Both Katzman and Sears were known for their Columbia productions throughout the 1950s, including “The Werewolf” (1956); with Steven Ritch, Joyce Holden and Don Megowan, “Rock Around the Clock” (1956); with The Platters, Bill Haley’s Comets and disc jockey Alan Freed, the Ray Harryhausen–Dynamation production of “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956); with Joan Taylor and Hugh Marlowe, “Don’t Knock the Rock” (1956); with Little Richard, Alan Freed and Bill Haley’s Comets, “Calypso Heat Wave” (1957); with Maya Angelou, Joel Grey and Johnny Desmond and “The Night the World Exploded” (1957); with Kathryn Grant and William Leslie.
“The Giant Claw” was originally released as a double-feature presentation in most theatrical venues with the additional 1957 Columbia sci-fi production from Katzman and Sears, “The Night the World Exploded;” according to the original 1957 Columbia Pictures exhibitors’ trade ad that was featured in BoxOffice Magazine.
This will mark Sven’s second big coast-to-coast broadcast of “The Giant Claw” (1957) on Me-TV. He previously showcased the 1957 Sears-Katzman-Columbia sci-fi creature as a big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere back in Feb. 2019.
Who was in the 1957 Sears-Katzman-Columbia sci-fi creature feature classic?
The players who appeared in “The Giant Claw” (1957) were Jeff Morrow (as Mitch MacAfee; Morrow also appeared in two Universal Studios sci-fi/monster/creature productions, including 1955’s “This Island Earth” and 1957’s “The Creature Walks Among Us”), Mara Corday (as Sally Caldwell; Corday previously appeared in the 1955 Universal production of “Tarantula” and in the 1957 Warner Bros. production of “The Black Scorpion”), Morris Ankrum (as Lt. Gen. Edward Considine, Ankrum also appeared in the 1957 Harryhausen-Katzman-Sears-Columbia production of “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”), Robert Shayne (as Gen. Van Buskirk), Clark Howat (as Maj. Bergen), Louis Merrill (as Pierre Broussard), Edgar Barrier (as Dr. Karol Noymann), Frank Griffin (as Pete, the actor was credited under the pseudonym name of Ruell Shayne in the film)*, Morgan Jones (as a lieutenant) George Cisar (in an uncredited role as an airplane passenger, Cisar previously appeared in the 1956 Katzman-Sears Columbia production of “The Werewolf”), an uncredited cameo vocal appearance by Fred F. Sears (as the narrator) and Robert B. Williams (in an uncredited role as a state trooper).
Filmed in a brief period of time
The Katzman-Sears-Columbia production of “The Giant Claw” was filmed in less than nine days on a tight budget, according Richard Harland Smith’s article on the 1957 Columbia sci-fi feature for Turner Classic Movies. The majority of the expenses on the 1957 sci-fi feature were spent by Katzman on the special effects and the “Giant Claw” creature marionette model design, which was constructed in Mexico. The designer of the “Giant Claw” creature marionette has not been revealed as of this day.
Additional “stock footage”-based special effects from another Columbia feature were used for “The Giant Claw”
In addition to the special effects in “The Giant Claw,” additional stock footage elements were used from the Ray Harryhausen-Sam Katzman-Fred Sears-Columbia production of “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956); according to IMDB.
Corday and Morrow’s reaction to the “Giant Claw” creature on-screen
Both Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday did not see the finalized “Giant Claw” creature marionette until the sneak preview screening of “The Giant Claw,” according to addition details from Richard Harland Smith’s TCM article. The two lead actors were not fond of the overall design, mostly due to the model creature creation as a result of budget constraints. Morrow recounted that the “Giant Claw” sci-fi creature marionette had a resemblance of a turkey.
Though Katzman and Sears’ 1957 Columbia sci-fi creature feature became a cult classic, the film was snubbed by Hollywood film industry critics during the original theatrical release; according to according to film historian Clive Hirschorn’s retrospective book on Columbia Pictures, “The Columbia Story.”
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Giant Claw” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Fly the friendly skies of Berwyn with Svengoolie and his big broadcast of “The Giant Claw” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV! With Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum, Robert Shayne (as Gen. Van Buskirk), Clark Howat, Louis Merrill, Edgar Barrier, Frank Griffin/Ruell Shayne*, Morgan Jones, George Cisar, Fred F. Sears’ uncredited vocal narration cameo and Robert B. Williams; along with Sven’s extra fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody tune and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment; don’t miss out on Sven’s big broadcast! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals everywhere and to all fellow sci-fi creature feature film aficionados! Be sure to see the “Giant Claw” marionette creature in action! Fun for all ages!
*Frank Griffin/Ruell Shayne has no connection to actor he has no connection to Robert Shayne in the Katzman-Sears-Columbia production of “The Giant Claw.” –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 coast-to-coast super SvenPals everywhere this Sat. via Twitter during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Giant Claw” (1957) on Me-TV!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Part IV 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 post on Svengoolie’s 40th anniversary “Flashback Weekend 2019” meet-and-greet photo/autograph session with fellow Chicago/Berwyn-based super SvenPals, including various fan-made Sven artwork! Congratulations from the entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast super Svengoolie SvenPals, David and all fellow super “Flashback Weekend” SvenPals from Berwyn/Chicago and beyond on seeing Sven/Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz during the Sven 40th anniversary meet-and-greet autograph/photo session at “Flashback Weekend 2019!” Keep up the excellent/wonderful work, sir! Three cheers, two thumbs up, kudos, peace and “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! -C.H.
During Svengoolie’s Aug. 24 Me-TV big broadcast showcase of William Castle’s classic Columbia thriller with Joan Crawford, “Strait-Jacket” (1964); fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast jumped for joy when they recognized a Sven 40th anniversary/retrospective drawing from one of our fellow super SvenPals! In Sven & Kerwyn’s Aug. 24 “mail call” segment, the artwork of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal and artist Anthony Iwasczyszyn was mentioned and showcased by Sven and Kerwyn during the “mail call” segment! Titled “A Svengoolie for All Seasons,” Anthony’s Sven sketch artwork features the senior Svengoolie (Mr. Jerry G. Bishop; Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s mentor); the “Son of” Svengoolie/Svengoolie (Mr. Rich Koz), along with Kerwyn and Zalman T. Tombstone! Congratulations from the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere, Anthony on your cool, neat and awesome Sven retrospective drawing/sketch, “A Svengoolie for All Seasons” that was showcased on Sven and Kerwyn’s recent “mail call” segment! Keep up the excellent/wonderful work, sir! We’re all jumping for joy and we’re all proud of you! Two thumbs up, three cheers, kudos, peace and “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast! -C.H.
Be sure to spread the word/donate generously/help out one of the friends of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee from the PM&L Theatre troupe by giving whatever you can/spreading the word to her PM&L friend’s official “GoFundMe” fund website to help offset astronomical costs of additional medical-related treatments. Any amount helps! Spread the word/donate generously to help out one of Jamie’s PM&L friends! –C.H.
In connection to “The Giant Claw” (1957):
“The Giant Claw” (1957) is also available in the classic Columbia sci-fi creature multi-feature DVD anthology 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)
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