The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based creature feature film host will present his big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Werewolf” (1956), this Sat., Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
The 1956 Columbia werewolf feature was directed by veteran actor-turned-director Fred F. Sears. Sears appeared in bit roles in various Columbia features, including the studio’s “Blondie” comedies (1946–47, with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake; adapted from Chic Young’s comic strip). Sears directed numerous successful Columbia features in his film career, including “Rock Around the Clock” (1956, with Bill Haley and the Comets; The Platters and disc jockey Alan Freed), “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956, with Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor; featuring Dynamation sequences by Ray Harryhausen); “Don’t Knock the Rock” (1956, with Little Richard, Bill Haley’s Comets and Alan Freed) and “The Giant Claw” (1957, with Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday).
“The Werewolf” (1956) was produced by veteran Columbia feature film producer and Sam Katzman. Katzman worked on many of Sears’ film productions for the studio.
Who was in “The Werewolf” (1956)?
The players who appeared in “The Werewolf” (1956) were Steven Ritch (as the Werewolf), Don Megowan (as Sheriff Jack Haines), Joyce Holden (as Amy Standish), Eleanore Tanin (as Mrs. Helen Marsh), Kim Charney (as Chris Marsh), Harry Lauter (as Deputy Ben Clovey), Larry J. Blake (as Hank Durgis), Ken Christy (as Dr. Jonas Gilcrist), James Gavin (as Mack Fanning), S. John Launer (as Dr. Emery Forrest), George Lynn (as Dr. Morgan Chambers), George Cisar (as Hoxie) and a cameo vocal appearance by Fred F. Sears (as the narrator, according to IMDB).
According to Jeff Stafford’s article for Turner Classic Movies on “The Werewolf” (1956), Steven Ritch fought in the Battle at Guadalcanal during World War II. After the war, Ritch originally had an interest in practicing law; he then became interested in screenwriting and acting (he co-wrote the screenplay for Columbia’s 1959 film noir entry, “City of Fear;” Ritch also played the role of Dr. John Wallace in the film). Don Megowan appeared in the second installment of Universal Studios’ “Creature” franchise series, “Revenge of the Creature” (1956, Megowan appeared in an uncredited role of the creature for land sequences). Joyce Holden had a brief acting career in motion pictures and television throughout her acting career from 1950-58; she previously appeared in an uncredited role as a Hospital receptionist in Universal’s “Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm” (1951, the fourth “Ma and Pa Kettle” feature with Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride).
“The Werewolf” (1956): One of Fred F. Sears’ few horror efforts
According to additional information from Jeff Stafford’s TCM article on “The Werewolf” (1956), Fred F. Sears’ Columbia werewolf creature feature was one the director’s few cinematic directorial efforts in the field of horror films.
A new “werewolf” for the silver screen
According to additional details from IMDB’s trivia section on the 1956 Sears-Katzman-Columbia wolf creature feature entry, the “Werewolf” character was the screen’s first “non-supernatural” werewolf characterization on film.
Originally presented as a double-feature theatrical presentation with another Sears-Katzman-Columbia production
The Sears-Katzman-Columbia production of “The Werewolf” (1956) was originally released to theaters from coast-to-coast as a double-feature presentation with another Columbia production by Sears and Katzman; “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956, according to IMDB). In addition to Sam Katzman, Charles H. Schneer served as co-producer of “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.”
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie and his big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Werewolf” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Ritch, Megowan, Holden, Tanin, Lauter, Charney, Blake, Gavin, Christy, Lynn, Cisar, Launer and the vocal stylings of Sears; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “The Werewolf “ (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV! Don’t miss out on Sven’s big broadcast premiere of “The Werewolf” (1956) from coast-to-coast with Sven’s extensive fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song of the evening and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! Highly recommended to all fellow SvenPals everywhere! “A-woooo!”
Sidebar: Not affiliated with any of Universal’s classic “Wolf Man” monster franchise features or the 1995 direct-to-video film, “Werewolf” (“Whurwilf”); which was shown on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (#904), back in 1998. -C.H.
Sat., Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow coast-to-coast #Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere during Sven’s big coast-to-coast Me-TV broadcast premiere of “The Werewolf” (1956), this Sat.!
The return of “Star Trek: TOS” to Me-TV’s Super Sci-Fi Sat. Night, coming this Feb.!
Fellow super SvenPals/Trekkies/overnight viewers of Me-TV’s “Super Sci-Fi Sat. Night”/”Red Eye Sci-Fi” lineup! “Star Trek” (The Original Series) will be returning to Me-TV’s airlanes late Sat. night/early Sun. morning , beginning on Feb. 2 at Midnight Eastern/11 p.m. Central (beginning with “The Man Trap” from 1966)! Check with local listings and station availability!
Be sure to help out one of our fellow Svengoolie SvenPals’ friends:
Spread the word/give generously to help out one of the friends of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee, via the official “GoFundMe” website of her PM&L Theatre ensemble friend to help offset the astronomical costs of additional medical-related treatments.
Spread the message and be sure to give whatever you can to help one of Jamie’s friends! -C.H.
In relation to “The Werewolf” (1956):
“The Werewolf” (1956) is also available on Sony’s DVD anthology set of classic Sam Katzman-Columbia horror/thriller features, “Sam Katzman: Icons of Horror Collection.” “The Werewolf” (1956) is also available as a single DVD disc release through Sony’s “Choice Collection” of rare and hard-to-find Columbia features and TV shows.