Strait-Jacket” (1964) was directed by legendary veteran macabre cinema thriller-horror director William Castle, some of Castle’s best-known classic macabre screen thrillers include “House on Haunted Hill” (1959, with Vincent Price), “The Tingler” (1959, w/ Price), “13 Ghosts” (1960, with Charles Herbert), “Homicidal” (1961, with Glenn Corbett) and “The Night Walker” (1964, with Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor).
The screenplay treatment for “Strait-Jacket” (1964) was written by veteran author Robert Bloch, who was also famous for his thriller-mystery novel “Psycho,” which was adapted into a popular mystery-thriller film of the same name in 1960 by the “master of suspense;” Alfred Hitchcock (with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins).
This will mark Svengoolie’s second big coast-to-coast broadcast of William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) on Me-TV. He previously aired Castle’s classic 1964 Columbia-Joan Crawford screen thriller back in Feb. 2019. Sven previously aired “Strait-Jacket” (1964) on his hometown television station in Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois; WCIU-TV 26/”The U” back in Nov. 2009 (according to IMDB).
Who was in William Castle’s 1964 Columbia thriller?
The players who appeared in William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) were veteran silver screen legend Joan Crawford (as Lucy Harbin), Diane Baker (as Carol Cutler, she previously appeared in Hitchcock’s 1964 Universal suspense production of “Marnie” with Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery; Baker also previously appeared with Crawford in Jean Negulesco’s 1959 drama, “The Best of Everything” and in Robert Gist’s 1964 drama, “Della”), young George Kennedy (as Leo Krause, Kennedy would go on to greater fame in 1967’s “The Dirty Dozen,” “Cool Hand Luke” with Paul Newman and in the role of Joe Patroni in Universal’s “Airport” series of action thrillers from 1970-79), young Lee Majors (in an uncredited role as Frank Harbin, this marked one of Majors’ earliest acting roles as he was recommended by veteran actor Rock Hudson, Majors went on to greater fame for his role of Col. Steve Austin in Harve Bennett ‘s Universal adventure-action TV series, “The Six Million Dollar Man” beginning with the made-for-TV movie pilot in 1973’ Majors’ series lasted from 1974-78), Leif Erickson (as Bill Cutler), Rochelle Hudson (as Emily Cutler), Edith Atwater (as Mrs. Anderson Fields), Mitchell Cox (as Dr. Anderson, he was chosen for his only film role of Dr. Anderson due to Joan Crawford’s connection to Pepsi-Cola; according to the American Film Institute, Cox was vice-president of public relations for Pepsi at the time)*, Howard St. John (as Raymond Fields), Vicki Cos (in an uncredited role as young Carol Harbin), Patricia Crest (in an uncredited role as Stella Fulton), John Anthony Hayes (as Michael Fields), Laura Hess and Patty Lee (in uncredited roles as young children); Lynn Lundgren (in an uncredited role as a beautician), Robert Ward (in an uncredited role as a shoe clerk) and Howard Hoffman (in an uncredited/unlisted role).
One of Castle’s few productions that barely had any reliance on “gimmicks”
According to Frank Miller’s article on “Strait-Jacket” (1964) for Turner Classic Movies, this was one of William Castle’s few productions that did not rely entirely on “gimmicks.” While gimmicks were a trademark element of Castle, he insisted that the star power of Joan Crawford would draw in audiences to see his Columbia feature production of “Strait-Jacket.” Another factor was Crawford’s famed appearance opposite Bette Davis in Robert Aldrich’s Warner Bros. screen thriller, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962).
Though studio officials were unsure about Castle’s refusal of gimmicks in his Columbia production of “Strait-Jacket,” he devised a plan to give promotional plastic faux “axes” as a giveaway to cinema attendees during the original theatrical release, according to additional details from Frank Miller’s TCM article.
Joan Crawford’s supervision of Castle’s Columbia production of “Strait-Jacket”
According to additional details from IMDB, Joan Crawford wanted Robert Bloch to re-write the entire screenplay before agreeing to appear in William Castle’s Columbia production of “Strait-Jacket.” In addition to the final approval script, Crawford also had the final approval for the cast. It was also reported that William Castle and Columbia executives met with Crawford at her New York apartment to discuss the overall details of “Strait-Jacket,” they had to take off their shoes for the meeting because of Crawford’s new carpet for her apartment; according to Frank Miller’s TCM article.
Castle’s latter thriller feature with Crawford
One year after the success of “Strait-Jacket,” Joan Crawford appeared in another William Castle thriller production at Universal Studios; titled “I Saw What You Did’ (1965). In addition to Crawford and Leif Erickson, the other players in who appeared Castle’s 1965 Universal thriller were John Ireland, Sara Lane, Andi Garrett, Patricia Breslin and Tom Hatten; a longtime Los Angeles television personality who was known for hosting classic “Popeye” cartoons and the “Family Film Festival” showcase of classic family-oriented films on KTLA.
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast of William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) with Joan Crawford, this Sat. on Me-TV!
Don’t miss out on Svengoolie and his big broadcast showcase of William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) with Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, young George Kennedy, young Lee Majors, Leif Erickson, Rochelle Hudson, Edith Atwater, Mitchell Cox*, Howard St. John, Vicki Cos, Patricia Crest, John Anthony Hayes, Laura Hess Patty Lee, Lynn Lundgren, Robert Ward and Howard Hoffman; this Sat. on Me-TV! Perfect for all fellow super SvenPals and aficionados of William Castle’s classic macabre thrillers with Sven’s fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody song, Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment and several surprises in the film! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
*In connection to Pepsi and Pepsi executive Mitchell Cox, Joan Crawford was married to Pepsi chairman Alfred Steele from 1956 until his death in 1959 (according to IMDB); Crawford was on Pepsi’s board of directors from 1959-73. –C.H.
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 super #Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere from coast-to-coast this Sat. (via Twitter) during Sven’s big Me-TV broadcast of William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) with Joan Crawford!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois and beyond! Sven will be making an upcoming appearance in his hometown of Berwyn, Illinois at the 2019/29th annual “Berwyn Route 66 Car Show” (sponsored by WeatherTech) on the pavement of historic Route 66 on the afternoon of Sat., Aug. 24 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. (local time, on Odgen Ave.; between Oak Park Ave. and Ridgeland Ave. in Berwyn, Illinois; according to the official map for the event)! Sven will be having a meet-and-greet autograph/photo session at the Route 66 car show event! Plus, there will be a military salute, classic cars, food, a professional Elvis Presley impersonator and much much more at the Berwyn Route 66 car show festival!
To all fellow super SvenPals of the greater Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois area and beyond who are attending the 2019 “Berwyn Route 66 Car Show” event, have fun meeting/seeing Sven in-person and experience the additional events/festivities throughout the “Berwyn Route 66 Car Show!” –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Part III of Sven’s “Flashback Weekend” 2019 series from fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal David Fuentes and his “Terror From Beyond the Dave” in-depth blog article on Svengoolie’s 40th anniversary retrospective bash with WGN Radio’s Nick Digilio and cameo guest personalities Virginia Madsen & Ted Raimi! Congratulations from all of us fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast, David on seeing Sven, Nick, Virginia & Ted during the 40th anniversary retrospective of Sven & Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz! Two thumbs up from all of us! -C.H.
Be sure to donate generously/spread the word/help out one of the friends of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee from the PM&L Theatre troupe by donating whatever you can/spreading the word to her friend’s official “GoFundMe” site to help offset costly costs of additional medical-related treatments. Any amount helps! Donate generously/spread the word to help out one of Jamie’s PM&L friends! –C.H.
In connection to William Castle, Joan Crawford and “Strait-Jacket” (1964):
1963-1964 Columbia Pictures theatrical promotional featurette titled “How to Plan a Movie Murder;” with Joan Crawford, William Castle and Robert Bloch promoting the studio’s release of “Strait-Jacket” (via “The Concluding Chapter of Crawford” YouTube site)
William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) is also available for purchase on a deluxe edition Blu-Ray disc from Shout! Factory’s “Scream Factory” imprint and is also part of the “Double Psycho Biddy Feature” Blu-Ray set containing two of Joan Crawford’s Columbia feature thrillers with “Berserk!”(1967) from Mill Creek Entertainment (by arrangement with Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc./Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment). William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) is also available on DVD as part of Sony’s “Choice Collection” series of select Columbia/Sony-owned features/TV productions and Castle’s 1964 Columbia-Crawford thriller is also available to stream from Sony via participating video-on-demand/streaming providers.
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