3D films could be.

3 D Film releases 2

I have said before how much I loved 3 D Films but I am not at all familiar with this Van Heflin / Julia Adams release

3 D Film releases 1953

ABOVE – It seems that this is out on Blu- Ray shortly but sadly only in 2 D format. I had my hopes up when I first saw it.

Double Feature in 3D

ABOVE: A Double Bill of 3D Horror Films that I would have loved to have seen. A few years ago there was a 3D Festival in Los Angeles which showed these two as well as many more including Westerns – sadly missed that but keep my eyes open for another such event. If anyone knows of one please let me know.

The Phantom of the Rue Morgue came out following the success of House of Wax which itself was very well received. I certainly saw The Phantom of the Rue Morgue in 3 D at the cinema and was well impressed.





ABOVE – Richard Carlson starred in It Came from Outer Space – he was also in Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Maze – both in 3 D.

I liked both of these. I always find  ‘The Maze’  particularly intriguing.

3D 3

Dial M For Murder – an Alfred Hitchcock film – was hardly shown in 3D – in fact I don’t know of anyone who actually saw it that way. Hitchcock made the film as he would have done any other with no particular gimmicks for the 3D process whereas the other films all tended to take advantage of the process – understandably of course.

3D 2

Films in 3D -= ABOVE House of Wax

3D 4

Films in 3 D ABOVE The Phantom of the Rue Morgue


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The Rainbow Jacket


This charming film  in stunning Technicolor – was shown on Talking Pictures yesterday. My wife latched on to it by chance and really enjoyed it. Made by Ealing Studios  and released in 1954 it starred Robert Morley, Kay Walsh, Edward Underdown, Wilfrid Hyde-Whyte, Bill Owen, Sid James and many more – almost a Who’s Who of British character actors of the day.



The Rainbow Jacket

The Rainbow Jacket – Above – Robert Morley, Edward Underdown and Bernard Lee in his pre ‘M’ days but an uncredited role here.

Also un-credited roles for Katie Johnson ( The Lady Killers’) , Glyn Houston, and top jockey of the day Gordon Richards


The Rainbow Jacket 2

The Rainbow Jacket

When disgraced jockey Sam ( Bill Owen) meets young jockey Georgie Crain (Fella Edmonds), he convinces Georgie’s mother, Barbara ( Kay Walsh) to let him train the lad. After seeing Georgie control a wayward horse, Lord Logan (Robert Morley) gives him a job at his Newmarket stables, where Georgie works under trainer Geoffrey Tyler (Edward Underdown) and the sadistic but good-humoured stables boss Tommy Adams (Herbert C. Walton). A natural jockey, Georgie’s meteoric rise and success helps brings Sam and Barbara together – but Sam’s shady past (fixing and betting on races) comes back to haunt them. Despite temporarily regaining his jockey licence, Sam sacrifices his career to save Georgie’s and plans a normal life with Barbara as a family.


The Rainbow Jacket 3

The Rainbow Jacket  – Here Fella Edmunds listens to advice from Bill Owen.

Fella Edmonds did not have a long or prolific career in films. He was born in 1940 so was a young teenager here – and in most of his films.

One of the later ones was ‘The Stolen Airliner’ which sounds exciting – it was a Children’s Film Foundation production – but after that I know very little about it or him for that matter.



The Rainbow Jacket 4

The Rainbow Jacket – These Front of House film stills do not show the lovely Technicolor of the film – these may have faded over the years

The Rainbow Jacket 5

The Rainbow Jacket – Above Robert Morley, Kay Walsh and Edward Underdown enjoy the excitement

The Rainbow Jacket 6

The stunning Technicolor photography was perfect for such places as Newmarket and Lingfield Park



Newmarket – ABOVE. A scene from the film of the High Street in Newmarket – I just love the Standard Vanguard parked there as I used to part own one of these with my brother a lot of years ago.


Lingfield Park 2

Lingfield Park – ABOVE

Was used in the film as was Doncaster and Epsom Downs


Lingfield Park 2

Lingfield Park – ABOVE


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Erin O Brien


My regular contributor David Rayner brought my attention to this very pretty young actress, who I was not at all familiar with. David also sent the pictures below – Thanks David.

Erin O’Brien was born in Los Angeles 17 January 1934 and was the eldest of 14 children Her Father was a Long Beach Milk Delivery man – in fact Erin grew up in Long Beach where she started singing in Civic Clubs and then was discovered by a LA Television Agent from which she got a regular vappearance on Al Jarvis’ Matinee Show – she stayed there for 3 years.


On 16 June 1951 she married at the age of 17 to Jimmy Fitzgerald a fellow singer – he was 21 years old and that November her son James Patrick was born and then 3 years later another son Gregory Paul was born.




Erin O’Brien

Her film career fared quite well and it did seem to have hit lucky with a leading role in John Paul Jones.

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones 2


She went to  Spain for three to six months to film John Paul Jones. Though given permission to take her husband with her, was not permitted to  take her two children. So her husband had to  stay at  home in Hollywood and look after them. Spain was chosen for the film because it was  cheaper and because parts of it resemble Virginia.

In June 1958 she got a wonderful reception by the Paris press after finishing John Paul Jones in Spain.


Erin O Brien


ABOVE – Erin O Brien and Robert Stack in ‘John Paul Jones’

However she did have one hitch on the way back home  from France, her plane was forced to make an emergency stop at Shannon, Ireland, because she lost her vaccination certificate in Paris. Among the passengers were 20th Century-Fox production head Buddy Adler, Mitzi Gaynor, and Jack Bean.

Erin  was  embarrassed by all the fuss over the lost certificate. She had to be re-vaccinated in Shannon – if she hadn’t been, all the passengers would have faced quarantine.

When she returned to New York she was no longer under contract to Warner Brothers, where her salary had been $500 a week.

She had been borrowed for John Paul Jones, and Warner Brothers was paid $25,000 for her services. On that one deal alone they made her yearly salary plus $5,000.



Erin O’Brien


Erin O’Brien

Erin divorced her first husband and quite soon afterwards married Kanan A. Awni in Los Angeles. He was 33 and  she was 30. Awni was a petroleum engineer and occasionally did small character parts in films and on TV.

They had two daughters – twin daughters


Erin O’Brien


Erin O’Brien

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1959 Film Programme from the USA


The Morningside Theatre in New York City has quite a lineup on Saturday, April 16, 1959.

Cinema Bill 1959


We started withTim Holt in The Monster That Challenged The World (1957), then came an  Audie Murphy Western –  Jack Arnold’s No Name On The Bullet (1959) and finally Running Target from 1956, starring Doris Dowling, Arthur Franz and Myron Healey.

Then followed some cartoons before we got to  Marshall Reed in an episode  of the Columbia serial Riding With Buffalo Bill (1954)

Coming Shortly  — William Castle’s The Tingler (1959), The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958) which had a cast of Thousands and was in Colour too  – then  Whip Wilson, Fuzzy Knight and Phyllis Coates in Monogram’s Canyon Raiders (1951) — all different but all sounded quite exciting and we really would have to go to see them all.

The Warrior and the Slave Girl 1958

The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958)

The Warrior and the Slave Girl 1958 2

The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958)

The Warrior and the Slave Girl 1958 3

The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958)

The Warrior and the Slave Girl 1958 4

The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958)

The Warrior and the Slave Girl 1958 5

The Warrior And The Slave Girl (1958)


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Yellowstone Kelly 1959 – with Clint Walker


n Television TCM today In ‘Yellowstone Kelly’ Clint ‘Cheyenne’ Walker plays a muscular fur-trapper who prevents war between Indians and U.S. Cavalry, and who survives only to find true love in the arms of a beautiful and talented newcomer Andra Martin.

Yellowstone Kelly 1959      

Warner Brothers came up with a winner in this film set  in Montana high country against the background of an  Indian uprising. There is a fine battle scene between the soldiers and the Indians, one of the best of its type and is the film’s high point.


John Russell, Ray Danton and Claude Akins are among the cast names that contribute to a  good  story.


Andra Martin is striking as the Arapahoe girl and a point of contention between Kelly and the Sioux warriors. Ed Byrnes plays Kelly’s young helper. There is outstanding camera work on this largely forgotten western – but a good one at that Andra Martin was at the time of this film, was married to Ty Hardin and she had two children with him. 


He does not seem to have a good record with marriage – he had eight wives in all.


Yellowstone Kelly 1959 2   Yellowstone Kelly 1959 3   Yellowstone Kelly 1959 4   Yellowstone Kelly 1959 5   Yellowstone Kelly 1959 6

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Mary Rose 1987


I remember seeing a BBC production of this famous play by J.M. Barrie back in the 1950 s I think – and the story fascinated me then as it does now – the story even fascinated Alfred Hitchcock who wanted to make a film of it but was never able to find the way to do it, or the way to finance it.

In 1987  BBC Scotland again produced ‘Mary Rose’ and this time on quite a lavish scale – they even built a special Scottish Island surrounded by water in the Studio – it even had a small fishing boat row to the island and was complete with trees and shrubs and rocks AND the Rowen Tree so central to the story


Amanda Root in Mary Rose 1987

Amanda Root played Mary Rose

Anthony Calfe in Mary Rose 1987


Anthony Calf played Simon

Mary Rose

Mary Rose – on the island

Mary Rose 2

Mary Rose

Mary Rose 3

Mary Rose – on the island

Mary Rose 4


Mary Rose – on the island

Mary Rose 5

Mary Rose by the Rowen Tree

Mary Rose 6

Mary Rose

Mary Rose 7

Mary Rose – What a great studio set this is


Mary Rose 11

Mary Rose 12

Mary Rose – and aerial view of the island – one of the very best studio sets for Television at that time

J.M. Barrie’s eerie supernatural drama of youth, love and loss, written in the aftermath of the Great War, was first staged in 1920 – and a young Alfred Hitchcock was one of the many who fell under its spell.



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Ben Hur 1959

Normal service is now resumed – I have been away visiting our daughter and family in Australia so not been able to post an article for a week or two for which I am sorry.

However, on the plane, one of the film choices under ‘classics’ was Ben Hur. On the way out I did notice someone close by watching it – so on the return journey I watched the whole film – 212 minutes long – and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I hadn’t realised- or had forgotten – what a good film this is.

I hadn’t realised again that there were so many British actors in relatively small parts. George Relph, who I remember from the lovely film ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’ was in this his very last film where he had played the Vicar – also in that cast was Hugh Griffith.

Finlay Currie was here too, as was one of my favourite actors -Andre Morell

Robert Brown – Roger Moore’s companion in Ivanhoe – and Duncan Lamont ( married to Patricia Driscoll – Maid Marian in the TV Robin Hood series ) and David Davies who had been in Treasure Island 1950. Also from Treasure Island 1950 was Ralph Truman who played Gorge Merry – and who had the smallest of parts in Ben Hur.  He was married to Ellis Powell ( Mrs Dale on Radio) – I have done a previous article on both of them

John Le Mesurier played a physician – later to attain fame as Sergeant Wilson in Dads Army

I thought to myself that it was strange that the British actors had been taken to Hollywood for this – but then saw that the film was made in or near Rome.

I would love to see this film at the cinema again on the wide Cinemascope screen in all its glory – that would be well worth seeing.


Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 ABOVE Jack Hawkins who shared star billing with Charlton Heston

Ben Hur 1959 2

Ben Hur 1959 – Charlton Heston might not have been the first choice for this role but he was excellent and was on the screen virtually the whole time.

Ben Hur 1959 3

Ben Hur 1959 – Above the famous chariot race – with this still signed by Charlton Heston

Ben Hur 1959 4

Ben Hur 1959 ABOVE – Hugh Griffith had quite a large part in this film

Ben Hur 1959 5

Ben Hur 1959 Sam Jaffe in a role not dissimilar to when he played in ‘Lost Horizon’ about 20 years before – when he played The High Lama in a role, to me, that identified his whole career

Ben Hur 1959 6

Ben Hur 1959 –  Haya Harareet  ABOVE was an unknown actress when she got this part – and to be fair was very good in this leading role

Ben Hur 1959 7

Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 9

Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 8 A


Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 10

Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 11

Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 12

Ben Hur 1959


Ben Hur 1959

Ben Hur 1959 13

Ben Hur 1959





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