The 1961 sci-fi/fantasy creature feature was directed by Columbia veteran Edward Bernds. Bernds started out as a sound engineer for the studio, notably for his work on Frank Capra’s acclaimed Columbia features; including “It Happened One Night” (1934, with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert), “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936, with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur) and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939, with James Stewart, Arthur and Claude Rains).
Bernds later directed numerous Columbia short comedies featuring The Three Stooges (with Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerome “Curly” Howard from 1945 until Curly’s stroke in 1947 and the Stooges’ shorts with Shemp Howard from 1947–1952). Bernds would later direct two feature-length Columbia “Stooge” productions with “Curly Joe” DeRita, “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules” and “The Three Stooges in Orbit” (both 1962).
Some of Bernds’ non-Columbia features that he directed were “Queen of Outer Space” (1958, for Allied Artists) with Zsa Zsa Gabor and the Twentieth Century Fox sequel to 1958’s “The Fly,” “Return of the Fly” (1959) with Vincent Price.
According to Clive Hirschorn’s retrospective book on Columbia Pictures, “The Columbia Story;” Bernds also wrote the screenplay for “Valley of the Dragons,” which was adapted from Donald Zimbalist ‘s story treatment. Bernds and Zimbalist’s work was loosely inspired by Jules Verne’s novel, “Career of a Comet” (a.k.a., “Off on a Comet” and “Hector Servadac”).
Who was in “Valley of the Dragons” (1961)?
The players who appeared in Bernds’ 1961 Columbia sci-fi/fantasy creature feature were Cesare Danova (as Hector Servadac), Sean McClory (as Michael Denning), Joan Staley (as Deena), Danielle De Metz (as Nateeta), Gregg Martell (as Od-Loo), Gil Perkins (in the dual roles of Tarn and a Doctor), I. Stanford Jolley (as Patoo), Mike Lane (as Anoka), Roger Til (as Vidal), Mark Dempsey (as Andrews), Jerry Sunshine (as LeClerc) and Dolly Grey (as Mara).