Sunday, June 12, 2022

Robert Shayne: Superman's Detective Henderson and "B Minus" Science Fiction and Horror

This is an overview of an actor, best remembered as "Inspector Bill Henderson" on televisions the "Adventures of Superman", starring George Reeves. The article is divided into four sections, with the third specifically related to this article's title.

Typically, the motion picture industry has "A List" and "B List" motion pictures, based upon the actors in the film, the screenplay, and budget. Robert Shayne appeared in both "A" and "B" films.

However, Robert Shayne, sometimes appeared in uncredited roles that were so small you might not know it was the actor. Several of those roles were in classic 1950 Science Fiction and Horror films, that because of an extreme low-budget and other factors, I call the "B Minus List". Not to say these films were not entertaining, or became "Cult Classics" of the period. It was just "Blink" and he was gone!


Robert Shayne was born Robert Shaen Dawe on October 4, 1900, in Yonkers, New York. His pre-acting life is very sparse on line and only mentions that his father, Grosvenor Dawe, was a founding member of the "United States Chamber of Commerce" and possibly a newspaper publisher with connections to President Taft. I could not locate Robert's mother's name, or his brother's. Whom Robert supposedly left "Boston College" in his senior year, so his brother could attend instead. I found no reason for Robert's leaving and it seems to make no sense, that his family couldn't let him finish his senior year.

Depending on the source, Robert Dawe, became a newspaper reporter in Miami, or Washington D.C., possibly both. However, he ended up in Alabama writing advertising copy for a woman's clothing store by day and acting in a local theater group by night. When the clothing store closed, Robert turned to making acting his career. What store this was and why he ended up in Alabama is again unknown in my research.

It is documented that in 1925, Robert married Mary Crouch, again I could not locate any information about her. The two would divorce in 1933 and in that same year, Robert married Mary Sheffield.

However. some sites state, but also mention as unconfirmed, that between his two marriages, in 1929, Robert appeared in an experimental sound short subject starring comedian Bert Lahr, entitled "Faint Heart". It was filmed at the "Kaufman Astoria Studios", 3412 Astoria Street, Astoria, Queens, New York City, and released on December 21, 1929.

As a stage actor, Robert Shayne had worked his way from Alabama to "Broadway" in small supporting roles.

Above, Robert Shayne in 1930.

His first Broadway production was "The Rap", at the "Avon Theatre", from April through May 1931, and 61 performances. The second page of "Playbill" for the show, indicates "BUCHANNAN, Another Policeman......Robert Shayne".

On March 6, 1934, a play about the fight against "Yellow Fever" entitled "Yellow Jack", opened at the "Martin Beck Theatre". The play starred, prior to his first motion picture role, James Stewart. In the cast portraying the roles of "Harkness" and "Major Cartwright", was Robert Shayne.

Four days earlier, had been Robert Shayne's first confirmed motion picture role in "Keep 'Em Rolling", released on March 2, 1934. Walter Huston and Frances Dee star in the story of a World War One soldier fighting to keep the horse he rode into that war. Robert Shayne had sixth billing as "Major James Parker".

Above, Robert Shayne and Frances Dee.

Shayne followed this picture with "Wednesday's Child", released on October 26 1934, with fourth billing, in this Karen Morley and Edward Arnold drama. Twelve short subjects took the actor into 1944.  Also, during this period, starting on March 23, 1938, Robert Shayne had fifth billing as "Benny", at Broadway's "Hudson Theatre", in the play "Whiteoaks", starring Ethel Barrymore.

Opening November 10, 1942, at Broadway's "St. James Theatre", was "Without Love" starring Katharine Hepburn.

As the above "Playbill" shows, Robert Shayne had fourth billing as "Peter Baillie".

During 1942, Robert Shayne became a "Contract Player" for "Warner Brothers" and stability should have come to his family. However, ten-years after divorcing his first wife, the actor now divorced his second, Mary Sheffield in 1943, more on her later, and that same year, married his third wife, Elizabeth (Bette)McDonald.


found Robert Shayne in two "A List" motion pictures.

SHINE ON HARVEST MOON released on April 8, 1944

This is the fictional musical biography of the vaudeville team of "Nora Bayes", portrayed by Ann Sheridan, and "Jack Norworth", portrayed by Dennis Morgan. Robert Shayne had seventh billing as "Dan Costello", a gangster and honky-tonk owner.

MR. SKEFFINGTON New York City premier on May 25, 1944

Bette Davis portrayed "Fanny Tellis Skeffington", and Claude Rains portrayed "Job Skeffington". Robert Shayne, at seventh billing, was "MacMahon", a local gangster.

Above, Bette Davis and Robert Shayne.

Robert Shayne now found himself in five western shorts, called "The Santa Fe Trail Featurettes" from "Warner Brothers". These were followed by an uncredited role described as "Christine's escort" in 1945's "Rhapsody in Blue", "Christine" was played by Alexis Smith, and as eighth billed, "Captain Morgan", in the Alexis Smith and Errol Flynn 1945 Western, "San Antonio".

Above, Robert Shayne, Errol Flynn and Pedro de Cordoba, in "San Antonio", and below, de Cordoba and Shayne in one of those Western featurettes. 


FACE OF MARBLE released on January 19, 1946

The picture was made by the long forgotten original "Hollywood Picture Corporation". They were so low-budgeted that "Hollywood Pictures" used "Poverty Row" movie company, "Monogram Pictures" to distribute their work. For my reader unfamiliar with the term "Poverty Row", these were movie companies without their own studio facilities and had a physical office only, on Gower Street (Poverty Row), in Hollywood, California.

The picture was directed by William Beaudine. Whose first film was a 1915 short entitled "Diana of the Farm" and his last title, number 400, was televisions, "The Mickey Mouse Anniversary Show", in 1968. However, with the individual television episodes of shows like "Racket Squad", "Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok", "The Mickey Mouse Club", "Spin and Marty", and "Corky and White Shadow", Beaudine's actual directing output was actually closer to 500.

The screenplay, reminiscent of the style of "Universal Pictures" Horror,  was from three writers:

The story was by Edmund L. Hartmann, 1940's "Black Friday" starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, 1942's "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon" starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, and 1948's "The Paleface" starring Jane Russell and Bob Hope.

The first screenplay writer was Michael Jacoby, the Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, 1936, "The Charge of the Light Brigade", 1940's "Doomed to Die" starring Boris Karloff, and 1942's "The Undying Monster" starring John Howard.

The second screenplay writer was Austrian Wilhelm Thiele,  1936's "The Jungle Princess" starring Dorothy Lamour and Ray Milland, and 1943's "Tarzan Triumphs" starring Johnny Weismuller.

John Carradine portrayed "Dr. Charles Randolph". Carradine had just been seen as "Baron Latos/Count Dracula" in 1945's "House of Dracula". He would follow this picture co-starring in a musical comedy, 1946's "Down Missouri Way".

Claudia Drake portrayed "Mrs. Elaine Randolph". She had just been in "The Bowery Boys" comedy, 1946's "Live Wires", and followed this picture with the 1946, Johnny Mack Brown Western, "The Gentleman from Texas".

Robert Shayne portrayed "Dr. David Cochran". Shayne had last been seen in the previously mentioned 1945, "San Antonio", and followed this picture with another "A List" feature from "Warner Brothers", 1946's "Three Strangers" starring Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Peter Lorre, Shayne had fifth billing in that feature.

Above left to right, Drake, Shayne, and Carradine.

Above upper right, is the excellent African American comic, Willie Best as "Shadrach", the stereotyped "Black Comedy Relief".

"Dr. Randolph" is living in a typical "B" Horror movie old dark house and is obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. His obsession has blocked his knowledge that his wife, "Elaine", is in love with his assistant "Dr. Cochran".

Both doctors find a dead fisherman's body on the beach and bring him back to life with the title face. 

However very shortly after bringing the fisherman back to life, "Elaine" enters the laboratory, is frightened by the fisherman's skin tone, starts to faint, and is escorted out by "Dr. Cochran". 

Next, the electrical equipment suddenly short circuits and the fisherman drops to the floor, once again dead. The two doctors return the body to the same spot on the beach they found it to avoid suspicion. The following day the newspaper reports the discovery of the drowned fisherman and "Police Inspector Norton", played by Thomas E. Jackson, shows up at he house.

He seems satisfied with the answers he received and leaves. 

Another character is "Elaine's" loyal housekeeper, "Maria", played by Rosa Key, who practices voodoo.

Then there is "Brutus", "Elaine's" loyal dog that her husband kills to become his second experiment in bringing the dead back.

When the dog returns to life:
Is it from "Randolph" and "Cochran's" experiment with new improved electrical equipment, or the voodoo ceremony performed by "Maria"?

The dog can now pass through solid objects like a ghost, why?

According to the website, "Cinema Fearite"

Unlike other crazy experiment movies, Dr. Randolph and David are hardly madmen Randolph is not a megalomaniacal genius who believes the world is against him, and David is not his indentured servant who is forced into assisting him. Both men are rational and reasonable, and they honestly do what they do for the good of mankind.

At the time of writing this article, "The Face of Marble" can be watched at:

Twenty-eight feature films followed to the start of 1950, divided mainly between Westerns and Detective dramas. The tittles included the John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald, "A List", 1946's "Nobody Lives Forever", the 1948 Larry Parks and Ellen Drew, "The Swordsman", 1948's "The Strange Mrs. Crane" co-starring with Marjorie Lord, and the Tim Holt Western, 1950's "Dynamite Pass".

In 1951, Robert Shayne added the new medium of television to his acting roles.  

On November 23, 1951, producer Robert L. Lippert had released a motion picture entitled, "Superman and the Mole Men". It starred actor George Reeves as "Superman" aka: "Clark Kent", and, Phyllis Coates as "Lois Lane". 

In 1976, author Gary Grossman, in his definitive work, "Superman: Serial to Cereal", published by "Popular Library", compared Lippert's movie to director Robert Wise's 1951, "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Both films have aliens that are actually friendly, but the fears of the local populace, imagine invasion. Grossman and others consider both films the product of the "Cold War's" "Red Scare", reflecting upon the average American's state of mind at the time.

The following is from "" at:

The Red Scare was hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, which intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s. (Communists were often referred to as “Reds” for their allegiance to the red Soviet flag.) The Red Scare led to a range of actions that had a profound and enduring effect on U.S. government and society. Federal employees were analyzed to determine whether they were sufficiently loyal to the government, and the House Un-American Activities Committee, as well as U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, investigated allegations of subversive elements in the government and the Hollywood film industry. The climate of fear and repression linked to the Red Scare finally began to ease by the late 1950s.
Later, the motion picture was divided into two television episodes, and became the first seen on "The Adventures of Superman", premiering September 19, 1952. However, they are looked upon as a two-part movie and are not considered in the actual episode count for the series.

George Reeves continued as "Clark Kent" aka: "Superman".

Phyllis Coates returned as "Lois Lane" for the first 26 episodes.

Noel Neill portrayed "Lois Lane" for the next 78 episodes. Neil was the original "Lois Lane" in the two "Columbia Pictures" Cliff Hangers, 1948's, "Superman", and 1950's, "Atom Man vs Superman", both starring Kirk Alyn.


Both actresses appeared in another "Red Scare" motion picture, 1952's "Invasion U.S.A.". Coates portrayed "Mrs. Mulfory", and Neil portrayed the "Second Airline Ticket Agent".

Jack Larson portrayed "Jimmy Olson". 

John Hamilton portrayed "Perry White".

Robert Shayne portrayed "Inspector Henderson".

On October 3, 1952, Season One, Episode 3, "The Case of the Talkative Dummy", Robert Shayne first portrayed "Inspector Henderson". 

For Shayne, enter the "Red Scare" and ex-wife Mary Sheffield. This was at the time of Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy of Wisconsin and what became known as "McCarthyism" in the Senate. While in the other chamber of Congress, the "House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)", looked into the motion picture and television industries

In the "HUAC", many producers, directors, and actors were facing being "Black Listed" as either a member of the Communist Party, or a "Fellow Traveler". A large amount were innocent, but had been charged as a result of hearsay. The future Nancy Reagan, at the time still Nancy Davis, received a subpoena to appear before the committee. She appealed to the "President of the Screen Actor Guild (SAG)" for help and actor and president Ronald Reagan discovered another actress named Nancy Davis.

In the case of Robert Shayne, his ex-wife, Mary Sheffield, made false accusations to the committee about her ex-husband being a card-carrying Communist. As a result, Shayne was "Black Listed", and was stopped for a short time portraying "Inspector Henderson", until this was cleared up. However, he was not replaced, because the producers believed he was innocent.

In all, between 1952 and 1958, Robert Shayne portrayed "Inspector Henderson". 90 times out of a total episode count of 104. Again, that number does not include the two-part movie, "Superman and the Mole Man". 

For those of my readers who are truly into "Superman", my article, "SUPERMAN, SUPERBOY, SUPERGIRL: Their Origins and Beginnings in Motion Pictures and Television" will be found at:

INVADERS FROM MARS premiered in Detroit, Michigan, on April 9, 1953

You won't find Robert Shayne's name on the about poster, but he was in the 1953 Science Fiction classic "Invaders from Mars". Shayne's name is found on "IMDb", under the heading, "The rest of cast listed alphabetically", in the role of "Dr. William 'Bill' Wilson". 

"Dr. Wilson" is the father of young "David MacLean's", played by Jimmy Hunt, friend, "Kathy", played by Janine Perreau. Whom he observed being sucked into the sand pit by the Martians. "Dr. Wilson" works with "George MacLean", played by Leif Erickson, "David's" father, as one of the major scientists on the space rocket project the Martians want stopped. Like "Kathy", "George" is under the control of the "Invaders from Mars". "George" and "Mary MacLean", played by Hillary Brooke, are killed attempting to assassinate "Dr. Wilson".

THE NEANDERTHAL MAN released June 19, 1953

The motion picture was directed by German director and screenplay writer Ewald Andre Dupont. Dupont wrote and directed German feature films starting in 1916. His first English language motion picture was 1933's "Ladies Must Love", starring the future "Commissioner Gordon" on televisions "Batman", Neil Hamilton. In 1939, the still being called "The Dead End Kids", starred in Dupont's "Hell's Kitchen".

The screenplay was by both Aubrey Wisberg, 1951's "The Man from Planet X", and, Jack Pollexfen, 1951's "The Man from Planet X" and "The Son of Dr. Jekyll".

Robert Shayne
portrayed "Professor Clifford Groves". On some prints he is credited as "Robert Shane". 

Joyce Terry
portrayed "Jan Groves" and was billed on some prints as "Joy Terry". She was the wife of voice actor Paul Frees.

Richard Crane portrayed "Dr. Ross Harkness". Crane was a year away from playing televisions "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger", and two from co-starring in televisions "Commando Cody, Sky Marshall of the Universe". My article, "Richard Crane: 'Rocky Jones, Space Ranger" and 'The Alligator People", will be found at:

Above left to right, Jeanette Tandra Quinn as "Cecila". Another of her five movies was 1953's "Mesa of Lost Woman", to her right, Joyce Terry, and Richard Crane.

Doris Merrick portrayed "Ruth Marshall". Merrick started as an uncredited dancer in James Cagney's 1942, "Yankee Doodle Dandy", was in Laurel and Hardy's 1944, "The Big Noise", and before this picture, the 1952 Science Fiction, "Untamed Women".

Beverly Garland portrayed "The Waitress, Nora Mason". This was her sixth movie role and Garland also had appeared in two episodes of the long-forgotten television show, "Mama Rosa", and one of "The Lone Ranger". She is part of my article, "Four Actresses Challenging TV's Stereotyped Women's Roles", at:

Not to be overlooked is make-up artist Harry Thomas. Among his other films are 1951's "Superman and the Mole Men", 1952's "Invasion U.S.A.", 1953's "Cat-Women of the Moon" and its remake, 1958's "Missile to the Moon", 1958's "Frankenstein's Daughter" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space".

The film takes place in California's high sierra mountain range and opens at the home of "Professor Groves". He is reading "Neanderthal Man and the Stone Age". A window is broken and the noise brings downstairs his adult daughter, "Jan", but her father says it was nothing and to go back to bed.

At the local Café, one of the regulars claims to have seen a mountain lion with large teeth. The others laugh over the description, but on his drive home. One of those who had laughed, "Game Warden George Oakes", played by Robert Long, has the big cat jump on to his car's hood and he scares it off with the car horn. "Oakes" goes to "Sheriff Andy Andrews", played by Dick Rich, and the two make plaster casts of the giant mountain lion footprints.

"Oakes" takes one of the casts to "Dr. Ross Harkness", a paleontologist in Los Angeles, who is skeptical of this being the paw prints of a living sabretooth tiger, but the other man convinces him to come back to his small town.

"Harkness" stops at the local Café, "Nola", the waitress, introduces him to "Ruth Marshall", who is on her way to meet her fiancé "Professor Groves". However, "Ruth's" car broke down and she is stranded in the small town, "Dr. Harkness" offers to drive her to "Grove's" house. In the house, "Jan Groves" tells "Ruth" and "Ross", that her father is down in Los Angeles lecturing at "The Naturalist Club". At the club, "Professor Groves" is lecturing that the neanderthal man was actually more intelligent than modern man and receives insults from those in attendance on his theory. 

The angry professor vows to show them living proof of what he said.

Meanwhile, "Jan" invites "Dr. Harkness" to stay at the house and at breakfast her father is angry that "Harkness" is there. Later, "Ruth" and "Clifford" get into an argument over their deteriorating relationship and "Harkness" and "Oakes" have gone in search of the sabretooth tiger. They find it, kill the cat, but "Dr. Harkness" worries that there might be more.

Back in his locked laboratory, "Professor Groves" injects himself with his serum that created the sabretooth tiger and becomes the title character.

Out in the woods the "Neanderthal Groves" kills hunter "Jim Newcomb", played by Robert Bray, and his dog. He then returns home and turns into "Professor Groves" and makes entries in his diary about what happened. After closing his diary, "Clifford Groves" spontaneity turns into the "Neanderthal" without taking his serum and runs off into the woods.

Back at the house, "Ross", "Jan", and "Cecila", "Groves" death-mute maid, go into the laboratory and "Dr. Harkness" finds the diary. There are also photos of "Cecila" changed into a "Neanderthal Woman".


"Buck Hastings", played by Eric Colmar, and "Nola" go out in the woods for a picnic and to snap some shots of her. The "Neanderthal Groves" finds and kills "Eric", while "Nola" was changing clothes behind some trees, and carries her off screaming.

At the house, the phone rings and "Oakes" tells "Jan" that "Buck" has been murdered. Looking out the window, "Ross Hasting's" sees "Nola" with her clothing torn and goes to get her. Hysterical, she tells them "Buck" was killed by something not human and then, before she passes out, says:
He tried to pull me by my hair and then he ... then he ..

Back in the lab, one of the lab cats seems afraid of the syringe that "Dr. Harkness" is holding. He decides to find out what's in it by injecting the cat, that turns into a sabretooth tiger and escapes. "Ross" and "Jan" go after it and meet the town doctor, "Dr. Fairchild", played by William Fawcett. "Dr. Fairchild" tells them that the Sheriff's posse has the "Neanderthal" cornered in a cave, but he has "Ruth".

"Ross" and "Jan" arrive at the cave and the unarmed "Dr. Ross Harkness" enters. He tells "Ruth", who knows the "Neanderthal" is "Clifford", and is protecting him, to let "Groves" run away from the posse. She finally does, and the understanding "Neanderthal Groves" starts to run past everyone. The Sheriff had told his posse not to fire, but the sabretooth tiger attacks the "Neanderthal", starts mauling him, as the posse shoots and kills the sabretooth tiger.

The picture ends in the bedroom of "Professor Clifford Groves" with the "Neanderthal Man" on the bed. It turns back into the professor and he dies telling "Ruth" that:

it is better this way!

Next, Robert Shayne had two very small roles, in two "B" films, and two television appearances. The first on Jon Hall's television series "Ramar of the Jungle", and the second on the Jim Davis series, "Stories of the Century", entitled "Geronimo". 


"Space Patrol" was broadcast live on the West Coast and shot on the same sound stage the 1925 "Phantom of the Opera" was filmed. It was then sent to other stations across the country as a Kinescope.

The following link, at the time of this writing, will take my reader to the complete April 10, 1954, episode of "Space Patrol", entitled "Baccarratti's 'Z' Ray of Death", with guest star Robert Shayne as "Groata". This was the first of a three-part story line:

On April 17, 1954, was the second part, "Marooned in the Past", and on, April 24, 1954, the final part, "Evil Spirits of the Great Thunderbird".

"Space Patrol"
is part of my article, "Boldly Going Before Kirk and Spock: 1950's TV Science Fiction", at:

TOBOR THE GREAT released in September 1954

The plot is typical "Cold War", as a young boy calls upon his robot friend to save him and his inventor grandfather from "Communists Agents".

Robert Shayne portrayed the uncredited "General", so small a role, that the character was never named even in the screenplay.

Above, immediately to "Tobor's" left, with his head looking down at the ground is Robert Shayne. The following lobby card shows Shayne's "General" once more.

It should be noted that the only other ranking military officer in the picture was played by the uncredited Lyle Talbot and is identified as the "Admiral". In the first still above, Lyle Talbot is standing to the immediate left of Robert Shayne.

"Tobor", of course "Robot" spelled backwards, was followed by four "B" dramas with Shayne uncredited in two of them. On television, he was in four episodes of "The Lone Ranger", one each of "The Mickey Rooney Show", "The Joe Palooka Show", and Irish McCalla's television series, "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle".

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN released on March 25, 1956

Depending where in the United States you lived, on March 25, 1956, "Allied Artists Pictures Corporation" either had this picture on a double bill with "World Without End", or "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

Lon Chaney, on the posters, and Lon Chaney, Jr. on the "Official Cast Credits", portrayed "Charles 'Butcher' Benton". Lon had just been seen in the crime drama, 1956's "Manfish", and followed this picture with 1956's "The Black Sleep", co-starring Basil Rathbone and John Carradine. My article, "LON CHANEY JR: Of Mice and Werewolves", may be read at:

Ross Elliot portrayed "Paul Lowe". Don't recognize the name? Perhaps two of his roles might help? In 1953's "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", he was the other scientist, "George Richie", that goes into the snow to test for radiation with "Dr. Paul Nesbit". In 1955's "Tarantula", Ross Elliott portrayed newspaper owner "Joe Burch".

Above, ninth billed, Peggy Maley as "Francine, a stripper", with Ross Elliott as "Lawyer Paul Lowe".

Robert Shayne, with eighth billing, portrayed "Professor Bradshaw" 

Above, Lon Chaney, the uncredited Joe Flynn, "Navy Captain Wallace B. Binghamton" on televisions "McHale's Navy" starring Ernest Borgnine, as "Bradshaw's Assistant", and Robert Shayne.

This story is very similar to Lon's 1941 "Man Made Monster" with Lionel Atwill as the doctor who brings him back to life.

"Butcher Benton" is double crossed by his lawyer and is executed. A bizarre experiment by "Professor Bradshaw" brings him back to life and he goes after his lawyer and others for revenge.

Five forgotten "B" movies and then:

KRONOS released in April 1957


The most recognizable name of the three lead actors is Jeff Morrow as "Dr. Leslie Gaskell". Two years earlier, he was in the 1955 Science Fiction classic, "This Island Earth", and the previous year finished "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" trilogy with 1956's "The Creature Walks Among Us". My article, "JEFF MORROW An Icon of 1950's Science Fiction: This Island Earth, KRONOS, and The Giant Claw", is to be found at:

Above, to Jeff Morrow's right is his co-star, television actress Barbara Lawrence, to Jeff Morrow's left is George O'Hanlon, don't know the name? O'Hanlon is probably best known for being the voice of "George Jetson" and other character voices for animators Joe Barbera and William Hanna.

John Emery
was third billed as "Dr. Hubbell Eliot". Emery was known to Science Fiction fans for 1950's "Rocketship X-M". In 1944, Emery portrayed Japanese "Premier Giichi Tanaka" in James Cagney's "Blood on the Sun", and in 1945, he was "Dr. Fleurot" in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound".

Fifth billed Morris Ankrum portrayed "Dr. Albert Stern". Ankrum was just seen in 1957's "Zombies of Morfa Tau". My article, "Morris Ankrum The Face of 1950's Science Fiction/Horror Movies", is at:

Robert Shayne was an eleventh billed "Air Force General".

Above, the General is attempting to abort a B-47 mission to drop an atomic bomb on the alien energy storage battery known as "KRONOS", but the attempt will fail. As the alien machine pulls the bomber onto it, absorbing the nuclear energy the atomic bomb releases. 

One paper, with the director and cast, the following Science Fiction motion picture should have been an excellent 1950's entry. Instead, Robert Shayne found himself in a classic turkey that has kept a life of its own with 1950's Science Fiction fans.

THE GIANT CLAW released in the United States in June 1957


Above left to right, Robert Shayne as "Air Force General Van Buskirk", Jeff Morrow as "Mitch MacAfee", Marla Corday as "Sally Caldwell", Edgar Barrier as "Dr. Karol Noymann", and Morris Ankrum as "Air Force Lieutenant General Edward Considine".

Below is the the terrifying (?) title character:

The motion picture was produced by "Columbia Pictures" Sam Katzman, who created "Superman's" first on-screen appearance, the second on-screen appearance of "Batman" and was the executive producer for Ray Harryhausen's "Earth vs the Flying Saucers". My article, "Superman' Meets 'The Giant Claw' to the Tunes of 'Bill Haley and the Comets: Executive Producer Sam Katzman", can be read at:

Fred F. Sears was the director, the year before he directed Ray Harryhausen's "Earth vs the Flying Saucers", and the very underrated, or basically unknown, "The Werewolf".

Jeff Morrow had just co-starred with British actress Hazel Court in the crime mystery, 1957's "Hour of Decision".

For those unfamiliar with actor Edgar Barrier, I suggest viewing Claude Rains' 1943 "Phantom of the Opera" and watch Barrier complete with Nelson Eddy for the hand of Susanna Foster as "Christine".

Mara Corday was about to be seen in the crime drama, 1957's "Undersea Girl", to be followed by Willis O'Brien's 1957 "The Black Scorpion".

Morris Ankrum
had just been seen in Bert I. Gordon's 1957 "The Beginning of the End".

Robert Shayne had just been seen in the Huntz Hall and the Bowery Boys, 1957, "Spook Chasers".

Something, that "Mitch MacAfee" described "as big as a battleship" is invisible to radar and causes the life of an Air Force Pilot who went in pursuit of it. However, the military believes the "flying battleship" was a bad hoax by "MacAfee".

What will be revealed is that the invisible creature on radar is really a giant bird from an antimatter galaxy come to Earth to lay its eggs. Don't ask why when the anti-matter bird met the matter of the Earth it didn't explode? Just go with the screenplay!

The question facing aeronautical engineer "Mitch MacAfee", mathematician "Sally Caldwell", scientist "Dr. Karol Noymann", "General Van Buskirk" and "Lieutenant General Edward Considine", is how to stop it?

On April 28, 1958, Season Six, Episode Thirteen, entitled, "All the Glitters", ended televisions "The Adventures of Superman".

WAR OF THE SATELLITES released May 18, 1958

The motion picture was directed by Roger Corman and he followed this picture with 1958's "Machine Gun Kelly" starring the newly renamed Charles Bronson.

Dick Miller portrayed "Dave Boyer". Miller was a Roger Corman regular and appeared in 1955's "Apache Woman", 1956's "The Oklahoma Woman", 1956's "Gunslinger", 1956's "It Conquered the Earth", 1957's "Naked Paradise", 1957's "Not of This Earth", 1957's "The Undead", 1957's "Rock All Night", 1957's "Carnival Rock", and 1957's "Sorority Girl", all  before this picture.

Susan Cabot portrayed "Sybil Carrington". Cabot started on-screen acting in 1947 and her first Roger Corman entry was 1957's "Carnival Rock". She starred in one of my favorite Roger Corman titles, 1957's "The Sage of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Water of the Great Sea Serpent", say that fast ten times, the title was shorten to "The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent".


Richard Devon portrayed "Dr. Pol Van Ponder". His first movie was a 1952 Western written by actor James Craig, who had the smarts not to be in it, entitled "Scorching Fury". Then Devon appeared on television until Roger Corman cast him as "Satan" in 1957's "The Undead", more television followed, and then Corman's 1957 "Teenage Doll".

Robert Shayne
portrayed "Cole Hotchkiss". 

Roger Corman rushed this picture into production, because the Russian's had just launched "Sputnik" and the United States space program had been checkmated.

The tenth manned satellite in the "Sigma Project" is destroyed after coming into contact with an invisible space barrier. A young couple witnesses the landing of a small missile-like capsule from outer space and turns it over to the authorities. It contains a message from the "Masters of the Spiral Nebula Ghana", calling human space exploration a "disease" that can spread throughout the galaxy. Therefore, they have placed a quarantine around the planet Earth.

At the United Nations, United States Representative "Cole Hotchkiss", gives an impassioned speech that no other force has the right to stop mankind's ambitions. After the meeting, "Dr. Van Ponder" announces that the message is a fake and he will lead the next mission with "David Boyer" and "Sybil Carrington".

"Ponder's"  car is attacked by a mysterious ball of light and "Cole Hotchkiss", at a U.N. council meeting, is notified of the scientist's death. Moments later "Dr. Van Ponder" walks into the room, unknown to "Hotchkiss" and the council, he is an alien that has assumed the doctor's form.

Worldwide disasters start occurring and it is believed to be connected to the warning from space. The alien, "Van Ponder", suggests to "Cole Hotchkiss", that because of these disasters a halt to the "Sigma Project" maybe the wise choice and the other reluctantly agrees. 

What happens next is for my reader to find out, as of this writing, at:

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER released on July 1, 1958

This was a clever idea from producer Herman Cohen, who had produced three successful teen-pre-teen horror movies in 1957. The first was "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", followed the same year by "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein", and what was to have been entitled. "I Was a Teenage Dracula", but before release, became "Blood of Dracula", a reworking of "Teen Werewolf" with a girl turned into a vampire.

The following links takes my reader to my article that includes the three movies I've mention, the next one I will be mentioning, and others, "I Was a Teenager Werewolf: 1950's Teenage Horror and Science Fiction Movies", at:

The villain of the piece is the insane make-up artist "Pete Dumond" played by television character actor Robert H. Harris. Below, is a scene from the movie with "Dumond" admiring his two greatest works. Producer Cohen has incorporated the actual posters from the first two of Herman Cohen's motion pictures.

In 1957 Michael Landon originated the "Teenage Werewolf", but he was now working on televisions "Bonanza". The role in this picture went to Gary Clarke, who would mainly work on television, but his next motion picture was the remake of the 3-D 1953 "Cat-Women of the Moon", 1958's "Missile to the Moon".

Gary Conway
reprised his role of the "Teenage Frankenstein". Conway would co-star with Gene Barry on televisions "Burke's Law", 1963 through 1965, and co-star on televisions "Land of the Giants", 1968 through 1970. 

Above, left Gary Clarke, right Gary Conway

Paul Brinegar portrayed "Rivaro". Brinegar would appear on 34 episodes of Hugh O'Brien's "The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp", but portraying the cook, "Wishbone", for 216 episodes of televisions "Rawhide", is what the actor is remembered for.

Morris Ankrum portrayed "Police Captain Hancock". Ankrum had just appeared in one of his 22 episodes of televisions as a "Judge" on "Perry Mason".

Robert Shayne portrayed "Gary Droz". 

The following scene is interesting, because the story is supposed to take place on the lot for "American International Pictures". The problem is there never was a lot, "AIP" had some offices on "Poverty Row", Gower Street in Hollywood, and rented out stage and location spots for their films. 

The story opens with a sequence suggesting that the "Teenage Frankenstein" and "Teenage Werewolf" are about to fight each other.

Until the director yells cut, and the audience realizes this is only a scene from a movie being filmed. The action revolves around make-up artist "Pete Dumond", who is told by the new owners that he's being let go and this is his last motion picture. 

"Pete" has invented a hypnotic make-up base and he uses it to turn the two young actors, wearing their monster make-ups, into murderers for him. The third murderer will be by "Pete" as seen below:

Robert Shayne is "Larry Drake", the teen werewolf actor's manager, and his scene is just an argument with Robert H. Harris' "Pete Dumond", 

The ending takes place in "Pete's" house where he murdered "Rivaro" and plans to poison both teen actors. 

Sadly, to make more storage room for "AIP", the film ends, turning from black and white to color, with a fire destroying some of the actual work of monster maker Paul Blaisdell.

My article, "Paul Blaisdell: 'American International Pictures' Creator of  1950's Alien's and Other Creatures", is available for reading at:

Both director Roger Corman and leading actor Robert Vaughn, thought they were making a movie entitled "Prehistoric World", instead "American International Pictures" released it as:

TEEANGE CAVEMAN released on July 1, 1958

In the United Kingdom, the title for the movie was "Out of Darkness", which plays off the features ending. In the U.K. as in the United States, the movie was part of a double bill with "How to Make a Monster".

With the strict censorship rules in the United Kingdom compared to the United States, I was surprised by how the above poster looks. When the double bill opened at the "Reseda Theater" in the San Fernando Valley, eleven-years-old Lloyd was there!

Looking at images for this motion picture, I found the following ad, I don't know which Los Angeles newspaper it was in, but there was my "Reseda Theater", lower right corner. Along with the "Majestic" off 3rd street, in Santa Monica, that I went to when staying at my father's apartment.

Robert Vaughn portrayed "The Symbol Maker's Teenage Son", he was 26-years-old. Vaughn was appearing on television at the time on different dramatic programs.

Robert Shayne portrayed "The Fire Maker"

There is a law, no one knows from how long in the tribe's past, not to cross the river. The teenage son of the "Symbol Maker" wants to know why? He crosses the river, returns with tales of what he saw and with other teens crosses the river again to fight the monster of legend.

The monster is not a monster, but a very old man. His life has been preserved by radiation fallout and having worn the radiation suit that now resembles the monster of legend.

His thoughts are heard by the audience and we learn that there was a great nuclear war, some people survived, but over the centuries reverted to the "Primitive World" we have been watching. Now, because of "The Symbol Maker's Teenage Son", they will come "Out of the Darkness".

THE LOST MISSILE released December 1, 1958

This is a true "Cold War, Second Red Scare" classic piece of Science Fiction that is mostly forgotten, or considered extremely low-budgeted. The producers used stock footage of both military and civil defense exercises, but that actually added to the realism factor for the 1958 audience. 

The final stock footage showing the empty New York streets is terrifying to an audience watching the picture. However, a good Science Fiction movie buff, might notice that the sequence shows a movie theater playing "Two Tickets to Broadway". The movie starred Janet Leigh, Tony Martin, Gloria DeHaven, and Ann Miller, and dates that stock footage to 1951, not 1958.

For those in the know, or had read about it. The missile of the title is very similar in description to the "Supersonic Low Altitude Missile" actually being development by the United States Air Force.

Above, the actual production design of the "Supersonic Low Altitude Missile" and below, "The Lost Missile".

There's a slight-of-hand play on the director of this motion picture and the executive producer. The director is listed as Lester Wm. Berke, and the producer as William Berke. For directing credit, IMDb bought into the idea that they were two different men and William Berke is listed as the uncredited director of the movie. However, they are the same person, that from a payroll point of view, Berke would be entitled to two paychecks for the making the motion picture, and later, two different paychecks of the profits from the worldwide box office.

Robert Loggia portrayed "Dr. David Loring". This was only television actor Loggia's fourth motion picture. In the future Robert Loggia would be known for 1983's "Scarface", 1988's "BIG", and as "General Grey" in 1996's "Independence Day".

Ellen Parker portrayed "Joan Wood". Parker started out as a regular on the Sid Caesar television show, "Caesar's Hour" for 54 episodes. She also appeared on six other television shows in single episodes and this is her last appearance and only motion picture.

Robert Shayne, middle below, portrayed an uncredited "Air Force General in Job Bunker". This is almost the end of the film with the launching of the rocket to destroy "The Lost Missile".

A strange missile from outer space appears and a unnamed "Iron Curtain" country fires a rocket at it, and causing "The Lost Missile" to go into an orbit circling the Earth. The missile is radiating something that is destroying everything is passes over. It is up to "Dr. David Loring" to figure out how to stop the missile with a nuclear fission rocket. The audience never knows where it came from, or if there might be others out there.

1959's "I MOBSTER" TO 1990'S "THE FLASH"

Robert Shayne started 1959 as a "Senator" in director Roger Corman's most expensive motion picture to date, "I Mobster", It starred Steve Cochran as "Joe Sante", a small-time crook who rises to a crime czar and faces his eventual fall from power.

Shayne followed that picture with two appearances on the forgotten television series about the Arizona Rangers, "26 Men", and appearances in single episodes of televisions "The Millionaire", "Tombstone Territory", and "Frontier Doctor".

Don't blink, or you'll miss Robert Shayne in the uncredited role of "Larry Wade", below, in director Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 "North by Northwest".

However, Robert Shayne's career now became nineteen roles on television and more of those blink and you'll miss him movie roles. He was a "spectator" in Walt Disney's 1960, "Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with the Circus", a "partner" in 1960's, "From the Terrace", starring Paul Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, and a "Governors Advisor", in Disney's 1964, "A Tiger Walks", starring Brian Keith and Vera Miles.

On November 9, 1969, Robert Shayne's and Gary Conway's acting paths crossed again in televisions, "Land of the Giants", in the episode entitled, "Every Dog Needs a Boy", seen below:

Above, Robert Shayne and below, Gary Conway.

Robert Shayne played the "Sound Mixer" in eight episodes of the forgotten 1970 television series "Bracken's World".

One of the more interesting titles Robert Shayne was in, came from the United Kingdom via Hong Kong. "The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go", was released in the U.K. on January 1, 1970.

The basic description of the movie has American draft dodger, "Nero Finnegan", played by Jeff Bridges, becoming involved with the plans of the notorious "Mr. Go". A Chinese Mexican criminal mastermind, played by James Mason, to kidnap an American scientist. 

Irene Tsu portrayed "Tah-Ling", and the screenplay writer and actor portraying "The Dolphin", an American Chinese CIA agent and James Joyce Scholar, was Burgess Meredith.

Robert Shayne portrayed a "United States Senator", but I could not locate a photo of him in the picture.

TORA!TORA! TORA! released September 23, 1970

This was a massive, factual retelling of the events, before and on, December 6, 1941, that brought the United States officially into the Second World War. The motion picture had three directors, Richard Fleischer for the American sequences, and Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaki for the Japanese sequences.

There were 44 major speaking roles, and 59 major uncredited roles. Robert Shayne's role of "Navy Commander William H. Buracker" was one of the uncredited roles.

Above, James Whitmore as "Navy Admiral William F. Halsey", with Robert Shayne as "Buracker, Halsey's Operations Officer".

In 1971 the actor had two small roles in both Walt Disney's "The Barfoot Executive" and "The Million Dollar Duck". He returned to television for the next six-years and retired, but in 1985, Shayne joined Forrest J. Ackerman, John Agar, Robert Clarke, Ann Robinson, and Gloria Talbott in the made for video movie, "Attack of the B  Movie Monsters" and again retired. However, he returned once more to portray "Reggie", in two episodes of television "The Flash". "Sins of the Father" premiered on November 8, 1990, and "Sight Unseen" on January 10, 1991.

On November 29, 1992, Robert Shaen Dawe, Sr., passed away from lung cancer at the "Motion Picture Hospital", in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife Elizabeth McDonald Dawe at his side. The two are buried with their son, who sadly had proceeded them, at "Forest Lawn Memorial Park", Hollywood Hills, California.

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