Jack Arnold Waks dreamed of becoming a professional actor, as a teen he enrolled in the prestigious "American Academy of Performing Arts" at its New York City location. Starting in 1935 he was performing on Broadway and his dream was moving forward until December 7, 1941.
Jack immediately enlisted in the Army Air Force, but found himself station to the signal corps and working with filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty. Who in 1922 had made the first commercially successful feature length documentary, "Nanook of the North". Eight months after working with Flaherty, Jackas back in the air corps as a pilot and met his future wife, Betty Jeanne Riphahan.
When the war ended, JACK ARNOLD, and his army buddy, Lee Goodman, formed a production company, "Promotion Film Company". In 1950, Arnold was commissioned to Produce and Direct a documentary about early working conditions in the 20th Century, His documentary, "With These Hands", was nominated for the "Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film".
This is a look at a series of Science Fiction motion pictures Jack Arnold, Directed during the 1950's.
As strange as this may sound, at the start of the 1950's, the powerful motion picture industry felt threatened by 13 and 17 inch black and white television screens. What would affectionally be called "The Boob Tube", was now priced for the average American family and they were staying home in front of it. Additionally, the motion picture industry and not the fledgling television industry, was being attacked by the "House Committee on Un-American Activities", or Senator Joseph McCarthy.
The major studios needed to find a way to get families back into movie theaters, one means would be wide-screen, but 20th Century Fox would not find a way to bring William Fox's, 1929, 70 mm process, Grandeur, back until late 1953. "The Robe", used an expanded, through special lenses, 35 mm process called CinemaScope, but it wouldn't be until 1956 and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel", that the studio moved to a 55 mm process they named, CinemaScope55, still 15 mm's lower than what Fox used in 1929.
William Fox's story can be read in my article, "JOHN WAYNE, WILLIAM FOX: Grandeur and 'The Big Trail", at:
One example of how the studios started to fight television and lure audiences back into movie theaters, was first used for an independent motion picture distributed by United Artists on November 26, 1952. "Bwana Devil", in something called "Natural Vision 3 Dimension", sparked the craze I write about in my article, "THIRD DIMENSION the Golden Age of 3-D Motion Pictures 1952-1955", found at:
Jack Arnold was about to make his first of four motion pictures in the "Third Dimension". The assigned Universal International studio producer was William Alland, as an actor he interviews "Charles Foster Kane" in 1941's "Citizen Kane", and this would form a working team.
IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE released on June 5, 1953
Director Jack Arnold's first non-documentary motion picture was a Universal International film-noir, 1953's, "Girls in the Night", starring Harvey Lembeck, the future "Eric von Zipper", in the "Beach Party" movies. Arnold's second was this Science Fiction feature.
The story treatment came from author Ray Bradbury, eight-days after this picture's release, another Science Fiction based upon Bradbury's "The Fog Horn", "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", was released by Warner Brothers.
I use the word "treatment", because there never was a written and published story that the screenplay was based upon.
The following is based upon two sources, the commentary by film historian Tom Weaver, on the original DVD release, and, the 2004 biography, "Ray Bradbury", from the "Gauntlet Press", Colorado Springs, Colorado, as edited by Donn Albright.
Ray Bradbury was contracted by Universal International to write a "Space Invaders" story treatment that a screenplay could be written from. He submitted a very long treatment, actually two versions in one, entitled "The Meteor". The difference was in who the aliens were, one version of the story had them as a typical malicious alien lifeform prevalent in early 1950 Science Fiction, such as Howard Hawks' "The Thing from Another World". The second Bradbury version intrigued Jack Arnold, the aliens had no other desire than to fix there crashed space craft and return home, but the malicious intent comes from the humans.
As Bradbury stated:
I wanted to treat the invaders as beings who were not dangerous, and that was very unusual
Universal International contract writer Harry Essex was given the assignment to turn Ray Bradbury's story treatment into a screenplay. Essex had started out writing screenplays as one of three writers for the 1941, Horror Romance, "Man Made Monster", starring Lon Chaney, Jr., Lionel Atwill, and Ann Nagel. Harry Essex followed that film with nothing but film-noir crime pictures until this assignment.
As the legend goes, Harry Essex merely changed the dialogue and took full credit for the entire story and screenplay. Additionally, there was a fourth screenplay written with input from Jack Arnold.
In 2004, Ray Bradbury published all four screenplays in one volume.
While the screenplay was being worked upon, Jack Arnold, like every director to the new medium of 3-D, had to figure out how to film in the "Third Dimension". The special camera used two film strips, basically one for each human eye, and the sets had to be designed with a definite foreground, middle ground, and back ground. So, Arnold worked closely with his two Art Directors, Robert F. Boyle and Bernard Herzbrun. Along with his Second Unit Director, Joseph E. Kenney, who also had never made a 3-D motion picture.
Additionally, commercial artist, fashion designer, actress, and writer of children's books, Milicent Patrick, was designing the alien, "Xenomorph's". Patrick would be involved with two other of Jack Arnold's Science Fiction movies in a similar role.
The Main Cast:
Richard Carlson portrayed "John Putnam". Carlson was four-months away from the first of 117 episodes of the anti-Communist television series, "I Led 3 Lives". The actor had just been seen in "Appointment in Samarra", May 11, 1953, on the television anthology series, "Robert Montgomery Presents". My article, "Richard Carlson the Academic Turn Actor", is available to read at:
Barbara Rush portrayed "Ellen Fields". In 1951, Rush had co-starred in producer George Pal's classic Science Fiction, "When Worlds Collide", and had just co-starred with John Dereck in the 1953 adventure, "Prince of Pirates". Barbara Rush would follow this picture by portraying Native American, "Oona", opposite Rock Hudson's title character, "Taza, Son of Cochise", in a 3-D Western.
Charles Drake portrayed "Sheriff Matt Warren". Although Drake started acting in 1939, it wasn't until director Howard Hawks', 1942, "Air Force", that the actor wasn't mainly used in uncredited roles. He had just been seen in the Joel McCrea Western, 1953's, "The Lone Hand", and followed this picture with a Jeff Chandler Western, 1953's, "War Arrow", both directed by George Sherman.
Joe Sawyer portrayed "Frank Daylon". Sawyer started his acting career in 1930, and for his first five-years was also in uncredited roles. That changed with 1936's, "The Petrified Forest", starring Leslie Howard and Bette Davis, Sawyer was billed sixth behind an actor named Humphrey Bogart. For that new medium, television, Joe Sawyer was "Sergeant Biff O'Hara", on "The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin", from 1954 through 1959.
Russell Johnson portrayed "George". Johnson started on-screen acting in 1950, and he is associated with two other Jack Arnold pictures I will be mentioning. Russell Johnson also starred in director Roger Corman's, 1957, "Attack of the Crab Monsters", but, again to that television generation, he is best known as "The Professor" on "Gilligan's Island" from 1964 through 1967.
Kathleen Hughes portrayed "Jane, George's girl". Hughes was a "B" actress starting in 1948, who moved to television in 1956. Below, Kathleen Hughes in a major publicity shot used to promote the motion picture.
Two old miners still working the abandoned Excelsior Mine, "Tom", played by George Silk, below left, and, "Toby", played by Casey MacGregor, are the first to meet the aliens.
"John" new returns to "Matt", tells him what happened, the two return to town, but "Matt" starts to organize a posse to go back to the mine to kill the aliens and rescue the people.
Later, as the two alien linemen are driving back to the Excelsior Mine, they are confronted by "Matt" and his posse and are killed.
On November 11, 1953, director Jack Arnold's next 3-D movie, "The Glass Web", produced ny Albert J. Cohen, premiered in New York City. This forgotten crime film-noir starred Edward G. Robinson, John Forsythe, and Kathleen Hughes, billed as "The 3-D sensation of 'It Came from Outer Space".
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON premiered in Denver, Colorado, on February 12, 1954
That story treatment was turned over to two screenplay writers:
Once again, Universal International contract writer Harry Essex, who had turned the Mickey Spillane novel, "I, the Jury", into a 1953 screenplay. Essex would follow this picture with a story idea that became the Rod Cameron, Joanne Dru, and John Ireland, 1954, "B" Western, Southwest Passage".
Arthur A. Ross was writing for "The Red Skelton" television show at that time.
Richard Carlson portrayed "Dr. David Reed". Immediately after completing "It Came from Outer Space", he made director William Cameron Menzies, 1953, 3-D, "The Maze". After this motion picture, Carlson directed and appeared in producer Ivan Tors second entry in his "Office of Scientific Investigation" trilogy, 1954's, "Riders to the Stars". Richard Carlson had starred in the first entry, 1953's, "The Magnetic Monster", but did not appear in the third film. My article, "Ivan Tor's 'Office of Scientific Investigation' Trilogy", will be found at:
There were two creature actors, Ben Chapman portrayed the character on land, Ricou Browning portrayed the character under water.
There, "Mark" and "David" dive into the water to find rock samples that "Carl" can determine might be from the original site. "Kay" is told to stay close to the "Rita", but swims farther out, while under the water the creature swims with her.
....the creature gets tangled in a fishing net and when it's pulled in, the net has been destroyed. However, a talon is left behind and that starts to raise questions.
"David" with a tank full of the drug enters the water, starts to remove the obstructions, the creature starts to attack, but is hit full face with the drug and swims away. "David" clears the blockage, the creature comes again, and is hit in the face once more with the drug and swims away from "David".
Next, the weakened creature climbs back on board the "Rita" searching for "Kay".
The executives at Universal International realized they had a hit on their hands and by June 1954, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" was no longer dead.
REVENGE OF THE CREATURE premiered in Denver, Colorado, on March 23, 1955
Once again the story treatment came from William Alland with a screenplay by Martin Berkeley. Since 1941, Berkeley was a "B" drama and Western writer. This was his first of two Science Fiction Horror movies he did for the studio. The other I will mention later, but after that film, Martin Berkeley moved strictly to television writing.
The Main Cast:
John Agar portrayed "Professor Clete Ferguson". Agar was still attempting to make a come back after his divorce from "America's Sweetheart", Shirley Temple, over his infidelity. This movie would start his new found career as a 1950 Science Fiction cult favorite. His second wife, Loretta Combs Agar, appeared as the "Woman on Boat". My article, "John Agar His Fall That Led to Science Fiction Cult Status", can be read at:
There is one uncredited actor portraying "Jennings,", in his first on-screen appearance, that I want to mention. "Jennings" is John Agar's lab assistant and the screenplays comedy relief. As he loses a mouse and finds it in the lab coat he's wearing, the uncredited actor is, of course, Clint Eastwood.
Employed by "Florida's Ocean Harbor Aquarium" are "Captain Lucas", "Joe Hayes", and "George Johnson" with the assignment of capturing "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" and bringing it, alive, to Florida. The screenplay now calls the character the "Gill Man", and it's the prehistoric missing link between marine and terrestrial life, but to "Lucas" he is nothing more than a demon.
The next day the three men plant dynamite charges on the lagoon and the stunned "Gill Man" floats to the water's surface in a coma.
Suddenly the "Gill Man" revives and attempts to jump out of the tank. Other employees jump into the tank and fighting the "Gill Man", place a net over him, and he is pulled down and shackled, with a special chain, to the bottom of the tank.
The plan is to use an electric shock prod by "Clete" and each time he uses it, "Helen" will stay STOP!
The Coast Guard divide search parties and "Helen's" body is once more found, but now the "Gill Man" is obviously protecting "His Love". However, he has that one weakness, he must return to water to keep living. "Clete" is able to rescue "Helen", while the "Gill Man" has returned to the water, as it comes out and starts going for him. "Clete" yells STOP, the "Gill Man" does, and the police open fire.
At the time of production for "The Creature Walks Among Us", Jack Arnold was directing, the "B" Western, "Red Sundown", starring Rory Calhoun, Marta Hyer, and Dean Jagger, and produced by Howard Pine.
THIS ISLAND EARTH premiered in New York City on June 10, 1955.
Before I speak to the motion picture, I want to look at the source material, author Raymond F. Jones' 1952 novel, which I have, but didn't start out as such. The first part of a trilogy of short stories that became the novel was entitled, "The Alien Machine", and was published in June 1949, in the magazine, "Thrilling Wonder Stories".
Jones' second novelet, "The Shroud of Secrecy", was published six-months later in December 1949.
The final novelet, "The Greater Conflict", was published in February 1950.
At the Ryberg Instrument Corporation, engineer Cal Meachum receives a quartet of bead-like devices that are meant to replace the condensers he ordered. At first Cal thinks this is joke someone is playing on him, but he tests them anyway and they're more powerful than the equipment he originally ordered. He orders more, but also gets a catalogue with some machine called an interociter. Meachum orders this intriguing machine and builds it himself. When Cal turns it on, and a man appears that invites him to join a group called Peace Engineers.
After a plane flight to an isolated part of Arizona, Cal meets Jorgasnovara, the man on the interociter. Cal finds himself and others as part of a millennia-long-intergalactic war. Jorgasnovara's group of aliens are called Llanna, the other aliens in the war are the Guarra.
Raymond F. Jones explains that the Earth is where the cosmic war between Jorgasnovra's people and the Guarra is being fought upon. They need Cal Meachum and the other Earth scientists to help defend against their evil enemy, as the battle is on their planet not his. In short. Jones' title, "This Island Earth", is the allegorical Philippine Islands and this Science Fiction novel is the allegorical Second World War fought upon them.
The film was produced by William Alland, he had just produced the Hollywood "B" Western Native American biography, 1955, "Chief Crazy Horse", starring Victor Mature in the title role. He would follow this picture with the next movie I will be mentioning.
There were two directors on this motion picture, the assigned director was Joseph M. Newman.
One of the three composers of the sound track was Universal International contract musician, Henry Mancini. He had already worked on 1953's, "It Came from Outer Space", and created the classic theme music for 1954's, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", his early work, and the work of the other composers Mancini worked with, is found in my article, "HENRY MANCINI: Before 'Moon River' It Was 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon", at:
One of the sources of the eerie background music was a machine created by Russian inventor, physicist, and composer Lev Sergeyvich Theremin (Leon Theremin). In 1920, Theremin created one of the earliest electronic musical instruments, named for him as "The Theremin". Below is a picture of Leon Theremin and his instrument, which was likely the model of the interociter seen in "This Island Earth".
Both writers would get full credit for the "Castle Films" 1958 short, "War of the Planets", which was a nine-minute, both sixteen and eight-millimeter versions of "This Island Earth" for retail sales. I also had it and it was basically the small plane being taken into the flying saucer and some of the attack scenes from the picture.
Only two characters remain from Raymond F. Jones' novel, "Cal Meacham", and "Ruth Adams". There is an intergalactic war, but it is fought in space and on the surface of a planet named "Metaluna". As to the Earth, it is only a source for scientists and development, not the battles that take place in the novel.
The screenplay is divided into three distinct parts.
Part One: Meet "Cal Meacham"
Electronics specialist "Cal Meacham", who is on the verge of converting lead and uranium into a free energy source, leaves a conference, and starts to fly his military style jet plane to Los Angeles.
"Joe" has been concerned about who and what the mysterious "Exeter" represents, but "Cal" is convinced on going. The next night the airstrip is fogged in and "Joe" knows a pilot cannot land in it and feels relieved. However, the sound of planes motors is heard and the plane with all its windows blocked out, and no pilot, awaits "Cal Meacham" to take the single seat in it. The plane starts up with the same green light that saved "Cal" before'
"Ruth" brings "Cal" to a Georgia mansion that contains "Exter's" offices, has a brief, coded exchange, with "Dr. Steve Carlson", and introduces "Cal Meacham" to "Exeter". Who states all the scientists assembled at the mansion are working in underground laboratories to find a quick way to produce atomic energy. It was "Meacham's" research that brought him to the attention of the group.
The next day, "Exeter" demonstrates a deadly "neutrino ray" to "Cal" and asks that he not meet with either "Ruth", or "Steve" again. A few days pass with "Cal" appearing to be ignoring the other two scientists, but in reality, they're planning their escape. However, "The Monitor" contacts "Exeter" and tells him they must return now and bring the two scientists, "Meacham" and "Adams", but kill the others.
"Ruth", "Cal", and "Steve" steal the station wagon and start to make their escape. However, "Brack" spots them and starts using the "neutrino ray" to kill them.
"Ruth" and "Cal" jump from the car and into a deep flooded ditch beside the road, but "Steve" to save the others keeps driving and the ray destroys the station wagon with him inside.
As I said this is the section that director Jack Arnold was told to reshoot, because he had worked with Science Fiction and knew how to put it on the screen.
"Cal" and "Ruth" make it to the air field, find a small plane, and take off in it. The hillside next to the mansion was hiding a flying saucer of tremendous size and it lifts off out of it. Next, a neutrino ray destroys the mansion and all who are in it.
The three just escape as a major "Zahgonian" strike hits and destroys the planet once known as "Metaluna".
TARANTULA premiered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 4, 1955
The story set in the Arizona desert centers upon a group of scientists developing a synthetic nutrient, but it has a unforeseen side effect, as test animals develop a deadly virus, and two of the scientists have injected themselves with the nutrient.
Jack Arnold sold Universal International on acquiring the story and expanding it into a feature film. Working with Robert M. Fresco, the writer of "No Food for Thought", Jack Arnold and Fresco created the expanded story for "Tarantula".
The screenplay was written by Martin Berkeley. This was his first screenplay since "The Revenge of the Creature", and he would follow it with the "B" Western, 1956's, "Red Sundown".
At the time the only other giant insect movie that had been released was from Warner Brothers. The film was 1954's "THEM", shot by director Gordon Douglas in 3-D, but released by Jack L. Warner in standard 2-D to save money. My article, "THEM!', 'TARANTULA', 'THE MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL', 'THE DEADLY MANTIS', 'THE BEGINNING OF THE END', 'THE BLACK SCORPION', and 'THE EARTH VS THE SPIDER': As the 1950's Insects that BUGGED America!", is ready for a can of "Raid" at:
John Agar portrayed "Dr. Matt Hastings". The actor had just been seen in the 1955 Western, "The Lonesome Trail", and followed this picture with the film-noir, 1955's, 'Hold Back Tomorrow".
Near the town of Desert Rock, Arizona, which looks just like Sand Rock, Arizona and San Angelo, California, in 1957's, "The Monolith Monsters", the picture opens with a deformed man walking toward the camera.
Arriving on the bus is graduate student, "Stephanie 'Steve' Clayton", but she is told, at the hotel, the man who can take her to the "Deemer" place is out on the desert and she'll have to wait.
Jack Arnold would follow "The Incredible Shrinking Man" with the crime film-noir, 1957's, "The Tattered Dress", starring Jeff Chandler, Jeanne Crain, Jack Carson, Gail Russell, and Elaine Stewart.
Both the novel and the original screenplay were by writer Richard Matheson. Two others of his novels are 1954's, "I Am Legend", and, 1971's, "Hell House". Matheson's other screenplays include director Roger Corman's, 1960, "House of Usher", 1961, "The Pit and the Pendulum", 1962's, "Tales of Terror", and 1963's, "The Raven". My brief look at the writer, "Richard Matheson: The Screenplays and Treatments", will be found at:
However, Matheson's original screenplay had "Robert Scott Carey" already shrunk and telling his story in flashbacks. Producer Zugsmith added the word "Incredible" to Richard Matheson's screenplay title and gave it to screenplay writer, Richard Alan Simmons, the Rock Hudson, 1954,"Bengal Brigade", and Clark Gable and Eleanor Parker's, 1956, "The King and Four Queens", to rewrite it.
The first thing Simmons did to Matheson's screenplay was to remove the flashback element of the story and tell it in chronological order. Richard Matheson was not happy!
The believability of this picture depends heavily upon the props created by the uncredited team of Floyd Farrington, Ed Keyes, Whitey McMahon, and Roy Neel. Along with the uncredited visual effects of Everett H. Broussard, Roswell A. Hoffman, and Clifford Stine.
The Two Main Actors:
"Robert Scott Carey" and his wife "Louise" are enjoying a boating vacation; she goes below as a strange mist cloud moves over "Scott" and the boat.
After the mist cloud passes over "Robert Scott Carey", he finds himself covered in a glittering powder. "Louise" comes up from down below and both watch the mist cloud moving away.
Six-months after the boating incident, "Scott's" clothing are not fitting him.
Outside of the institute, "Scott" tells "Louise" he does not expect her to remain with him, and she declares that as long as he wears his wedding ring, she will be with him. Shortly after the conversation, "Scott's" wedding ring falls off his finger. "Robert Scott Carey's" situation has become known to the world, curious onlookers are mobbing the street outside of his home, and reporters are constantly calling his phone number.
A few weeks later, "Robert Scott Carey" is three-feet-tall and "Dr. Silver" believes he's created a serum that should stop "Scott's" shrinking. It works, but does not start him growing again.
"Scott's" fears have affected him mentally and he has been taking it out on "Louise". One day she has become so rattled over the arguments the two are having that she leaves the house accidently letting their cat in.
The cat sees "Scott" in the doll house and slashes at him, he runs and the cat starts to chase its one-time master across the floor towards an open door.
"Scott" makes it to the door leading to the basement and attempts to close it, but the cat's strength is more than he can handle and causes him to fly down to the basement's sewer drain.
"Scott" drinks some dripping water from a pipe, creates a bed in a matchbox, he sees a piece a cheese in a mouse trap, but when he grabs for it, it is sent flying.
Below are Grant Williams and director Jack Arnold.
THE SPACE CHILDREN released in June 1958
Jack Arnold would follow this motion picture with the next film I will mention.
Tom Filer came up with the story treatment, "The Egg", and this was only his second of only two such treatments. His first was director Roger Corman's, 1955, "The Beast with a Million Eyes". Filer's primary income was from his novels.
Bernard C. Schoenfeld wrote the screenplay. Prior to this feature film, he had written only four screenplays between 1944 and 1952. From 1952 through 1975, Schoenfeld was primarily a television writer and only wrote three other motion picture screenplays during those years including producer, director, Bert I. Gordon's, 1962, "The Magic Sword".
The Main Cast:
Michael Ray portrayed "Bud Brewster". Thirteen-years-old Ray is best remembered for portraying "Leonardo", in 1956's, "The Brave One", about a Mexican boy and his pet bull. The picture earned blacklisted writer, Dalton Trumbo the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, but his name didn't appear on the original release, His writing "Front", Robert Rich, accepted the Oscar and had his name on the motion picture. Later, Michael Ray portrayed "Farraj" in director David Lean's, 1962, "Lawrence of Arabia".
Adam Williams portrayed "Dave Brewster". With an occasional motion picture, Williams was mainly a television drama and Western actor.
Peggy Webber portrayed "Anne Brewster". Her resume at the time read like Adam Williams.
Johnny Crawford portrayed "Ken Brewster". At the time Crawford was twelve-years old. The IMDb website is one of several that leave out Crawford's 1955 work that many of my generation know him for. They do not mention he was one of Walt Disney's original "Mouseketeers" on "The Mickey Mouse Club", and instead start with his uncredited role of an Italian boy in the Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, and Fredric March, 1956, "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit". They do mention his one-hundred-and-sixty-eight episodes of televisions "The Rifleman", and his role in producer, director, Bert I. Gordon's, 1965, "Village of the Giants", with Tommy Kirk, Beau Bridges, and Ron Howard. Johnny Crawford's "Mickey Mouse Club" appearance is part of my article, "M.I.C.K.E.Y. M.O.U.S.E.': Walt Disney's Original Mickey Mouse Club, 1955 To 1959: "An Honorary Mouseketeer In Good Standing' Remembers", at:
Four Interesting Cast Members:
Jackie Coogan portrayed "Hank Johnson". In 1921 Coogan co-starred with Charlie Chaplin in the silent classic, "The Kid". In 1922, he was author Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist", and in 1930, Jackie Coogan was author Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer". From 1952 through 1953, he co-starred in televisions "Cowboy G-Men", and from 1962 through 1963, Coogan co-starred on televisions "McKeever and the Colonel". However, he is better known as "Uncle Fester" on televisions "The Addams Family", from 1964 through 1966. My article, "THE ADDAMS FAMILY and THE MUNSTERS" can be read at:
In his first motion picture portraying "A Security Guard" was Ty Hungerford, before he changed his last time to Hardin.
While playing socker on the beach, the ball rolls into a cave and the children enter.
Later, "Bud" uses mind control to force a rocket fuel truck off the road and it dumps the load. Two of the children use mind control to shut down the missile control's phone system. While, looking for his daughter, "Eadie", who has visited the alien, "Hank Johnson" enters the cave and sees the alien. The sudden shock of its appearance results in his hospitalization.
A teleportation beam appears, the alien brain moves out of the cave to it, is lifted off the ground moving up the beam and back into outer space as everyone watches in awe.
When "Lieutenant Colonel Manley" asks "Bud" about the alien's actions, the reply is that children all over the world were doing the same things as this group, this is to give the world a second chance for a nuclear free life.
MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS released December 17, 1958
The producer on this picture for Universal International was Joseph Gershenson. Gershenson started producing in 1940 with a Johnny Mack Brown "B" Western. In 1944 he produced the Boris Karloff, and Susanna Foster, "The Climax", that started out as a sequel to 1943's, "Phantom of the Opera", but was changed by the studio's executives. He also produced 1945's, "House of Dracula", and would produce the cult vampire Western, 1959's, "Curse of the Undead" starring Eric Fleming and Michael Pate.
This picture directly followed "The Space Children" for director Jack Arnold.
The screenplay was written by David Duncan. Who wrote the English language version of 1956's "Rodan", both 1957's, "The Monster That Challenged the World", and, "The Black Scorpion". Plus seven episodes of the 1959 television series "Men Into Space", and in 1960, George Pal's version of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine".
The Main Cast:
Arthur Franz portrayed "Professor Donald Blake". Franz had appeared in 1951's, "Flight to Mars", and 1953's, "Invaders from Mars". In 1958 Franz appeared on the television programs "Target", "The Silent Service", and "The Millionaire" prior to the release of " Monster on the Campus". He would follow this picture with appearances on the 1959 television series "Men Into Space", and six episodes of the television series "World of Giants". My article, "Arthur Franz: John Wayne, 'Hey Abbott', Martians, and a Neanderthal Man (1947 through 1959)", may be read at:
Troy Donahue portrayed "Jimmy Flanders". The unknown Donahue was appearing on television shows, but in 1959 he had seventeenth billing in 1959's "Imitation of Life" starring Lana Turner, John Gavin, and Sandra Dee. However, that was a very minor role and he was back to television appearances until his next motion picture, 1959's "A Summer Place", starring Richard Egan, Dorothy McGurie, and Sandra Dee. This time sixth billed Donahue was paired with Dee and his career as a teen heartthrob began.
Science Professor "Dr. Donald Blake", at Dunsford University, receives a coelacanth, they still are found as of this writing, and confirms to "Jimmy Flanders" that the species is millions of years old without evolutionary change.
"Dr. Blake" lectures his students that man is the only creature that can decide to go forward, or backward and that:
unless we learn to control the instincts, we've inherited from our ape-like ancestors, the race is doomed.
After his class is finished, "Dr. Blake" is putting the coelacanth away and scratches himself on its teeth, accidently sticking his bleeding hand into the water containing the fish.
"Lieutenant Stevens" concludes that someone is attempting to implicate "Dr. Blake" in "Molly's" murder and must hold a grudge against the doctor. However, he is assigning "Daniels" as "Blake's" bodyguard and informed him that the autopsy indicated "Molly" died from fright.
Back in his lab, "Dr. Blake" shoos away a small dragonfly that had landed upon the coelacanth.
However, "Dr. Blake" now learns that the coelacanth was exposed to gamma rays to preserve its blood plasma and speculates that's why the dragonfly grew. Even more, "Blake" now speculates that somehow, he was turned into a Neanderthal man for a short period by the blood. He takes two-weeks leave and goes to the "Howard's" cabin with some of the coelacanth blood to run some tests upon himself, sets up a camera, and injects himself with the blood.
The Neanderthal now grabs an axe and leaves the cabin as "Madeline" is on the road heading for it. She is run off the road by the fright of the Neanderthal in her car's headlights. A local forest ranger, played by Richard H. Cutting, arrives and sees the Neanderthal carrying off an unconscious "Madeline" and calls the Dunsford police for help, as he purses the two.
The Neanderthal collapses and transforms back into "Dr. Blake". "Blake" returns to the cabin and finds "Madeline", develops a photograph he took, and hands it to "Madeline". The photo is his answer to her question as to why the Neanderthal was wearing his clothing.
"Detective Lieutenant Stevens" and now, "Detective Sergeant Powell", played by Phil Harvey, arrive with "Madeline's" father at the cabin. "Dr. Blake" says he knows where to find the murderer and will lead the three there, but as they walk. "Dr. Blake" explains to "Dr. Howard" what has been happening, injects himself, goes into the forest, turning into the Neanderthal. The Neanderthal man starts to chase "Dr. Howard", but is killed by the two detectives and the dead neanderthal man turns back into "Dr. Blake".
When you think of satirical movies about the Atom Bomb, director Stanley Kubrick's, 1964, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", starring Peter Sellers in multiple roles, always comes to mind. What is overlooked is director Jack Arnold's satire from 1959.
The motion picture had two producers, Walter Shenson. San Francisco born Shenson would produce the film's sequel, 1963, "The Mouse on the Moon", and The Beatles, 1964, "A Hard Days Night" and 1965's, "HELP!".
Among English producer Jon Penington's work is Hammer Pictures, 1961's, "The Shadow of the Cat", starring Andre Morell and Barbara Shelley, and the crime comedy, 1965's, "The Liquidator", starring Rod Taylor, Trevor Howard, and Jill St. John.
I could not find out how director Jack Arnold came to be in the United Kingdom to film this picture.
The film was based upon Irish writer Leonard Wibberley's novel.
The screenplay came from two writers, Scottish writer Roger MacDougall started writing screenplays in 1936 and kept writing through the Second World War. He had written the Science Fiction play, "The Man in the White Suit", that become the classic 1951 film starring Sir Alec Guinness.
Stanley Mann, at the time Mann was writing British television mini-series. His future films would include the excellent 1965 thriller "The Collector", starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar, the Anthony Quinn and James Coburn, 1965, "A High Wind in Jamaica", and 1984's, "Conan the Destroyer".
The Main Cast:
Peter Sellers portrayed "Grand Duchess Gloriana XII", "Prime Minister Count Rupert of Mountjoy", and "Tully Bascombe".
The plot has the very tiny European Grand Duchy of Fenwick faced with bankruptcy, because their economy depends upon the exporting of wine to the United States. However, a California winery named "Enwick" is putting them out of business. The "Grand Duchess Gloriana XII", Peter Sellers parodying Queen Victoria asks "Prime Minister Count Rupert of Mountjoy", Peter Sellers parodying Benjamin Disraeli, for a means to save their tiny economy.
The next question is who will command their army? The answer is mild mannered game warden "Tully Bascombe" and he becomes "Army Field Marshall Bascombe". He will lend the Grand Fenwick army, aided by "Sergeant Will Buckley".
The merchant ship arrives in New York City harbor and the Grand Fenwick army disembarks to find the city streets deserted. In fact, all of New York is deserted, because an air-raid-drill is in progress.
"Tully" is puzzled by the deserted streets, picks up a newspaper and reads about the drill. Which is a result of the development of the "Q Bomb", a weapon a hundred times more powerful that the H-Bomb. "Field Marshall Tully Bascombe" now decides to take his troops to the local army arsenal and surrender, ending the war and starting talks for foreign aid.
Meanwhile at the Institute for Physics, "Dr. Alfred Kokintz", played by English actor David Kossoff, has perfected his Q-Bomb and it is the size and shape of a football. Meanwhile, leading his troops, "Tully" makes a wrong turn and they end up in front of the Institute for Physics.
In the United States, the Secretary of Defense finally receives the declaration of war from the Grand Duchy of Fenwick. Aware that the Q-Bomb is in enemy hands, the Secretary declares defeat and the war won by the Duchy.
"Field Marshall Tully Bascombe" proudly enters the palace to declare he has won the war, has prisoners, and the Q-Bomb.
While all the above is going on, "Tully" goes to see "Helen", the two get into an argument over the bomb, he grabs her, and realizes he's in love.
As "Tully" runs by the palace he notices foreign diplomats waiting to vie for the Q-Bomb and playing a board game called "Diplomacy".
"Prime Minister Tully Blascombe" meets with the United States Secretary of Defense to negotiate a Peace Treaty.
The United States Secretary of Defense leaves, "Tully", "Helen", and her father got to the dungeon to examine the Q-Bomb. "Dr. Alfred Kokintz picks the bomb up, starts to sneeze, drops the Q-Bomb and nothing happens. It's a dud, but the three will be the only people to know that.