My Sven pumpkin creation for Halloween 2018! Happy Halloween to all fellow Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow readers/classic cinema enthusiasts from the author of “Silver Screen Reflections!” Hope everyone from coast-to-coast enjoyed their Halloween! Peace and “Hi-Keeba!” -C.H.
Fellow Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast will be interested in the return of an award-winning cult made-for-TV creature feature from 1972.
“Gargoyles” (1972) was directed by Bill Norton (who was credited under the name of “B.W.L. Norton”), who also directed several episodes of “Tour of Duty” (from 1987-89), two episodes of “SeaQuest: DSV” (1993, with Roy Scheider) and three episodes of the Sci-Fi Channel (now known as “SyFy”) miniseries adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The Invisible Man” (2001).
Norton’s telefilm was produced by General Electric’s “Tomorrow Entertainment” subsidiary, which produced many made-for-TV “movie of the week” specials for the three major networks and for television syndication through other firms. GE’s “Tomorrow” unit also owned the animation studio of Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass at one time, Rankin/Bass Productions (a.k.a. “Videocraft International”). The Norton-Tomorrow production of “Gargoyles” premiered on the CBS television network on Nov. 21, 1972 as part of the “CBS Tuesday Night Movie.”
This will mark Sven’s second coast-to-coast big broadcast showcase of “Gargoyles” (1972) on Me-TV. Sven premiered Norton’s made-for-TV creature feature back in May 2017.
Who was in Norton’s “Gargoyles” (1972)?
The players who appeared in Norton’s 1972 made-for-TV creature feature were Bernie Casey (as the main gargoyle), Cornel Wilde (as Dr. Mercer Boley), Jennifer Salt (as Diana Boley), Scott Glenn (as James Reeger), Woody Chambliss (as “Uncle Willie”), Grayson Hall (as Mrs. Parks), Vic Perrin (in an uncredited role as the voice of the gargoyle, dubbing in Bernie Casey’s dialogue), Mickey Alzola, Rock Walker and Greg Walker (the three aforementioned actors played other gargoyles in Norton’s made-for-TV feature). Continue Reading
“13 Ghosts” (1960) was directed by veteran thriller/horror director William Castle, who directed many cult classics including “House on Haunted Hill” (1959, w/ Vincent Price), “The Tingler” (1959, w/ Price), “Mr. Sardonicus” (1961, w/ Oscar Homolka) and “The Night Walker” (1964, w/ Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor and Hayden Rorke). The screenplay for “13 Ghosts” was written by veteran Castle screenwriter Robb White.
Sven previously aired the 1960 Columbia/Castle thriller locally on his hometown station, WCIU-TV (“The U”) back in Nov. 2009 (according to IMDB). According to fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes and his official “Terror From Beyond the Dave” YouTube site, when WCIU’s sister station, Me-TV was a local classic television station seen on Weigel Broadcasting’s Chicago and Milwaukee stations around 2010 (shortly before Weigel expanded Me-TV across the country for many local TV stations’ sub-channels from coast-to-coast). Sven also had a 2011 re-broadcast of “13 Ghosts” on Chicago’s WCIU (according to David Fuentes’ official YouTube site).
Who was in “13 Ghosts” (1960)?
In addition to an on-screen cameo appearance by Castle, the players who appeared in “13 Ghosts” (1960) were Charles Herbert (as Buck Zorba), Jo Morrow (as Medea Zorba), Martin Milner (as Benjamen Rush), Donald Woods (as Cyrus Zorba), Margaret Hamilton (as Elaine Zacharides), John Van Dreelen (as Van Allen), Jeanne Baker, John Burnside and Roy Jenson (in uncredited roles as “ghosts”).
The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based horror film host will present his big broadcast showcase of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948), this Sat., Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The landmark Abbott and Costello-Universal monster cross-over feature was directed by veteran studio director Charles T. Barton (this was Barton’s fifth screen production with the legendary comedy duo). That same year, Barton worked on Abbott and Costello’s non-Universal feature comedy entry for competing studio Eagle-Lion Films, “The Noose Hangs High” (1948, w/ Leon Errol, Cathy Downs, Fritz Feld, Joseph Calleia and Mike Mazurki).
This will mark Sven’s seventh big broadcast of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948) from coast-to-coast on Me-TV. He had previously shown the celebrated Universal monster comedy classic from coast-to-coast back in Oct. 2011*, Nov. 2013, Oct. 2014, April 2015, Oct. 2016 and Nov. 2017.
Who was in “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)?
The players who appeared in Barton’s Universal monster/Abbott & Costello comedy were Bud Abbott (as Chick Young), Lou Costello (as Wilbur Grey), Glenn Strange (as Frankenstein’s monster, this marked Strange’s third Universal feature film appearance as Frankenstein’s monster; he previously played the role in 1944’s “House of Frankenstein” and 1945’s “House of Dracula”), Bela Lugosi (as Count Dracula; this marked Bela’s second and final screen appearance as Count Dracula in a Universal production, ), Lon Chaney, Jr. (as Lawrence “Larry” Talbot/the “Wolf Man;” this marked the junior Chaney’s fifth Universal feature appearance as Lawrence “Wolf Man” Talbot; he previously played the role in 1941’s “The Wolf Man,” 1943’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,” 1944’s “House of Frankenstein” and 1945’s “House of Dracula”), Jane Randolph (as Joan Raymond), Lenore Aubert (as Dr. Sandra Moray), Charles Bradstreet (as Dr. Stevens), Frank Ferguson (as Mr. McDougal), Harry Brown (in an uncredited role as a photographer), Bobby Barber (in an uncredited role as a waiter) and an uncredited voice-over cameo by a young Vincent Price (as a uncredited Universal “monster” who made a surprise appearance in the film).
Barton MacLane: At-a-glance
Born under the name of Ernest Barton MacLane on Christmas Day (Dec. 25) 1902 in Columbia, South Carolina; MacLane moved with his family to the small town of Cromwell, Connecticut at the age of seven (according to Robert and Kathleen Hubbard’s Arcadia historic publication, “Legendary Locals of Middletown”). Upon entering Connecticut, MacLane attended St. John’s Parochial School in Middletown, Connecticut (according to my late aunt’s recollections, the information on the family connection to MacLane follows after his film and TV credits). He graduated from Middletown High School in 1921 and attended Wesleyan University, where he majored in athletics (notably in football, baseball and basketball). One of MacLane’s major achievements during his time at Wesleyan was that he made a 100-yard kickoff return during one of his Wesleyan football games in 1924. Because of his achievement, Paramount Pictures talent scouts encouraged MacLane to go into the field of acting in motion pictures. His first film appearance was in an uncredited role in “The Quarterback” (1926, with Richard Dix).
The legendary Berywn/Chicago-based horror film host will present his big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “Cry of the Werewolf” (1944), this Sat., Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The 1944 Columbia werewolf thriller was directed by Henry Levin. This would mark Levin’s directorial debut in his motion picture career. He later directed several of the Columbia “Matt Helm” secret agent spoof film adaptations with Dean Martin in the title role, including “Murderers’ Row” (1966, with Ann-Margret, James Gregory and Karl Malden) and “The Ambushers” (1967, with Gregory, Senta Berger and Albert Salmi).
Who was in “Cry of the Werewolf” (1944)?
The players who appeared in Levin’s Columbia werewolf feature were Nina Foch (as Celeste), Stephen Crane (as Robert “Bob” Morris), Osa Massen (as Elsa Chauvet), Barton MacLane (as Lt. Barry Lane)*, Blanche Yurka (as Bianca), Ivan Triesault (as Jan Spavero), John Abbott (as Peter Althius), John Tyrrell (as Mac), Fred Graff (as Pinkie), Robert B. Williams (as Homer), Fritz Leiber (as Dr. Charles Morris) and Milton Parsons (as Adamson).
“The Return of the Vampire” (1943) was directed by veteran film director Lew Landers, who was famous for his Universal Studios screen thriller adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” (1935, Landers directed the Universal thriller under the name of Louis Friedlander; according to IMDB). In the latter part of his career, Landers directed the Columbia Super-Cinecolor fantasy feature, “The Magic Carpet” (1951, with Lucille Ball, Raymond Burr and John Agar). He also directed several episodes of two successful TV series for Columbia’s Screen Gems unit, “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin” (from 1956-59) and “Circus Boy” (1957, with a pre-“Monkees” Micky Dolenz in the title role and Noah Berry Jr.).
Who was in “The Return of the Vampire” (1943)?
The players who appeared in Landers’ Columbia vampire thriller were Bela Lugosi (in the dual roles of Armand Tesla and Dr. Hugo Bruckner), Frieda Inescort (as Lady Jane Ainsley), Roland Varno (as John Ainsley), Nina Foch (as Nicki Saunders), Gilbert Emery (as Dr. Walter Saunders), Matt Willis (as Andreas Obry), Ottola Nesmith (as Governess Elsa Walter), William Austin (as Detective Gannett), Leslie Denison (as Detective Lynch) and Miles Mander (as Sir Frederick Fleet).
Bela Lugosi previously appeared in the role of Dr. Richard Vollin in Landers’ Universal adaptation of “The Raven” (1935) with Boris Karloff, who played the role of Edmond Bateman (according to IMDB). Ten years before “The Return of the Vampire” (1943), Lugosi played the title role of Degar in Benjamin “Ben” Stoloff’s Columbia horror feature, “Night of Terror” (1933).