The 1957 Universal creature-fantasy production was directed by veteran studio editor-turned-director Virgil Vogel. Vogel’s other Universal feature productions include “The Mole People” (1956, with John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, Hugh Beaumont, Alan Napier, Nestor Paiva and Dr. Frank C. Baxter) and the finale feature in the studio’s “Ma and Pa Kettle” comedy series sans Percy Kilbride, “The Kettles on Old MacDonald’s Farm” (1957, with Marjorie Main, Parker Fennelly, Gloria Talbott and young Claude Akins). The screenplay for Vogel’s production of “The Land Unknown” was written by veteran screenwriters László Görög, based on an adaptation of Charles Palmer’s story idea by William N. Robson. Vogel’s “The Land Unknown” (1957) was produced by veteran Universal producer William Alland.
Virgil Vogel’s Universal classic creature-adventure-fantasy masterpiece production of “The Land Unknown” (1957) was filmed in the CinemaScope widescreen process format (2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio). CinemaScope was developed by Henri Chrétien for rival studio Twentieth Century Fox (Twentieth Century Studios), Encyclopædia Britannica. Universal began using the CinemaScope process for productions by arrangement with Twentieth Century Fox (Twentieth Century Studios) in 1954, according to a Dec. 1953 press release.
This will mark Svengoolie’s fifth big broadcast of Vogel’s classic Universal fantasy creature-adventure masterpiece on Me-TV. He previously showcased Vogel’s “The Land Unknown” (1957) back in in May 2014, May 2015, Nov. 2016 and July 2017.
Who was in Virgil Vogel’s 1957 Universal creature-fantasy-adventure production?
The players who appeared in Virgil Vogel’s 1957 Universal creature-fantasy-adventure production of “The Land Unknown” were Jock Mahoney (as Cmndr. Harold Roberts), Shawn Smith (a pseudonym for Shirley Patterson, as Margaret Hathaway), Henry Brandon (as Dr. Carl Hunter), William Reynolds (as Lt. Jack Carmen), Douglas Kennedy (as Capt. Burnham), Bing Russell (in an uncredited role as a radio operator), Phil Harvey (as Steve Miller) and Bert Stevens (as an officer at the briefing).
In addition to the numerous film and TV appearances that he made throughout his screen career, veteran stuntman-turned-actor Jock Mahoney was known for his title role in the latter live-action screen adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan;” “Tarzan Goes to India” (1962) and “Tarzan’s Three Challenges” (1963). In the early part of her screen career, Shirley Patterson/Shawn Smith appeared in numerous Columbia Pictures features; including the role of Linda Page in the studio’s live-action serial adaptation of Bob Kane’s DC Comics superhero creation, “Batman” (1943) and in several of the studio’s comedic short subjects with “The Three Stooges;” Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerome “Curly” Howard in 1943.
Source stock footage from a famous expedition was used in Vogel’s 1957 Universal creature-fantasy-adventure entry
According to the American Film Institute’s database entry on “The Land Unknown” (1957), source stock footage elements of Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd’s 1947 South Pole expedition were used in Vogel’s feature.
Original plans for Universal’s production of “The Land Unknown” (1957)
The Universal production of “The Land Unknown” was originally planned to be produced as an “A”-budget creature fantasy-adventure feature, according to IMDB’s trivia section. Veteran Universal director Jack Arnold was originally chosen to direct the 1957 production of “The Land Unknown.” Arnold made pre-production plans on the feature, as “The Land Unknown” was originally set to be shot in color.
Due to studio budgetary concerns, Universal executives decided to scale down the production expenses on “The Land Unknown” as a “B”-budget feature production, which resulted in Arnold to lose interest in the feature. The project was then assigned to Virgil Vogel.
The Tyrannosaurus rex model head from “The Land Unknown” (1957) was later used/remodeled for a latter popular Universal TV production
According to additional details from IMDB’s trivia section, the “larger-than-life” Tyrannosaurus rex creature model head from “The Land Unknown” (1957) was later retrofitted/remodeled by Universal Studios prop designers for the creation of the pet dragon “Spot” in the studio’s hit TV monster family comedy masterpiece series, “The Munsters” (with Fred Gywnne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Beverley Owen in 1964 and Pat Priest, the Universal “Munster” monster sitcom series ran on the CBS television network from 1964-66).
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Land Unknown” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Jock Mahoney, Shawn Smith/Shirley Patterson, Henry Brandon, William Reynolds, Douglas Kennedy, Bing Russell, Bert Stevens, Phil Harvey, the source orchestral soundtrack music score of young Henry Mancini with Heinz Roemheld, Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast of Virgil Vogel’s “The Land Unknown” (1957) this Sat. on Me-TV! Escape from stress! Relax and unwind with Sven’s big broadcast or Virgil Vogel’s classic Universal fantasy-creature entry plus Sven’s fun facts, Doug Graves’ evening parody song, Kerwyn’s Berwyn “home office” mail call segment and much, much more! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals everywhere!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Broadband 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam 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
Join in on the fun by live-tweeting and having fun with the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere via Twitter during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Land Unknown” (1957), this Sat. on Me-TV!
To all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals/fellow readers/fellow subscribers of “Silver Screen Reflections” everywhere: Again, to quote Svengoolie’s executive producer, Jim Roche: “#KeepCalmAndWatchSven!” Please be safe, good, courteous, kind and respectful to each other. Put love in your heart. Let’s all look to positive/uplifting wisdom, enlightenment and encouragement from Svengoolie, all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere, all fellow super Mystery Science Theater 3000 MSTies everywhere and all fellow classic film/television aficionados everywhere. Again, to all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere; safety first, follow all precautions seriously, avoid touching your face, wear a protective face mask/appropriate protective face covering, practice social distancing measures, use a sleeve/tissue when coughing/sneezing, wash your hands for approximately 20 sec., stay home, keep healthy and stay well. Again, let’s all take preventative steps/measures by being safe, keeping healthy and staying well- and again, we fellow super SvenPals everywhere highly recommend watching Kerwyn’s informative coronavirus/COVID-19 prevention safety public service announcement! Escape from chaos, anxiety and stress by having fun and relaxing with Sven and his Sat. evening big broadcasts of classic monster/creature, horror and sci-fi feature film masterpieces on the airlanes of Me-TV! Join in on the fun with all fellow super SvenPals everywhere by live-tweeting through the airlanes of Twitter during Sven’s Sat. evening big broadcasts! Again, safety first, keep healthy and stay well, Sven/Mr. Rich Koz, the entire Sven/Me-TV production crowd & the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals of Svengoolie everywhere! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Limited supplies available for purchase! The official Svengoolie/Me-TV Sven “at-home” box activity gift set is still available for purchase on the official Sven/Me-TV online store website! The Sven activity box comes with a Sven three-dimensional cube puzzle, a Sven mini “magic doodle” sketch keychain to draw Sven and/or Kerwyn, a deck of Sven playing cards, the Sven “fun putty” egg (“crack me up!”), a Sven plastic spring toy a.k.a. the “Svenkie,” the 100-piece Sven “It Came From Berwyn!” puzzle (in the style of Sven’s poster and Sven’s official classic “It Came From Berwyn!” WCIU/”The U” and Me-TV “It Came From Berwyn!” tees), the Sven “squishy bat” stress reliever (not connected to Sven’s WCIU former mail call sidekick, “Ed the bat”), Sven microwave popcorn and a 16-page Sven word jumble puzzle/crossword puzzle/”Svendoku” sudoku/joke/maze/trivia book! A fantastic gift! Many fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast have ordered their Sven boxes from the official Sven/Me-TV online store site and have confirmed that the limited Sven boxes have arrived! And again, supplies are limited; if you haven’t ordered yours yet, now is the time to purchase yours before all supplies run out! And again, to quote the official rule of the Sven/Me-TV online store, “no personal checks!” And only purchase authentic/official Sven & Me-TV items from the official Sven/Me-TV online store! –C.H.
From Sven’s Berwyn dungeon studio set to your home dungeon studio set! Download Svengoolie’s famous Me-TV dungeon “studio set” background (featuring Body Sorrell) for your favorite videoconferencing platform (Skype, Zoom, etc.), as part of Me-TV’s selection of classic TV show backgrounds for online videoconferencing!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Cameo mentions of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! (Around the 0:24 mark, after the “TV Palmistry” lower-third title)! During Svengoolie’s big July 18 Me-TV broadcast of George Waggner’s classic Universal monster masterpiece, “The Wolf Man” (1941) and after taking a closer look several hours after Sven’s big broadcast; fellow super SvenPals everywhere jumped for joy when they recognized a cameo appearance of a familiar Sven art design piece from one of our fellow super SvenPals! During Sven’s “TV Palmistry” sketch segment in connection to “The Wolf Man” (1941), fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Sarah Rhodes’ Svengoolie skateboard artwork design was featured in Sven’s Berwyn dungeon studio set during the big broadcast of “The Wolf Man” (1941)! Sarah’s custom Svengoolie skateboard artwork design debuted during Sven’s big June 1, 2019 big broadcast premiere of “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966) on Sven and Kerwyn’s Me-TV “mail call” segment, along with Sarah’s cameo Sven tee photo appearance with her Sven skateboard artwork design(s)! Sarah’s Sven skateboard artwork was created in commemoration of Sven/Rich Koz’s 40th anniversary in the Berwyn/Chicago big broadcast television airlanes and her Sven skateboard artwork has appeared on Sven’s in-studio segments from time-to-time since then!
Congratulations to Sarah on her cameo Svengoolie skateboard artwork appearance on Sven’s “Wolf Man”/”TV Palmistry” segment from the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere! We’re all jumping for joy and we’re all proud of you! Three cheers, two thumbs up, keep up the wonderful & excellent work, stay safe, stay well, keep healthy, peace, kudos & “Hi-Keeba” from all of us fellow super SvenPals everywhere, Sarah! -C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Again, to our fellow super SvenPals who have not yet watched the Online Kovid players’ big broadcast reading adaptation of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” featuring fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee in the role of pioneering TV horror film host Maila “Vampira” Nurmi on the airlanes of YouTube; we fellow super SvenPals highly recommend watching Jamie & the Online Kovid troupe’s adaptation! And Jamie’s archival/pre-recorded editions of “Jammin’ with Jamie” are playing in rotation on the airlanes of Northwestern University Radio/WNUR-FM 89.3/FM 89.3-HD1 in the greater Berwyn/Chicago listening area, WNUR.org and the TuneIn platform from coast-to-coast, around the world and throughout the universe! Again, stay tuned to Jamie’s official Twitter site and/or Jamie’s official website for updates and additional information in connection to “Jammin’ with Jamie!” Again, fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals/fellow super jammers can also listen to archival/pre-recorded editions of Jamie’s past “Jammin’ with Jamie” programs (2016-present), additional details/information can be found via Jamie’s official Twitter site and/or official website!
Congratulations to Jamie and the entire Online Kovid players troupe on their adaptation of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” from the entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow super “Jammin’ with Jamie” jammers everywhere! We’re all jumping for joy and we’re all proud of you! Three cheers, two thumbs up, keep up the wonderful & excellent work, stay safe, stay well, keep healthy, peace, kudos & “Hi-Keeba” from all of us fellow super SvenPals and fellow super jammers everywhere, Jamie! -C.H.
In connection to “The Land Unknown” (1957):
“The Land Unknown” (1957) is also available on Blu-Ray disc from Kino Lorber’s “KL Studio Classics” imprint, by arrangement with Universal Studios. Virgil Vogel’s 1957 classic Universal creature-adventure-fantasy production is also available on DVD as part of Universal’s multi-film sci-fi/creature classic anthology set, “The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection: Vol. 2.” The 1957 feature is also available as a standalone DVD title through Universal’s “Vault Series” line of rare and hard-to-find Universal Studios/Universal-owned feature films and TV programs.
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