CineSavant Column

Tuesday April 30, 2019


Fearless undercover CineSavant agent Gary Teetzel lets me know that a disc I won’t be able to resist is on its way … this announcement at Sci-Fi Japan has all the info for a Mill Creek steelbook Blu-ray of the ’61 Toho hit Mothra. All the versions and language options appear to be in place, so it’s just a matter of finding out how good it looks — the version showing on TCM is very good.

After hearing some bum reports I skipped the Blu-ray disc of Battle in Outer Space, but I’m enough of a gone goose for the furry flying Japanese piƱata and her two pint-sized ‘Peanuts’ girlfriends, that I think I’ll give this a try sight unseen. Expect a review.

Correspondent Jeff Knokey offers an amusing story about a movie I’d really like to see again, if only to find out if the cemetery exit that Whit Bissell’s Dr. Frankenstein uses with his hearse, is really the West/Gower exit in the Forever Hollywood graveyard a few blocks from CineSavant Central, just behind Paramount Pictures. Mr. Knokey has the floor:

“Anyway–in case you haven’t heard this one: producer Herman Cohen was visiting a film class at an Eastern Ivy League College not long after I Was a Teenage Frankenstein was released. The professor was (ironically?) covering the equally recent A Face in the Crowd that day, and demanded of Cohen he he could possibly produce such cultural trash as a teenage Frankenstein movie.

Cohen turned to the class and asked how many had seen “A Face in the Crowd.” A few raised their hands. Then he asked how many had seen “Teenage Frankenstein.” And almost every hand in the room went up. Cohen turned to the prof and said ‘That’s why.’

I wonder if Herman Cohen was the one who spread the original story. The situation on those two titles certainly has changed: the Elia Kazan is readily available, while the Herbert L. Strock is at present out of circulation in a decent presentation. Withholding vintage films from the public kills our cultural legacy.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson