Archive for June, 2020

Dr Crippen and The Raven

We are in the Sixties now but I could not resist this one when I came across the Double Bill advertisement below – I am pretty sure that I saw this programme at the local cinema at the time.

Dr Crippen was a very good film – mainly a love story and I remember hoping that the two lovers would get away even though I knew the outcome.

Dr Crippen with Donald Pleasance as the doctor and Samantha Eggar as Ethel Le Neve

Donald Pleasance – brilliant as Dr Crippen – to me one of the best roles of his career and he had a good and long career at that.

Coral Browne as Crippen’s wife and Samantha Eggar as Ethel. Plus one of my favourite actors – a larger than life stage actor featured on this Blog before at some length – Sir Donald Wolfit.

Dr Crippen and Ethel are obviously in love.

James Robertson Justice – not my favourite actor – playing the Captain of The Montrose with Samantha Eggar and Donald Pleasance – both of these actors in a different league to him

Donald Pleasance gives a wonderful performance as the down trodden Dr Crippen alongside the shrew-like performance of Coral Browne as Belle Elmore – even from the screen you can feel the tension of their relationship.

Then his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, who is played with a quiet calmness by the very pretty Samantha Eggar.

If you’re a fan of dramas then this could be for you – and any genuine film buff really has to watch this film. Excellent.

The second half of the Double Bill was The Raven with Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre in a film that was shot in just 15 days – a kind of semi comic Horror Film

A young Jack Nicholson was a supporting actor playing Peter Lorre’s son – however in real life it was reported that these two did not get on at all well during the making of the film – however I have come across other reports of Jack Nicholson saying that he admired all three of these leading actors, and sat around picking up tips from them with their vast film experience.

This proved to be Jack Nicholson’s big break in films

Hazel Court enjoyed working on the film particularly with these veteran film actors and, although she said that he was not in the best of health, she enjoyed the company of Peter Lorre

Hazel Court appeared in  three of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe screen adaptations in the 60s: The Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

However before this she  was in Terence Fisher’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the film that launched the Hammer horror series.

In it, Hazel, whose life is threatened by the monster (Christopher Lee), played the naive cousin-fiancee of Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing).

Nice posed Publicity still with Hazel Court and Boris Karloff – ABOVE

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Grace Kelly and Ray Milland – Dial M for Murder

Filmed in 3D ‘Dial M for Murder’ is an intriguing thriller that is in many ways a perfect choice for Alfred Hitchcock as he is able to handle the twists to the plot with great aplomb. The scene where Grace is to be murdered and then manages to turn, grab the scissors and kill her assailant is handled very well indeed – but this would be ‘egg and milk’ to this Director.

We in the audience know what is going on – but how will Ray Milland be found out ?

The tension builds – will he finally be exposed ?

During the filming of Dial M for Murder’ Grace Kelly  soon found herself the subject of the gossip columns because of her closeness to her leading man,   forty-nine-year-old Ray Milland who had been an Oscar winner in 1945 for The Lost Weekend, and he was well liked in Hollywood.

Ray Milland had married the former Murial Weber in 1932, and they had a son, Daniel, born 1940, and a daughter, Victoria, adopted in 1949. 

Ray Milland was particularly susceptible to Grace Kelly’s considerable charms, – who wouldn’t be –  and he fell in love with her and likewise  Grace with Ray. “It was very serious between Ray and Grace,” [Grace’s sister] Lizanne recalls. They began to see each other, making little effort to conceal their romance. 
       Ray Milland surprised Lizanne – Grace Kelly’s sister – one day by confiding the depth of his feelings for Grace to her. “I flew back from Hollywood on the same plane with him,” she recalls, “and we had a long talk. He told me he really was very much in love with her.”

On the set of ‘Dial M for Murder – the two do look to be getting on very well indeed

 Gossip in Hollywood tended to spread like wildfire and Ray Milland’s wife, known to her friends as Mal, soon heard talk about her husband and this beautiful newcomer. She feared it was true, but there was no proof. Several weeks after her suspicions were first aroused, her fears were confirmed. A close friend of the Millands, who requested anonymity, recalls: “Ray was going on a trip, and he had just left the house. Mal’s sister Harriet was there, and Mal poured her heart out to her about her suspicions. Harriet got in her car, followed Ray to the airport, and sure enough, there was Ray with Grace, going off on a tryst somewhere.”
       The Millands separated – Grace and Ray discussed marriage. He took an apartment in Hollywood and Grace spent a great deal of time there. One of the publicists at Paramount at the time, said, “I don’t know if they were living together, but the story got back to me that someone from the studio went over to Ray’s apartment and Grace answered the door.”

It wasn’t the publicity, which the veteran Ray Milland was more used to and less affected by than Grace was, but rather his realisation of the impracticality of his divorcing Mal that caused him to reconsider. Studio publicist Andy Hervey recalls that Mrs. Milland had an ace up her sleeve: “Mal told Ray, ‘You go ahead and get a divorce and marry Grace Kelly. That’s okay with me, because all the property is in my name.’ Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the marriage plans were off.”
Grace Kelly had  wanted to marry Ray Milland, and she was convinced that he would leave his wife and marry her.

That did not happen as we all know.

Rather a sad story – as this does seem to have been true love for them both – but it was not to be

Now back to the film ‘ Dial M for Murder’

Dial M for Murder would ultimately become one of Hitchcock’s best-known—and best-loved—classics.

The film is, in terms of locations and number of characters, quite a sparse film that barely leaves the studio set. This is because it was based on a stage play by Frederick Knott, which premiered as a BBC TV special in 1952 and later opened at London’s Westminster Theatre and, eventually, Broadway. After seeing the BBC production, producer Sir Alexander Korda acquired the rights to make the film version, and later sold them on to Warner Bros. for $75,000.

In the early 1950s, the 3D film craze was raging, and Warner Bros. were keen for Hitchcock to direct, sensing this was just up his street, although they also  insisted that he use the 3D process on Dial M for Murder.

It meant that Hitchcock had to work with the giant cameras necessary for the process.

In order to make the film look  interesting in 3D, Hitchcock used a pit into the floor of the set, so the camera could move at lower angles and capture objects like lamps in the foreground. As a result, the film looks different to any other that Hitchcock ever shot, particularly for the famous scissors murder scene. Unfortunately, by the time Dial M for Murder was released in 1954, the 3D fad was dying out, so the film was shown in 2D at most screenings.

Would love to see it in 3D – Wonder if such a print exists – I bet it does.


Of all of the iconic blonde stars Hitchcock cast in his films, the most famous one must be Grace Kelly, the actress-turned-princess.

 He described  her as a “rare thing in films … fit for any leading-lady part,” and it was said he had the easiest working relationship with her of any star. They worked so well together that they went on to make two more films

Rear Window in 1954 and To Catch a Thief in 1955.

Because Dial M for Murder is based on a stage play, the original script had very little in the way of outdoor set pieces. Hitchcock wanted to keep it that way.

“I’ve got a theory on the way they make pictures based on stage plays; they did it with silent pictures, too. Many filmmakers would take a stage play and say, ‘I’m going to make this into a film.’ Then they would begin to ‘open it up.’ In other words, on the stage it was all confined to one set, and the idea was to do something that would take it away from the confined stage setting.”

Hitchcock wanted to keep the confinement intact, so almost all of the action in the film takes place indoors, largely in the Wendices’ apartment. This adds to the  tension.

Hitchcock was always known as a meticulous director obsessed with detail, but on ‘Dial M for Murder’ even more so, in part because the 3D cameras were going to capture objects in a way his other films hadn’t and because of this he selected every item in the Wendice apartment himself.

He also had a giant false telephone dial made for the famous “M” close-up in the title sequence.

Hitchcock’s exacting eye also led him use the Colour to portray the psychological condition of Grace Kelly’s character. As the film begins, the colours she wears are all very bright, suggesting a happy life in which she doesn’t suspect anything is wrong. As the film grows darker for her, to the point that she’s framed for murder, the wardrobe grows darker and “more sombre,” as Hitchcock put it.

For the scene in which Swann (Anthony Dawson) attempts to murder Margot (Kelly) by strangling her (until she manages to stab him with a pair of scissors), Hitchcock had another exacting wardrobe request. He had an elegant velvet robe made for her, hoping to create interesting textural effects as the lights and shadows played off the fabric while she fought for her life. Kelly reasoned that, since Margot was alone in the apartment (as far as she knew) and was only getting out of bed to answer the phone, she wouldn’t bother to put on a robe.

“I said I wouldn’t put on anything at all, that I’d just get up and go to the phone in my nightgown. And [Hitchcock] admitted that was better, and that’s the way it was done,” said Grace Kelly later

Dial M for Murder had a very short shooting schedule – 36 days. The director took special care with one scene in particular: the murder sequence in which Margot stabs Swann with the scissors. Not only was it a key scene in the film, but it was also a moment that required particular care to make the 3D effects work. Hitchcock agonised over the scene to such a degree that he was reputed to have lost weight as a result – it certainly wouldn’t have done him any harm !!

As for Hitchcock’s famous cameo appearances in his films – In Dial M for Murder he appears in a class reunion photograph in the Wendice apartment, seated at a banquet table among other men.

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Michaela Denis – a name from the early days of Television

One of the first travel type shows we got in the early days of television would be ones that featured Armand and his Wife Michaela Denis who, in those days, just seemed to travel around Africa, filming and producing fascinating documentary style programmes.

They were very popular – introducing to us places that seemed so far flung and unattainable – as they were in those days – and it opened our eyes to Africa and it’s wild life. Sadly it was not, of course Colour Television – I have not heard if Armand shot the 16 mm films in colour – if he did then maybe they would still be around to view again.

At the same time – or maybe a bit before this Walt Disney had cleverly brought out his True Life Adventures – and these were filmed in colour and released onto the Cinema circuit often as supporting pictures to the main feature.  These were very well received and as someone pointed out quite cheap to produce as the ‘actors’ didn’t get paid !!

ABOVE – Michaela in her New York days as a Fashion Designer. She would even then, save up for adventurous holidays and on one of them to South America, she met Armand which led to marriage and a new life.

They were married in Potosi, high in the Andes, by special licence.

ABOVE – This picture of Armand and Michaela Denis was taken near Mount Kenya in Africa where they later lived – and these two cheetahs were their pets.

My memories were of their programmes is that they always seemed to come from the Ngorongoro Crater in the Serengeti National Park

ABOVE – Back in South America, Michaela is getting first hand experience of the cosmetics used by the Colorado Indians in South America.

ABOVE – We have moved on to Australia – in the Outback where Michaela is washing the hair of a small aboriginal girl by a ‘billabong’

Back in Africa ABOVE to see Michaela giving a piece of fish to a beautiful crested crane.

Here Michaela is with an Aadvark in Kenya – I have never heard of such an animal. They are nocturnal with large claws apparently and dig quite deep holes.

Michaela Denis did not have much of an opinion of David Attenborough who she said was a ‘fool and a thief’ – mainly because he had started his ‘Zoo Quest’ programme on the back of their ideas and had quite blatantly copied a feature they were due to bring in on their next show.

Later in life and living in Kenya as she did, although she always maintained a home in London and came back each year for a time until the heat had subsided back home in Africa, she knew many of the English people who lived there, among them Joy Adamson who, it is said, she loathed because of the way that Joy Adamson treated her servants.

I may have mentioned this in a previous post – Armand Denis had helped with location filming of King Solomon’s Mines for MGM in 1950 in Africa and it was that that introduced him to a potential for capitalising on his talent for film making and his love of African Wild Life – and travel.

In fact Michaela Denis also doubled for actress Deborah Kerr on location in Uganda for King Solomon’s Mines

Four years after Armand died in 1971, Michaela Denis met and married her lawyer, Sir William O’Brien Lindsay, a former chief justice of Sudan, who died in his sleep a couple of months later. Rather a sad story.

Michaela died in 2003 in Nairobi. She was 88 years old.

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Movie Memories Magazine – again – the Spring Issue

I am reminded of the ‘waiting for a bus’ thing when they all come at once – Well this seems to have happened here due to my own foolishness with renewing my Subscription – now all done and dusted and here I am with an embarrassment of riches in the form of the wonderful ‘Movie Memories Magazines.  This one is the Spring Issue with Errol Flynn featured on the front cover

He is also on the back cover with a full colour poster of  ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’

I must at this stage mention an old friend – sadly no longer with us – David Small from Leicester who was probably the very biggest fan of Errol Flynn.

He had collected a huge amount of material on the star and was an expert on every film he ever made.

David was an great admirer of ‘The Adventure of Robin Hood’ with it’s great cast and astonishing Technicolor but I have to say, and told David so, that I personally preferred the Walt Disney Richard Todd version ‘The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men’ released in 1952 and again in beautiful Technicolor. David disagreed with me on this – as do most people I have to say.

To me the 1952 Robin Hood had been filmed in England – a lot of it at Burnham Beeches – and this gave the production a more authentic feel I thought

For anyone who does not subscribe please have a look at their Web Site which is  – and I can recommend you subscribe and receive these magazines.

You will not be dis-appointed

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Kirk Douglas – some of his early films

Kirk Douglas
born Issur Danielovitch Demsky)
December 9, 1916 – February 5, 2020

Kirk Douglas — who has passed away recently at the age of 103.

Over the course of his career, Kirk Douglas made some fine Westerns. Howard Hawks’ The Big Sky  and The Big Trees – both in 1952. Man Without A Star in 1955. John Sturges’ Gunfight at the O.K. Corral from 1957, with Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Douglas as Doc Holliday — and Last Train From Gun Hill.

Another one was The Indian Fighter in 1955 – a good film.

He appeared with Rock Hudson in The Last Sunset, directed by Robert Aldrich, in 1962. Lonely Are The Brave was  Kirk’s favourite of his own films. In 1967 came The War Wagon with John Wayne.

He also made such films as  20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954). The Vikings (1957). Spartacus (1960). Seven Days In May (1964).

To my mind his acting in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954 was pretty hammy and bordered on pantomime but he injected life into this Walt Disney film – up against actors such as James Mason and Peter Lorre who in my opinion were far better.

However he was very good as Doc Holliday in ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ –   a part played brilliantly by Victor Mature in My Darling Clementine’ a decade before this.

When making ‘Spartacus’ – Kirk Douglas was one of the producers, and after a few weeks of the film being directed by Anthony Mann, Kirk sacked him. He was replaced by Stanley Kubrick who himself had a difficult time from Kirk – one of them said that ‘it was a good film – could have been a great film, but that b……d  wanted to be in every shot of the film.’

Kirk Douglas ABOVE in ‘Spartacus’ – the caption said he starred in it and produced the film – and I would say  ‘there lies the problem’

I always saw him as a conceited man and this spilled over into his acting on screen. When he was restrained – as Doc Holliday for instance – he was very good, but when he was allowed to let rip he was moderate in my view.

Disturbing rumours also circulated – and still do – in Hollywood of him raping Natalie Wood when she was 16 in a hotel room in the film capital – at that time he was a major star and she did not report this to the police as her mother thought it would damage her career if she did – horrifying if true and I say this because neither of them are here to tell.

Kirk Douglas  was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, born Issur Danielovitch Demsky in Amsterdam, New York. He grew up poor, but was a fine student and gifted athlete.  An acting scholarship got him into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and he appeared in a few minor Broadway roles before joining the Navy in 1941.

After the war, he worked in the theatre and on radio. Lauren Bacall, a classmate from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, who was now a star thanks to To Have And Have Not, convinced producer Hal Wallis to give Douglas a screen test. This got him a lead role in the 1946 picture The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers. His reviews were excellent and his career was on its way.

Jacques Tourneur’s Out Of The Past, a terrific film  with Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer, came in 1947.

1948’s I Walk Alone paired Kirk Douglas with Burt Lancaster — they’d become friends and make a total of seven films together. The Champion from 1949 earned Kirk  his first Oscar nomination. There’d be others for The Bad And The Beautiful in 1952 and for his portrayal of painter Vincent van Gogh in 1956’s Lust For Life.

In the 1950s, as television took hold of popular culture and the curtain began to close on the Hollywood studio system,  film stars began developing their own films, which would be backed by the studios. With the formation of Bryna Productions, Kirk Douglas was one of the first to set up shop. (Bryna was his mother’s first name.)

BELOW – Filming ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ for Walt Disney

Scenes in a Studio Tank – filming the Nautilus which later in this sequence is attacked by a giant squid

Scenes in a Studio Tank – filming the Nautilus and we can see ABOVE the giant squid which attacks the vessel in a thrilling sequence which takes part in a storm – hence the wind machine pictured there in the foreground

In 1981, President Carter awarded Kirk Douglas the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. Two years later, he received the Jefferson Award for his public service; and he later received the French Legion of Honor.

Tragedy struck in 1991, when he suffered a severe back injury when a helicopter he was a passenger in collided with a small plane during takeoff at Santa Paula Airport; the two men in the plane died. Then, in early 1996, he suffered a stroke. Remarkably he survived and lived until 2020

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Great New – Movie Memories Magazine has arrived

Today is a Red Letter day – the Post arrived and along with it came the Movie Memories Magazine – in fact TWO of them – Issue 95 and 96 – because due to my own fault I had not received  Edition 95 the Autumn 2019 copy.

Now I have two to read – and will have a wonderful time going through it this evening.

For anyone who does not subscribe please have a look at their Web Site which is  – and I can recommend you subscribe and receive these magazines.

I know Chris who edits and produces this publication – and indeed have known his family over many years – but we have no connection with them at all  other than being a fan.

Movie Memories Magazine  ABOVE with Marilyn on the Front Cover

Movie Memories Magazine – a great poster for ‘Unconquered’ I see that Boris Karloff had a starring role.

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Tammy 1957 – with Debbie Reynolds

I often see this billed as ‘Tammy and the Bachelor’ but as I remember it’s release here it was as ‘Tammy’ – and I think that is better.

An Unlikely Double Bill in England

Debbie Reynolds had been around in films for a few years when she made ‘Tammy’ which proved to be one of the biggest money-making releases of 1957 – released by Columbia Pictures who must have been well pleased.

In it she plays an unsophisticated backwoods girl who rescues wealthy Leslie Nielsen from a plane crash and so, because of this, and to show his appreciation she is invited to visit and stay at Brentwood Hall – his plantation but at the same time as this her grandfather played by Walter Brennan is arrested for selling illegal corn liquor.

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy ABOVE AND BELOW with Leslie Nielsen

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy

At Brentwood Hall, Leslie Nielsen’s family include Fay Wray as his Mother and Sidney Blackmer – his Dad along with Mildred Nantwick as his maiden aunt and the way that Debbie Reynolds fits into this odd situation is really what the film is about. While she is there, Tammy’s refreshing naivety and charm somehow mesmerise the ill prepared family and gradually they all seem to start to come alive and follow their dreams and they all, in their different ways, find the happiness and fulfilment they were maybe seeking all thanks to Tammy

The only one less than happy is Leslie Nielsen’s fiancée played by Mala Powers.

Tammy falls in love with Leslie Nielsen and him with her, and so we are set for what the punters wanted – a happy ending.

Debbie Reynolds also sang the title song ‘Tammy’ and the record realeased on the Coral label was a big hit both sides of the Atlantic Ocean – I do remember that Buddy also recorded on the Coral label which would have been very much at the same time again with great success.

I wonder if they met ?

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy – ABOVE with Leslie Neilsen and Mildred Natwick

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy – above with Leslie Nielsen

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy

Debbie Reynolds as Tammy

Debbie Reynolds was an actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood, who could keep up with some of the biggest stars in history.

Later in her career she became a collector

She virtually became the patron saint of film costume history. When the MGM Studios decided to auction off or give away all those iconic costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood Debbie Reynolds literally emptied her bank account and purchased a great many of them. Without her foresight and determination, the loss of these costumes would have been one of the greatest tragedies in film history.

Her efforts to preserve the work of famous Hollywood designers and anonymous wardrobe assistants alike deserves all the praise it gets.

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The CoronaVirus – Remember ‘Fiend Without a Face’

I am looking back to a great favourite of mine – which I find, in a way, links to the latest situation we are all in.

If you remember – in the film ‘Fiend Without a Face’ the attacks on the population were again from an unseen killer and it wasn’t until late in the film that we saw the face of the enemy.

Kynaston Reeves

It starred among others Kynaston Reeves – to me famous for playing Quelch in the BBC Series ‘Billy Bunter’ although in practise he didn’t play the part that many times – only around 16 times – and this film came a little later.

Marshall Thompson

A British made ‘Horror’ film with quite good special effects and it had Marshall Thompson in the starring role with Kim Parker – she was a nice looking stress who was very good in this – She had a brief film career and didn’t make that many after this one.

She had been born in Austria

Another Victim

I remember when first viewing this film, we had no idea what was going on and how the victims were killed but gradually we began to see and when we did it was quite horrific – maybe by today’s standards a bit tame but I like it

Now what a Double Feature this would have been ABOVE

I thought that the Haunted Strangler must have been a film before or shortly after the war but in face it was made in 1958 about the same time as Fiend Without a Face. The fact that  it starred Boris Karloff, Elizabeth Allan and Jean Kent made me make the assumption as they all seemed to be actors of an era before this.

The Film was actually released here as ‘Grip of the Strangler’ and was produced  in England

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Zombies of Mora Tau – and -The Man who turned to Stone – 1957

This is another I am not familiar with but came across the title which was reminiscent of the type of ‘Horror’ film we would get in the late fifties.

Apparently it was very much a ‘B’ film – but I often found that such films can be enjoyable and entertaining in the sense that they are mainly focused on telling a straightforward story to a , hopefully, non critical audience because we expect less from it maybe.

This is the story of a group of ‘mad’ scientists all around 200 years old who have been kept alive by tapping the life-force of young girls – something they had discovered long ago. Because they need a constant supply of such women victims, they operate under the cover of running a Women’s Reformatory.

This seems to have been successful for them until a young and observant welfare worker joins the ranks of the staff and soon notices an unusually high number of deaths occurring. Charlotte Austin plays the welfare worker with Victor Jory top of the cast list as one of the scientists.

The story is that if the scientists does not get his ‘youthful fix’ they then turn to stone.

Apparently in the film as it reaches its conclusion, some of the make-up for the ones being turned to stone is not that convincing – maybe the already low budget didn’t run to more expense in that area.

It was definitely not the scariest or the most exciting, nor was the science ever really explained, and in a film like this it does not need to be, but for a B picture, it was entertaining and a nice little chiller that you could easily be watched more than once.

This film went out as a Double Bill with Zombies of Mora Tau (also known as The Dead That Walk

Zombies of Mora Tau told the story of a group of living-dead sailors who, years before, had attempted to steal treasures from an African Idol. These sailors have now the job of guarding the treasure where it is hidden under the sea.

A new expedition led by Gregg Palmer and Joel Ashley come in search of the forbidden gems

Zombies Of Mora Tau is not short on atmosphere. It sets its stall out early on, establishing the island as a dark and mysterious place, where zombies are such a part of the fabric of society that their appearance on the roadside is barely registered by the locals.

It’s version of Africa is brilliantly realised on a budget, it’s sprawling jungle feeling hot and oppressive, but it’s the European cemetery that really impresses. Full of the bodies of the unfortunate previous expeditions to find diamonds, it’s wonderfully creepy and feels like a gothic Universal-style graveyard transplanted into the deepest, darkest jungle. It’s stunning and has all the more impact coming in a film that you aren’t expecting so much from.

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Fifties Television

Television was very much in its infancy during the early fifties with just the One Channel – the BBC of course.

Nevertheless this early Television service gave us some memorable moments – some scary, some funny but mostly welcome and entertaining. After all, we would watch anything then as it was all so new – and it all seemed good.

The Coronation proved a major landmark for TV with live coverage including cameras inside Westminster Abbey which in those days was some feat in view of the big and somewhat clumsy and immobile cameras and also the sheer scale of what was required to give us the outside coverage.

I have before featured that wonderful Technicolor film ‘John and Julie’ made a couple of years later when a two young children decide to run away from home and travel to London to see The Queen being crowned. They have many adventures along the way and we see lovely colour footage of the crowds in London that day.

ABOVE – John and Julie are at this stage making progress

There was also a film made of the Coronation in colour so that cinema audiences could later view it.

Another film made the same year – The Conquest of Everest

Back to TV and who could forget having being scared by The Quatermass Experiment. I remember my Dad would not let my brother and I watch the last episode as he thought it too frightening and he knew that we had been watching the earlier episodes which had clearly alarmed us.

Without doubt the most disturbing serial over 6 weeks this Science Fiction production was written by Nigel Kneale

Then another one – later in the fifties was a very good Detective type series ‘ No Hiding Place

Here we see Raymond Francis and Eric Lander in action in a scene.

I saw Raymond Francis in an old episode of Miss Marple with Joan Hickson the other day – and I do remember Eric Lander appearing on This is Your Life when the subject was Richard Todd in 1988.

He had appeared with Richard in that long running thriller ‘The Business of Murder’ which ran for years at the Mayfair Theatre

On ITV we have ‘The Invisible Man’

The 26 half-hour episodes of the science fiction series “The Invisible Man” were originally broadcast on British ATV during the 1958-1959 season.

It  was very well written,  the special effects were good for  that period, and we got inclusion of some top class British character actors.

I have to say that these comments are from other people as I don’t think I ever saw it.

Although we had a Television very early in the 50s we didn’t get ITV until mush later than other people for some reason.

I remember you had to have a box fitted to the television set with a switch that changed over to ITV – which we didn’t get.

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