Saturday, September 16, 2023

Ray Bradbury: Writings Interpreted By the Soviet Union and Other's

I once saw Ray Douglas Bradbury at Clifton's Cafeteria, 648 South Broadway, in downtown Los Angeles, he was with a couple of his friends, another Ray, last name Harryhausen, and a fellow named Forrest J. Ackermann. It was one of their old hangouts from college days, but that's not the story here.

Above, Clifton's in 2017, on November 27, 2018, it was torn down for a bar, I guess you call that progress.

Below, the real "Three Musketeers" at Clifton's, June 1999.


As if they need introductions, left to right, Ray Harryhausen, 4-F, Forrest J. Ackerman, and Ray Bradbury.

This is a look at seven of my favorites published written works by Ray Bradbury. Which might have been read silently, or aloud at home, or performed by a group and heard on the family radio around the kitchen table. Perhaps, the same story was made into a television production, a motion picture, or even an opera. Just let your imagination go and listen for the fog horn to guide you.

I start with what is known as a "Fix-up" novel, that is a novel made from previously written, or published works by the author, combined into one narrative with alternations to the original stories to make them fit into the narrative of the new one.

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES first published on May 4, 1950

Above, the dust jacket for the first edition.

In April, 2012, BBC interviewer, Matt Novak spoke with the author and published, "Ray Bradbury: the day I read to a legend", June 7, 2012, two-days after Ray Bradbury passed away.

I asked him about space exploration and whether it was something that he thought about much when he was a kid. “No, I was thinking about Mars. I wasn’t thinking about space. I read John Carter, Warrior of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. So, when I was twelve years old I wrote a sequel to John Carter. So I wasn’t thinking about space, I was thinking about John Carter and about Mars.”

For those of my readers of Ray Bradbury's science fiction that might not be familiar with "John Carter of Mars", this is the link to my article, "Before 'STAR WARS': There Was Edgar Rice Burrough's", at:

The events in the original edition of "The Martian Chronicles" ranged from the year 1999 to 2026, but as the world moved closer to 1999, for the second edition in 1997, the dates were rewritten, advancing the years of the chronicles to become, 2030 to 2057, a plus of 31-years. Also, a quick way to know which edition you are reading.

The following are the titles of the chapters of the novel, each indicating the original and revised dates.

January 1999/2030: Rocket Summer

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles". However, there is a different short story by Ray Bradbury, from 1947, also entitled "Rocket Summer", and first published in the American pulp science fiction magazine, "Planet Stories".

February 1999//2030: Ylla

This story was first published in the Canadian news magazine, "Maclean's", January 1, 1950, under the title of "I'll Not Ask for Wine".

August 1999/2030: The Summer Night

This story was first published in the American fantasy/horror magazine, "The Arkham Sampler", winter 1949, under the title of "The Spring Night".

August 1999/2030: The Earth Men

This story was first published in the American science fiction magazine, "Thrilling Wonder Stories", August, 1948.

March 2000/2031: The Tax Payer

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

April 2000/2031: The Third Expedition

This story was first published under the title of, "Mars is Heaven", in the 
American pulp science fiction magazine, "Planet Stories", in the fall of 1948.

June 2001/2032: "---And the Moon Be Still as Bright"

This story was first published in the American science fiction magazine, "Thrilling Wonder Stories", June, 1948.

August 2001/2032: The Settlers

The story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

December 2001/2032: The Green Morning

The story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

February 2002/2033: The Locusts

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

August 2002/2033: Night Meeting

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

October 2002/2033: The Shore

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

November 2002/2033: The Fire Balloons

This story first appeared under the title of " ----In His Sign", in the American fantasy and science fiction magazine, "Imagination", April, 1951. Obviously, with that date, it was not in the first edition of "The Martian Chronicles", but did appear in the 1951, American edition, of "The Illustrated Man", and didn't become part of "The Martian Chronicles", until the 1997, officially. However, " ----In His Sign", was included in a 1974, "Special Edition", from the Heritage Press, a 1979, Illustrated Edition, from Bantam Press, and the 1990, "40th Anniversary Edition" of "The Martian Chronicles".

February 2003/2034: Interim

This story was first published in "The Martin Chronicles". Sometimes it is confused with the unrelated Ray Bradbury story, "Time Interviewing/Interim", because of the use of the word, "Interim".

April 2003/2034: The Musicians

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

May 2003/2034: The Wilderness

This story first appeared in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction", November, 1952. The story was added to the 1997 edition.

June 2003: Way in the Middle of the Air

This story has a strange story of its own and was turned down by five publishers in 1948. It did appear in the 1950, first edition, of "The Martian Chronicles", but did not appear in the 1997 edition. However, "Other Worlds Science Stories", published the short story in the July 1950 issue.

2004 - 2005/2035 - 2036: The Naming of the Names

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles". However, to confuse my reader again, Ray Bradbury wrote a short story also entitled "The Naming of the Names", and it was published in the August 1949 issue of "Thrilling Wonder Stories". The confusion should have stopped when the title was changed to "Dark They Were, and Goldened-Eyed".

April 2005/2036: Usher II

This story was first published as "Carnival of Madness", in the April 1950 issue of "Thrilling Wonder Stories". The story also appeared in the 2008, "Harper Collins/Voyager" edition of "The Illustrated Man".

August 2005/2036: The Old Ones

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

September 2005/2036: The Martian

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

November 2005/2036: The Luggage Store

The story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles".

November 2005/2036: The Off Season

This story first appeared in the December 1948 issue of "Thrilling Wonder Stories".

November 2005/2036: The Watchers

This story was first published in "The Martian Chronicles". Not to be confused with the Ray Bradbury short story, also entitled "The Watchers", found in the May 1945 issue of "Weird Tales".

December 2005/2036: The Silent Towns

This story first appeared in the women's magazine, "Charm", in the March 1949 issue.

April 2026/2057: The Long Years

This story first appeared in the September 15, 1948 issue of "MacClean".

August 2026/2057: There Will Come Soft Rains

This short story was originally published in "Collier's Magazine", for May 6, 1950. It would be revised by Ray Bradbury for inclusion in the 1997 publication of "The Martian Chronicles".

October 2026/2057: The Million-Year Picnic

The story first appeared in "Planet Stories", summer of 1946.

Stage Productions:

According to the 2004, "Conversations with Ray Bradbury", "University Press of Mississippi";

A stage production of "Way in the Middle of the Air", was produced in 1962 at the "Desilu Studios", Gower Street location, but I could not find out any more information about it.

The same applies to a production of "The Martian Chronicles" at the "Cricket Theater (The Ritz)", located in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1976. 

Opera Productions:

In the mid-1960's, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederic Lowe approached Ray Bradbury to make a musical production of "The Martian Chronicles", and were turned down. However, he authorized composer Daniel Levy and librettist Elizabeth Margrid to write a full-length contemporary opera. The work had its initial performance in, 2006, during the "Harriet Lake Festival of New Plays", at the "Orlando Shakespeare Theatre".

Radio Productions:

From April 8, 1950 through September 29, 1951, sponsored by "Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions", on the NBC Radio Network, was the adult science fiction program, "Dimension X".

The writers included Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Bloch, and of course, Ray Bradbury.

On June 17, 1950, the radio version of "There Will Come Soft Rains", was heard.

On July 7, 1950, the radio version of "Mars Is Heaven (The Third Expedition)", was heard.

On August 18, 1950, the very shorten radio version of "The Martian Chronicles" was heard. The broadcast including "Wheaties" commercials, ran 24-minutes-and-33-seconds.

On September 29, 1950, the radio version of "And the Moon Be Still and Bright" was heard.

Other Ray Bradbury written programs not related to "The Martian Chronicles" would be broadcast on "Dimension X" also

On June 21, 2014, Derek Jacobi starred in a one-hours, BBC 4, broadcast of "The Martian Chronicles", on their "Dangerous Visions" series.

Television Productions:

"The Martian Chronicles",
the mini-series first was shown on NBC, January 27, 28, and 29, 1980.

The United States/United Kingdom mini-series was written by Richard Matheson, who had written the novels, "The Shrinking Man", "I Am Legend", and "Hell House", that  became screenplays by the author. Also, Matheson was the screenplay writer of the first motion pictures in director Roger Corman's, "Edgar Allan Poe", series. My article is, "Richard Matheson: The Screenplays and Treatments", found at:

The director was Michael Anderson, among British director Anderson's films prior to this production is the 1956 motion picture version of British author George Orwell's, "1984", the 1956 version of French author Jules Verne's, "Around the World in 80 Days", the Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston, 1959, "The Wreck of the Mary Deare", and producer George Pal's, 1975, "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze". My article on that last movie and two others, "Clark Savage, Jr., Buckaroo Banzai and Lamont Cranston On The Motion Picture Screen: Wrong Timing and No Series", may be read at:

The Cast Shown on the Above Poster:

Rock Hudson portrayed "Colonel John Wilder". Hudson had just been in the 1978 television mini-series "Wheels", and would follow this mini-series with the 1980, Agatha Christie mystery, "The Mirror Crack'd", co-starring with Angela Lansbury and Tony Curtis.

Fritz Weaver portrayed "Father Peregrine". Weaver had just been seen in a 1979 episode of televisions "Hawaii Five-O", and followed this mini-series with the 1980 made-for-television movie, "Children of Divorce".

Darren McGavin portrayed "Sam Park Hill". McGavin was just in the made-for-television movie, 1979's, "A Bond of Honor", and followed this mini-series with the made-for-television movie, 1980's, "Waikiki".

Roddy McDowell portrayed "Father Stone". McDowell was guest appearing on television programs at this time. Before this mini-series he was in an episode of 1979's, "Flying High", and followed it with the made-for-television movie, 1980's, "The Memory of Eva Ryker".

Maria Schell portrayed "Anna Lustig". She had just appeared in the West German made-for-television movie, 1979's, "Der Wald", and followed this mini-series with the West German made-for-television movie, "Liebe bleibt nicht ohne Schmerzen".

Bernie Casey portrayed "Major Jeff Spender". Casey had starred in the short lived, four episodes only, series about an African-American family, 1979's, "Harris and Company", and followed this mini-series, with the 1981 mini-series, "The Sophisticated Gents".

Gayle Hunnicutt portrayed "Ruth Wilder". Hunnicutt was just in the 1979 television mini-series, "A Man Called Intrepid", and would follow this mini-series with the mini-series "Fantomas".

Writer Richard Matheson broke the mini-series into three-episodes, running over 4-hours, and closer to five-hours on the original DVD release.

Episode One - The Expeditions:

It is July 20, 1976, and Viking 1 lands on the surface of Mars and at NASA there are two viewpoints. One is that the planet is uninhabited, and the other is open to the possibility of life of some kind on the Red Planet. Ultimately, the Viking 1 confirms that there is no life on Mars, based upon the area of its landing site. However, the camera on Viking pans out further, without any of the scientists or technician's watching the screens, and in the distance, what looks like buildings appear. The narrator tells the viewer, 
If the probe had landed just a few miles further on, things might have been different.
The opening credit rolls!

January 1999, the "Kennedy Space Center", on the launch pad is the first Zeus 1. The first manned mission to the Red Planet Mars. This is the first step by NASA and NATO to colonize the outer planets and the Saturn V rocket lifts off. While on Mars, Martian wife, "Yilla", portrayed by Maggie Wright, has telepathic dreams of the coming two-man Zeus 1, which her jealous husband awaits. As soon as they set foot on Mars, he murderers the two men from Earth. At the "Kennedy Space Center", no one is sure what happened to the crewmen, but senior astronaut, "Major Jeff Spender", urges project director, "Colonel John Wilder", to abandon the Zeus project, because of his concerns that Mars may have some form of life on it. "Wilder" has headed the project for the last ten-years and believes colonizing Mars may be the solution to the environmental pollution and war on Earth,

In April 2000, the second Zeus mission makes it to Mars, and astronauts "Commander Arthur Black", portrayed by Nicholas Hammond", "Sam Hinkston", portrayed by Vadim Glowna, and "David Lustig", portrayed by Michael Anderson, Jr., discover they have landed in a town that looks exactly like 1979, Green Bluff, Illinois, in actuality, the Martians are reading their minds and turn their thoughts to what they see, before the crew is murdered.

June 2001,
Zeus 3, lands on Mars, commanded by "Colonel Wilder", with "Major Spender", and four other astronauts, "Sam Parkhill", "Briggs", portrayed by John Cassady, "Cook", and "McClure", portrayed by Peter Marinker. The crew discovers five ancient cities, one of which appears to have been occupied only a few weeks before they landed on the planet. The scientists discover that the inhabitants died off from exposure to "Chicken Pox", apparently brought to Mars by the crews of the previously sent Zeus missions. With the exception of "Wilder" and "Spender", the crew break-out the alcohol rations and start celebrating When "Briggs" starts dropping empty alcohol bottles in a crystal-clear blue canal, "Spender" loses his temper and punches the other in the stomach sending him into the canal. Being an archeologist, "Spender" leaves the others to explore, but when he returns, "Spender" holds a strange looking weapon. "Major Spender" opens fire on the other Zeus 3 crew members. He kills "Briggs", "McClure", and "Cook", and before he could kill "Wilder" and "Parkhill", "Parkhill" kills him.




Episode Two - The Settlers:

In February 2004, "Colonel Wilder" returns to the Red Planet with a fleet of space ships full of people.

"John Wilder" is the first director of the American colonization of the uninhabited planet Mars. By August 2004, a dozen American communities now exist on the planet's surface, and they're named for the original astronauts. However, "Wilder's" dream for the planet is being undone by the colonists who have brought Earth vices to Mars.

The following month, September 2004, colonists are reporting strange phenomena occurring within and around their communities. Next, the presumed dead "David Lustig" returns to his parents living in the community named for him, "Lustig Creek". He resists going to "First Town", the main American community on the planet, and when his parents leave for it, "David" disappears. At the same time, two missionaries, "Father Peregrine" and "Father Stone", find themselves almost trapped in a landslide, but mysterious blue lights appear and somehow rescue them.

"Peregrine" climbs a cliff, while "Stone" is asleep, and deliberately steps off of it and, as he expected, was saved by one of the blue lights. The two missionaries now meet the blue lights and learn that they have no material body or form and are Martians from 250-million-years-ago, live in the hills, and believe in God as the two do. "Father Peregrine" vows to build a church within the hills with a blue sphere in place of a crucifix, but the blue lights tell him to return to his own people and minister to them.

Later, "Father Peregrine" sees a vision of "Jesus Christ", portrayed by Jon Finch, in his "First Town" church, but the vision begs him to be released, which confuses the missionary. The vision of "Jesus" speaks to "Father Peregrine" in a way of explanation:
I am not what I seem! I am not that vision!


"Father Peregrine" now realizes that he is looking upon a Martian reading his thoughts and desirers, and that when "David Lutzig" returned to his parents, it was the same Martian reading the thoughts of others, as was the visit by the daughter of a family, "Lavina Spalding", portrayed by Alison Elliot, and other such occurrences. However, the pressure to perform plays dearly upon the Martian and he dies.

November 2006, back on Earth, the planet is close to nuclear war! Congress cuts the budget for space exploration and all the Martian colonies are to be evacuated and the settlers returned to Earth. 

This part of the mini-series has been focusing on "Sam Parkhill" and his wife, "Elma Parkhill", portrayed by Joyce Van Patten. "Sam" and his wife had opened up a diner for the future truckers and miners.

Now, they're faced with the evacuation order, a lone Martian enters the diner, in panic, "Sam" kills him. A very large number of Martians now appear in their sand ships, and "Sam" and "Elma" flee the diner in their own sand ship as he shoots and kills more of the pursuing Martians. Eventually, time runs out for the "Parkhill's" and their surrounded by Martians.

To "Sam's" surprise they hold no ill will toward him, but instead offer him a land grant to half of the planet. They add this strange message:
The night is tonight. Prepare.

Before the order to evacuate back to Earth was given, "Sam" was dreaming of a fleet of space ships bringing one-hundred-thousand hungry customers to his diner. Now, with "Elma" at his side, "Sam Parkhill" looks at the Earth through his telescope and watches the planet destroyed in nuclear fire.

Episode Three - The Martians

It is reestablished that an order to evacuate Mars had been given and "John Wilder", in November 2006, travels back to rescue his brother and family before they are killed by the nuclear war. However, arriving at the Zeus mission control facility, he learns they were all killed by neutron bombs, a low-yield thermonuclear weapon designed to maximize lethal neutron radiation.

The story changes back to Mars and the few remaining humans there. One day "Benjamin Driscoll", portrayed by Christopher Connelly, the only inhabitant of "First Town", hears a telephone ringing, but can't locate it


"Ben" understands this may be his only chance for companionship. He will get a phone book and start dialing all the resident numbers for days without results, changing to the hotels. Then hoping the call was from a woman, looks up the phone number of the biggest beauty salon on Mars, located  in "New Texas City", and a woman answer. He now flies 1,500-miles to meet "Genevieve Selsor", portrayed by Bernadette Peters, only to discover she is a narcissistic woman who is entirely interested in her own good looks.


"Driscoll" asks "Genevieve" out on a date and discovers she didn't leave Mars, because they wouldn't let her take all her clothes. She is ecstatic for having access to all of "New Texas City's" clothing, make-up, and footwear, but she hates having to cook and repair all the tech herself. She expects "Ben" to make her breakfast and repair her sauna. "Ben Driscoll" decides he prefers the solitude he had prior to meeting her.

"Ben Driscoll" and "Genevieve Selor", in Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Silent Towns", are very different looking then the "Hollywood" take on them. "Genevieve Selor" is overweight, covered in chocolate, and obsessed with watching movies, but not so narcissistic and doesn't depend on the other's labor. However, she shows "Walter Gripp", the original character's name, the wedding dress she wants to be married in. In the story, "Walter/Ben" seek the solitude they despised before at the end of the story. 

While the above is going on, in another part of Mars, "Peter Hathaway", portrayed by Barry Morse,  a retired mechanical tinkerer has wired a town below his house to make sounds, make phone calls, and have lights as if it was still occupied. "Peter" lives with his wife, "Alice Hathaway", portrayed by Nyree Dawn Porter, and their daughter, "Marguerite Hathaway", portrayed by Madalyn Aslan.

One night "Peter" sights a rocket ship in Mars orbit and puts on a laser light show to get the attention of those within the ship. He thinks the attempt has failed, when he observes the rocket ship landing. On board are "Colonel John Wilder", and "Father Stone", who have returned from Earth. They go to the "Hathaway" house and break the news of the nuclear war and the Earth's destruction. They are invited to stay for breakfast, during which, "Wilder" remarks that "Alice" looks exactly like she did at her wedding. After eating he goes out and explores the surrounding area and especially some headstones he noticed before going into the house. He returns to the house looking very pale to "Father Stone", having discovered that both "Peter's" wife and daughter had died from a virus in July 2000.

As the "Hathaway" family toasts their guests, "Peter Hathaway's" heart finally fails. As he is dying, he begs "John Wilder" not to call his family, because they would not understand his death. "Wilder" confirms that "Alice" and "Marguerite Hathaway" are robots built by "Peter" to replace the dead two people he so dearly loved. 

"Wilder" and "Father Stone" and the two-robots continue their daily routine. The robots meaningless and programed routine is interrupted by the arrival of "Ben Driscoll" and the two-robots seemed relieved when he decides to stay with them.

In March 2007, "Wilder" went to see "Sam Parkhill" to inform him of the Earth's destruction and that Mars is all they have left. "Sam" tells "John" about the land grant he received from the Martians. "Wilder" suspects that somehow the Martians were somehow aware of the coming nuclear war on the Earth. He further surmises that the Martians were giving away one half of their desolate planet as a means for both civilizations to survive and re-establish their selves.

Traveling alone, "John Wilder", one-time "Colonel" in the Air Force, one-time director for the American colonization of Mars, has his wish granted and meets a Martian. Each sees Mars as he is accustomed to: "Wilder" sees ruins and desolation, while the Martian sees a living, breathing city, with people enjoying a local festival. 

Neither is sure they are on the same time line, the present, the past, or the future, but they come to an agreement. The Martian explains the way of life on Mars prior to the arrival of "Viking 1", and the two will part as friends.

"John Wilder" now takes his wife, "Ruth", his son, "Bill", portrayed by Burnell Tucker, and daughter, "Marie", portrayed by Laurie Holden, to a once beautiful, now deserted Martian city to learn the ways of the Martian people. He will start by burning two books, "Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (Capital: A Critique of Political Economy)", first published in 1885 by its author Karl Marx, and "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", first published in 1776, by its author Adam Smith.

After promising his family they will get to see the real Martians, he has them look into a clear pool at their reflections and tells them:


"The Ray Bradbury Theater", 1985 through 1992.

The 65-episodes were Broadcast on television in Canada on the "First Choice Channel" and in the United States, Season 1, on "HBO", Seasons 2 through 6, on the "USA Network".

There were four episodes directly related to "The Martian Chronicles".

Episode 31, July 20, 1990, "Mars Is Heaven", starred Hal Linden.

Episode 35, August 17, 1990, "Usher II",
starred Patrick Macnee.

Episode 36, October 19, 1990, "And the Moon Be Still and Bright",
starred David Carradine.

Episode 59, October 10, 1992, "Silent Towns", starred John Glover.

Motion Picture Productions:

In the "Los Angeles Times", February 15, 1960, Philip K. Scheuer, in his article, "Conquest of Mars Told By Bradbury: MGM Will Picturize Novel", told about Metro-Goldwyn Mayer acquiring the rights to film "The Martian Chronicles", but that was basically the only mention of such a project and the feature film was never made.

However, "Armenfilm", founded on April 16, 1923, as a production unit of the "Soviet State Cinema Organization", made a film loosely based upon portions of Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles". I could not verify, if Ray Bradbury authorized the screenplay.

13-й апостол aka: (Trinadtsatyy apostol) aka: The 13th Apostle

The motion picture was released in the Soviet Union on June 3, 1988.

The motion picture was directed and co-written by Suren Babayan. He would write and directed a total of eight features between 1980 and 2010. Suren is an Armenian, born in Yerevan, Soviet Armenia, and was by profession, a film actor, director, and screenplay writer. 

The co-writer was Georgiy Nikolaev, who wrote sixteen screenplays between 1981 and 2011. This was his second screenplay.

I could not locate any stills from this motion picture, but as of this writing, my reader can watch "
13-й апостол" with English subtitles at:

The very basic outline of the screenplay has an investigator looking into events that took place 15-years earlier. A space expedition visited a planet and all but one man, "Captain Amos", portrayed by Juozas Budraitis, mysteriously died there. The report turned in by "Amos" included the placement of a ban upon further exploration of the planet. 

What will come out of the investigation, is that the "uninhabited" planet wasn't uninhabited as thought by those that sent out the expedition. "Captain Amos" reveals that the people of the planet took on the appearances of relatives of the crew members to inspire the idea to put a quarantine on going to the planet. "Captain Amos" had returned to Earth accompanied by a "being (the 13th apostle/Absalom)", portrayed by Vladas Bagdonas 

The Biblical "Absalom (the father of peace)" was the third-son of King David, by his wife, Maacah. See, 2 Samuel, 13-19.

THE ILLUSTRATED MAN first published in 1951

Above, the dust jacket for the first edition.

This collection of Ray Bradbury's short stories was nominated for the 1952, "International Fantasy Award". Which was awarded by an international group of fantasy and science fiction writers, who gave this award out only four times, between 1951 and 1955, and once again in 1957.

Ray Bradbury's, "The Illustrated Man", lost to "Fancies and Goodnights", by British author, John Henry Noyes Collier. For those interested in science fiction and fantasy stories, Collier's book is still in publication as of this writing.

The following is a list of the 18-short stories found in the collection, but note, that I do not mention the "Illustrated Man".

The Veldt

The story first appeared under the title of "The World the Children Made", in the September 23, 1950, issue of "The Saturday Evening Post". See my section on the story later in this article.


The Other Foot

The Highway

The Man 

The Long Rain

The original story first appeared under the title, "Death-by-Rain", in the September 23, 1950, issue of "Planet Stories". It was also part of the 1953 collection, "The Golden Apples of the Sun". In 1962, the story was republished for young readers in the Ray Bradbury collection, "R Is for Rocket". It was also published in the 1980 collection, "The Stories of Ray Bradbury".

The Rocket Man

The Fire Balloons

 See the above on the novel "The Martian Chronicles".

The Last Night of the World

The Exiles

The original story first appeared under the title, "The Mad Wizards of Mars", in the September 15, 1949, issue of "Maclean's". Apparently, a revised version of the story appeared in 1950, in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction".

No Particular Night or Morning

The Fox and the Forest

The Visitor

The Concrete Mixer

Marionettes, Inc. 

The original story first appeared in "Startling Stories", in March, 1949.

The City

Zero Hour 

The Rocket

The original story was first published under the title of "Outcast of the Stars".

The 1952, Hart-Davis, British edition of the collection removed the stories, "The Rocket Man", "The Fire Balloons", "The Exiles, and "The Concrete Mixer". However, Hart-Davis substituted the stories. "Usher II" from "The Martian Chronicles", and "The Playground". 

While the 1997, "Avon Books", and the 2001, William Morris, releases of the collection, both dropped "The Fire Balloons", and added "The Illustrated Man" as the last story. Which brings me to a little bit of confusion.

As originally written in 1951, the story of "The Illustrated Man" is used as the Prologue, and Epilogue, of the 18-stories listed above, and is not one standalone story. Later, it was revised into one.

Stage Productions:

Written by Daniel Rohr, was a Swiss stage play based upon the Ray Bradbury short story, "Kaleidoscope", and entitled, "To the Dark Side of the Moon". It was performed on February 6, 2010, 
at the "Theater Rigblick", in Zurich-Oberstrass, Switzerland. with music influenced by Pink Floyd's, 1973 album of the same name.

Opera Productions:

The Rock-Opera, "The Bradbury Tattoos", written by composer Zac Greenberg, was to be performed by a classical ensemble from Ohio's, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, between July 13th and July 22, 2018, but I can find a lot of information about when it was to be performed, or if it was performed.  

Greenberg combined portions of Ray Bradbury's "Kaleidoscope", "Zero Hour", "The Highway", and "The Last Night of the World".

My reader can find basic information about the Rock-Opera on the website, "Broadway World, Opera", at:

Radio Productions:

BBC Radio 4, on June 14, 2014, on their "Dangerous Visions" series, combined "Marionettes, Inc.", "Zero Hour", and "Kaleidoscope", in a radio play under the title of "The Illustrated Man".

Television Productions:

From June 1st through August 31, 2015, ABC, ran "The Whispers", from executive producer Steven Spielberg. The show was cancelled after its unlucky 13th-episode. It was based upon Ray Bradbury's short story, "Zero Hour". 


"The Ray Bradbury Theater", 1985 through 1992.

Episode 1, May 21, 1985, "Marionettes, Inc.", starred Leslie Nielsen.

Episode 29, November 10, 1989, "The Veldt", starred Linda Kelsey.

Episode 44, January 10, 1992, "Zero Hour", starred Katharine Isabelle.

Episode 47, January 31, 1992, "The Concrete Mixer", starred Ben Cross.

Episode 56, September 19, 1992, "The Long Rain", starred Marc Singer.

Motion Picture Productions:

Sometimes things don't go as you wished!

The Illustrated Man released March 26, 1969

Robin Anne Reid in her, 2000, "The Illustrated Man (1951): Ray Bradbury: A Critical Companion", wrote that Ray Bradbury was not consulted for the 1969 adaption of his work.

The motion picture was produced and written by Howard B. Kreitsek. This was the fifth motion picture Kreitsek produced and the second he wrote the screenplay for.

The motion picture was directed by Jack Smight, started as one of many credited directors on the 1949 television series "One Man's Family". However, he didn't direct again until the May 29, 1955 episode, "The Ghost Writer", on televisions "The Philco Television Playhouse". Then continued to direct television episodes on multiple programs into 1965. When he directed his first motion picture, 1965's, "The Third Day", starring George Peppard, Elizabeth Ashley, and Roddy Mc Dowall.

The screenplay used Ray Bradbury's, "The Veldt", "The Long Rain", and "The Last Night of the World". Although the screenplay was written by Howard B. Kreitsek, according to Sam Weller, in his 2005, "The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury", it was director Jack Smight that chose the stories for the screenplay.

Rod Steiger portrayed "Carl" aka: "The Illustrated Man". He was a friend of director Jack Smight. Steiger had just co-starred with John Philip Law in 1968's, "The Sergeant", and would follow this motion picture with 1969's, "Three Into Two Won't Go", co-starring with Claire Bloom and Judy Gleeson.

Claire Bloom portrayed "Felicia". She had just co-starred with Cliff Robertson in 1968's, "Charly", and followed this picture with "Three Into Two Won't Go".

Robert Drivas portrayed "Willie". Drivas had just been seen in an episode, "Boys Night Out", on the 1969 television series, "N.Y.P.D.", and followed this feature film with 1969's, "Where It's At", co-starring David Janssen and Rosemary Forsyth.

The films prologue tells how "Carl" got his tattoos after encountering a mysterious woman named "Felicia" in a remote rural farmhouse. "Carl" insists the tattoos are not tattoos, but skin illustrations. The story is set in the future and he tells his three tales to a traveler named "Willie". The story comes to a climax with "Willie" looking at the only blank spot on "Carl's" body and sees his own murder by the other man. "Willie" attempts to kill "Carl", and flees into the night pursued by the still living "Illustrated Man". However, the audience never knows what happens next as the screenplay just ends,

The movie was a box-office and critical failure. "Time Magazine" had a April 4, 1969 review that said:
Responsibility for the failure of The Illustrated Man must rest with Director Jack Smight. He has committed every possible error of style and taste, including the inexcusable fault of letting Steiger chew up every piece of scenery in sight.


In 2007, director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer, Zachery Edward Snyder, signed to direct a remake of "The Illustrated Man". His 2009, "Watchman", screenplay writer Alex Tse, signed to write the screenplay. As of this writing, no such remake has been made.

When Ray Bradbury wrote the following novel of a dystopian future, he probably had no idea about the year 2023! I will not comment on what is happening in the Southern United States as I write these words, but will let Ray Bradbury speak for himself.

FAHRENHEIT 451 first published on October 19, 1953

Above, the dust jacket of the first edition.

On October 25, 1953, the book reviewer for the "Chicago Sunday Tribune", August Derleth, in his, "Vivid Prophecy of Book Burning", wrote that the novel was:
a savage and shockingly prophetic view of one possible future way of life

A little background about the period of American History I was born into and Ray Bradbury wrote "Fahrenheit 451" in. This was the time of the "Second Red Scare", Americans had a fear of the Soviet Union dropping atomic bombs on American cities and taking over our country. There is an excellent low-budget motion picture, 1952's, "Invasion U.S.A.", that goes directly to that fear.

In Washington, D.C., the "House Committee on Un-American Activities", originally formed in 1938, to investigate alleged American citizen ties to Communism, had laid dormant through the Second World War, but was re-established with overzealousness in 1947 to continue to investigate their original mission, but with the added motion picture industry viewed as a Communist stronghold influencing Americans. My article, "Guy Endore: Black Listing and Communism In the Motion Picture Industry", is about one "Academy Award" winning writer's fall from grace and is at:

Ray Bradbury first started to respond to the "House Committee on Un-American Activities", and in the Senate, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, with two 1951 published short stories.

The Second, based upon the first, appeared in the February 1951 issue of "Galaxy Science Fiction". This was the short story, "The Fireman", about a man named "Mr. Montag".

On August 7, 1951, published in the bi-weekly newspaper magazine, was the first written story, "The Reporter", was Ray Bradbury's, "The Pedestrian", set in the year 2053. However, it was written in March 1950, based upon an incident experienced by the author. 

According to Jonathan R. Eller, in his piece, "The Story of Fahrenheit 451", in the 60th Anniversary Edition of the novel, he tells his reader that:

In late 1949 Los Angeles, during the "Second Red Scare", Ray and a friend where walking down the deserted Wilshire Boulevard, a major Los Angeles Street running from the Pacific Ocean into downtown, in an area that was not normally used by pedestrians at that hour. When a police cruiser pulled over and stopped them. The police officer asked what the two where doing on the deserted main street?

According to Eller, Ray Bradbury answered sarcastically:
Well, we're putting one foot in front of the other.

The police officer did not appreciate Bradbury's joke and became very suspicious of the two men. As a result of the incident, again according to Jonathan Eller, Ray Bradbury wrote "The Pedestrian", about a man named "Leonard Mead", who lived in a house with the same address as the one the author had grew up in. 

The novel is broken into three sections and there is no way to avoid the politics seen in the Southern United States and especially Florida at the time of my writing about this prophetic novel. However, I will not address the situation specifically, as this article is about Ray Bradbury's writings and the interpretations by others in different mediums of his words.


"The Health of the Salamander"

Introduces the reader to the improved character of "Fireman, Guy Montag", over his first appearance in the short story, "The Fireman". A fireman does not put out fires, he causes them, by burning books banned by the government. 

"The Fireman" is returning from his life's work one evening, and "Guy" meets his teenage neighbor "Clarisse McClellan". She a free-thinking, spirited, young girl, whose lifestyle has the effect of causing "Montag" to question his work.

This is supplemented by "Guy Montag" entering his home and finding his wife, "Mildred", having overdosed on sleeping pills, he calls for EMT's, they pump out her stomach, and change her blood. They leave, and "Guy" over hears "Clarisse" and her family discussing the illiterate society they live in. "Clarisse" starts meeting "Guy Montage" and as the two walk, she tells him of her simple pleasures and interests that make "Clarisse" an outcast among her peers. Under the government dictates related to having and reading books, she is sent to therapy to correct her anti-government thoughts. One night "Clarisse McClellan" just disappears. 

While ransacking an old women's house and piling up books to be burned. "Guy", having been influenced by "Clarisse's" ideas, steals one book before the others are burned. The old lady refuses to leave her house and dies in the fire lite by the firemen's "Salamander" machine.

Fireman "Guy Montag" goes to his firehouse chief, "Captain Beatty" and asks him a question he had heard expressed before. What happened to the original firemen who fought fires? The answer was that for safety, all buildings were now made of fireproof materials. So, firemen were no longer needed.

"Beatty" tells "Montag" how books lost their value over decades, as people embraced the new medias of film and television, watched sporting events, and with the ever-quickening pace of life, had no time to read a long book and they became obsolete in that form. Adding, that what books that were still being made, started to be abridged for the shorter attention span of people. 

Finally, books had been banned by the government, because reading books was a source of confusion that caused the readers to have depressing thoughts. Thoughts that went against what the government was telling them should be their society of peace of mind. Besides, books lied about history and told troubling stories creating free-thought.

At some point in the past. the government had turned to the unemployed firemen. The government turned the firemen into officers charged with enforcing societies "peace of mind". Instead of fighting fires, firemen were ordered to start them, by burning books for everyone's good.

Later, "Mildred Montag" reveals that "Clarisse's" parents moved away after she was hit and killed by a speeding car. 

For over a year "Montag" has been saving books and at the end of this section reveals this to "Mildred", and tells her they will read them to see if they have any value.

"The Sieve and the Sand"

"Mildred" flatly refuses her husband's idea to read books. Having been conditioned by the government about the evil in books, "Mildred" questions "Guy", as to why she or anyone else should even care about books?

"Clarisse's" ideas have had their effect on "Guy", and they come out against "Mildred's" refusal to read even one book. He loudly speaks to her suicide attempts, the disappearance and death of "Clarisse", and the woman who let herself be burnt to death with her books, 

"Montag" will visit a "Mr. Faber", an English professor before books were banned, to help him understand books. He visits "Faber" with the book he stole from the woman's home, the bible. The frightened "Faber" starts to help "Montag" and gives him an earpiece communicator so they can be in constant touch.

At home, "Mildred" and two of her friends are watching "the parlor walls", a futuristic form of television, and become confused when "Guy" brings out a book of poetry and starts to read it aloud. "Mildred" tries to explain away his action by telling her friends it's a tradition firemen do once a year, read a book to show how silly the past was. The poetry causes one of "Mildred's" friends, "Mrs. Phelps" to cry and they leave.

"Montag" hides his books in the backyard before he leaves for the firehouse. An alarm rings at the firehouse and "Beatty" picks up the address and they drive there, it's "Guy Montag's" home.

"Burning Bright"

"Beatty" orders "Guy Montag" to burn his home down with a flamethrower and not the more powerful "Salamander". He adds that it was his wife and her two friends that reported him. "Guy" watches "Mildred" walk out of the house and past him as if in trance only thinking about losing her "parlor walls". "Montag" now starts to burn down his house, but "Beatty" discovers the earpiece and plans to hunt down "Faber". "Guy" turns the flamethrower on his superior and burns "Beatty" to death.

"Montag" almost suffers the same fate as "Clarisse", when he is almost killed by a speeding car. "Faber" urges him to go to the countryside and contact the other exiled book-lovers. He escapes a man-hunt and makes it to the book-lovers. They unlock his photographic mind and he starts to learn and become "The Book of Ecclesiastes". 

In horror the group witness bombers flying overhead and dropping nuclear weapons and annihilating the city that "Guy Montag" used to live in. The war began that morning, and ended that night.

When the war was over, the exiled book-lovers returned to rebuild the city and the old society.

Ray Bradbury made some changes to his novel over the years. In 1979, he added a coda, that contained:

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women's Lib/Republican, Mattachine/Four Square Gosepel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. [...] Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever. [...] Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some seventy-five separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel, which, after all, deals with censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Jusy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.

Then, in 1982, it was an afterword, in 1993, he added a foreword, and at different times, different editions saw introductions by the author.

Starting in January 1967, "Ballantine Books", started censoring portions of the book. This began with an edition aimed at High School student reading programs, it was known as the "Bal-Hi Edition". Among the words censored by the publisher were "Hell", "Damn", and "Abortion". This also included the modification and changes to 75-passages and two-incidents. By 1973, the publisher was printing only the censored edition. It was in 1979, the Ray Bradbury found out about the censorship to his work.

According to Bill Green, in his February 2007, "The mutilation and rebirth of a classic: Fahrenheit 451", in "Compass: New Directions at Falvey", Villanova University, Pennsylvania.

In 1979, one of Bradbury's friends showed him an expurgated copy. Bradbury demanded that Ballantine Books withdraw that version and replace it with the original, and in 1980 the original version once again became available. In this reinstated work, in the Author's Afterword, Bradbury relates to the reader that it is not uncommon for a publisher to expurgate an author's work, but he asserts that he himself will not tolerate the practice of manuscript "mutilation".
There would be other censorship issues over the novel, examples occurred in Panama City, Florida, Irvine, California, and South Africa.

Stage Productions:

During the 1970's, Ray Bradbury turned his novel into a play. Part of the play originally was staged at "Colony Theatre", Los Angeles, in 1979. The World Premiere of the complete play was in November 1988, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the "Indiana Civic Theatre". Portions of this play seemed influenced by the 1966 motion picture, rather than Bradbury's actual written work.

It wouldn't be until 2003, in Nottingham, East Midlands, England, before the play was once again performed, 

It was another three-years before in 2006, "Godlight Theatre Company", produced the play and performed it in New York City, at the "59E59 Theaters". After its run in New York City, the play transferred across the pond for the 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland, stage festival.

In April 2012, the "Birmingham Repertory Theatre" performed a play entitled, "Time Has Fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine", at the "Birmingham England Central Library". The play was inspired by "Fahrenheit 451", or more to the 1863, book, "Dreamthrop", by Alexander Smith. Which Ray Bradbury had sourced his title, "The Health of the Salamander" from.

Radio Productions:

On December 4, 1956, Ray Bradbury was interviewed on NBC Radio. His interview referred directly to both Senator Joseph McCarthy and "The House Committee on Un-American Activities":

I wrote this book at a time when I was worried about the way things were going in this country four years ago. Too many people were afraid of their shadows; there was a threat of book burning. Many of the books were being taken off the shelves at that time. And of course, things have changed a lot in four years. Things are going back in a very healthy direction. But at the time I wanted to do some sort of story where I could comment on what would happen to a country if we let ourselves go too far in this direction, where then all thinking stops, and the dragon swallows his tail, and we sort of vanish into a limbo and we destroy ourselves by this sort of action.

Adding his reasoning for writing "Fahrenheit 451", Bradbury stated:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451, I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction

 In 1982, television writer and radio dramatist, Gregory Evans, wrote the BBC Radio 4 production of "Fahrenheit 451. It would be broadcast eight more times, twice in each of 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2015.

In 2003, BBC Radio 4, ran a different version of "Fahrenheit 451", written by David Calcutt, but returned, as I just mentioned, to the Gregory Evans version in 2010.

Television Productions:

On October 3, 1957, the CBS anthology series, "Playhouse 90", performed "A Sound of Different Drummers", written by Robert Allan Arthur, and directed by John Frankenheimer. Sterling Hayden portrayed "Gordon Miller, the young security police officer", and Diana Lynn portrayed "Susan Ward, an idealistic librarian". 


John Ireland portrayed "Ben Hammond, a satisfied conformist", and David Opatoshu portrayed "Ellis, the chief trial judge and secret reader". The program was hosted by Tony Randall.

Writer Robert Allan Arthur, unauthorized, combined plot ideas from both Ray Bradbury's, "Fahrenheit 451", and British author, George Orwell's, "1984". Ray Bradbury sued and won on appeal.

Motion Pictures:

There are two film versions of the novel, I start with the classic version that the author used ideas from for his play.

"Fahrenheit 451" premiered at the Venice, Italy, Film Festival on September 7, 1966

The motion picture was a co-production of France and the United Kingdom. After the premier in Venice, Italy, the feature film next opened in France on September 15, 1966, followed by the United Kingdom on September 16, 1966, and had a United States exclusive engagement in New York City starting on November 2, 1966, and finally went to general release in the United States on November 16, 1966.

This was the first English language motion picture by French director Francois Truffaut. He followed this film with the 1968, French revenge feature film, "La Mariee etiait en noir ("The Bride was in black)" aka: "The Bride Wore Black", starring the excellent French actress Jeanne Moreau.

The screenplay was co-written in French, by Francois Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard, also the co-writer on "La Mariee etiait en noir". However, because Truffaut did not speak English, his directions during filming, were translated by Helen Scott. The movie was shot at England's, "Pinewood Studios" in Iver Heath.

At the time, Helen Scott worked in the French Film Office in New York City, and had been the translator for a series of interviews about motion pictures between Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock. Along with translating the French language screenplay for the English-speaking actors. Scott also wrote additional English language dialogue for "Fahrenheit 451".

Julie Christie
was initially cast as "Linda Montog", the novels "Mildred Montag". The year before, the daughter of a British/India planter and a Welsh mother, had portrayed "Lara", in director David Lean's epic film version of Russian author Boris Pasternak's, "Dr. Zhivago". She would follow this feature film with director John Schlesinger's, 1967, version of English novelist Thomas Hardy's, "Far from the Madding Crowd".

Francis Truffaut had interviewed both Jean Seberg and Jane Fonda, for the role of "Clarisse", who was not a teenager in the screenplay. However, he made an interesting decision and cast Julie Christie in the dual roles, making the relationships of the two women to "Guy Montag", more psychologically interesting.

Above, Julie Christie as "Linda Montag", and below as "Clarisse". 

Oskar Werner, born in Vienna, Austria, portrayed "Guy Montag". He had just been part of the all-star cast in director Stanley Kramer's, 1965, version of authoress Katharine Anne Porter's, "Ship of Fools". 

Cyril Cusack portrayed "Captain Beatty". The South African born actor had just co-starred with Sarah Mills, in 1966, "I Was Happy Here (Time Lost and Time Remembered)", he followed this feature with a role in the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, 1967, version of British playwright, William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew".

The opening credits are all spoken not shown as printed title cards.

In a futuristic town, "Guy Montag" is a "Fireman". Whose job is to burn books in giant bonfires to enforce the government degree that books are banned, because of the evil effects of literature on the citizens. That cause them to stray away from the government-controlled societies good for them. "Guy" has known no other idea from the day he was born.

He lives with his wife, "Linda", whose life is empty, devoid of self-thought, and revolves around drugs and government controlled-television. In short, "Linda Montag" is the perfect citizen and emotionless wife of "Fireman Guy Montag".

"Guy" meets his neighbor, a young schoolteacher named "Clarisse", who is the exact psychological and emotional opposite of his wife. They have a discussion about his job and she is asks if "Guy" has ever read a book? Additionally, for the first time in his life, he learns, from her, what a "Fireman" was before the society he lives in was created. 

At the house of an illegal book collector, "Captain Beatty" talks at length about how books make people unhappy and makes them think they're better than others, which is considered anti-social.

Because of his continuing discussions with "Clarisse", "Fireman Guy Montag" hides a copy of Charles Dickens's "David Copperfield", before they burn the hundreds of pieces of great literature the book collector had.

That night in his home, "Fireman Guy Montag" discovers the words of Charles Dickens. He sits by a wall-sized, tubeless television set. At one point in the screenplay, as in the novel, "Montag" is listening to information through earbuds. Remember we are speaking about a 1966 motion picture, based upon a 1953 novel. 

In 1929, the second "Anthony 'Buck' Rodgers" novel by Philip Francis Nowlan. "Airlords of Han", was published. He also had wall-sized television sets, but you could also see and speak to another person on them. Nowlan had people using automatic paychecks sent to your bank, and the same people buying items on line with a table-top machine, payment automatically deducted from their bank accounts, and delivered by a carrier to their homes.

The following day at the house of an old woman "Montag" had seen with "Clarisse", he is shocked when she refuses to leave her house and dies in the flames of the books the firemen burn her house down with. 

While, his wife "Linda" feels it is more important to her own life, to be part of "The Family". An interactive television program that refers to her and other viewers as "Cousins". "Guy's" meetings with the freethinking "Clarisse" continues as he is being drawn into the world of books as his wife remains the perfect citizen of the government's society.

"Guy" comes home to find his wife and her three friends watching "The Family", completely obvious to his arrival. He goes and get a book and returns to the living room.

He tells the four about the woman who "Martyred" herself for in the name of books and what knowledge and adventure they contain. Next, he calls the four, "Zombies", telling the four they are just "Killing Time" for the government-controlled society, instead of "Living Life"! The three friends start to leave, he forces them to stay, reads from the novel causing one of the friends to become emotional from the words and start to cry. The friends leave in disgust over "Guy's" cruelty forcing them to hear the novel.

That night, "Guy Montag" dreams of "Clarisse" and the women who died surrounded by her books. The same night, "Clarisse's" house is raided by firemen, but she escapes through a trapdoor in the roof provided by her uncle. "Montag" breaks into "Captain Beatty's" office looking for information about "Clarisse", is captured, but not punished.

"Guy" meets with "Clarisse" and helps her break back into her house to search for incriminating papers about a group she calls "The Book People". They are a hidden group of people who have each memorized one book to keep it from disappearing. 

Next, "Montag" goes to "Captain Beatty" and tells him he is resigning as a fireman. However, "Beatty" asks him to go on one last raid, "Guy Montag" agrees, and finds himself at his own home. 

"Linda" walks out, telling "Guy" she couldn't live with his book obsession, and leaves him to be punished by the other firemen. "Montag" in a rage destroys his bedroom. his television, and sets fire to his books.

"Beatty" lectures "Guy" about books and pulls one last one from "Montag's" coat, causing "Fireman Guy Montag" to turn a flamethrower on "Captain Beatty", burning him alive.

"Montag" escapes, finds "The Book People" and with them, views his fake capture on television, having been staged by the government for the masses entertainment to make them believe he is dead and reading books remains a crime even for a fireman.

One time fireman "Guy Montag" now becomes, Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Mystery and Imagination".

What did Ray Bradbury think about this motion picture version of his novel?

According to the website "Wikipedia", without a citation to verify the complete accuracy.

Author Ray Bradbury said in later interviews that, despite its flaws, he was pleased with the film. He was particularly fond of the film's climax, where the Book People walk through a snowy countryside, reciting the poetry and prose they've memorized, set to Bernard Herrmann's melodious score. He found it especially poignant and moving.

However, in an April 22, 2009, interview in "LA Weekly", with Jill Stewart, Ray Bradbury is directly quoted about the motion picture as saying:

The mistake they made with the first one was to cast Julie Christie as both the revolutionary and the bored wife.

On May 12, 2018, at the Cannes France Film Festival, a new film version of "Fahrenheit 451", made for "HBO Television", premiered. Seven-days-later, on May 19, 2018, the "HBO" premiere took place.

The production did not go over well with the critics, fans of the author's work, and the general viewing public. In director, and  co-screenplay writer Ramin Bahrani's version of the Ray Bradbury novel, the setting is now Cleveland, Ohio, sometime after the "Second American Civil War". In this future world, most reading is confined to the internet, now called "The Nine". 

Kevin O'Keef's review in "Variety", May 12, 2018, explains:

All modern communication takes place on “the Nine,” where people can watch book burnings live and read emoji-fied versions of the Bible and “Moby Dick".

The "Firemen", work for "The Ministry", a totalitarian dictatorship that blames unhappiness, mental illness, and conflicting opinions, upon reading the wrong literature.

Above, Michael Shannon portrays "Captain Beatty", and Michael B. Jordan portrays "Guy Montag". Below, Sofia Boutella portraying "Clarisse". There is no "Mildred", or similar character in this version. Nor are any of the characters drawn like in the novel.

"Clarisse's" purpose seems only to be a means to educate the unmarried fireman, "Guy Montag" about the real past history of the United States and the rise of "The Ministry". However, Todd McCarthy, for "The Hollywood Reporter", May 12, 2018, notes that:

All we hear in “Fahrenheit 451” is references to a Second Civil War that left 8 million dead. Details of how the ministry rose from the ashes are scarce.

In this version, instead of being "The Book People", the book reading outcasts are called "Eels". Which "The Ministry" and "The Firemen" justify the term by looking upon this group, as sneaky, slimy, and disgraceful causers of chaos, hence, they're "EELS"! 

"The Eels", that "Guy Montag" will help, are taking books and encoding them into one starling's, the bird, DNA. Then the bird will fly to scientists in Canada and they will transfer the DNA to other animals, saving the books for history and create a means of retrieving them. "Montag's" part in the plan is to steal a transponder from the fire department so it can be attached to the starling and the Canadian scientists can locate it.

In the end, the starling makes it to Canada and a flock of other starlings, but "Guy Montag" is burned to death by "Beatty".

Two questions I have that are not answered in the screenplay. First, if Canada is considered a safe place for the starling to go, does that mean Canada is not under "The Ministry", and not a totalitarian country? Second, what books are being saved that the scientists in Canada wouldn't have access too?

Matt Fowler wrote for the "IGN" website, on May 18, 2018, that this production of Ray Bradbury's novel:

features strong performances and a dancing, flickering visual flare, but all that's not enough to cover up the clunkiness of the script and the strain of reconfiguring this always relevant-yet still very 1950s-story to fit within our 2018 specifics

 DANDELION WINE first published in 1957


Above, the dust jacket for the first edition.

This started out as a short story in the June 1953, issue of "Gourmet Magazine". The first magazine devoted to food and wine, first published in January 1941.

This is the first of what become known as the "Green Town Trilogy". I will be speaking to the final entry in the trilogy, after I speak to the first.

The novel might be best described as a series of vignettes in the form of chapters of life in "Green Town, Illinois, as viewed by the protagonist, 12-years-old "Douglas Spalding (aka: Ray Bradbury)". 

In his 1974 introduction to the novel entitled: "Just This Side of Byzantium An Introduction", Ray Bradbury writes:

First I rummaged my mind for words that could describe my personal nightmares, fears of night and time from my childhood, and shaped stories from these.

Then I took a long look at the green apple trees and the old house I was born in and the house next door where lived my grandparents, and all the lawns of the summers I grew up in, and I began to try words for all that.

What you have here in this book then is a gathering of dandelions from all those years. The wine metaphor which appears again and again in these pages is wonderfully apt. I was gathering images all of my life, storing them away, and forgetting them. Somehow I had to send myself back, with words as catalysts, to open the memories out and see what they had to offer. 

So from the age of twenty-four to thirty-six hardly a day passed when I didn't stroll myself across a recollection of my grandparents' northern Illinois grass, hoping to come across some old half-burnt firecracker, a rusted toy, or a fragment of letter written to myself in some young year hoping to contact the older person I became to remind him of his past, his life, his people, his joys, and his drenching sorrows.

The novel is set during the 1928's in a fictional town based upon his own childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois. However, in that year Ray Douglas Bradbury would have been 8-years old, not the 12, of his character of "Douglas Spalding".

The following is a fictional chapter listing for the novel "Dandelion Wine". There are no actual chapter titles in the novel, but it is a fix-up novel using old and new material. I have added my comments to the original list found at:

Chapter One:

Written for the novel.

Chapter Two: "Illumination" 

The original story first appeared in "The Reporter", on May 16, 1957.

Chapter Three: "Dandelion Wine

This is the original 1953 short story.

Chapter Four: "Summer in the Air".

The above is the original 1956 title, but the short story appeared in a 1957 issue of "The Saturday Evening Post", in 1957, under the title of "The Sound of Summer Running".

Chapter Six:

Written for the novel.

Chapter Seven: 
"The Season of Sitting"

I could only determine that the short story was written in 1951.

Chapters Eight: Nine, Eleven, and Thirteen:

These four chapters are based upon "The Happiness Machine", an article in the September 14, 1957 issue of "The Saturday Evening Post".

Chapter Ten: "The Night"

The original story first appeared in "Weird Tales", in July 1946, but major changes to it were done by Ray Bradbury for this novel.

Chapter Twelve: "The Lawns of Summer"

I could only determine that the short story was written in 1952.

Chapter Fourteen:

Written for the novel.

Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen: "Season of Disbelief"

The original story first appeared in "Collier's Magazine", on November 25, 1950.

Chapters Seventeen and Eighteen: "The Last, the Very Last"

I could not locate when this short story was originally published, it is also known as "The Time Machine". No to be confused with Ray Bradbury's, June 28, 1952, short story, "A Sound of Thunder", published in "Collier's Magazine", about time travel.

Chapter Nineteen: "The Green Machine"

I could only determine that the short story was written in 1951.

Chapter Twenty: The Trolley

The original story first appeared in "Good Housekeeping Magazine", in July 1955.

Chapter Twenty-one and Twenty-two: "Statues"

Written for the novel.

Chapters Twenty-three and Twenty-four: "Exorcism"

This story is an original to the novel, but Ray Bradbury's pre-publication title was "Magic".

Chapters Twenty-five and Twenty-six: "The Window"

The short story first appeared in "Collier's Magazine", on August 5, 1950. The story is also known as "Calling Mexico".

Chapter Twenty-seven:

Written for the novel.

Chapters Twenty-eight and Twenty-nine: "The Swan"

The original story first appeared in "Cosmopolitan Magazine", in September 1954.

Chapters Thirty and Thirty-one: "The Whole Town's Sleeping"

This original story first appeared in "McCall's Magazine", in September 1950.

Chapter Thirty-two: "Good-bye Grandma"

The original story first appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post", in 1957. The story is also known as "Leave Taking".

Chapter Thirty-three:

Written for the novel,

Chapter Thirty-four: "Tarot Witch"

Written for the novel.

Chapter Thirty-five:

Written for the novel.

Chapters Thirty-five, Thirty-six, Thirty-seven, and Thirty-eight: "Dinner at Dawn"

I could only determine that the short story was written in 1954.

Chapter Thirty-nine: "The Magical Kitchen"

Apparently, see above link, there is disagreement over the possibility that this chapter is actually part of "Dinner at Dawn", and not a standalone story.

Chapter Forty: "Green Wine for Dreaming"

This was written for the novel without a title. The title was created for the 1965 collection, "Vintage Bradbury". 

Stage Productions:

In New York City, "The New Phoenix Repertory Company", performed the first stage production of "Dandelion Wine", on February 8, 1975. The production was under the artistic direction of Stephen Porter and Harold Prince.

In 1988, Ray Bradbury co-wrote with pop, country, and rock composer Jimmy Webb, a musical version of the novel. 

Another stage production was in 1992, in Manistee, Michigan, and on opening night at the "Ramsdell Theater", apparently the cast was surprised by a front row audience member, Ray Bradbury.

On October 21, 2017, the Williamsburg, Virginia, players, below, performed Ray Bradbury's, "Dandelion Wine".

Ray Bradbury's play continues to be performed as of this writing.

Radio Productions:

In 2006, "The Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air", performed the radio play, "Dandelion Wine", written for them by Ray Bradbury. 



Above, the cover for the audio recording of the play, and below the cast performing the play.

In 2011, as a BBC Radio 4 Extra, the station broadcast a production of the Ray Bradbury radio play and that continued for the next three years. I could not locate any information if the yearly broadcasts are continuing.

Motion Picture Productions:

Go on line and you will find many videos on how to make "Dandelion Wine". 

Go to the website, "Dead Line Insider", at:

You will find Mike Fleming, Jr's, article about a proposed motion picture version of Ray Bradbury's, "Dandelion Wine", dated on August 19, 2011, that the 91-years-old author was excited about. Sadly, as of this writing, that proposed film for 2012, or 2013 release was never made.

However, back in 1997, a three-hour-and-twenty-eight-minute motion picture version of Ray Bradbury's story was released. Like myself, my reader probably never saw it, because it was filmed inside one of the Soviet Union block of countries, at the time, the Ukraine, as a made-for-television-movie. 

The Russian title was "Вино из одуванчиков (Vino iz oduvanchikov)", English translation, "Dandelion Wine".

18-years-old, Andrei Novikov, portrayed "Douglas Spaulding".

Sergei Kuznetsov portrayed "Tom Spaulding".

Vladimir Zeldin portrayed "Grandfather".

Lera Kolegaeva portrayed "Douglas's mother".

The Green Town Trilogy, the First (?) Sequel:

Normally a trilogy comes in chronological order, but that is not the case for the "Green Town Trilogy". 

FAREWELL SUMMER first published on October 17, 2006


The tag line on the cover reads:


That may be true in actuality, but not to what became the trilogy. The novel would be moved to third-position and another, published much earlier to second position. It should also be noted that, like "Dandelion Wine", this is an autobiographical novel. The books first chapter, also entitled "Farewell Summer", was originally published in 1980, as one of the one-hundred short stories by Ray Bradbury in "The Stories of Ray Bradbury".

The novels setting is the Indian Summer of October 1929, which clearly follows the 1928's of "Dandelion Wine".

What the website, "Goodreads" calls "Green Town #2", 

Is described by them as:

In a summer that refuses to end, in the deceiving warmth of earliest October, civil war has come to Green Town, Illinois. It is the age-old conflict: the young against the elderly, for control of the clock that ticks their lives ever forward. The first cap-pistol shot heard 'round the town is dead accurate, felling an old man in his tracks, compelling town elder and school board despot Mr. Calvin C. Quartermain to marshal his graying forces and declare total war on the assassin, thirteen-year-old Douglas Spaudling, and his downy-checked cohorts. Doug and his cronies, however, are most worthy adversaries who should not be underestimated, as they plan and execute daring campaigns-matching old Quartermain's experience and cunning with their youthful enthusiasm and devil-may-care determination to hold on forever to childhood's summer. Yet time must ultimately be the victor, with valuable revelations for those on both sides of the conflicts. And life waits in ambush to assail Doug Spaulding with its powerful mysteries-the irresistible ascent of manhood, the sweet surrender to a first kiss-


According to David Soyka, in his December 12, 2006, review of the novel for the website, "Strange Horizons":

Ray Bradbury had actually planned one giant story arc, tentatively called, "Summer Morning, Summer Night", that he was forced to split into 1957's, "Dandelion Wine", and this novel. 

David Soyka quotes Ray Bradbury:

When I delivered it to my publishers they said, 'My God, this is much too long. Why don't we publish the first 90,000 words as a novel and keep the second part for some future year when it is ready to be published ---
Soyka continues in his own and Bradbury's words:
While this was during a time when the publishing business had yet to discover the "fat fantasy novel" in which such a word count would hardly be overly off-putting, Bradbury also acknowledges that the Summer Night part of the book that has now finally appeared in print was written "when I was very young and had no knowledge of novels and no hope of creating a novel that was sensible. I had to wait for years for material to accumulate"

Which brings me to the earlier novel that became the second part of the trilogy.

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES first published on September 17, 1962

Above, the dust jacket for the first edition.

The year is not stated, the characters are different than either "Dandelion Wine", or "Farewell Summer", but the town is still "Green Town, Illinois".

Unlike the other novels and short stories I have mentioned above, this is a truly dark novel, but it was also inspired by an event the life of the young Ray Bradbury. For that I turn to the website for the "Smithsonian Magazine", and an article by History Correspondent Erik Ofgang, dated March 9, 2023:

Bradbury was 12 years old when his uncle, Lester Moberg, was murdered during a robbery gone wrong in October 1932. As the young Bradbury grappled with his own mortality, he was drawn to a Chicago-area performance by Mr. Electrico, who was traveling the country with a visiting circus.


According to a 1980 essay by Bradbury, the magician sat with a sword in hand on an electric chair. Zapped with somewhere between 50,000 and 10 billion volts of electricity (the number changes depending on the retelling), his hair stood on end, and sparks leapt between his teeth. Then, Bradbury wrote, he stood and “brushed an Excalibur sword over the heads of the children, knighting them with fire. When he came to me, he tapped me on both shoulders and then the tip of my nose. The lightning jumped into me. Mr. Electrico cried, ‘Live forever!’”

From that 1980 essay: 

I move forward to 1955, when Ray Bradbury suggested to his friend, Eugene Curran Kelly, better known as singer, dancer, and actor Gene Kelly, the idea of turning his May 1948, "Weird Tales" story, "The Black Ferris", into an 80-page motion picture treatment. Kelly attempted to get backing for the production, but couldn't find an interested studio.

That 1948 short story, about two young boys investigating the owner of a sinister carnival, contains this relevant section:
Mr. Cooger, a man of some thirty-five years, dressed in sharp bright clothes, a lapel carnation, hair greased with oil, drifted under the tree, a brown derby hat on his head. He had arrived in town three weeks before, shaking his brown derby hat at people on the street from inside his shiny red Ford, tooting the horn.
Now Mr. Cooger nodded at the little blind hunchback, spoke a word. The hunchback blindly, fumbling, locked Mr. Cooger into a black seat and sent him whirling up into the ominous twilight sky. Machinery hummed.
“See!” whispered Hank. “The Ferris wheel’s going the wrong way. Backwards instead of forwards!”
“So what?” said Peter.
The black Ferris wheel whirled twenty-five times around. Then the blind hunchback put out his pale hands and halted the machinery. The Ferris wheel stopped, gently swaying, at a certain black seat.
A ten-year-old boy stepped out. He walked off across the whispering carnival ground, in the shadows.

The story would appear in Season Four, as Episode Four, August 10, 1990, on "The Ray Bradbury Theater".

"Something Wicked This Way Comes" opens on an overcast October 23rd. The reader meets two young boys, both about to celebrate their 14th-birthday. They are:

William 'Will" Halloway, born one-minute-before-midnight on October 30th.

James 'Jim' Nightshade, born one-minute-after-midnight on October 31st.

Lightning rod salesmen were the norm in the mid-west at the time of the story, but the two boys meet a very strange "Tom Fury". He gives "Jim" a lightning rod along with a warning that one of the boy's homes is in danger from the storm that is coming. Later in the novel, "Tom", who has a desire to see the "Most Beautiful Woman in the World", will find her, but will also be turned into an insane dwarf in "Mr. Dark's" carnival.

G. M. Dark is the owner of the carnival, whose background remains unknown, and is a sinister man with tattoos over his entire body. He is a recreation of Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man", and each of "Dark's" tattoos is a reflection of a person he has tempted into joining his carnival, "Tom Fury" will be added during the novel. When asked if he has ever read the Bible? "Dark's" standard reply is:

I've had every page, line and word read to me, sir!

Charles Halloway, Will's middle-aged father, starts out very unhappy and not close to his son. However, by the end of the novel, that has changed and over the story, it is Charles using positive emotions against Dark, something G. M. Dark cannot comprehend, or understand, defeats him.

After "Tom Fury" leaves the boys, they notice that the towns people also seem to sense something not normal is in the air. Then the boys and "Mr. Halloway", who works at the library, learn that a carnival is coming to town. The two boys are up at 3 AM to watch the train carrying the carnival arrive in Green Town, Illinois. 

The title of the novel comes from William Shakespeare's, "Macbeth", thought to have been first performed in 1606, but first published in 1623. 

In Act 4, Scene 1:

The three witches watch the approach of "Macbeth", who has just won a battle. "Macbeth" is a national hero and the cousin of the king. As he approaches them, the "Second Witch" tells her two sisters that:

"By the pricking of my thumbs,


"Macbeth" is confronted by the three witches, who tell him a few things about his immediate future, and that he will become king. This will lead "Macbeth" into a series of plots and the murder of the current king. Something he had never thought, or dreamed of until the minor predictions by the witches started to come true. 

"Will" and "Jim" the following morning encounter their 50-years-old, 7th grade teacher, "Miss Foley". She is dazed by the mirror maze and the boys watch her leave. "Miss Foley" only wishes to be young again, her wish will be granted, but she is transformed into a little girl. The curse to the wish is that all her adult memories are intact in a little girl's body, but she is also blind. What becomes of her, Ray Bradbury does not tell.

"Jim" insists on coming back that night and "Will" agrees, but the boys bump into "Tom Fury's" bag of lightning rods and wonder what happened to him. They decide they must not go home, but must find out what happens at the carnival after dark. The boys investigate all the rides and finally come to the carousel, which has an out-of-order sign. "Mr. J. C. Cooger", grabs the two boys after they each get on one of the carousels horses, and informs them that the carousel is broken. "Dark" arrives and tells "Cooger" to put the two boys down and finds himself interested in "Jim", who is enthralled with what he sees. The two boys run away from the two men, but hide and wait until nightfall, watching the carousel, 

However, to "Mr. Cooger" it appears safe with the boys gone and he gets on one of the horses of the "Broken" carousel. "Cooger" starts riding it backwards with even the music playing backwards. When the carousel and the music both stop, instead of the "J.C. Cooger" that had grabbed the boys, off steps a 12-years-old, "J. C. Cooger". 

Later in the story, the older "Cooger" is riding the carousel backwards, but "Will" and "Jim" accidently increased its speed forward, and a rapidly aging "Cooger" reaches over 100-years. At the climax of the novel, the freaks of the carnival who are carrying the aged "Mr. Cooger", accidently drop him, and he turns to dust.

"The Dust Witch" is a blind soothsayer who possess a sixth-sense and the ability to perform magic. At the novel's climax, "Charles Halloway", uses the witch's increased sensitivity to her victims emotions to save his son, trapped in the mirror maze. He plays off of that increased sensitivity, and kills "The Dust Witch" with a bullet that he has carved "a smile on it". Like "G. M. Dark", "The Dust Witch's" origin is unknown, but one of the tattoos on "Dark" is of a "Black Blind Nun".

"Will" and his father now try to find "Jim", who is found riding the carousel forward. "Will" jumps on it, they're both on the machine, before "Will" is able to grab "Jim's" leg and pull him off the horse. The aged "Jim" falls into a stupor very close to his death. A child comes begging asking for help, but "Mr. Halloway" recognizes the young boy as "Mr. Dark". He holds the boy tight and kills him with affection, because "Mr. Dark" cannot survive that close to someone who is happy. With "Dark's" death, the carnival starts to fall apart and "Will" turns to the aged "Jim". "Will" and his father save "Jim" by singing and dancing and laughing. Which returns the elder "Jim" to his proper young age.

Stage Productions:

On October 1, 2003, "Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Company", performed a stage play, written by Ray Bradbury, based upon "Something Wicked This Way Comes", at the Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2427 Main Street, Santa Monica, California.

The following link will take my reader to a full review of the production.

Above left to right, Grady Hutt portraying "Will Halloway", Cris Capen portraying "The Lightning Rod Salesman", and J. Skylar Testa portraying "Jim Nightshade".

On October 27, 2009, at the Byre Theatre, in "St. Andrews Fife, Scotland, a stage version adapted by Catherine Wheels opened and would tour the United Kingdom.

Radio Productions:

On October 1, 2007, a radio production adapted by Ray Bradbury from his stage play script was performed by the "Colonial Theatre on the Air", and released as a recording by "Blackstone Audio".

BBC Radio 4's, "Saturday Plays" series, performed a production of "Something Wicked This Way Comes", adapted by Diana Griffiths, on October 20, 2011.

Motion Pictures:

Then there was the British 1972 motion picture, only released in the United Kingdom, made by the "Forest Hill Film Unit", whose only motion picture was "Something Wicked This Way Comes". The director was Colin Finbow, this was his first of 20-films through 1997. 

The only listed writer is Ray Bradbury for the story, but no one is shown for the screenplay. The characters names have been changed, "Mr. Dark" has become "Mr. Black", "Will Holloway" has become "Ben Hopewell", and "Jim Nightshade" has become "Jim Stone". 

There is an August 4, 2018 review on IMDb, by their member "jrd_73", that is the only one I could locate on the motion picture. In it, the reviewer writes:

---- this adaptation of the novel is perhaps slightly more faithful to the book's plot. However, the atmosphere seems far removed from Bradbury. After the admittedly evocative opening that utilizes Bradbury's text in a voice over, the film settles down in the time and era in which it was made. Thus, this variation is set in the Great Britain of the early 1970's. Everyone smokes, the buildings are ugly, and disco music plays at the carnival. This just feels wrong for Bradbury.

In addition to the setting, the film suffers from a lack of coverage. Take for example the scene where the boys (here re-named Ben Hopewell and Jim Stone) encounter their teacher now a young girl. The scene goes by so quickly that what happened might not register with some viewers, and Bradbury's point (that it is not good to try and be young a second time) will be lost on anyone who has not read the book. This was obviously the director's first film and it shows in the way the film lurches from scene to scene.

As for the actors, I had difficulty understanding some of the dialogue between Ben and Jim in the exterior shots. The boys talk fast and the mics pick up the sound of the wind. Adult actor Les Scott has the unenviable task of playing Mr. Black ----

Above, "Ben" and "Jim", and below, "Mr. Black", "Ben" and "Jim".

It should be noted that both IMDb, and the website, True TV Movies,,_Mark_Ashman,_Tony_Collins.html 

similarly describe the 1972, British, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", as:

Strange things start to happen when Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival arrives in Greentown

Even though there is no character named "Mr. Dark", both also mention "Will" and "Jim", when there are no characters by those names. 


When you say the name Walt Disney, must people do not think of connecting Walter Elias Disney with dark fantasy, or horror. The following look at the Walt Disney Company and The Bryna Company's, April 29, 1983, version of Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes", is part of my article, "Walt Disney: Dark Fantasy and a Freudian Science Fiction Movie!", my reader will find at:

In 1962 Bradbury published a Dark Fantasy novel that Walt Disney Productions would turn into a Dark Fantasy Horror motion picture entitled:


The title of the novel and motion picture comes from William Shakespeare. Who wrote in the fourth act of "Macbeth":

By the pricking of my thumbs/ Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The screenplay was written by Ray Bradbury, but Bradbury and the director, Jack Clayton, had a falling out. When Clayton made changes to the screenplay without consulting the author. This would be the first of many problems in the production of the motion picture.

British director Jack Clayton made a name for himself with 1959's "Room at the Top" starring Lawrence Harvey and Simon Signoret and being nominated for the Academy Award for "Best Director". Clayton followed that picture with the outstanding 1961 ghost story "The Innocents' starring Deborah Kerr. Then three years later was the story of a mother falling into depression "The Pumpkin Eater". That feature film starred Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch and James Mason.

The Main Cast:

Jason Robards portrayed "Charles Halloway". Robards had recently been seen as "Admiral James Sandecker" in 1980's "Raise the Titantic" based upon the best selling Clive Cusser novel. The same year he portrayed "Howard Hughes" in "Melvin and Howard" and in 1981 was "President Ulysses S. Grant" in "The Legend of the Lone Ranger".

Jonathan Pryce portrayed "Mr. Dark". The Wales born actor was appearing mostly on British television prior to this motion picture. Afterwards he would star in director Terry Gilliam's 1985 "Brazil". In 1996 Pryce was "Juan Peron" in the musical "Evita" starring Madonna and later the news mogul "Elliot Carver" in the 1997 "James Bond" film "Tomorrow Never Dies"

Diane Ladd portrayed "Mrs. Nightshade". From 1960 through 1969 Diane Ladd was married to Bruce Dern and the two appeared in Roger Corman's 1966 "Wild Angeles" starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra. In 1974 Ladd was in the Jack Nicholson "Chinatown" and the Ellen Burstyn and Kris Kristofferson "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore". Between 1976 and 1985 she co-starred on the television series "Alice", 

Royal Dano portrayed "Tom Fury". Among character actor Dano's work are two by director John Huston, 1951's "The Red Badge of Courage" and 1956's "Moby Dick" starring Gregory Peck. Dano was in Clint Eastwood's 1976 "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and in 1988 battled the "Killer Clowns from Outer Space". Between 1949 and 1993 Royal Dano appeared in 228 different roles and portrayed "President Abraham Lincoln" multiple times.

Vidal Peterson portrayed "Will Halloway". He has only 12 on-screen roles to his credit and this is the only feature film. 

Shawn Carson portrayed "Jim Nightshade". This was the last of Carson's three feature films.

The story is set in the peaceful and sleepy turn of the 20th Century farm community of Green Town, Illinois, It revolves around two curious boys, the somewhat reserved and cautious "Will Halloway" and his very rebellious friend "Jim Nightshade". Both boys are on the verge of their 14th birthdays.

The boys first hear of a traveling carnival from a strange "Lightening Rod" salesman named "Tom Fury" and their curiosity is stirred, but the cautious "Will" makes the observation that most traveling carnivals have ended their tours by Labor Day and this is the start of Autumn. 

The boys, as they often do to the worry of their parents, are out after midnight when they see "Mr. Dark" come to the outskirts of Green Town and in a matter of seconds set up his carnival.

The boys are both mystified with what they have just seen, but also it seems very ominous to "Will". "Mr. Dark" presents the boys with free passes.

With the arrival of "Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival", "Something Wicked" has come to Green Town and is about to change people's lives to the bad. 


Above seated is Royal Dano, standing are Jonathan Pryce and Pam Grier as the "Dust Witch". Below, are other images of Pam Greer throughout the movie.                     

"Mr. Dark" plans to use his freaks and oddities to take over the rural town. His aim is to collect more innocent souls and part of his plan involves his strange carousel. The boys have seen their school teacher "Miss Foley", played by Mary Grace Canfield, enter the house of mirrors at the carnival. Later, the boys met a strange blind girl ,who is crying, and realize that she is "Miss Foley", somehow changed. The two go boys now go to "Will's" father, the town librarian, and most knowledgeable person in town, and tell him what they've seen.

The three start to research "Mr. Dark" and "Will's" father realizes that "Something Wicked This Way HAS Come". What he does not realize is that "Dark" is watching the three and planning his own counter measure.

"Mr. Dark" is also known as "The Illustrated Man", a reworking of that earlier character by Ray Bradbury, because he has tattoo's all over his body of the souls he has taken. He meets "Charles Halloway" on the street and shows him a future tattoo.

It is of "Will" and "Mr. Dark" plans to use the possibility of taking the boy's soul to keep his father at bay.

Meanwhile, "Will" and "Jim" discover that the carousel is the means of making the towns people younger, as its music lures a victim for a ride. When the carousel runs backwards, as does the music, the age of the person becomes younger and their soul is taken by "Dark".

In the end "Mr. Dark" is tricked onto the carousel and the boys reverse the direction causing "Dark" to rapidly age and die.

Besides the unauthorized changes to the original Ray Bradbury's screenplay. When the Disney Executives saw Jack Clayton's cut of the film in a preview. They "sidelined" him over what he had made, fired the original film editor and replaced him with one of their own. Recut the motion picture, removed the score at a cost of another $5 million dollars. 

In the end the estimated budget for the motion picture was $19 million dollars, with a worldwide box office of only $8.4 million dollars. 

One has to wonder what author Ray Bradbury's original screenplay was before Jack Clayton tampered with it? For that matter, what was Clayton's director's cut of the feature like, before the Walt Disney Company tampered with that?

THE VELDT first published in "The Saturday Evening Post", September 23, 1950

The "Hadley Family" lives in an automated track house known as "the Happylife Home". The "Happylife Home" is designed to aid a family with their everyday tasks, including tying their laced shoes, bathing them, house cleaning, and making their meals. 

The two children are "Peter" and "Wendy", and yes, Ray Bradbury, is taking the names of British author J. M. Barrie's most famous characters and are living, as "Wendy Darling" did, in a nursery. However, it is also automated and can change the location, city, country, or environment in either through virtual reality. 

The "Happylife Home" owned by "George" and "Lydia Hadley" has created for the couple an "Unhappylife Home". "Lydia" tells "George":

I feel like I don't belong here. The house is wife and mother now, and nursemaid. Can I compete with an African veldt? Can I give a bath and scrub the children as efficiently or quickly as the automatic scrub bath can? I cannot.

Apparently, the virtual reality of the nursey is stuck on an African Veldt landscape with a lion in the distance eating an undefinable animal carcass. However, "Lydia" and "George" are perplexed that there also appears to be recreations of their clothing and other personal belongs in the virtual scene of the African Veldt, along with strangely familiar sounds and screams. The two wonder why "Peter" and "Wendy" are overly concerned with the natural scene of the lion eating an animal carcass. So, "Lydia" and "George Hadley" call on a psychologist to speak to their children.

After examining the children, the psychologist, "David McClean", suggest that the "Hadley's" turn off the house, move to the country, and learn to be more self-sufficient. "Peter" and "Wendy" are strongly against the move and beg their parents to stay in the "Happylife Home". When "Lydia" and "George" give in to "Peter" and "Wendy", the children lock their parents in the nursery with a pride of virtual lions. It is then that the two realize that the screams they heard, belonged to them.

A little while later, "David McClean" comes to the "Happylife Home" looking for "George" and "Lydia Hadley". He cannot locate the two, but finds "Wendy" and "Peter" enjoying lunch in the nursery. In the distance are the pride of lions and some vultures feeding off of two carcasses.

Stage Productions:

"The Veldt" was turned into a 1972 play by Ray Bradbury, and is found in a volume of his plays, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Other Plays".

Radio Productions:

Ernest Kinoy
adapted the story as a radio play for NBC's "Dimension X", August 9, 1951. The same radio script was used on the radio series, "X Minus One", on August 4, 1955. The two programs can be listened to at:

On March 5, 1959, an adaption of the story by Jack Pulman was heard on the BBC "Light Programme"

In 1984, Michael McDonough of Brigham Young University, adapted the story as part of "Bradbury 13", a series of audio programs in conjunction with National Public Radio.

For BBC Radio 4, in 2007, Mike Walker adapted Ray Bradbury's play for broadcast.

In 2010, Stephen Colbert, before a live audience at "Symphony Space", on Broadway in New York City, read "The Veldt" as part of the series "Selected Shorts", for the Nation Public Radio program.

Between October 5th and 14th, 2012, The University of Alaska Fairbanks, produced a production of Ray Bradbury's, "The Veldt", along with a production of Carol Lashof's, "Medusa's Tales".

Television Productions:

On November 16, 1983, the Swedish company, "Sveriges Television (SVT), produced a one-hour-and-ten-minute, made-for-Swedish-television-movie. The title was "Savannen (The Savannah)", adapted by screenplay writer and the director Tord Paag, from Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt". Swedish actress Bibi Anderson portrayed "Lydia". 

"The Ray Bradbury Theater", Episode 29, November 10, 1989, "The Veldt", starred Linda Kelsey.

Motion Picture Productions:

As mentioned above, part of "The Veldt", was incorporated into the screenplay of 1969's, "The Illustrated Man".

On September 16, 1973, BFA Educational Media, produced a 24-minute short. The following link, as of this writing, takes my reader to it:

I have already mentioned two versions of Ray Bradbury's works made within the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union film makers and populace have a love for science fiction and have made many movies within that genre. My article, 
"Five Influential Soviet Block Science Fiction and Fantasy Motion Pictures", looks at some of these. For those of my reader interested in that article, it is available for reading at:

The next motion picture was billed as the first Soviet Union Horror Movie. As a Russian review of this motion picture mentions, see link below, this was not really the first.

The motion picture was made by Uzbekfilm, the oldest and largest film studio in Uzbekistan. On June 10, 1987, in the Soviet Union, the film studio released their version of Ray Bradbury's:

Вельд (Veld), The Veldt

The main screenplay story line from Uzbekistan screenplay writer, Nazim Tulyahodzhayev is "The Veldt", but he also blends in sections of Ray Bradbury's, "The Dragon", first published August 1955, in "Esquire Magazine", "Marionettes, Inc.", "The Pedestrian", the chapter "The Martian", from "The Martian Chronicles", and the episode from "Dandelion Wine", about the death of "Colonel Freelya".

Nazim Tulyahodzhayev also directed the motion picture.

Yuri Belyaev
portrayed "Maykl".

Nelli Pshyonnaya portrayed "Linda".

Darius Palekas portrayed "Piter".

Sigute Larionovaite portrayed "Vendi".

Valentinas Masalskis portrayed "Devid Makklin".

The following link will take my reader to the Russian language review I mentioned and, should you not be fluent in Russian, you can translate it into English. That review mentions Mosfilm's, 1967, "Вий (Viy)", as the first true Russian Horror movie, based upon the same titled 1835. short story by Nikolai Gogol.

The following link will take my reader to a nine-minute-and-forty-seven-second short film in the Russian Language made from the motion picture.

I now return to where I started, when I told my reader to:

Just let your imagination go and listen for the fog horn to guide you.


Ray Bradbury's
story "The Fog Horn" was actually published in "The Saturday Evening Post" as "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", on June 23, 1951. It was a story about a love-sick sea monster.


Putting in a late night's work at a lighthouse, are "Johnny", the story's narrator, and his boss, "McDunn". The lighthouse is located in a remote area and they are dealing with the cold November weather. The fog horn continues it mournful sound to warn ships of the dangerous rocks. However, it also attracts a sea monster for the third time. What "Johnny" finds interesting is that the sea monster has shown up on the exact date, the two years previous years. To the sea monster, the lighthouse is another of its kind, but it is confused as to why it never interacts with him. "Johnny" and "McDunn", turn off the fog horn and the sea monster, in a rage, destroys the lighthouse, and returns to the ocean. "Johnny" finds another job, as the lighthouse is reconstructed with reinforced concrete. Years later, "Johnny" returns to the lighthouse and finds "McDunn" still there and he asks the other if the sea monster ever returned. The answer is no, but "McDunn" believes the monster will continue to wait in the depths of the ocean until his true love returns.

At the same time as "The Saturday Evening Post", producers Jack Dietz, and Hal E. Chester, were working on a science fiction motion picture idea with stop motion animator Ray Harryhausen. The working title was "Monster from Beneath the Sea". It was Harryhausen who brought the attention of the two producers to the Ray Bradbury story. They acquired the rights to the story and title, and when the short story appeared in Ray Bradbury's collection, 1953's, "The Golden Apples of the Sun", it was now entitled "The Fog Horn".

According to Ray Bradbury, he was walking along a Los Angeles area beach and saw the ruins of a wooden roller-coaster that remained him of the skeleton of a dinosaur. That incident created first the idea that became "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", and second, brought the attention of director John Huston to the writer of the story. Huston approached Bradbury  to write the screenplay for Herman Melville's, "Moby Dick". The motion picture is part of my article, "JOHN HUSTON: 'Moby Dick', 1956, 'The Barbarian and the Geisha', 1958, 'Freud: The Secret Passion', 1962, and 'The List of Adrian Messenger', 1963", at:

Stage Productions:

Ray Bradbury
wrote a play "The Foghorn". The play appeared in his book, "Pillar of Fire and Other Plays". Actually, there were only three plays and the third was a version of "Kaleidoscope".

Television Productions:

Season One, Episode Thirteen,
of the 1997, Japanese anime series "Pokemon", entitled "Mystery of the Lighthouse", is inspired by Ray Bradbury's, "The Foghorn".

The party emerges from the forest onto a beach, where in the distance they see a lighthouse, shining at the top of a cliff. The lighthouse belongs to Bill, a Pokémon researcher who is awaiting the coming of a one-of-a-kind Pokémon, never before seen by humans. Before long, a tremendously large shadow begins to take form in the sea mists, but this possible discovery could be hindered due to the infamous Team Rocket lurking in the background cooking up another one of their schemes. Could such a legendary Pokémon truly exist?


Staying in Japan brought me to "The Atami Kaiju Film Festival", on November 24, 2019. Specially, a short film by Daisuke Sato, "Howl from Beyond the Fog", inspired by Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Fog Horn". 


Motion Pictures:

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS released on June 13, 1953

The motion picture was directed by Eugene Lourie, this was Lourie's first of nine motion pictures he directed. However, among his background are the positions of art director for 58-motion pictures starting in 1932 France, and he was the production designer for 27-motion pictures. For those who might be interested, my article is "Eugene Lourie: The Beast from 20,0000 Fathoms, Behemoth the Sea Monster, and Gorgo", at:

The Writers:

Ray Bradbury is credited with writing the original source story, now entitled, "The Fog Horn".

Lou Morheim
is the first credited screenplay writer. He started writing in 1948, but his career was mainly in television, including eleven-episodes of 1954 - 1955, "Sherlock Holmes", five-episodes of "The Outer Limits", 30-episodes of "Rawhide". Lou Morheim became a major television producer during the 1960's.

Fred Freiberger
is the second credited screenplay writer. He started writing in 1946, but his main career was also on television. Among his written work is the Bert I. Gordon, 1957, "The Beginning of the End", 16-episodes of 1972's, "The New Scooby-Doo Movies", 16-episodes of 1973's the animated, "Superman", and 16-episodes of 1974's, "Korg: 70,000 B.C.".

The three uncredited writers are director Eugene Lourie, Daniel James, and Robert Smith.

The Five Main Roles Plus One:

Paul Christian
portrayed "Professor Paul Nesbitt". It should be noted the actors name was changed by the producers for American audiences, because it sounded to German and they were afraid of a backlash over the Second World War. He was actually Swiss actor Paul Hubschmid, but primarily the multi-language actor was seen in Swiss, Austrian, and German motion pictures.

Paula Raymond portrayed "Lee Hunter". She started acting in 1948, and co-starred in film-noirs opposite the likes of Cary Grant and Dick Powell. After this feature, Raymond became a major guest star in television productions. The character of "Lee Hunter" is one of several strong female characters in 1950's science fiction movie and television. For those of my readers interested, my article is "Before Gloria Steinem: There Was Feminism in 1950's Science Fiction", at:

Cecil Kellaway portrayed "Professor Thurgood Elson". The two-time Oscar nominated actor started his film career in 1918. Among his roles prior to this one was in 1939's, "Gunga Din", "Wuthering Heights", and "Intermezzo". Both 1940's, "The Invisible Man Returns", and "The Mummy's Hand", 1944's, "Frenchman's Creek", 1946's, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", Cecil B. DeMilles, 1947, "Unconquered", 1948's, "Joan of Arc", and 1950's, 'Harvey".

Kenneth Tobey portrayed "Army Colonel Jack Evans". Tobey was a familiar face to early 1950's classic science fiction movies. In 1951, it was "The Thing from Another World", in 1953, it was this motion picture, and in 1955, it was Ray Harryhausen's, "It Came from Beneath the Sea". I look at his career in my article, "My Neighbors Actors Barbara Luddy and Kenneth Tobey", at:

Donald Woods portrayed "Navy Captain Phil Jackson". Technically, Woods first motion picture was in 1928, and his next four-roles were all in 1934. Woods was "Charles Darnay" in the 1935 classic production of British author Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities", starring Ronald Coleman. At the time of filming this feature, Donald Woods was starring on the television series "Craig Kennedy, Criminologist".

The plus one actor's role is only minutes long, with hardly any dialogue. However, who the actor became and the fact that he shoots the fatal radioactive bullet into the beast. Seems to have, over the years raised the role to equal with the five names above.

Lee Van Cleef portrayed "Army Corporal Jason Stone". Van Cleef's first role is also classic, he portrayed "Jack Colby", in 1952's, "High Noon", starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. At the time of this motion picture, Lee Van Cleef appeared in three-roles on televisions "Space Patrol". My article about the actor is "LEE VAN CLEEF: A Mixture of 'B' and ' Spaghetti' Westerns with a Side of Science Fiction and Just a Taste of Drama", at:

The Rhedosaurus:

This was stop motion animator Ray Harryhausen's first solo-motion picture. He had worked previously with his mentor, stop motion animator Willis "Obie" O'Brien, on 1949's, "Mighty Joe Young". Which finally got O'Brien, the man who created 1933's "King Kong", the "Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences", "Oscar". Harryhausen followed by making animated commercials.

The non-human star of the picture was Ray Harryhausen's "Rhedosaurus". Below are three of the early drawings made by Harryhausen for what the creature might look like.

Image result for images of movie the beast from 20,000 fathoms

Image result for images of movie the beast from 20,000 fathoms

Image result for images of movie the beast from 20,000 fathoms

Above the sketch, below the movie.

An Overview of the Screenplay:

There is nothing really to do with Ray Bradbury's short story of either name, but one scene in the screenplay.

Far north of the Arctic Circle, a group conducts "Operation Experiment", the test of the latest atom bomb developed by American scientists. Observing for the military is "Colonel Jack Evans", while two scientists oversee the test, "Professor Tom Nesbitt", and "George Ritchie", portrayed by Ross Elliott, a member of Orson Welles's "Mercury Theatre of the Air (and heard in 1938's "War of the Worlds)", 1955's, "Tarantula", 1956's, "The Indestructible Man", and 1958's, "Monster on the Campus".

"Nesbitt" muses to both "Ritchie" and "Coronel Evans":

What the cumulative effects of all these atomic explosions and tests will be, only time will tell?

Compare that line with this one said by Edmund Gwenn, one-year-later at the end of 1954's, "THEM!"

When Man entered the Atomic Age, he opened a door into a new world. What we'll eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict.

The test goes off without a hitch, and "Nesbitt" and "Ritchie" go out to inspect the test area. However, a large storm is coming up and the two men are ordered back, but before they get to the jeep and the two soldiers assigned to them. They hear a roar and see what appears to be a dinosaur, it moves causing an avalanche killing "Ritchie".  

"Professor Nesbitt" is flown back to the United States and a hospital in New York City. He is visited by "Colonel Evans", who tells the professor that no search for a living dinosaur was authorized and he personally believes the stress of seeing "Ritchie's" death caused "Nesbitt" to imagine the dinosaur. Besides his medical doctor, "Dr. Morton", portrayed by Frank Ferguson, 1953's, "House of Wax", is a psychiatrist, "Dr. Ingersoll", portrayed by King Donovan, 1953's, "The Magnetic Monster", and 1956's, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

"Ingersoll" also believes that "Nesbitt" is just suffering from the loss of his friend and the stress of the circumstances would cause on a person. "Nesbitt" is told he should just rest and he should be fine in a couple of weeks.

While, "resting", in his hospital room, "Tom Nesbitt" reads a newspaper report of a French-Canadian fishing ketch's captain and crew, off the Grand Banks, seeing a "Sea Serpent". Against doctor's orders, he goes to the museum to speak with paleontologist "Professor Thurgood Elson". Who doesn't believe his story, listening his the professor's assistant, "Lee Hunter".


Above, the dinosaur skeleton in the background is fake. It was made for the 1938, RKO screwball comedy, "Bringing Up Baby", starring Kathrine Hepburn, and Cary Grant. Apparently, it was still in the prop department 15-years later, when this picture went into production. 

After "Nesbitt" is released from the hospital and returns to his office, "Hunter" shows up with drawings of different species of dinosaurs to see if the professor can identify the one, he saw?

"Nesbitt" identifies the Rhedosaurus!

All the sketches of dinosaurs used in the above sequence were drawn by Charles R. Knight, a wildlife expert and paleontologist known for his detailed drawings dinosaurs. According to the excellent, 2010, "Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life", by Harryhausen and Tony Dalton. Knight had been one of Ray's inspirations. Knight passed away on April 15, 1953, at the age of 78, just two-months prior to the release of this motion picture.

"Professor Nesbitt" calls Canada to speak to the fishing ketch's captain, but he hangs up on him. "Lee" suggests that "Tom" go to Canada, which he does, only to find out that the captain has left for the wild back country, because everyone thinks he's crazy. Back in New York, "Lee" suggests finding the other crew member that saw the sea serpent. He does, brings him back to New York, and the crewman identifies the same sketch that "Tom Nesbitt" did, convincing "Professor Elson". Who calls "Colonel Evans", who in turn calls his old Navy friend, "Captain Jackson", and the improbable hunt for a living dinosaur is on.

Meanwhile, the only scene directly related to Ray Bradbury's "The Fog Horn", takes place as the Rhedosaurus attacks a light house.

"Professor Elson" now purposes that the Rhedosaurus is heading for the only place fossils of the animal have been found, the Hudson River area of New York. 

"Elson", uses a diving bell to locate the animal in the Hudson River area, finds it, but along with the diving bell and its operator, are eaten by the Rhedosaurus.

The Rhedosaurus now comes ashore at the New York docks, rampages through the streets and the army is called out. The dinosaur is cornered and shot, but starts dropping blood containing a virulent prehistoric contagion and the army and civilians start to die from it.

The climax comes at Coney Island and the Rhedosaurus is trapped inside the wood roller-coaster area. "Professor Tom Nesbitt" has a radioactive isotope sent to be shot into the bleeding wound to destroy the contaminated tissue of the Rhedosaurus.

Army "Corporal Jason Stone", a sharpshooter, is called to make the shot, but he tells "Nesbitt" the target is too far away,

The two men in protective clothing now ride the coaster to its highest point so that "Stone" can take the shot.

The shot is taken, it hits its target, but a fire also starts and as the two men get down and way from the burning roller-coaster, as the Rhedosaurus's death cry's begins.

Ray Douglas Bradbury passed away on June 5, 2012, at the young age of 91, but his words live on.

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