The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based sci-fi film host will present his big Groundhog Day broadcast premiere of “The Giant Claw” (1957) from coast-to-coast this Sat., Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
“The Giant Claw” (1957) was directed by veteran Columbia contract actor-turned-director Fred F. Sears and was produced by longtime studio producer Sam Katzman. Sears and Katzman’s successful Columbia features include “The Werewolf” (1956, with Steven Ritch, Joyce Holden and Don Megowan), “Rock Around the Clock” (1956, w/ The Platters, disc jockey Alan Freed and Bill Haley’s Comets; ), “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956, w/ Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor; featuring Ray Harryhausen’s Dynamation stop-motion sequences); “Don’t Knock the Rock” (1956, w/ Little Richard, Alan Freed and Bill Haley’s Comets) and “The Night the World Exploded” (1957, w/ Kathryn Grant and William Leslie).
Who was in “The Giant Claw” (1957)?
The players who appeared in Sears and Katzman’s 1957 Columbia sci-fi creature entry were Jeff Morrow (as Mitch MacAfee), Mara Corday (as Sally Caldwell), Morris Ankrum (as Lt. Gen. Edward Considine), Louis Merrill (as Pierre Broussard), Edgar Barrier (as Dr. Karol Noymann), Robert Shayne (as Gen. Van Buskirk), Frank Griffin (as Pete, Griffin was credited under the pseudonym of Ruell Shayne*) Clark Howat (as Maj. Bergen), Morgan Jones (as a lieutenant) George Cisar (in an uncredited role as an airplane passenger), Robert B. Williams (in an uncredited role as a state trooper) and an uncredited cameo vocal appearance by Fred F. Sears (as the narrator).
Jeff Morrow previously played the role of Exeter in Joseph Newman’s Universal sci-fi entry, “This Island Earth” (1955). Morrow also played the role of Dr. William Barton in the third and final Universal “Creature” monster trilogy feature series, John Sherwood’s “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956). Two years before the production of “The Giant Claw,” Mara Corday appeared in the role of Stephanie “Steve” Clayton in Jack Arnold’s Universal arachnid monster feature, “Tarantula” (1955).
Morris Ankrum appeared in the role of Brig. Gen. John Hanley in the Sears-Harryhausen-Katzman Columbia sci-fi feature, “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1957, according to IMDB). George Cisar previously played the role of Hoxie in the Sears- Katzman-Columbia production of “The Werewolf” (1956, according to additional details from the American Film Institute). Robert B. Williams previously appeared in the role of Homer in Henry Levin’s Columbia wolf creature feature, “Cry of the Werewolf” (1944) and in the role of George Johnson in Jack Arnold’s Universal sequel to “Creature from the Black Lagoon;” “Revenge of the Creature” (1955).
Original working title for “The Giant Claw” (1957)
According to Richard Harland Smith’s article on “The Giant Claw” for Turner Classic Movies, the original working title for the 1957 Sears-Katzman-Columbia sci-fi creature feature was known as “Mark of the Claw.”
The supersized giant marionette creature for “The Giant Claw” (1957)
The larger-than-life marionette “Giant Claw” creature for the Sears-Katzman-Columbia production of “The Giant Claw” (1957) was constructed by an unknown model effects artist in Mexico; according to additional details from IMDB. Sam Katzman did this in order to keep a lean budget on the production of Columbia’s sci-fi fantasy creature feature. Both Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday did not see the “creature” until a sneak preview screening of “The Giant Claw;” according to additional information from Richard Harland Smith’s TCM article.
Originally meant to be constructed as a stop-motion “Dynamation” creature by Ray Harryhausen
Visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen was originally tapped to work on the creation of the “Giant Claw” creature for the Sears-Katzman-Columbia creature feature with his stop-motion “Dynamation” process; yet was turned down due to budgetary constraints (according to IMDB).
Originally released by Columbia as a double feature with another production by Sears and Katzman
Columbia Pictures originally released “The Giant Claw” (1957) to theaters as a double feature release with another studio production by Sears and Katzman, “The Night the World Exploded” (1957); according to an original trade ad from BoxOffice Magazine.
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie and his big Groundhog Day broadcast premiere of “The Giant Claw” (1957) from coast-to-coast, this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Morrow, Corday, Ankrum, Merrill, Barrier, Shayne, Griffin, Howat, Jones, Cisar, Williams and Sears; along with the “Giant Claw” marionette creature, Sven’s extensive fun facts, Doug Graves’ evening parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment; you will not be disappointed in Svengoolie’s upcoming big coast-to-coast Groundhog Day premiere broadcast of “The Giant Claw” (1957); this Sat. on Me-TV! Don’t miss out on the fun! Perfect for all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere! Highly recommended!
*Sidebar: Ruell Shayne/Frank Griffin was not related to Robert Shayne. –C.H.
Sat., Feb. 2 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 #Svengoolie super SvenPals everywhere via Twitter during Sven’s big Me-TV Groundhog Day broadcast premiere of “The Giant Claw” (1957) from coast-to-coast, this Sat.!
Fellow Chicago/Berwyn super SvenPals and fellow coast-to-coast super SvenPals who are traveling to Chicago/Berwyn: Sven will be making an upcoming in-person Groundhog Day appearance on Sat., Feb. 2 at Reel Art Collectibles (6727 Stanley Ave., Berwyn, Illinois 60402) from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (local time)! Sven will signing autographs along with a photo session! Note: One item per person/attendee will be signed (according to Sven’s site). More information is available by calling Reel Art Collectibles at (708)-637-3244!
To all fellow super SvenPals of Chicago/Berwyn and fellow super SvenPals who are traveling to Berwyn/, have fun seeing Sven in person for his upcoming Groundhog Day appearance at Reel Art Collectibles in Berwyn! –C.H.
All official Svengoolie and Me-TV long-sleeved apparel/hoodie/sweatshirt apparel items are now on sale through the official Me-TV online store! Be sure to type in the coupon code “METV15” at checkout to receive 15% off the original price of an official Sven hoodie, long-sleeved shirt and/or sweatshirt! Makes a perfect gift/present! Again, be sure to enter the coupon code “METV15” before checkout (offer good until Sun., Feb 3) to receive 15% off! And to quote Sven’s famous phrase for the official Sven/Me-TV online store, “no personal checks!”
Be sure to help out fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee by giving generously and spreading the word about her friend’s official “GoFundMe” website to help offset astronomical costs of certain medical-related treatments.
Spread the word and give generously to help out one of Jamie’s friends from the PM&L theatre ensemble! Any amount helps! -C.H.
“Star Trek” (TOS) returns to Me-TV this upcoming late Sat./early Sun. morning!
Fellow super SvenPals/Trekkies/viewers of Me-TV’s “Super Sci-Fi Sat. Night”/”Red Eye Sci-Fi” lineup will be jumping for joy during the return of “Star Trek” (The Original Series) on Me-TV’s airlanes on Sat., Feb. 2 at Midnight Eastern/11 p.m. Central; beginning with the 1966 network premiere episode, “The Man Trap!”! Be sure to check local listings/time and station availability!
To all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everwyhere: You may have heard about the recent Polar Vortex with sub-zero temperatures in the Midwest and the Arctic Blast with snow conditions spreading across the Northeast. It is important to follow all necessary precautions seriously during severe weather conditions. Be alert, stay warm and stay safe. –C.H.
In relation to “The Giant Claw” (1957):
“The Giant Claw” (1957) is also available in the Columbia Pictures classic sci-fi creature feature anthology DVD set, “Sci-Fi Creature Classics: 4 Movie Collection” from Mill Creek Entertainment (by arrangement with Columbia Pictures Industries Inc./Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)