I will not criticize my reader for not recognizing the name Luana Anders, but you may be surprised about her motion picture and television career if you don't know it. This is a brief look at an actress, who left an almost invisible foot print of her work between 1955 and her death in 1996.
Above is Luana Anders, from the December 7, 1968 episode of televisions "Adam 12", entitled, "Log 111: The Boa Constrictor".
On July 27, 1996, the Los Angeles Times, ran a one paragraph obituary to cover the life of Luana Anders, but she disserves much more. According to that one paragraph, Luana was a California native, but she was born in New York City on May 12, 1938, as Luana Margo Anderson.
The L.A. Times stated Luana appeared in "more than 350 television shows" and "about 30 feature films". The website IMDb lists for the actress, 38 feature films, 3 shorts, and including made-for-television-movies, 48 television appearances. While the website Wikipedia, lists 41 feature films, and 40 television appearances. There are obvious discrepancies between the three and one would have to know their sources. Part of the problem here is because many 1950's television programs are considered lost without any records surviving other than an overall title.
The Los Angeles Times also included Luana's legitimate stage appearance, billed as Margo Anders, portraying Rex Harrison's daughter "Sophie", on Broadway, in the "The Fighting Cock". A play by French playwright Jean Anouilh, which ran from December 8, 1959 through February 20, 1960.
Look at the above playbill and you will note the name of Michael Gough portraying "Father Gregory". Gough would be known to many fans of British Horror films for 1958's, "Dracula" aka: "Horror of Dracula", 1959, "Horrors of the Black Museum", and 1961's, "Konga". Of course, he portrayed "Alfred" in director Tim Burton's, 1989, "Batman", and the two follow-up movies. Below, Luana and Michael during the plays run.
I start my look at the film and television career of Luana Anders with actor Jeff Corey. Whose first onscreen appearance was an uncredited role in the 1937, Chester Morris and Helen Mack crime drama, "I Promise to Pay".
Between 1951's, "Superman and the Mole-Men", holding a gun on the man-of-steel, above, and appearing in the March 9, 1961 episode of televisions "The Untouchables", "The Antidote". Jeff Corey's political beliefs and his refusing to name names for the "House Committee on Un-American Activities", got the actor blacklisted. This led to Corey establishing an acting school similar to the "Actor's Laboratory Theatre" he co-founded in 1941. Luana Margo Anders became one of Jeff Corey's new students during his blacklisted period. Her class included Jack Nicholson, Sally Kellerman and future writer-director, Robert Towne.
I will not be looking in detail at all of Luana Anders on-screen work, but selected television shows and motion pictures.
I begin with her first appearance, other than through Jeff Corey's acting school, on the live broadcast television drama series, "Appointment with Adventure", the episode was entitled, "Dangerous Mayhem", shown on September 18, 1955. The program was directed by Fred Carr, who only has five on-screen credits, but had been a teacher and director at the "Actor's Studio" since 1948. The studio was founded by Elia Kazan and others and would be taken over by Lee Strassberg in 1951. Also in the cast was actor's studio graduates Betsy Palmer, and Philip Abbott.
Luana's next role was on televisions "Dragnet", "The Big No Suicide", first shown on March 1, 1956. Which would be followed by Luana Ander's first feature film and made by "American International Pictures".
REFORM SCHOOL GIRL released either in July 1957, or August 1957, depending on what source you use.
The movie starred Gloria Castillo, the Teenage 1957 Science Fiction, "Invasion of the
Saucer-men", and the Teenage-Horror-Science Fiction-Western, 1957's,
"Teenage Monster". Castillo portrayed good-girl, "Donna
Price". Who ends up on a double date with "Vince", portrayed
by pre-"Kookie", Ed Byrnes, of televisions "77 Sunset
Strip", still billed as Edward Byrnes.
"Invasion of the Saucer-men" is part of my article, "I Was a Teenage Werewolf: 1950's Teenage Horror and Science Fiction Movies" at:
"Vince" is speeding in his car, kills someone crossing a street, and his passenger, "Donna", ends up in an all girls reform school. Luana Anders was ninth-billed portraying bad-tough-girl, "Josie Brigg".
Above, Luana Anders and Yvette Vickers portraying "Roxy". Below, Anders confronting the school matron, I could not identify the actress.
Next, Luana found herself appearing on her first Western
television show, John Payne's, "The Restless
Gun", the episode was entitled "Jody" and
featured Rip Torn, Paul Fix, and Dan Blocker, and first
shown on November 4, 1957. Below are Torn in
the title role, and Anders as "Lucy Anne".
For Luana Anders, 1958 brought the young actress three forgotten feature films. The first two were Crime Film-Noirs starring the wife of the owner of "Republic Pictures", Vera Ralston. "The Notorious Mr. Monks" was written by and co-starred actor Paul Fix. Anders was sixth-billed as "Gilda Hadley". The second Ralston feature was "The Man Who Died Twice", co-starring Rod Cameron. In it, Luana had twelfth-billing as a "Young Girl Addict".
Below, a circa 1958, photo of Luana Anders, a life-long Buddhist, taken at Hollywood's "Pandora's Coffee House and Night Club", 8118 Sunset Boulevard, on "The Sunset Strip", at the corner of Crescent Heights Boulevard.
The club was a popular hang-out for members of the Beat culture, young actors, artists, musicians, and their followers, Think San Francisco's "Purple Onion".
By 1962, performing at "Pandora's" would be the Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, and The Byrds, among other up and coming musical artists.
The following two photos, taken at 'Pandora's", are of Luana with poet and singer-composer Rod McKuen. McKuen was nominated for two Academy Awards for the soundtracks to 1969's, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and 1969's, "A Boy Named Charlie Brown".
Below, another circa 1958 picture of the youthful patrons at "Pandora's Coffee House".
On Saturday, November 12, 1966, "Pandora's Coffee House" would host a rally to protest the 10 PM curfew the local businesses got passed to cut down on loitering, blocking traffic and drug use on the streets by the young patrons. Things definitely got out of hand, and the result became known as "The Riot on the Sunset Strip" and among the arrested where Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda. By the following March, "American International Pictures" would release a movie using that tag line as its title and stock news footage of the actual riot on the strip, seen below.
The "American International" motion picture about the riot is part of my article, "Five Influential Vietnam Era Movies You May Never of Heard Of", at:
Luana Anders third motion picture was:
LIFE BEGINS AT 17 released in July 1958
This was one of several teenage aimed dramas of the period, with older actors portraying teens. In it, 20-years-old, Luana Anders, portrayed 16-years-old, "Carol Peck. While, 26-years-old, Edd Byrnes, portrayed her teenage boyfriend, "Jim Parker".
"Carol" has an older teenage sister, "Elaine Peck", portrayed by 22-years old, Dorothy Johnson. "Elaine" wins the "Miss Indianapolis" title, and next, enter college-boy, "Russ Lippincott", portrayed by 25-years old, Mark Damon, see "The Young Racers", below.
Accusations will follow, after "Russ", who really wants to date "Elaine", finds his interest declined by her. So, he plans to make everyone think he's interested in "Carol" as a means to make "Elaine" jealous. However, his plan doesn't go as he thought it would and leads to everyone thinking "Carol" is pregnant by him and the young teenager is enjoying the attention she is now getting.
Above, Luana Anders facing Mark Damon, I could not locate who was playing Damon's frat-brother. Below, is a publicity shot of Dorothy Johnson and at the time, Edd Byrnes.
Luana was back in television Westerns, starting with "Child of Fear", January 17, 1959, on the television series "Cimarron City" starring George Montgomery. Next, she portrayed "Lizabeth Bishop", in the February 3, 1959, episode, "Shivaree", of Chuck Connors, and Johnny Crawford's, "The Rifleman".
On May 12, 1959, Luana Anders portrayed "Princess", in "The Avengers", an episode on Will Hutchens' television Western, "Sugarfoot". Luana next had an uncredited role, as "Mrs. Graham", in the James Stewart and Vera Miles, 1959, "FBI Story".
From 1959 through 1961 was the supernatural anthology television series "One Step Beyond" Beyond". On May 5, 1959, Laura Anders starred in "The Burning Girl", portraying "Alice Denning". Fires seem to start around "Alice", is it her, or someone making it look like she's a pyromaniac?
Being semi-type-casted in television Westerns, Luana portrayed "Ellie Phelen", June 5, 1960, in "The Swamper", on John Russell's and Peter Brown's, "Lawman".
On November 22, 1960, Luana Anders portrayed "Joan Goss" in "The Voice", on another episode of "One Step Beyond". Robert Lansing portrayed reporter "Jared Corning". He is sent to investigate why several neighbors set fire to a barn owned by "Joan's" father. His investigation leads to the strange fact that they all felt compelled to burn to death "Joan's" pet raccoon living in the barn. Each neighbor stated they heard a disembodied voice ordering them do it . "Jared" now hears a small disembodied voice telling him to start another a fire. Near him is "Joan Goss" and her pet raccoon.
It was back to the wild west of television with "The Incident of the Running Man", May 5, 1961, on "Rawhide", starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood. Luana Anders portrayed "Maddy Trager" with a misleading eleventh-billing behind Western character actors Don "Red" Barry" and Robert J. Wilke. I say "misleading", because the first seven-names on the cast list are the shows regular actors and were always billed one through seven in every episode, even if they weren't in it. So, as far as the "Guest Stars", Luana should have been billed fourth.
NIGHT TIDE premiered at the Spoleto Festival, in Italy, in June 1961
The story is meant to be a Fantasy Film, but some reviewers look at it as a pure Horror Film, or a Psychological Thriller.
Harrington started out as a film critic and became an underground film maker. It was Curtis Harrington, a fan of director James Whale's, forgotten at the time, 1932, "The Old Dark House", who is responsible for locating a print at the "Columbia Pictures" studio. "Columbia" had purchased the rights to the film from "Universal Pictures" years before for a proposed remake that was never shot. Harrington acquired the print and convinced the now, "Universal International Pictures", to restore the print and release "The Old Dark House" again.
Curtis Harrington was also considered a forerunner to what would be called in the 1990's, "New Queer Cinema". Harrington never hid his sexuality, but in the underground film world it was never a problem for him.
The Main Roles:
Dennis Hopper portrayed "Johnny Drake". Hopper, who had major roles in director George Stevens, 1956, "Giant", and director John Sturges, 1957, "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", and portrayed "Napoleon", in director Irwin Allen's, 1957, "The Story of Mankind", was finding the majority of his work in roles on television. Just prior to this motion picture's release, Dennis Hopper had fifth-billing on the television series, "Naked City", in the March 1, 1961, episode, "Shoes for Vinnie Winford", portraying the title character. He would follow this feature with an episode of the forgotten television crime series, "The Investigators", starring James Franciscus, on December 14, 1961, entitled, "The Mind's Own Fire".
Linda Lawson portrayed "Mora". Of the 54-roles Linda Lawson portrayed, this is her only feature film. Although some of her television roles were as a semi-regular character such as "Laura Fremont" on "Ben Casey", and "Renee" on "Adventures in Paradise".
Gavin Muir portrayed "Captain Samuel Murdock". This feature was one role away from his last of 81-roles. Muir started acting in 1932 and became a villain like the actor he seemed to resemble early in his career, John Carradine. Among Gavin Muir's on-screen appearances were in 1936's, "Mary of Scotland" starring a young Katharine Hepburn and Fredric March, that same years "Lloyd's of London", starring Tyrone Power, and 1937's, "Wee Willie Winkie", starring Shirley Temple and Victor McLaglen. Muir's voice was the title character in the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, 1942, "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror", he actually appeared in 1943's, "Sherlock Holmes in Washington", and 1943's, "Sherlock Holmes Faces Death", and continued with Rathbone and Bruce in 1945's, "The House of Fear". In 1951, Muir turned actor Arthur Franz into part of the title of "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man".
Luana Anders portrayed "Ellen Sands". She would follow this feature with a major motion picture that I will speak about next.
Marjorie Eaton portrayed "Madame Romanovich". Character actress Eaton started her on-screen acting with an uncredited role in the Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, and Linda Darnell, 1946, "Anna and the King of Siam". Over her career she appeared in Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's, 1946, "The Time of Their Lives", Olivia de Havilland's, 1948, "The Snake Pit", and the Errol Flynn, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, and Robert Young, 1949, "That Forsyte Woman", and in 1950, Eaton started appearing on television programs. However, she was "Grandmother Peters" in 1957's, "Zombies of Mora Tau", "Miss Persimmon-the Old Woman in the Park", in Walt Disney's, 1964, "Mary Poppins', and for "Star Wars" fans, Marjorie Eaton portrayed "The Emperor", in 1980's, "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back".
Marjorie Cameron portrayed "The Water Witch". Although her total on-screen appearances were as a singer in the Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, and Dorothy Lamour's, 1937, "High, Wide and Handsome", a 1954 short, and this motion picture. Cameron was known as an artist, poet, and occultist.
The Basic Screenplay:
The motion picture is filled with jazz music, often setting a scenes tone, and coming from Cutis Harrington's love for that music.
"Johnny Drake" is a sailor on leave and he meets the enchanting "Mora" in a local Santa Monica, California, jazz club.
"Mora" tells "Johnny" that she makes her living appearing as "Mora the Mermaid", half-woman, half-fish, on the boardwalk at a sideshow, "The Goldfish Bowl", operated by "Captain Murdock". Adding that she lives in an apartment above the boardwalks merry-go-round.
"Mora" tells "Johnny" that "Captain Murdock" found her as an orphan living on the Greek island of Mykonos and he is her godfather.
"Murdock" warns "Johnny" to beware of "Mora" and stay away from her. Telling the impressionable sailor hat she is descended from the "sea people", who under the spell of the full-moon, feel impelled to kill.
"Johnny" next meets "Ellen Sands", who works at her father's the merry-go-round and the fortune teller, "Madame Romanovitch".
While talking about "Mora",
"Ellen" informs "Johnny" that "Mora" had two
boyfriends in the past ----
As "Mora" and "Johnny" become close, she tells him that she is one of the legendary siren's that Homer wrote about in the "Odyssey", who lure sailors to their deaths. "Johnny" later sees "Mora" being followed by a woman all in black that "Mora" refers to as the "Sea-Witch", calling to her to return to the sea.
"Johnny" wants to see "Mora" in her costume as a mermaid and she askes him to wait to allow her to get into costume. When he does enter to see "Mora" in the tank the mermaid is supposed to live, the psychological element of the story seems to come alive.
"Johnny" goes to "Madame Romanovitch" for a reading and she also warns him to staying away from "Mora".
"Johnny" and "Mora" go to beach and under the pier she enters the water, but seems to be attacked by it. He comes to her rescue and notices that walking on the pier above, is "The Sea Witch".
At another time, "Johnny" spots "The Sea-Witch" and chases after her. They go to her strange looking home and she tells "Johnny" stories about sirens.,
Back on the boardwalk, "Johnny" meets "Ellen's" father and the young sailor seems happy to be with her.
The following day during the full-moon cycle, "Mora" and 'Johnny" go to the beach and she puts on her mermaid costume.
Later the two-go scuba diving and under the water "Mora" suddenly cuts
"Johnny's" air hose. He is able to make it to the surface and sees
"Mora" swimming away from him into the deeper Pacific Ocean and disappear under
The following day, "Johnny" goes to the boardwalk and finds "Captain Murdock" at "The Goldfish Bowl".
There "Johnny" is shocked to see in the tank the dead body of "Mora the Mermaid". "Murdock" produces a gun and fires at "Johnny", but misses. This attracts two police officers patrolling the boardwalk and they arrest the two men.
At the police station, "Captain Murdock" confesses to being the real murderer of "Mora's" previous two boyfriends. He had raised her and was jealous of any other men having her attention. However, he claims to have no knowledge of the mysterious woman in black "Johnny" mentions and "Mora" called "The Sea-Witch",
"Johnny's" shore leave ends and he promises "Ellen" to return.
The year before the release of "Night Tide", director Roger Corman released his first feature
film based upon the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. My article on
the series, "Quoth 'The Raven': ROGER
CORMAN", will be found at:
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM was released on August 21, 1961
Richard Matheson wrote the screenplay. He had written the first in
the series, 1960's, "House of Usher", and would
write most of the Poe screenplays for Corman. For those who are unfamiliar with
Richard Matheson, three of his novels became feature films:
1954's, "I Am Legend", became 1964's, "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price, 1971's, "The Omega Man", starring Charlton Heston, and 2007's, "I Am Legend", starring Will Smith.
1956's, "The Shrinking Man", became 1957's, "The Incredible Shrinking Man", starring Grant Williams from a Matheson screenplay, and also was the basis for the Lily Tomlin comedy, 1981's, "The Incredible Shrinking Woman".
1971's, "Hell House", became 1973's, "The Legend of Hell House", starring Roddy McDowell and Pamela Franklin, from a screenplay by Richard Matheson.
My article, "Richard Matheson: The Screenplays and Treatments", can be read at:
Vincent Price portrayed the dual roles of "Nicholas and Sebastian Medina". Vincent had just portrayed French author Jules Verne's, "Robur the Conqueror", in 1961's, "Master of the World". He would follow this current role with that of "Benakon", in the 1961 Italian Peplum film, "Nefertite, regina del Nilo (Nefertite, Queen of the Nile)" with American actress Jeanne Crain in the title role.
John Kerr portrayed "Francis Barnard". American actor Kerr's roles had basically been reduced to television appearances, but he had co-starred with Deborah Kerr, no relation and the last name is pronounced differently, in the very controversial 1956, "Tea and Sympathy". Based upon the Broadway play about an older woman having an affair with a young man dealing with his budding homosexuality. A definite no-no to even imply it existed in the 1950's. John Kerr had also co-starred with Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, and France Nuyen in the 1958 film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "South Pacific".
Barbara Steele portrayed "Elizabeth Barnard Medina". British born Steele would earn the title "The Queen of Italian Horror Films". You would have seen her in Elvis Presley's, 1960, "Flaming Star", but all of Steele's scenes were deleted prior to release. Before this picture she did appear in an episode of televisions "Adventures in Paradise", "Daughter of Illusion", first shown on December 12, 1960. However, it was the Italian Horror film from director Mario Bava that same year that would catapult Barbara Steele into international recognition. "La maschera del domonio (The Mask of the Devil)", censored and released in the United States as "Black Sunday", was a major Horror hit. Barbara Steele would follow this feature film with the Italian Horror entry, 1962's, "L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock (Dr. Hitchcock's Horrible Secret)", released in the United States as "The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock". My article, "Barbara Steele: Gothic Beauty, Italian Horror and More", may be read at:
Luana Anders portrayed "Catherine Medina". Anders would follow this motion picture with another from Roger Corman that I will mention next.
Anthony Carbone portrayed "Doctor Charles Leon". Anthony Carbone was a Roger Corman regular and prior to this picture he was seen in 1959's, "A Bucket of Blood", 1960's, "Last Woman on Earth", and 1961, "Creature from the Haunted Sea". After this film, the actually versatile Carbone would become a familiar face on television.
The Basic Screenplay:
It is 1547 in Spain and Englishman "Francis Barnard" has lost contact with his sister "Elizabeth" and travels to "Castle Medina" and the man she married "Nicholas Medina".
There "Francis" is told that "Elizabeth" died of a rare blood disease three-months earlier. When questioned for more specifics, "Nicholas" evades direct answers, but "Nicholas's" young sister, "Catherine", "appears" to agree with her brother.
"Francis" informs "Nicholas" and "Catherine" that he will stay until he learns the truth of his sister's death. That night a close friend of the family, "Dr. Leon", arrives and is introduced to "Francis".
At dinner with "Dr. Leon", "Francis" again brings up the question of his sister's death and now is told "Elizabeth" died of massive heart failure. "Dr. Leon" ads that "Elizabeth Barnard Medina" was literally "dying of fright!"
demands to see where his sister died and reluctantly, "Nicholas"
takes him to the "always padlocked" castles torture chamber. There "Nicholas Medina" now reveals that "Elizabeth" became obsessed with the
chambers torture devices. Over time she became unbalanced, one day she was
discovered having "locked herself" inside the iron maiden, an act "Francis" questions as to how that was accomplished? "Nicholas" continues, that shortly after locking herself in the iron maiden, "Elizabeth" died saying the name "Sebastian".
"Francis" disbelieves this piece of fiction weaved by
"Francis" tells "Catharine" that her brother appears to have "definite guilt" regarding the death of "Elizabeth".
In response, "Catherine" tells
"Francis" about her brother's troubled childhood. She informs him that their father was "Sebastian Medina", a
notorious follower of the Spanish Inquisition. One day, as a young child,
portrayed by Larry Turner, he entered the torture chamber to
find their mother "Isabella", portrayed by Mary
Menzies, in the arms of his father's brother, "Bartolome", portrayed
by Charles Victor. The young "Nicholas" watched
his father beat his brother over and over with a red-hot poker, as
"Sebastian" kept calling "Bartolome", "Adulterer". After
killing his brother, "Sebastian Medina" turned his rage of
"Isabella" and very slowly tortured her to death.
The story is related to "Dr. Leon" and he corrects it. The doctor tells "Francis" and "Catherine" that her mother was not tortured to death, but entombed alive behind a brick wall in the castle. "Dr. Leon" now tells "Catherine" that:
The very thought of premature internment is enough to send your brother into convulsions of horror!
This is followed by "Nicholas" admitting that he fears "Elizabeth" was buried alive. "Nicholas" believes "Elizabeth's" ghost is walking the halls of "Castle Medina" seeking revenge upon him. Just then, there is a loud commotion coming from "Elizabeth's" room and when entered, it is in shambles and her portrait has been cut to pieces.
In the middle of the night, "Elizabeth Medina's" harpsichord starts to play and one of her rings is discovered on the keyboard. "Francis Barnard" accuses "Nicholas Medina" of planting evidence of his sister "haunting the castle" in an elaborate hoax. His supposition is backed by the discovery by "Francis" of a secret passage that would allow "Nicholas" to enter "Elizabeth's" room and create the damage undetected.
"Nicholas" still claims this is not his doing, at which point, "Francis" says his sister's coffin must be opened to prove to the other that she is dead.
"Dr. Leon" next tells "Nicholas" and the others that:
if Elizabeth Medina walks the corridors of the castle, it is her spirt, and not her living self!
Opening the coffin, the four find the body of "Elizabeth", but in an obvious position of attempting to get out of the coffin, as if she was buried alive!
"Nicholas" faints and is taken to his room and while he rests, "Catherine" and "Francis" discover they are coming close to each other.
That night, "Elizabeth Medina" rises from her coffin and calls to her husband as she walks the halls.
"Nicholas" is lured to his wife's coffin to find her ghost on top of it.
"Elizabeth's" ghost now pursues "Nicholas" to the torture chamber and he trips and falls down the stairs. "Elizabeth" approaches and glares at her dead husband.
"Dr. Leon", her lover, now appears, and confirms that "Nicholas Medina" is truly dead and their plan has worked..
However, "Nicholas" isn't dead and starts to stir. "Elizabeth" decides to taunt him by saying -----
That his wife is repeating the sins of his mother?
However, she does not get her desired effect, instead "Nicholas" starts laughing and the pitch of his voice changes and "Nicholas Medina" has become his father "Sebastian Medina", seeing his wife "Isabella" and his brother "Bartolome".
Both "Elizabeth" and "Dr. Leon" are horrified that their plan worked too well. "Nicholas/Sebastian" grabs "Elizabeth/Isabella" and reliving what he saw as a young boy promises to torture her and goes for "Dr. Leon/Bartolome", who falls to his death in the pit below the pendulum.
"Francis" hears "Elizabeth's" scream and goes into the torture chamber and is now confused by "Nicholas" that he is "Bartolome". "Francis" is knocked unconscious and when he regains consciousness, he is secured on the platform below the pendulum and "Nicholas Medina" is dressed like "Sebastian Medina".
"Catherine" arrives in the torture chamber with one of the servants, "Maximillian", portrayed by Patrick Westwood. "Nicholas/Sebastian" struggles with "Maximillian" and falls to his death. "Francis" is rescued by "Catherine" and "Maximillian".
As the three leave the torture chamber and the padlock is secured, "Catherine" states she is locking the door forever and no one is to enter, but they all wonder what became of "Elizabeth"?
The camera stays inside the chamber and comes across the iron maiden and shows the audience the eyes of "Elizabeth Medina" who is inside the device, alive!
On August 3, 1962, both Luana
Anders and Mark Damon appeared on the television
series, "Here's Hollywood". Both actors had just
returned from filming a motion picture for producer and director Roger
Corman in Europe. The series interviewed Hollywood actors, sometimes
at their homes, and sometimes at other locations.
THE YOUNG RACERS released in January 1963
The motion picture was directed by Roger
Corman. Corman had just directed and released his "Comedy of
Horror", 1963's, "The Raven", starring Vincent
Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre as dueling
sorcerers over beautiful British actress Hazel Court. Portraying
Lorre's bumbling son was one of Luana Anders acting school
classmates, Jack Nicholson. Following this feature film, Roger
Corman reteamed Karloff and Nicholson in 1963's, "The
The screenplay was by R. Wright Campbell. As a writer, Campbell was of the three writers for "Universal International's", 1957 biography of actor Lon Chaney, Sr., "The Man of a Thousand Faces", starring James Cagney. Prior to this picture he had written for Corman the screenplays for 1958, "Machine Gun Kelly", starring Charles Bronson, and the same years "Teenage Caveman", starring Robert Vaughn. As an actor he appeared in Corman's 1955 Western, "Five Guns West", starring John Lund, Dorothy Malone, and Touch Conners aka: Mike Connors. Campbell is the brother of William Campbell and appeared in the picture as William's character's brother.
The Three Main Names on the Posters:
Mark Damon portrayed "Stephen Children". Damon started television acting in 1952, in 1960, he portrayed "Philip Winthrop" in Roger Corman's first Poe feature, "House of Usher", opposite Vincent Price, see my above link, in 1962, Damon appeared in his first Italian motion picture, a comedy drama entitled, "Peccati d'estate", and in 1963, Mark Damon portrayed "Vladimir D'Urfe" in the segment, "I Wurdalak", of director Mario Bava's "I tre volti della paura (The Three Faces of Fear)", featuring Boris Karloff. The movie was edited, censored, and dubbed into the English language as "Black Sabbath". Trivia, an unknown American heavy metal band was playing in Paris, France, and saw the English language cut of the picture and changed their name to "Black Sabbath".
William Campbell portrayed "Joe Machin". Campbell started on-screen acting in 1950, among his films prior to this one is the Humphrey Bogart and June Allyson, 1953, "Battle Circus", director William "Wild Bill" Wellman's, 1954, "The High and the Mighty", starring John Wayne, the Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, and Claire Trevor Western, 1955's, "Man Without a Star", and Elvis Presley's first motion picture, 1956's, "Love Me Tender". William Campbell co-starred with Roger Corman alumni, Paul Birch, on the one-season television series, "Cannonball", 1958 through 1959.
Above, Mark Damon is on the left and William Campbell on
Luana Anders portrayed "Henny". Immediately after this motion picture, Anders appeared in a episode of the forgotten medical television series, "The Eleventh Hour", entitled, "Try to Keep Alive Until Next Tuesday", first shown on April 17, 1963. She followed that appearance with the next motion picture I will be mentioning.
Above, Luana Anders and Mark Damon.
The Basic Screenplay:
The screenplay can be described as American European Gran Prix racer "Joe Machin" wants to win at any cost. American racer turned writer, "Steve Children's" writes a book about "Machin" and his reckless tactics on the track as a means to expose who he really is.
Most of the racing footage was shot
in Europe on the Gran Prix circuit.
Many reviewers have noted that this movies basic screenplay could be considered expanded three-years later as director John Frankenheimer's, Cinerama production, "Gran Prix", with James Gardner in the William Campbell role.
Using the same "Gran Prix" comparison, Luana Anders gran prix follower would be the expanded Eva Marie Saint, "Louise Fredrickson".
Under Crew Notes:
The "Sound Department" has one name, a Roger Corman apprentice, the credited, Francis Ford Coppola. He is also listed as an uncredited "Second Unit Director".
Listed as an uncredited "Production
Master", another uncredited "Assistant
Director", and a credited "Property
Manager", was the Roger Corman apprentice, Israeli Menahem Golan, who with his
cousin Yoram Globus, would form the "Cannon Film
Group" in 1967.
Menahem Golan's wife, Rachel, was the make-up artist on the production, because she was available at the time.
DEMENTIA 13 premiered in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 7, 1963
In the United Kingdom the movie opened on October 22, 1964, under the title of "The Haunted and the Hunted".
"The Young Racers" started shooting in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in May 1962, and when the shooting was completed in Ireland, producer Roger Corman found he still had a substantial amount of money left over from his budget. Using that money, he had Francis Ford Coppola write a screenplay for a "Psycho-Like" movie to be shot in and around Howth Castle, Howth, Fingal County, Dublin, Ireland. Filming began on September 10, 1962, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, his first motion picture as a full director.
There was another writer on the production for the Second Unit and that was Second Unit Director, Jack Hill. Hill had co-written the screenplay for Roger Corman's 1963, "The Terror". Among Jack Hill's films as the director were three starring Pam Grier, 1972, "The Big Bird Cage", 1973, "Coffy", and 1974's, "Foxy Brown".
The Unhinged Main Cast:
William Campbell portrayed "Richard Haloran". Campbell had just starred in the Yugoslavian language action film, 1963's, "Operacija Ticijan (Operation Titian)". He would follow this feature film with the Roger Corman directed "The Secret Invasion", starring Stewart Granger, Raf Vallone, Mickey Rooney, Edd Byrnes, the double "D" was correct at the time, and Henry Silva. That same year, William Campbell had ninth-billing in the Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland's, "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte".
Luana Anders portrayed "Louise Haloran". Luana followed this motion picture with an appearance on the television series, "Ben Casey", in the episode entitled, "Dispel the Black Cyclone That Shakes the Throne", first shown on November 27, 1963.
The following two actors attended the UCLA Film School with Francis Ford Coppola:
Mary Mitchel portrayed "Kane". Mitchel as an actress appeared on television and in a few movies. She portrayed actor Ray Milland's daughter, in Milland's excellent Cold War Science Fiction, 1962's, "Panic in Year Zero". After marrying Bart Patton, as Mary Patton, she became a script supervisor. Her films under that position included Francis Ford Coppola's 1992, "Dracula", and the Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, 1998, "The Mask of Zorro".
Above, future husband and wife, Bart Patton and Mary Mitchel.
Patrick Magee, always confused with British actor Patrick Macnee, portrayed "Justin Caleb". The Irish actor started his on-screen career with a role in the Alastair Sim and Terry-Thomas Crime Comedy, 1956's, "The Green Man". Magee moved to both British and Irish dramatic television programing, but in 1963, appeared in Roger Corman's, "The Young Racers". Also in 1963, Patrick Magee appeared with William Campbell in 1963's, "Operacija Ticijan".
Magee also appeared in three
excellent 1964 feature films, the first was "Zulu", director Cy
Enfield's true story of the defense of Rorke's Drift by
less than 200 British soldiers and civilians against
an estimated 4,000 Zulu warriors.
The second, was the excellent kidnapping Horror (?) story, "Séance on a Wet Afternoon", starring Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough.
Patrick Magee's third film was director Roger Corman's version of Edgar Alan Poe's, "The Masque of the Red Death", starring Vincent Price and Hazel Court.
The Basic Screenplay:
The film opens with newly married "Louise Haloran" and her husband "John", portrayed by Peter Read, taking a rowboat out onto the family castle's lake.
On the lake, the two-start arguing over his rich mother's will, because "John's" mother has designated that after her death the entire "Haloran Fortune" goes to charity through a woman named "Kathleen". "Louise" has never heard the name before and "John" doesn't explain who she might be. Suddenly, the stress of rowing causes the much older "John" to suffer a heart attack, but he is able to tell his young wife that should he die before his mother, "Louise" gets nothing.
"John" finishes his short speech and does die, "Louise", quickly thinking, dumps his body into the lake and watches it sink to the bottom of the lake.
"Louise" formulates a plan, she will type a letter to her mother-in-law, "Lady Haloran", portrayed by Eithne Dunne, invite her to the family castle in Ireland while "John" is away on business. When "Lady Haloran" arrives, "Louise" plans to ingratiate herself to her mother-in-law and into the will to stop the now mysterious "Kathleen" getting anything.
"Lady Haloran" arrives and the
audience enters the gothic and macabre world of the "Haloran" family.
"Lady Haloran" arrives and the audience enters the gothic and macabre world of the "Haloran" family. "
At the castle, "Louise Haloran" watches a strange yearly ceremony take place at a gravesite. The family still grieves, as if the death just took place, the person in that grave who died seven-years earlier. At the gravesite are "John's" brothers, "Billy", the normal acting youngest brother, and "Richard", a manic-depressive sculptor, and his fiancée, "Kane", a young woman with changes in her personality caused by many mood swings, and of course, "Lady Haloran".
Next, "Louise notices the name on the grave for the first time. The grave is "Lady Haloran's" youngest child "KATHLEEN", portrayed by Barbara Downing, who apparently had accidently drowned in the family lake that she swam in every day.
"Lady Haloran" faints during the ceremony and "Louise" helps her.
"Lady Haloran" tells "Louise" that she fainted, because one of the fresh-flowers she threw at the grave died when it touched it. Adding she faints dead away every year during the ceremony and is being treated by the "Sinister" "Dr. Justin Caleb"
"Louise" now figures she can drive her mother-in-law totally insane and gain control of the family fortune. Her plan is now to convince "Lady Haloran" that she can communicate with the dead "Kathleen".
"Louise" next steals some of the old toys belonging to "Kathleen" and plans to take them to the bottom of the lake. The toys will slowly float to the surface on their own in a ghostly way. While she is with "Lady Haloran" proving she can communicate with the dead "Kathleen" through her beloved toys.
To carry out the first phase of her plan, "Louise" dives
To carry out the first phase of her plan, "Louise" divesinto the lake to place the toys, but is shocked to see the body of "Kathleen" looking as she did seven-years-ago.
The frightened "Louise" forgets the toys and rushes to the surface, only to be killed by someone with an axe, and afterwards, the person drags her corpse away.
The concerned "Dr. Caleb" arrives to interview the family and perhaps find the murderer.
Another axe murder, added by Roger Corman over Francis Ford Coppola's objections, that of a poacher takes place.
As to the climax and the revealing of the murderer, I will suggest my reader watch a copy of Francis Ford Coppola's "Director's Cut" of "Dementia 13".
Initially Coppola completed his film for producer Roger Corman, who did not
like what he saw. One of Corman's complaints was that the picture was too short
and wanted Coppola to "Pad it out!" Hence among others the adding of the poacher.
According to an interview with Ed Nash, for his 1982, "The Films of Roger Corman: Brilliance on a Budget", given by producer Gary Kurtz, George Lucas's "American Graffiti", "Star Wars", and the "Empire Strikes Back". When he was an assistant to Roger Corman on this production:
So we shot this stupid prologue that had nothing to do with the rest of the film. It was some guy who was supposed to be a psychiatrist, sitting in his office and giving the audience a test to see if they were mentally fit to see the picture. The film was actually released with that prologue.
The original release
of the motion picture with the prologue ran, depending upon your source, either 80, or 81-minutes, without
it, 75-minutes. Francis Ford Coppola was able to re-edit the
film, including that poacher's scene, and on September 21, 2021, released "Dementia
13: The Director's Cut" with a running time of only 69-minutes.
On March 23, 1964, Luana Anders returned to television in "The Guests", on "The Outer Limits". The episode opens with beat poet wannabe, "Wade Norton", portrayed by Geoffrey Horne, on a winding rural road and nearly misses squashing the casaba melon of very frail looking old man lying on the roadside.
"Norton" starts to walk looking for help, presuming the old man couldn't have gotten far, he finds a pocket watch on the road with a picture of a young woman inside, and walking a little way more, finds himself looking at an old-style mansion.
He goes up to the front door and knocks, no one answers, he knocks once more, no one answers, but the door is open and "Wade Norton" enters. Inside, he finds the young woman in the watch sleeping on a couch. The young woman is "Theresa 'Tess' Ames", portrayed by Luana Anders.
There are others in the house that "Ward" meets.
"Tess" and the others all seem to be wearing clothing from different era's and won't help "Wade" with the old man. The others are, "Randall Latimer", portrayed by Vaughn Taylor, a fraudulent banker, his wife, "Ethel", portrayed by Nellie Burt, and silent screen star, "Florinda Patten", portrayed by Gloria Grahame. They are all "The Guests" of something on the house's second story and "Ward Norton" goes up to find out who.
The second floor doesn't seem to belong to the house and is a maze of dark corridors that goes on and on. Finally, "Wade" finds a alien blob who reveals the purpose of the house.
The occupants are part of an experiment and the alien is looking to predict the ultimate fate of mankind, but as yet cannot find the last part of its equation.
Back downstairs, after learning that all "The Guests" cannot leave the house, or they will age and probably die as did the old man on the road.
"Wade" and "Tess" are starting to fall for each other, but she tells him to go while he can leave the house. She cannot go with him, the old man was her father, because
out there, my years are waiting for me.
The alien finds its last part of the equation, love, and tells "Wade Norton" to leave the house. Looking back at the women he loves, reluctantly "Wade" steps out and walks down the pathway from the house, turning the house becomes a giant brain and vanishes.
In 1962, American writer Helen Gurley Brown published a non-fiction advise book for women. That book was "Sex and the Single Girl", and Gurley Brown sold two-million-copies during the books first three-weeks in bookstores.
From November 1, 1963 through January 22, 1964, director Richard Quine filmed a motion from a screenplay that credited the Helen Gurley Brown book as its source. Her non-fiction work was turned into a comedy story by Joseph Hoffman and a screenplay by the writer of "Catch 22", Joseph Heller. The cast starred Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood as "Helen Brown", with Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall, and Mel Ferrer.
The Hollywood trade papers had talked the movie up before the first actor was cast, even more after they were, and the American film goer was excited.
That's were Luana Anders comes in!
Using the publicity circulating around "Sex and the Single Girl", independent production company "Aura Productions (II)", this was their first of only three films through 2018, decided to rip-off the big-budgeted "Warner Brothers" movie.
In May 1964, a quickie very low-budgeted motion picture was shot in Puerto Rico starring Luana Anders as "Gwen", and in his first motion picture, Charles Grodin, 1972's "The Heart Break Kid", 1976's "King Kong", 1988's, "Midnight Run", and the 1992 comedy, "Beethoven", as "Bob", entitled "Sex and the College Girl". The play on words low budget motion picture was released prior to the December 25, 1964 release of the Natalie Wood feature film. The producers used a trick to confuse the audience that still goes on today in the industry. I could only locate the following poster for the movie.
Now, Luana found herself "Guest Appearing" on television programs as her main source of income. However, there would be the occasional movie with her old Jeff Corey acting classmate, John Joseph Nicholson, but this would not begin for another three-years.
On September 8, 1966, Luana Anders portrayed "Shirley McChesney", on the very first episode of the Marlo Thomas and Ted Bessell's television program, "That Girl", entitled "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There".
On January 16th, in "A Visit to Barney Fife", and January 23, 1967, in "Barney Comes to Mayberry", Luana Anders portrayed "Miss Clark" in a two-part story on televisions "The Andy Griffith Show".
Above, with Andy Griffith portraying "Andy Taylor", and Don Knotts portraying "Barney Fife". Below, with Patty Regan portraying "Renee".
Then it was back to "That Girl", and the March 2, 1967 episode, "Leaving the Nest Is for the Birds".
Above, lower left is Luana Anders portraying "Beryl", lower right, Jerry Van Dyke portraying "Howie", seated is Marlo Thomas portraying "Ann Marie", standing on her left is Ted Bessell portraying "Donald Hollinger, standing to her right is Lew Parker, portraying "Lew Marie", the father of "Ann Marie".
Luana Anders first film
with her old acting classmate John Joseph Nicholson, just call him Jack, was
in a very small role in a motion picture he wrote, but did not appear in. My article, "Jack Nicholson Before 'Easy Rider': Roger Corman, Hells Angels, LSD and Four Monkees", will be found at:
THE TRIP released on August 23, 1967
The motion picture was the perfect story for the generation, in fact, the title tells it all. Nicholson's screenplay, directed by Roger Corman, is nothing more than turning an LSD Trip into a visual movie using Peter Fonda's character of, "Paul Groves", a television commercial director having marital problems and taking LSD given to him by his psychiatrist friend, "John", portrayed by Bruce Dern, to clear his mind. Actress Susan Strasberg, daughter of Lee of the "Actor's Studio", portrayed Fonda's wife, "Sally Groves", and Dennis Hopper portrayed "Max".
Characters come and go as Fonda wanders onto Leo Carrillo State Beach, Malibu, the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and into the Hollywood Hills, the other locations included Big Sur and the popular filming location of the Bronson Caves.
Below is Luana Anders in the credited role of "The Waitress" that Peter Fonda encounters.
Portraying Fonda's character's cameraman is future director Peter Bogdanovich. He had co-written the Roger Corman directed 1966, "The Wild Angels", starring Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, and Bruce Dern. At the time of this feature appearance as an actor, Bogdanovich had just directed his first film, a television documentary "The Great Professional: Howard Hawks".
Portraying Fonda's character's assistant director was actor Brandon De Wilde. He is most known for portraying the young boy in Alan Ladd's, 1953 Western, "Shane", and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. De Wilde was the star of the forgotten 1953-1954, television series ""Jamie", and that year won the Golden Globe for Best Juvenile Performance for the 1953 motion picture "Member of the Wedding". De Wilde co-stared with actress Carol Lynley in the controversial, for its year, 1959 look at teen pregnancy, "Blue Denim".
Roger Corman regular Dick Miller, in back ground below, portrayed "Cash". Miller starred in Corman's 1959's beatnick classic, "A Bucket of Blood", but also was seen in, among others, the director's three Westerns, 1955's, "Apache Woman", and both 1956's, "The Oklahoma Woman", and the very good, "Gunslinger" with John Ireland and Beverly Garland. Not to forget Science Fiction, 1956's, "It Conquered the World", 1957's, "Not of this Earth" and "The Undead", along with 1958's, "War of the Satellites".
Within her next five roles, Luana Anders was a party guest in "Games", a 1967 psychological thriller from Curtis Harrington, starring French actress Simone Signoret, James Caan and Katharine Ross. Along with the 1968 episode of "Adam-12", my opening photo of Luana came from.
EASY RIDER premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 12, 1969
Dennis Hopper directed the motion picture from a screenplay by Hopper, co-star Peter Fonda, and writer Terry Southern.
Southern was one of the three writers of the screenplay for director Stanley Kubrick's, 1964, "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", he was the writer for the overlooked satire of the funeral business, 1965's, "The Loved One". Along with the Steve McQueen, Ann-Margaret, and Edward G. Robinson, 1965, "The Cincinnati Kid", and Jane Fonda and her husband, French director Roger Vadim's, 1968, "Barbarella".
The tag line for "Easy Rider":
A man went looking for America. And couldn't find it anywhere------
Describes the screenplay perfectly,
as the audience follows two biker friends traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans and meeting the people along their way leading to the ending that punctuates the tag line.
Peter Fonda portrayed "Wyatt" aka: "Captain America". Just before this release, Fonda portrayed "Will Kane, Jr." in the 1966, television Western, "High Noon: The Clock Strikes Noon Again". Peter Fonda followed this feature film with 1968's, "Histories extraodinaries (Extraordinary Stories)" aka in the United States, "Spirits of the Dead". Which is three short stories based upon Edgar Alan Poe. Peter's segment was directed by Roger Vadim and co-starred Vadim's wife and Fonda's sister Jane.
Dennis Hopper portrayed "Billy", hence "Marvel Comic fans" knew, at the time of the movies release, the tie-in to Peter Fonda's, "Captain America". Just before this release, Hopper was seen in "A Little Jazz", February 21, 1967, on the Second World War television series, "Combat". He followed this motion picture with 1967's, "Cool Hand Luke", starring Paul Newman.
Jack Nicholson portrayed "George Hanson". Nicholson was last seen in an uncredited role in the 1968, "Head", starring "The Monkees", Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, and Michael Nesmith. Jack followed this feature with fourth-billing in 1970's, "The Rebel Rousers", a forgotten biker film of the period starring Cameron Mitchell, Bruce Dern, and Diane Ladd.
Before Nicholson joins Fonda and Hopper, the two arrive at a hippie commune and that's where they meet Luana Anders portraying hippie and free-spirit "Lisa".
Above, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Luana Anders. Below, Anders and Fonda.
Below, Luana and Dennis skinny dipping
From director Dennis Hopper, Luana Anders moved immediately to director Robert Altman.
THAT COLD DAY in the PARK premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, France, on May 21, 1969
As I just mentioned this motion picture was directed by Robert Atlman. Since the 1957, Tom Laughlin, movie, "The Delinquents", Altman had only been directing television programs. This was his first feature film since that 1957 picture written by himself. After "That Cold Day in the Park", Robert Altman directed 1970's, "M.A.S.H.", and moved completely to feature film making.
The screenplay was written by Gillian Freeman. British
screenplay writer Gillian Freeman wrote the 1964, British
film, "The Leather Boys", starring actress Rita Thushingham, based upon the novel she
wrote using the male pen-name of "Eliot George" as
the author. Freeman's pen-name was the reverse of the pen-name used by 19th Century British
authoress Mary Ann Evans, of "George Eliot". For the excellent "The Leather Boys", the U.S.
censors went ballistic over the story about a London subculture featuring an
openly gay motorcycle biker, but the movie still was released to critical and
box office praise.
The Two Leads Plus One:
Sandy Dennis portrayed "Francis Austen". Dennis had just been in a 1968 made-for-television version of Michael V. Gazzo play, "A Hateful of Rain". She followed this feature with the British drama, 1969's, "A Touch of Love".
Michael Burns portrayed "The Boy". He had co-starred with Glenn Corbett, and Ted Bessell in the one-season television wonder, "It's a Man's World", 1962-1963. Then Burns portrayed "Barnaby West", 48-times on televisions "Wagon Train", 1963-1965, and except for four-movies between 1960 and this picture, appeared only on television.
This is a weird story, that film critic Roger Ebert, July 22, 1969, in the "Chicago Sun Times" described this way:
The plot is too improbable to be taken seriously, and yet director Robert Altman apparently does take it seriously. And so we get a torturous essay on abnormal psychology when, with less trouble, we could have had a simple, juicy horror film. There are some of the same exploitation angles as Rosemary's Baby (clinical discussions of reproduction, an eerie apartment, strange games), but they just don't work. In a straightforward horror movie, you can push pretty far before the audience starts laughing; they want to be scared. But That Cold Day in the Park doesn't declare itself as a horror film until too late, and the audience is already lost.
a boy sitting in the park outside her house's window in the rain and invites
the nineteen-year-old in. The boy doesn't speak, but appears to understand
everything she is saying and she permits him to bathe and eat. The following
day "Francis" buys the boy some new clothing, beginning a story
about a woman's obsession to control and possess the young boy. A boy who does have a
family and a sister, as "Francis" has a suitor from her lawn bowling club.
At the stories climax, Luana Anders portrays the prostitute, "Lisa", below, that "Francis" brings to teach the boy sex. As "Francis" listens at the bedroom door, and afterwards stabs "Lisa" through the heart killing her. The boy in panic looks for an exit from "Frances's" house, finds himself trapped and being told by "Francis" he doesn't have to be afraid of her. Fade-out.
For the next two years, Luana appeared on television programs. One of these was an episode of producer, director, and star, Jack Webb's, "Dragnet 1967", "The Big Dog", first shown on November 23, 1967. The program is like any other that Luana Anders appeared in, but for one of the other characters, "Police Woman Dorothy Miller".
Above is Luana Anders's older sister actress Merry Anders (born Mary Helen Anderson in Los Angeles, possibly the reason that Luana's obituary in the Los Angeles Times got her birth city wrong). Below, is Luana portraying "Noradelle De Leone" in the episode.
After an episode of televisions "Ironside", "The Target", January 28, 1971, Luana found herself facing two-different Mickey Rooney's, in two-different motion pictures.
THE MANIPULATOR premiered in New York City, December 15, 1971
This Thriller Horror picture was directed and co-written by Yabo Yablonsky. Yablonsky had written the screenplay for 1979's "Portrait of a Hitman", starring Jack Palance and Rod Steiger, and the Second World War soccer picture about British POW's vs German guards, starring Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone, 1981's, "Victory".
Mickey Rooney portrayed "B.J. Lang". From 1926 to 1934, Rooney was "Mickey McGuire", in a series of comedy
shorts. From 1937 to 1946, Mickey was "Andy
Hardy", not to forget he sang and danced with Judy
Garland, and gave advise to Elizabeth Taylor's "Velvet Brown". From 1954 through 1955, Rooney starred on televisions "The Mickey Rooney Show", and
another from 1964 through 1965, just
called "Mickey". Although in 1954, he
was "The Atomic Kid", surviving an atomic bomb by eating a peanut butter sandwich. In 1957, Mickey Rooney
was 1930's gangster, "Baby Face Nelson", and starred
as "Killer Mears" in a remake of the prison
story, "The Last Mile". While in 1965, Mickey Rooney taught Annette Funicello and Dwayne Hickman, "How
to Stuff a Wild Bikini".
Mickey Rooney was a versatile actor as shown above, and in this movie his character seemed to be a combination of three others as written by Yabo Yablonsky. "B.J. Lang" is a studio make-up artist that goes insane, think Robert H. Harris in 1958's, "How to Make a Monster". Add in obvious traces of Anthony Perkins', "Norman Bates", in Alfred Hitchcock's, 1960 , "Psycho", but put both in the guise of "Cyrano de Bergerac", taken from Jose Ferrer's 1950 movie, below.
Luana Anders portrayed "Carlotta". Anders was just in the 1971 made-for-television movie, "Hitched", a Comedy Western starring Sally Field and Tim Matheson.
Like the sources for Mickey Rooney's character, "Carlotta" is the name for French author Gaston Lerox's "Prima Donna" in "The Phantom of the Opera". Who like "Christine Daae", is tortured in different ways. Also, it appears the screenplay implies that she is also "Roxanne" to "B.J.'s" "Cyrano".
"B.J. Lang" is totally insane living in his own fantasy world. He owns a warehouse full of old movie props and the film opens with a shot, which like the main characters is out of old movies, think director William Friedkin's, 1973, "The Exorcist".
"Lang" goes to the second floor of the warehouse asking questions and answering himself. Where there are old cobbed web covered dummies, he sees zombies and naked people he talks too. Eventually, he pulls back a curtain and reveals "Carlotta" tied and secured in an old wheel chair. She becomes another prop to "B.J.'s" twisted "Cyrano" and slowly she also seems to enter her own world of madness.
There is some confusion with another motion picture released on October 21, 1971 under the same title, but starring Stephen Boyd. That movie is also known as the "African Story" and was made in Italy and concerns a movie producer who fakes the death of his star that ran away from stardom to Africa.
Above, Mickey Rooney as "Nelson Stool" and Edie Adams portraying "Flosie". Below, Adams with Dick Shawn as "Marshal Bing Bell".
a subgenre of the Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960's, as well as the increase in illicit drug taking of, for example, cannabis and LSD. Acid Westerns subvert many of the conventions of earlier Westerns to "conjure up a crazed version of autodestructive white America at its most solipsistic hankering after its own lost origins"
Examples of "Acid Westerns" are 1966's "The Shooting", starring Jack Nicholson, 1971's, "The Hired Hand", starring Peter Fonda, 1971's, "Captain Apache", starring Lee Van Cleef, and 1973's, "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", starring James Colburn and Kris Kristofferson.
Downey's screenplay is a parable of the Life of Jesus in the New Testament.
Robert Downey, Sr. had just directed and written the 1970 fantasy, "Pound", about 18 dogs waiting to be adopted and portrayed by actors. He would follow this feature film, in the same capacities, with his 1973 made for television movie, "Sticks and Bones", about a blind returning Vietnam Vet.
The Greaser Family:
Albert Henderson portrayed "Seaweedhead Greaser". He had just been in 1972's, "The Hot Rock", and followed this film with 1973's, "Cops and Robbers".
Luana Anders portrayed "Cholera Greaser". Anders followed this film with a episode of televisions "Bonanza", "Forever", on September 12, 1972.
Michael Sullivan portrayed "Lamy 'Homo' Greaser". He had just appeared in an oddball counterculture comedy, 1971's, "You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose the Beat", and followed this picture with 1973's, "It Happened in Hollywood".
Allan Arbus portrays "Jessy" also, depending on the source spelled "Jassy", or "Jesse". Arbus had just seen in the Gene Hackman, Karen Black, and Kris Kristofferson, 1971, "Cisco Pike", and would follow this picture with Pam Grier's, 1973, "Coffy".
This is a family affair and the recurring role of "The Woman", was portrayed by Robert Downey's wife, actress and writer Elsie Downey.
The role of her son was portrayed by her son, Robert Downey, Jr., age seven.
I'll let the website, "F This Movie", describe the basic plot.
The Plot in Brief: Seaweedhead Greaser (Albert Henderson) controls a small town near the Mexican border. His word is law, the citizens pay taxes and tribute to him, and he is not shy about killing people who displease him. His daughter Cholera (Luana Anders) entertains at the local saloon and is a sensation with audiences. One day, Jesse (Allan Arbus) parachutes out of the sky and stirs up the town. He resurrects Greaser’s son, Lamy Homo (Michael Sullivan), cures the sick (One man on crutches throws them aside and shouts, “I can crawl again!”) and performs at the local saloon. His song and dance don’t go over well, but his display of stigmata is a sensation. At this point, astute readers will probably have deduced that we are dealing with biblical allegory here.
The Following is the Screenplay's Opening Set-Up for the Biblical Allegory:
The story is set in a 1800's Western town ruled over by "Seaweedhead Greaser" and opens with his daughter "Cholera" singing off key at the "Greaser's Palace" saloon. Her father orders her brother out of town, because dad thinks his son is a homosexual. Suddenly, stopping his son from following that order, "Seaweedhead" calls him to come back, as if he's changed his mind. "Lamy Homo" turns back to his father, who pulls out two long-barreled guns that are concealed in his boots and kills his son.
Switch to a covered wagon making its way across the prairie with a family, switch to "Jesse" wearing a purple striped zoot suit paragliding onto the prairie. Switch back to the Western town as suddenly "Seaweedhead" runs out of his saloon, in the middle of collecting taxes, up a set of stairs to the outhouse on top of the "Greaser's Palace", he enters, and on cue a mariachi band starts playing music.
It's now night on the prairie and the family makes camp next to their covered wagon. In the morning the mother aka: "The Woman", discovers her husband and son are dead with their throats slashed.
"The Woman" buries her husband and son, and continues on her way, stops at a riverbank and is shot dead.
Next, "The Ghost", portrayed by Ron Nealy in a bedsheet, brings the body of "Lamy" to "Jesse", who places his hand on the body and says:
If you feel; you heal.
"Lamy" returns to life and "Jesse" explains that he is:
on his way to Jerusalem to be an actor-singer.
adding the inside joke referring to the major talent agency:
it is written that the agent Morris awaits me.With "Lamy", "Jesse" rides into town on the back of a mule.
When "Jesse" and "Lamy Homo" arrive in town, "Seaweedhead" takes out a knife and kills his son again and "Jesse" returns him to life again. The movie is a cult classic and irreverent to the New Testament, but keeps you wanting more and Downey, Sr. delivers attacking the New Testament.
There is that cripple who has to use crutches to walk and after being touched by "Jesse", is amazed that he can now crawl again. Then there is a scene of "Jesse" not just walking on, but singing and dancing on water.
"Cholera" performs on stage with "Jesse", she does a striptease and the audience loves it. Then "Jesse" upstages her by showing his hand bleeding from stigmata in the same places as "Jesus" was crucified.
Causing the sulking "Cholera" to remark about being upstaged by a:
man with holes in his hands.
"Lamy" tells his father he doesn't want to die anymore and "Seaweedhead" declares his son is not a "Homo", but only after "Lamy" buys his father a drink of two.
The parable continues with a sermon, of sorts, on the mount and -----
--- ultimately ending with "The Woman" not being dead, but crucifying "Jesse" and bringing her husband and son back to life as a result.
WHEN LEGENDS DIE premiered in New York City on October 19, 1972
This is a modern-day rodeo picture that should have been better than it was, based upon the 1963 novel by Hal Borland. The Robert Dozier screenplay took only the middle section of the novel. Dozier was a television writer going back to 1955, in 1963, he was one of three writers for director Otto Preminger's "The Cardinal", and returned to television and until he wrote this screenplay, and afterwards returned to television writing until his retirement in 1992.
This picture was the first of only seven films producer Stuart Miller directed. His second would be the John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn, 1975, "Rooster Cogburn".
Poster Aside, The Three Leads:
Richard Widmark portrayed "Red Dillion". Widmark had just starred in the two-part 1971 television mini-series, "Vanished". The actor was continuing in his television series "Madigan".
Frederic Forrest portrayed "Tom Black Bull". Some sites list this as his first motion picture, or on-screen appearance, either way they're wrong. In 1966, Fredric Forrest was first seen in the forgotten musical movie, "Viet Rock", the inspiration for the musical "Hair". Then there was the, January 3, 1967, television role of a customer at the "Blue Whale" in Episode #137, of Season One of "Dark Shadows". Just before this picture was a role in the forgotten Comedy motion picture, 1969's, "Futz". After this picture the actor was once again co-starring, this time with Anthony Quinn in 1973's, "The Don Is Dead".
Luana Anders portrayed "Mary". She followed this picture with "Lost Sunday", the December 3, 1972, episode of Mike "Touch" Connors' television series "Mannix".
The Basic Screenplay:
The novel's and film's title are from the saying:
When the legends die the dreams end, when the dreams end there is no more greatness.On a Colorado Ute reservation is young "Thomas Black Bull", portrayed by Tilman Box. The story follows him as he battles the old traditions taught to him by "Blue Elk", portrayed by John War Eagle, vs the new ways that the white "School Superintendent", portrayed by Garry Walberg, on the reservation want him to learn.
"Thomas Black Bull" grows up a confused loner breaking wild horses.
Now fully grown, in town is a rodeo bronco rider, "Tex Walker", portrayed by John Grumer. He asks lowly Native American "Tom" to bring him the horse tied across the street and he'll give him a dollar. "Tex" knows the horse can't be ridden by anyone, but is in shock when "Tom" easily avoids being bucked off. Having observed this, former rodeo champion "Red Dillion" offers "Thomas Black Bull" a job. When they get the papers in order for "Tom" to leave the reservation, "Red" begins to teach "Tom" how to be a rodeo cowboy. "Red" was forced out of the rodeo circuit due to his alcoholism.
"Tom" becomes a champion, but during a ride is thrown and the horse rolls over him, breaking his leg. Recovering in the hospital he meets a nurse named "Mary" and while recovering, moves in with her.
Events will follow, "Tom" will leave "Mary", "Red" returns to the bottle and dies. "Tom" finally realizes where his life belongs and returns to the Ute reservation and the old traditions.
Next for Luana, it was back with Curtis Harrington.
THE KILLING KIND premiered at the USA Film Festival on April 7, 1973
The motion picture was directed by Curtis Harrington. He had just directed the British weird and bizarre twist on "Hansel and Gretel", 1972's, "Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?". The film's cast demonstrated a similar twist for the use of old established actors seen in the United States. In that picture's case, American actress Shelley Winters, British actor, Mark Lester, who much younger had the title role in the 1968 musical movie, "Oliver", and British actor Sir Ralph Richardson.
Curtis Harrington followed this picture with the made-for-television Horror story from Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho", 1973's, "The Cat Creature", featuring Meredith Baxter, David Hedison, Gale Sondergaard, and John Carradine.
The original story and the screenplay were both by co-writer Tony Crechales, who wrote only ten screenplays with titles such as 1970's, "Blood Mania", and 1973's, "House of Terror". His co-writer was George Edwards, who wrote eight screenplays, his first was 1967's, "Games", which he also produced. Edwards also produced three American re-edits of Soviet Union science fiction films, the added American footage was directed by Curtis Harrington for the first two American titles, 1965's, "Voyage to a Prehistoric Planet", 1966's, "Queen of Blood", and the third, 1966's, "Women of a Prehistoric Planet", was directed by Arthur C. Pierce.
Ann Sothern portrayed "Thelma Lambert". Sothern had started on-screen acting in 1927, over her career she appeared in a series of Comedy films about her character of "Maise", starting in 1939, opposite Robert Young. From 1953 through 1957, Ann Sothern starred on the television series, "Private Secretary", from 1958 through 1961, she starred on "The Ann Sothern Show", in 1965, Sothern appeared in five-episodes of her friend since the early 1930's, Lucille Ball's, "The Lucy Show". From 1965 through 1966, Ann Sothern was the voice actor for the television series "My Mother the Car".
John Savage portrayed "Terry Lambert". Savage portrayed "Claude" in the 1979 motion picture version of the Broadway musical "Hair". He had just appeared in the Crime Comedy, 1973's, "Steelyard Blues", starring Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, and Peter Boyle. He followed this feature film with the made-for-television 1974, "All the Kind Strangers", co-starring with Stacy Keach and Samantha Eggar.
Ruth Roman portrayed "Rhea Benson". Roman started on-screen acting in 1943. Of her first seventeen roles, only three weren't uncredited and these roles took the actress to 1948. When Roman portrayed the title role in the Western, "Belle Starr's Daughter", co-starring with George Montgomery and Rod Cameron. In 1951, Ruth Roman co-starred with Farley Granger and Robert Walker, in director Alfred Hitchcock's, "Strangers on a Train". In 1952, she co-starred with Errol Flynn in "Mara Maru", in 1954, her co-star was James Stewart in "The Far Country", in 1956, Ruth Roman's co-stars were Van Johnson and Joseph Cotton in "The Bottom of the Bottle", and in 1958, the actress switch to primarily appearing on television.
Luana Anders portrayed "Louise Elmore".
Cindy Williams portrayed "Lori Davis". Williams had been seen on-screen since 1970, and she followed this picture with the role of "Laurie" in director George Lucas'. 1973, "American Graffiti". It would be another two years, before she first appeared as "Shirley Feeney" on the November 11, 1975 episode of televisions "Happy Days", "A Date with Fonzi".
The Basic Screenplay:
"Terry Lambert" is released from prison for participating in a gang rape. He returns to the Victorian looking bordering house his mother "Thelma Lambert" runs primarily for elderly ladies.
"Thelma" is an amateur photographer whose own rooms contain a large number of photos she has taken of "Terry".
The photos reflect the unnatural and intimate relationship between mother and son.
Additionally, "Thelma" collects cats and values them even above her son.
The day after "Terry" returned, "Thelma" makes the mistake of renting the vacant room to "Lori", who has come to Los Angeles from Arizona, but also is a young sexually active woman.
One morning, one of "Thelma's" cats is found dead, killed by a unknown person.
One afternoon, "Lori" is at the poolside and sees "Terry" by it.
"Lori" goes over to "Terry" and playfully pushes him in. He reacts by pulling "Lori" into the pool, but holds her head under the water almost drowning the young woman.
"Thelma" witnesses this and blames both "Lori", and "Louise", "Thelma's" next door neighbor. Who also witnessed "Terry" and "Lori" and didn't attempt to stop them. However, "Thelma" does not blame her son, even though "Thelma" witnessed his every action.
One night, "Louise" sees "Terry" at poolside and approaches him. In their conversation she makes sexual advances toward him.
Later, "Louise" tells "Terry" she really wasn't trying to seduce him. What she doesn't know is his mind has started to snap from his relationship with his mother.
"Terry" now goes to the home of "Rhea Benson", the attorney his mother had hired to defend him, but was unable to get his prison sentence reduced. There, at knife point, he forces "Rhea" to drink a large amount of alcohol causing her to pass out. "Terry" sets "Rhea Benson's" house on fire, burning her alive.
The shower in "Lori's" room is leaking and "Terry" is sent to fix it. "Lori" again starts pushing "Terry's" buttons, but the now unhinged "Terry" strangles her in the bathtub.
"Thelma" goes to "Lori's" rooms and finds her dead body. She helps "Terry" load the body into a trash can and haul it to a local dump.
The problem for the mother and son is that "Louise" witnesses their strange behavior with the trash can, became suspicious and called the police.
THE LAST DETAIL premiered in Los Angeles on December 12, 1973
"The Last Detail" reunited Luana Anders in the small role of "Donna", with her two classmates Jack Nicholson as "Signalman First Class Billy L. 'Badass' Buddusky", and screenplay writer Robert Towne. Who had major problems finding someone that would leave in the hard and realistic cussing of the sailors. The picture was directed by Hal Ashby, who was arrested in Canada while scouting locations for possession of marijuana. Below are stills of Anders with Randy Quaid as "Seaman Lawrence M. 'Larry' Meadows", the sailor who is being escorted to the brig to serve an eight-year-sentence.
Above bottom row, Luana Anders as "Lorette Anderson", Mary Steenburgen as "Julia Tate Moon", Maureen Byrnes as "Mrs. Warren, and Lucy Lee Flippen as "Diane Haber".
The roles were getting shorter, this started with three-short subjects in 1979, followed by a small role in Robert Towne's, 1982, "Personal Best", starring Mariel Hemingway, fortieth-billing in the Ryan O'Neal, Shelley Long, and Drew Barrymore, 1984, Comedy, "Irreconcilable Differences", a small role in 1985's, "Movers and Shakers", written by and starring Charles Grodin, and the comedy short, "Video Valentino", portraying a character named "Mr. Glerman", which brought the actress to a Broadway reunion.
"The Two Jakes", was released on August 10, 1990, directed by Jack Nicholson, who was reprising his role of "Jake J. Gittes", from a screenplay by Robert Towne. Luana Anders had the small role of a "Florist". Once again, the group from Jeff Corey's acting school was together.
Luana Anders had twelve more roles to play until her retirement from both the large and small screens of American life in "Cannes Man". The picture had a video premier on June 3, 1997. Actually the role Luana portrayed was "the voice of an agent on the phone".
On July 21, 1996, at the age of 58, Luana Anders passed away from breast cancer.