Saturday, September 7, 2019

FAITH DOMERGUE: 1955 A.D.

Faith Domergue may have been one of Howard Hughes' "Girlfriends" and he did buy her contract from Warner Brothers in 1946, but that's another story Terry Moore. Between 1941 and 1976 Domergue was seen in only 56 Motion Picture and Television roles. It was Four Motion Pictures made in 1955 that gave the actress the title of "SCREAM QUEEN" and forever tied her name to 1950's Science Fiction and Horror.

 
Faith Domergue 1946.jpg

1955 started out with Faith Domergue's third "B" Western. This was Republic Pictures forgotten "Santa Fe Passage" released on May 12th.



The previous two Westerns, 1952's "Duel At Silver Creek" and 1953's "The Great Sioux Uprising", came from Universal Pictures. Otherwise the actress appeared in what was starting to be called "Guest Spots" on five different television anthology series. She was considered a solid "B": actress with a sultry personality, but like many others would have been forgotten if the following four motion picture roles hadn't come her way.

CULT OF THE COBRA released May 30, 1955


The cast in this forgotten, but excellent "B" Horror feature contained five future major 1950's and 1960's television stars.

Faith Domergue is the mysterious "Lisa Moya".

Richard Long, television series "Bourbon Street Beat" 1959-1960, "The Big Valley" 1965-1969, "Nanny and the Professor" 1970-1971, was "Paul Able".

Marshall Thompson, television series "Daktari" 1966-1969, was "Tom Markel".

William Reynolds, television series "Pete Kelly's Blues" 1959, "The Islanders" 1960-1961, "The Gallant Men" 1962-1963, "The F.B.I." 1966-1974, was "Pete Norton".

Jack Kelly, television series "Maverick" 1957-1962, "Get Christie Love" 1975, "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" 1978-1979, was "Carl Turner".My article on the "Maverick" television  series can be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/08/and-maverick-was-his-name-james-garner.html

David Janssen, television series "Richard  Diamond: Private Detective" 1957-1960, "The Fugitive" 1963-1967, "O'Hara: U.S. Treasury" 1971-1972, "Harry-O" 1973-1976, was "Rico Nardi".

The screenplay was by three writers. Jerry Davis had been writing for television when he came up with the story idea for this feature. This was television writer Cecil Maiden's only motion picture and his total writing credits are only 8. Writer Richard J. Collins was the old pro and had been writing screenplays since 1939 and would become a major television writer through 1995.

For those Val Lewton fans out there. You will find many resemblances to Producer Val Lewton's 1942 "Cat People" in the final screenplay. My article on the films and subtle horror of Lewton, including "Cat People" can be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2015/10/val-lewton-master-of-subtle-terror-and.html

Actor and Film Editor Francis D. Lyon Directed "Cult of the Cobra". His previous work as a director included two sports biographies with the gimmick of having the actual sport figures play themselves. The biographical movies are 1953's "Crazylegs" about Rams football star Elroy "Crazlegs" Hirsch  and 1954's "The Bob Mathias Story".  After this picture Lyon went to work for Walt Disney and directed the original "Adventures of Spin and Marty" series on the original "Mickey Mouse Club"in 1955. His first feature film was Walt Disney's classic 1956 "The Great Locomotive Chase". 

For those of my readers interested in Civil War History and the Motion Pictures. My article on the actual "Andrews Raid" and the two motion pictures, one from Buster Keaton and the other Walt Disney, can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2017/08/the-andrews-civil-war-raid-great.html

At the end of their Army tours of duty. Six friends in an Asian Country take a dare and witness a secret Lamians ceremony, Lamians are women that can turn into snakes.

 David Janssen and Marshall Thompson in Cult of the Cobra (1955)

Above left to right: James Dobson as "Nick Hommel", Jack Kelly, Marshall Thompson and David Janssen. "Nick" will ignore a warning from a native, "Daru", Leonard Strong, who takes the six to the secret ceremony.  He has told them not to do anything that will attract members of the cult.



However, the very drunk "Nick" uses his camera.



The six are discovered and the snake cult's High Priest, Edward Platt, tells the soldiers:
THE COBRA GODDESS WILL AVENGE HERSELF! ONE BY ONE YOU WILL DIE!


Actor Edward Platt is  probably best known as "The Chief" on television's "Get Smart" 1965-1970.
The soldiers get into a fight with members of the cult and"Daru" is killed .



During the fight the six set the temple on fire to cover their escape and in the confusion "Nick", above still, is not with the others in their jeep. The jeep comes to a sudden stop. In the street is a women standing over "Nick" and then she seems to just disappear.



"Nick" has a snake bite on his neck and is taken to the military hospital. "Nick" assures his friends he will ship out with them the next day, but during the night something slips into his room through a partially opened window. Director Lyon uses a technique from 1953's "It Came from Outer Space". The camera and hence the audience, become the eyes of the cobra as "Nick" is bitten once more.





That next morning he is discovered dead. The story informs the audience that the remaining five are discharged and return to the United States and their pre-service occupations.

Alone in his New York City apartment. "Tom Markel" hears a piercing scream from the apartment across the hall. Rushing to it he finds the beautiful "Lisa Moyer". "Lisa" claims there was an intruder in her apartment when she came home. After calming her down and seeing that she is still nervous over the incident. "Tom" asks if she might want to spend the afternoon with him away from the apartment and she agrees.



Arriving back to "Tom's" apartment. "Lisa" takes an interest in a photograph of the six soldiers taken in Asia. Later that night "Rico Cardi" locks up the bowling alley he works at and gets in his car. Something moves in the back seat It strikes his neck, the car looses control and flips over. A crowd gathers as "Lisa" is seen slipping away in the confusion from the "Car Accident" the caused the "Accidental Death" of "Rico".

The following day a party is hosted by "Carl Turner" and "Pete Norton". "Tom" and "Lisa" arrive and "Carl" makes a move on "Lisa". The jealous "Tom" punches him followed by the two leaving the party and returning to his apartment. After "Lisa" leaves "Tom" notices she left her behind. He picks them up and goes to return them, but discover she isn't at her apartment.

"Lisa" has returned to the party, but its over and "Carl" is  cleaning up. Suddenly a cobra appears and he throws something at it and hits the snake. The cobra moves toward him and "Carl" backs up too far and falls out of a window to his death.







"Pete" returns and sees the crowd around "Carl's" body, but also notices "Lisa" in the crowd holding her arm, She returns to her apartment to find "Tom" dozing on the couch. "Lisa" is starting to feel love for him, but will this new experience have an effect her mission?



The next morning "Tom" and "Paul" are having breakfast. When "Julia Thompson", Kathleen Hughes, arrives and joins them. "Julia" is both "Paul's" fiance and "Tom's" old girlfriend. Hughes was 6th billed in 1953's "It Came from Outer Space" and was a "B" actress that moved strictly to television after this feature.

The phone rings and the call is about "Carl's" death and "Tom" and "Paul" are asked to go to the police station. "Julia" stays to clean up and "Lisa" knocks and is let in. "Lisa" finds that "Julia's" attention has been drawn to a book on snake cults and people transforming into a snake.



She feels threatened by "Julia", because of her attachment to "Tom" and "Paul". While at the police station "Paul" explains his theory that "Lisa" can change into a snake and has been killing each of them. "Tom" becomes angry over the ridiculous accusation about "Lisa" and leaves. The police think "Paul's" theory is fantasy, but agree to perform toxicology tests on "Carl" and "Rico" bodies.

"Lisa" is at "Tom's" apartment and "Pete" is there also. He notices "Lisa's" still holding her arm and implies she's the murderer of his friends. He gets confirmation when "Lisa" transforms into a cobra and kills him. She then goes to the theater "Julia" is to perform in a play.

After confirming it was cobra venom that killed the others. "Paul" and the police arrive at "Tom's" apartment to find "Pete's" body. "Paul" calls "Tom" at the theater and tells him to keep "Lisa" there until he and the police can arrive. However, "Lisa" has gone upstairs to "Julia's" dressing room and when she returns a cobra awaits her. "Tom" rushes in and tosses a coat over the snake. He then uses the coat hanger to lift the snake up and tosses it out the second story window. After hitting the sidewalk the cobra transforms back into the dying "Lisa". "Tom" comes out of the theater and covers her face and walks away.

THIS ISLAND EARTH released June 15, 1955
Science fiction writer Raymond F. Jones' novel "This Island Earth" was originally published as three novelettes, between June 1949 and February 1950, in "Thrilling Wonder Stories"  Although he dealt with two alien worlds at war with each other. The story was actually an allegory of the World War 2 battles between the Japanese and Allied forces in the Philippine Islands. Hence the overall title of the work. That turns the Earth into just "One Island" in the Universe the war is being fought upon.

The screenplay dropped the allegory, but kept the planetary war. It was co-written by Franklin Coen, 1955's "Chief Crazy Horse", co-writer on Orson Wells' 1958 "Touch of Evil", and creator of the story and screenplay for John Frankenheimer's 1964 "The Train". The other writer was George Callahan as Edward George Callahan. He wrote screenplays for 1940's series films with the characters of "Charlie Chan" and "The Shadow". As well as other "B" detective films.

There were two directors on the film. The first was Joseph M. Newman. Newman had received an Oscar nomination for 1935's "David Cooperfield" and worked on many major MGM films during the 1930's and 1940's. After reviewing his footage of the flying saucer and the planet "Metaluna". Producer William Alland had Jack Arnold re-shoot all of it. Arnold had directed 1953's "It Came from Outer Space", 1954's "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" and 1955's "Tarantula" and "The Revenge of the Creature".


The estimated final budget was 800 thousand dollars and the film's initial box office was 1.7 million dollars.

The three leads were perfect for this picture.

Jeff Morrow was the alien "Exeter". Morrow would become another name associated with 1950's Science Fiction. In 1956 he was in "The Creature Walks Among Us" and in 1957 he appeared in both "Kronos" and "The Giant Claw". My article on the actor can be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/10/jeff-morrow-exeter-of-metaluna-icon-of.html



.Faith Domergue was scientist "Ruth Adams".

Faith Domergue in This Island Earth (1955)

Rex Reason, not brother Rhodes, was scientist "Dr. Cal Meacham". Reason was also in 1956's "The Creature Walks Among Us" and would go on to star in three television series "Man Without A Gun" 1957-1959, "The Alaskans" 1960 and "The Roaring 20's" 1960-1961. The following link answers the question of  which brother was in what motion picture, or  television  show.

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/10/rex-and-rhodes-reason-acting-brothers.html



Lance Fuller is "Brack". Fuller started out as a villager in 1943's "Frankenstein  Meets the Wolfman", was a chorus boy in 1952's "Singin' in the Rain", had 4th billing in Barbara Stanwyck's 1954 "Cattle Queen of Montana"and would be the hero in 1956's "The She Creature".

Lance Fuller in This Island Earth (1955)

The movie screenplay starts with "Dr. Cal Meacham" flying a jet  plane back to the private airfield of the company he works for.



The jet stalls and "Cal" can't get it out of dive, it appears he will crash, suddenly a green light appears around the aircraft and brings the jet in safely to the airfield.

This Island Earth (1955)

Later "Cal's" assistant "Joe Wilson", Robert Nichols, shows him a tiny red bead that can  produce an unimaginable amount of electrical energy.

This Island Earth (1955)



"Joe" claims he ordered the requested transistors from supply and got several of the beads. Supply knows nothing of the request.  A package arrives from the same unknown company "Electronics Service  Unit No. 16". It contains a catalog with numerous types of equipment. All tied to  something called an "Interocitor" and "Meacham" orders one.

Coleman Francis and Robert Nichols in This Island Earth (1955)

When the "Interocitor" arrives it isn't assembled and the parts are all in crates. A note on the assembly instructions informs "Meacham" and "Wilson" that no part is replaceable. So after looking at the schematic they two men begin to assemble the machine.

This Island Earth (1955)

The "Interocitor" is assembled and "Cal Meacham" has a disk still in his hand that he hasn't any idea how to use. A voice suddenly comes out of the machine instructing the scientist what to do with it. When the screen is cleared the face of "Exeter" is seen.

Robert Nichols and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Robert Nichols and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Robert Nichols and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Jeff Morrow, Robert Nichols, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

"Exeter" seems very outgoing and explains that he is part of a scientific group and building the "Interocitor" was a test that "Dr, Meacham" has passed. Seeing "Joe" attempting to photograph his image. He advises him that the film will only show fog. He next tells "Cal" that a plane will arrive on their airfield and wait a short time and leave with, or without him. "Cal Meacham" decides to go over "Joe's" concern.

In a very dense fog the plane arrives. "Cal" enters to find the cockpit is remotely controlled. There is only one passenger seat and once "Cal" is in it. The aircraft starts up and "Joe" watches it fly off into the fog.


This Island Earth (1955)

When the aircraft finally lands "Cal" finds himself in Georgia" and greeted by "Ruth Adams". Who claims not to know him even after "Cal" attempts to remind her.

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

"Ruth" takes "Cal" to meet with "Exeter" at a beautifully restored Civil War Plantation House. "Exeter" welcomes him and explains more of their work. "Cal" has already seen scientists he recognizes from around the world as specialists in their respective fields of work. He has also seen "Brack" described, by "Ruth", as "Exeter's" assistant.

Faith Domergue, Jeff Morrow, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

"Exeter" seems friendly enough, but "Cal" knows "Ruth" isn't acting normal and hiding something. After a formal dinner "Ruth" and "Dr. Steve Carlson", Russell Johnson, show "Meacham" his lab.

Faith Domergue, Russell Johnson, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Russell Johnson is best remembered for being "The Professor" on "Gilligan's Island", but my reader might have seen him in Roger Corman's 1957 "Attack of the Crab Monsters" or as "George" in 1953's "It Came from Outer Space".

After moving a piece of lead in front of the "Interocitor" in "Cal's" lab and placing a cat on top to sense when the machine is in use. "Ruth" confesses to be the girl "Cal" met and loved before. She and "Steve" want to attempt to escape from the plantation. Something strange is going on and people have either disappeared, or suddenly are acting cold and robotic to the other scientists.

Lance Fuller and Jeff Morrow in This Island Earth (1955)

There is a small plane at the airfield and "Ruth" and "Steve" need "Cal" to fly it. While  waiting for the proper moment to make their escape. They continue to be observed by "Exeter" and "Brack". The three scientists continue their assigned work and have discussed the strange forehead that both "Exeter" and "Brack" have and a large, almost  false, hill on the plantation property.

This Island Earth (1955)

"Exeter" wanting to let "Cal" know they can not hide from them. Now demonstrates to "Meacham" that the "Interocitor" can see through lead and can also destroy it. As easily as it did the catalog and plans for the machine in his lab at the company he worked for.

 



Above is actor Douglas Spencer, as "The Monitor", the supreme leader of  the planet "Metaluna". He informs "Exeter" and "Brack" they are to return immediately as things have turned very bad, but before they leave. They must destroy the plantation and everyone in it.

At the same time the escape plan is put into action and the three scientists get into the only car, a station wagon, and head for the airfield. What they don't know is "Brack" had seen them and now uses the "Interocitor" as a weapon against them.

Faith Domergue, Russell Johnson, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)



The three are suppose to get out of the car and make a run for the airfield. "Cal" and "Ruth" exit, but "Steve" says in the car and drives away. His diversion costs his life, but saves the other two who  get to the airplane.

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

As they approach the plane. A gigantic flying saucer lifts off out of the strange looking hill and  destroys the plantation house.





The saucer next emits a tractor beam and pulls the airplane with "Ruth" and "Cal" into it.



This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

This Island Earth (1955)





Faith Domergue, Jeff Morrow, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

"Exeter" now explains about the war between his world "Metaluna" and "Zagon". Most of their scientists had been killed over the years and scientific groups, such as his, were sent to other planets to seek help. As they are traveling in space "Cal" and "Ruth" start to feel the pressure changes and the extreme heat being created on the saucers outer hull. Their bodies must be adjusted to those changes, or they will die.

Faith Domergue, Jeff Morrow, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)



Faith Domergue, Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason, Douglas Spencer, and Charlotte Lander in This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue, Lance Fuller, Marc Hamilton, Jeff Morrow, Rex Reason, Douglas Spencer, and Charlotte Lander in This Island Earth (1955)

They are given suitable clothing and told to enter the tubes.

Faith Domergue, Jeff Morrow, and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Jeff Morrow and Charlotte Lander in This Island Earth (1955)

Charlotte Lander in This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Faith Domergue and Rex Reason in This Island Earth (1955)

Afterwards there is a "Zagon" attack.



This Island Earth (1955)

Finally they land on "Metaluna" only to have "Exeter" told by the "Monitor" to use a machine which removes "Ruth" and  "Cal's" freewill. "Exeter" objects, but is overruled and escorts the two to a tram that will take them to the "Thought Transference Chamber". There to have all of "Ruth" and "Cal's" knowledge transferred into a giant machine. On the way the three see the extant of the damage the war has caused and find the chamber guarded by a mutated insect.



 

At the last minute "Exeter" realizes that everything is lost for his world and helps "Cal" and "Ruth" escape in the flying saucer. However, another of the mutated insects, that was injured, gets into the craft before lift off.

While all three are in the pressure adapting tubes the mutant appears. Just as "Ruth's" tube opens the mutated insect moves toward her.









Because the mutant did not go through the procedure to adapt to the pressure and heat changes. It falls and disintegrates. However in an attempt to stop the mutant "Exeter" was severally injured, but continues to take the flying saucer back to Earth. Once within the Earth's atmosphere he tells "Ruth" and "Cal" to get to the airplane and safely releases it. "Exeter" dies as the saucer crashes into the ocean.






IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA released in July 1955



The motion picture was produced by Charles H. Schneer a name overlooked by fans of stop motion artist Ray Harryhausen. Schneer would be Harryhausen's partner for every motion picture that followed except one. My article on Charles H. Schneer may be read at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/09/charles-h-schneer-look-at-work-of.html 

The executive producer for Columbia Studios was Sam Katzman. Among his work were both the 1949 "Superman" and 1950 "Atom Man Vs Superman" serials, the 1949 serial "Batman and Robin" and besides this picture, with Harryhsauen and Schneer, 1956's "Earth vs the Flying Saucers". My article  "Superman Meets the Giant Claw as the Earth vs the Flying Saucer: Executive Producer Sam Katzman" will be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2018/10/superman-meets-giant-claw-as-earth-vs.html

This was Ray Harryhausen's third feature film and the second completely animated by him. The previous two films were the Academy Award Winner for the Stop Motion Animation, 1949's "Mighty Joe Young", and 1953's "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". This motion picture was originally in  black and white and later in his life. Ray Harryhausen who hated Ted Turner's colorization of motion pictures, such as 1933's "King Kong" and "Son of Kong", found an excellent company and oversaw the colorization of this motion picture. Some of the stills I use in this section of my article are from his colorized version of "It Came from Beneath the Sea".

The screenplay was primarily the work of George Worthing Yates. Among his screenplays were 1954's "THEM!", 1956's "Earth vs the Flying Saucers" and a favorite of mine, 1958's "Frankenstein 1970", that starred Boris Karloff as "Dr. Frankenstein".

Yates' co-writer was Hal Jacob Smith not to be confused with the actor Hal Smith. Two of Smith's other work included 1958's "The Defiant Ones" featuring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier and 1960's "Inherit the Wind" featuring Spencer Tracy and Fredrick March. Hal Jacob Smith would adapt both of his motion picture screenplays into television versions.

Kenneth Tobey was "Commander Pete Mathews". Tobey was in Howard Hawks' 1950 "The Thing from Another World" and Ray Harryhausen's 1953 "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". When I was 8 years old he was a neighbor of mine. My childhood memories of the actor and another neighbor, who was the voice of "Lady" in Walt Disney's 1955 "Lady and the Tramp", can be found at:

http://www.bewaretheblog.com/2016/10/a-memory-of-my-neighbors-barbara-luddy.html



Faith Domergue was "Dr. Lesley Joyce".



Donald Curtis was "Dr. John Carter". Curtis had been acting since 1940 and appeared in 12 Chapters of that years serial "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe". His other work includes many "B" motion  pictures of the period, and as with "Flash Gordon", without on screen credit. However, that was different with 1944's "Thirty Second Over Tokyo", Alfred Hitchcock's 1945 "Spellbound" and John Ford's 1945 "They Were Expandable". In 1949 Curtis was seen in "Hart to Hart", not to be confused with the Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers television series, on the early television  anthology series "The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre". Which started his appearances on the new medium, before the majority of American's had a television set.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

George Worthing Yates' screenplay starts with mentioning that a new nuclear submarine is being sea tested. The audience sees "Commander Matthews" and his executive officer"Lieutenant Griff", Chuck Griffiths, inside the control room.



The timely importance of that opening is that the World's first nuclear submarine, the "Nautilus", had only had its first sea test on January 17, 1955. Just six months prior to this pictures release and the implication is that the audience, with stock footage, is seeing the "Nautilus".

While submerged something gigantic attacks the submarine.



When "It" leaves and the sub surfaces. Divers find a large rubbery substance trapped in the rudder. The story next moves to a laboratory in which three people meet for the first time. They are Marine Biologists  "Dr. Joyce" and  "Dr. Carter", who do know each other, and "Commander Peter Matthews".



Their  job is  to identify what the substance is and slowly "Leslie" and "Pete" start to get close to each other.



Faith Domergue in It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

Finally the substance is conclusively identified and the Navy and Government are called to get the scientists findings.







Unbelievably the "It" is a giant octopus. "Dr. Joyce" and "Dr. Carter" speculate the octopus lived in the Mindanao Deep. However, Hydrogen Bomb testing, also at the time in American newspapers, in the area created a problem for the creature. The two biologists speculate the octopus absorbed both radiation from the fall out and ate radioactive fish. Thereby warning its normal food supply of its approach. It is believed the octopus is projecting the radiation the submarine crew reported after encountering the octopus.

Both "Joyce" and "Carter" believe it may be looking for another source of food and that could be humans. The two suggest that the disappearance of a Japanese fishing fleet and a Siberian fishing trawler may be the work of the food seeking octopus. The still skeptical officials thank the two scientists and tell them transportation back to their respective colleges will be provided in the morning.

That night "Pete", "John" and "Leslie" enjoy dinner together. "Pete" will become upset when he learns "Leslie" plans to accompany "John" on a Mediterranean Sea expedition they both had mentioned earlier.



Donald Curtis, Faith Domergue, and Kenneth Tobey in It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

However, things change when "Pete' receives word of a French ship being attacked and that there are survivors from the crew.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)







The survivors, who are all Americans and not French, stop talking when a  Navy psychiatrist seems to imply they're seeing things from the trauma caused by the sinking. "Dr. Joyce" comes up with a plan to possibly get one of the sailors to tell her the truth. She leaves the intercom open so that the others can hear and tells the sailor the "Doc" thinks she delusional, because she saw a giant octopus.



It is now confirmed that the ship was sunk by the giant octopus and the search begins. 'John Carter" goes after one lead and "Leslie" and "Pete" another. There was a report of three missing people on the Oregon coast. Arriving at that location they meet the local "Deputy Sheriff Bill Nash", Harry Lauter.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)



If Harry Lauter looks familiar? He was a familiar, mostly non screen credited, supporting actor in "B" movies, serials, and 1950's early television Westerns. Lauter was a gangster in the 1950 serial "Flying Disc Man from Mars", the platoon leader when "Klaatu" is shot in 1950's "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and one of John Wayne's "Flying Leathernecks" in 1951. Harry was in Chapter 12 of , I love this title and serial, 1953' s "Canadian Mounties vs  Atomic Invaders". Between 1951 and 1953 he appeared regularly in Jock  Mahoney's  television series "The Range Rider". In 1954 he was part of the cast of "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger" and during this first half of the 1950's.  Harry Lauter's appeared in multiple  episodes of "The Adventures of Kit Carson", "The Gene Autry Show", not be left out "The Roy  Rodgers Show", "Waterfront" and "The Adventures of Rin Tin-Tin".

After finding images of suction cups on the beach. "Leslie" and "Pete" send for "John" to come to their location. When he arrives "Deputy Nash" takes him there and is still laughing at the idea of a Sea Serpent in Oregon, but is killed by the octopus.







It becomes evident that the octopus is heading for San Francisco. The city of San Francisco refused filming on the Golden Gate Bridge. To get around that three things were done. First a car carrying a camera drove back and fourth to get background shots. Second a set was built at the studio using rear projection that the film makers had hoped to avoid. Third, Ray Harryhausen built the bridge in his parent's garage workshop.

An electrified net is placed at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and to protect the Golden Gate Bridge one is placed on it. Then the waiting is over as the octopus breaks through the net and attacks the bridge.



It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)



It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

Afterward it disappears into the bay. The Department of Defense authorizes the use of a special "Atomic Torpedo" to kill the giant octopus. It will be fired by the nuclear submarine once the location of the creature is determined. Below Reporters and other officials are brought to speed on the torpedo plan by "Dr. Leslie Joyce".

Faith Domergue in It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)



Next the giant octopus comes out at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. For those unfamiliar with this octopus created by Ray Harryhausen. It has only six tentacles, because animating eight posed problems and really wasn't necessary.













"Dr. John Carter" joins "Commander Pete Matthews": on the submarine and they go after the octopus to fire the "Atomic Torpedo" at it.

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

The octopus is located, the torpedo fired into it, but it grabs the nuclear submarine. "Pete" swims out with a spear gun and explosive charges to make the creature let loose of the submarine.





"Pete" places the charges, but the octopus knocks him out. "Dr. Carter" next goes out to recuse the other man.



He succeeds, the charges go off, the submarine is freed and the "Atomic Torpedo" does it job killing the gigantic octopus.




TIMESLIP released November 1955 in the U.K.

The fourth Science Fiction motion picture for Faith Domergue was the British production the "Timeslip". The picture did not reach the United States until March 4, 1956 with the name changed to "The Atomic Man".



It should be noted that the original running time of "Timeslip" was 93 minutes, but the American Distributor, Allied Artists, shorten the film to 76 minutes and released it with Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". 

The film's screenplay was written by Charles Eric Maine based upon  his own novel "The Isotope  Man". Five of Maine's novels were turned into screenplays by the author. These started with 1953's "Spaceways" starring American Howard Duff and Eva Bartock. The last was 1970's "The Mind of Mr. Soames" starring Terrence Stamp, Robert Vaughn and Nigel Davenport.

Gene Nelson portrayed Reporter "Mike Delaney". Nelson was known more for his dancing and singing than dramatic acting. His first major motion picture was with 5th billing in the Gordon MacRae and June Haver 1950 musical "The Daughter of  Rosie O'Grady". That same year he had 3rd billing in the Doris Day and Gordon  MacRae musical "Tea for Two". Also in 1950 he found himself in 5th billing behind Day and MacRae in "The West Point Story". The musical's actual leads were James Cagney and Virginia Mayo. Probably Nelson's best known musical is the big budgeted motion picture version  of Rogers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" released in 1955. Again with Gordon  MacRae and in her second motion picture Shirley Jones. Gene Nelson had 3rd billing.

Faith Domergue was Nelson's girlfriend "Jill Rabowski".

Peter Arne was "Dr. Stephen Rayner" aka: "The Isotope Man" aka: "The Atomic Man". Malaysia born Arne would be seen in 1968's Ian Fleming's children's story "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang", Sam Peckinpah's 1971 "Straw Dogs" and Blake Edwards 1982 "Victor Victoria".




Above Nelson and Domergue. Below Domergue and Arne.



A man is shot and tossed into the Thames River. The police find his  body floating in it and discover that he is still alive. He is rushed to a local hospital and a journalist for"View" magazine takes a photo of him. Back in the editors office another reporter, American "Mike Delaney" enters and recognizes the photo as that of "Dr. Stephen Rayner". Rayner is an American scientist working with the British in London on a highly classified project.

"Delaney" decides to investigate "Rayner's" shooting and is joined by his girlfriend "View" photographer "Jill Rabowski". They take photographs of "Rayner" being operated upon by "Dr. Preston", Martin Wyleck, to remove the bullet in his skull. "Rayner's" heart stops beating and he is pronounced dead. However, 7.5 seconds later he comes back to life further intriguing "Mike" and "Jill".

When "Jill's" photos are developed a strange glow surrounds "Dr. Stephen Rayner".



"Mike" and "Jill" next go to the British lab the scientist has been working at. Only to discover "Dr. Rayner" working there as if nothing happened. Interviewing this "Dr. Stephen Rayner", "Mike Delaney," discovers the man knows nothing about the real doctor's background. Who, or what is he?

Later when the hospitalized "Dr. Rayner", who seems to have amnesia, starts answering questions. His answers seem to be all garbled and senseless. Looking at the list of questions being asked it is discovered his answers fit questions the scientist has never been asked YET! "Dr. Preston" determines he is living 7.5 seconds in the future. Again, what is going on?





The motion picture is a tight espionage thriller with a science fiction backstory. Today, it is very dated, but in 1955 it was right out of the newspaper headlines. Two years earlier you had the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for selling atomic secrets to the Russians. The screenplay deals with the sale of nuclear secrets and a plot point involving nuclear terrorism, not a  normal "Cold War Fear", that could destroy half of London.

 Another plot point has the real  "Dr. Rayner" with a plastic surgery created double. At the time a somewhat far fetched idea. Although there were actual reports and theories that Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin wasn't really dead. That he had been replaced with a plastic surgically created double in 1953 and Stalin still ran the Soviet Union with a new identity. The 1957 thriller "Girl in the Kremlin" played off that story. The story was also the basis of the 2005 British made for television movie "Archangel" starring Daniel Craig.







I tried to find out what the 17 minute cut to the American release of "Timeslip" was about, but could only find reviews of "The Atomic Man".



Everything comes together at the film's climax. As "Mike Delaney" and "Detective Inspector Cleary", Joseph Tomelty, rescue the kidnapped "Jill Rabowski" and prevent the nuclear bomb from going off.





The majority of Faith Domergue's roles, after "Timeslip", through 1976 were guest appearances on television shows. Such as "77 Sunset Strip", "Hawaiian Eye", "Perry Mason", "Have Gun Will Travel", "Bonanza", "Cheyenne" and "Tales of Well Fargo".

There was one other science fiction film from Rodger Corman "Voyage to the Prehistoric  Planet" released August 1, 1965. Although the role of  "Dr. Marsha Evans" wasn't really anything to speak about.



Corman had purchased the Soviet Union science fiction film "Planeta Bur (Planet of  Storms)" and proceeded to cut in into two feature films with added American footage. In both "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" and "Queen of Blood" actor Basil Rathbone is used to make  American audiences think this wasn't a dubbed foreign film.

In "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" both Rathbone and Domergue are monitoring the action from a space station. Their work was shot in one day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The History of the CISCO KID on the Motion Picture and Television Screens: La historia del CISCO KID en las pantallas de cine y televisiĆ³n

There are two classic Hispanic Literary Heroes that transitioned to both the Motion Picture and Television screens. One is "ZORRO"...