Thursday, October 8, 2015

Latest Fascinating Film Factoids(Huffington Post)

Some Very Absorbing Film Factoids!

Posted: Updated: 
Godzilla actually speaks in one of his many film incarnations! Horror actress Barbara Steele portrayed twin sisters in an outstanding role! The very same scene was used to end a pair of classic serials!
- Godzilla speaks! In 1972's Godzilla Vs. Gigan ( aka Godzilla On Monster Island), as Godzilla and the spiny dino Angillus are swimming together in the ocean, toward a confrontation with Gigan and Ghidrah(the 3-headed monster), balloons enclosing Japanese characters indicating speech appear with a Japanese voiceover as they talk about peace and individuals getting along together. 
Ruehl Fact: This film marked the first time that Godzilla received a bloody wound: first, Gigan swooped down and wounded him in the shoulder, then, as an exhausted Godzilla was virtually defenseless, struck him repeatedly in the forehead! 
- Three interesting dual roles: In the 1933 mystery, The Sphinx, Lionel Atwill portrayed twin brothers who were master criminals: one was a deaf mute who offered his loquacious bro a perfect alibi! In the 1943 horror film, Dead Men Walk, George Zucco essayed the role of a doctor who slew his evil twin, only to be menaced by him upon his return from beyond the grave! And, in 1966's Nightmare Castle, brunette Barbara Steele played a woman viciously murdered by her jealous husband as well as her step-sister (in a blond wig)... as a phantom, she slew her spouse, preventing him from offing her step-sis! 
Ruehl Fact: In 1942's Black Dragons, Bela Lugosi portrayed a bearded Nazi plastic surgeon imprisoned by his double-crossing Japanese cohorts. He also played his clean-shaven cellmate, only briefly seen, with whom he exchanges identities via cosmetic surgery, ultimately escaping to exact vengeance on the men he transmogrified into American businessmen! 
- In the 1952 Republic 12-chapter serial, Radar Men From The Men, the lunar leader Retik (portrayed by Roy Barcroft), who was seen garbed in a regal robe, tired of Commando Cody repeatedly frustrating his plans for world conquest and came down to earth to coordinate the takeover himself in Chapter 11. He was now attired in a flight suit, identical to the one he wore in a previous Republic serial from 1945, The Purple Monster Strikes, where he was a Martian attempting to vanquish terra firma. This was done so that the same ending from the '45 serial could be used again, in a cost-cutting measure, for the final chapter here, where he is seen attempting to escape in a rocket which is blown out of the sky by an annihilation ray! 
Ruehl Fact: Retik's chief human henchman on earth was played by Clayton Moore, with his face clearly visible, although he had already donned the Lone Ranger mask for television in 1949! 

More Fascinating Film Factoids(Huffington Post)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Some Mind-Boggling Film Factoids(New Huffington Post)

Some Mind-Boggling Film Factoids!

Posted: Updated: 

Vampire Barnabas Collins was swatting at a fly in an episode of "Dark Shadows." Jack Palance's face was resculpted after being battered in the ring!Wires moving the creature are visible in "The Brain From Planet Arous."

-The Gothic horror soap opera, "Dark Shadows"(1966-71), was filmed "live on tape" with no retakes allowed despite the fact that the episodes were not aired for 7 to 10 days after taping. Hence, flubbed lines, camera boom shadows, and other mistakes were never re-shot or edited out. Two such glaring errors involved star Jonathan Frid who portrayed vampire Barnabas Collins: on one occasion, he was seen on screen dressed in civilian clothes carrying his costume as the credits were rolling! On another occasion, he was filmed swatting at a fly as he endeavored to deliver his lines!
Ruehl Fact: In early 1967, Frid was all packed and ready to move from New York City to California to become a drama professor when his agent called and persuaded him to accept the role of Barnabas Collins for just 2 weeks! Of course, the rest is history, but Frid notes that had he arrived home a few minutes later, he never would have received that call and would not be known today!
-In 1957's "The Brain From Planet Arous," the black wires used to manipulate the movements of the extraterrestrial brain are visible in a number of scenes as well as those guiding an airplane that crashes. However, this entry undoubtedly marked John Agar's best acting role as a scientist controlled by the alien mind. Both while resisting possession and during possession, he delivered one powerful dramatic scene after another, in stark contrast to his typical low-key performances in other sci-fi and horror films. 
Ruehl Fact: There were actually 2 brains in the film: the evil Gor, which possessed Agar, and the benevolent Vol, which infused itself inside a loyal dog.
-Jack Palance, whose cadaverous physiognomy has enabled him to essay a wide spectrum of villainous roles, including that of Dracula in a 1973 TV film, originally had an ordinary face. However, after being pummeled in the ring as a professional prizefighter (along with a rumored plane accident), he underwent expansive cosmetic surgery that included skin grafts, resulting in the look that has brought him cinematic renown.

Ruehl Fact: Jack Palance's original name was Walter Jack Palanuik(although various sources list a different name:
-IMDB lists it as Volodymyr Palanyuk
-The LATIMES listed it as Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk 
-CNN listed it as Vladimir Palaniuk 


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Plethora Of Intriguing Film Factoids!


A Plethora Of Intriguing Film Factoids!

Posted: 08/19/2015 5:49 pm EDT Updated: 08/19/2015 5:59 pm EDT

There were no ghosts in "The Ghost Ship." The actor who handled the acton scenes in "The Masked Marvel" serial went uncredited! None of the stars of "Double Indemnity" originally wanted to be in the film!

-Misleading titles: In 1941's "Invisible Ghost," Bela Lugosi annually mourns the loss of his absent wife (portrayed by Betty Compson), presumed dead. But, she has been haunting his home, not as a specter, but as a flesh-and-blood human. In the end, he strangles her to death, but, disappointingly, she was neither invisible nor ghostly!

In 1943's "The Ghost Ship," produced by film noir legend Val Lewton, Richard Dix starred as a tyrannical ship's captain. But, on a downer, there were no ghosts aboard the vessel and it was not a Flying Dutchman. Indeed, the title was only referenced once, when Dix's beloved (played by actress Edith Barrett) spoke of his alienation from his men making him akin to the captain of "a ghost ship."

Ruehl Fact: Val Lewton did include the ghost of the original cat woman (essayed by Simone Simon) from 1942's "Cat People" in 1944's "The Curse of the Cat People," but, unfortunately, there was no curse in effect and the phantom was entirely friendly and protective! Darn!

-In the action-packed 1943 serial, "The Masked Marvel," 4 insurance investigators repeatedly attempt to foil the nefarious plans of the Japanese spy Mura Sakima (enacted by Caucasian actor Johnny Arthur). While 1 of those agents (ultimately revealed to be Rod Bacon) is supposed to be the Marvel, another actor, veteran serial stuntman Tom Steele, actually enacted all of the hero's scenes, yet was not given any screen credit! Thankfully, many film guides do list him as this was undoubtedly his finest hour!

Ruehl Fact: Serial and western stalwarts Tom Steele and Bob Steele were in no way related. Indeed, neither actor's real surname was Steele: Tom was born Tom Skeoch in Scotland in 1909 while Bob was born Robert Stansbury in Oregon in 1907.

-Surprisingly, none of the principals in the 1944 film noir classic, "Double Indemnity," initially wanted to be included in the cast! Fred MacMurray, who had starred in light comedies, felt it went against his type. Barbara Stanwyck objected to portraying a heartless murderess. And, Edward G. Robinson was reluctant to accept a secondary role after being the lead in a string of films. But, all eventually succumbed to writer/director Billy Wilder's persuasion, with all delivering Oscar-caliber performances (although only Stanwyck received a nomination for Best Actress, but lost out to Ingrid Bergman who won for her role in "Gaslight")

Ruehl Fact: The movie's original ending showed MacMurray being executed in the gas chamber, but was changed as preview audiences did not take to it. The finale opted for, with Robinson lighting a wounded MacMurray's cigarette, was nothing short of superb!

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Friday, August 28, 2015

3 Intriguing Film Factoids(Huffington Post)


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Host, 'Mysteries From Beyond the Other Dominion'

3 New Fascinating Film Factoids!

Posted: 08/06/2015 12:57 pm EDT Updated: 5 hours ago

Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" was inspried by a real-life ornithological disaster! Surpising details about a popular "Twilight Zone" episode! Actress Elke Sommer's life was saved by a psychic!
-Intriguingly, the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcok's 1967 thriller, "The Birds," was a real-life incident that took place in Capitola, a small California coastal community approximately 50 miles south of San Francisco! Early Friday morning, August 18, 1961, when fog was thicker than pea soup, masses of frenzied sea birds, attracted by the town's lights, began slamming into buildings, autos, and even humans carrying flashlights.
When the fog had cleared, thousands of birds were found dead, dying, or in a state of shock. While no mortals were killed, 7 had to be hospitalized from the bird strikes. Coincidentally, Hitch had been vacationing in nearby Scotts Valley and heard the mind-boggling report which served as an impetus for his acclaimed production. Of course, unlike the feathered creatures in Capitola who inadvertently flew into people, his did so with malicious intent.
Ruehl Fact: In the1951 horror anthology TV series, "Lights Out," vengeful birds were depicted in the episode appropriately entitled," The Angry Birds," starring John Forsythe!
-A few years ago, readers of "The Twilight Zone Magazine" voted "The Private World of Darkness" their favorite TZ episode. Notably, a woman, enacted by actress Maxine Stuart in a tour de force Emmy-caliber performance, superbly enunciates her plight as a hideously ugly female whose face is swathed in bandages after having undergone her 11th plastic surgical procedure. The twist in the tale is unveiled when the bandages are removed, and we see a gorgeous blonde surrounded by grotesque doctors, nurses, and hospital staffers.
However, the actress seen is not Stuart, but rather Donna Douglas of "Beverly Hillbillies" fame who was considered more beautiful, and hence, more apropos for the end scene. As she races through the hospital until she encounters another "disfigured" human, she utters only a single brief line to minimize the chances that the audience would recognize a different voice. The credits at the end of the episode properly listed Stuart, first, Douglas, last.
Ruehl Fact: Many TZ fans mistakenly believe that the title of this episode is "The Eye Of The Beholder," which would have been quite appropriate as the relative nature of beauty was discussed. Apparently, that was the original plan as creator Rod Serling referred to this episode with that title in a preview announcing it as the next week's episode, but somewhere along the line it was changed..
-In 1972, glamorous actress Elke Sommer, star of such horror flicks as "Baron Blood"(1972) and "The Devil and the Dead"(1973), was slated to visit her mother's home near Nuremberg in her native Germany. However, she received a letter from psychic Rosa Bratter which warned that she would be the next victim of the so-called "Midday Killer." Wisely, she heeded the seeress' admonition and postponed her trip by one day. Authorities captured the killer soon thereafter...his diary outlined plans to kidnap Sommer and hold her for ransom!
She stated that the incident only served to cement her belief in the paranormal realm that lies beyond the everyday world.
Ruehl Fact: Sommer's given name was Elke Schletz!
Video:"Twilight Zone" Factoid:
Video: Another tale of angry birds in action:
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