CineSavant Column

Tuesday January 5, 2021



For those interested in a short primer on old-school film lab facts, Gary Teetzel offers this September 1954 issue of Technicolor News & Views, which dishes out a lot of information in a confined space. Take a look at the whole short magazine … it’s pretty interesting. They talk up the company’s new work in VistaVision, but also explain the 3-Strip camera process, which by late ’54 was not seeing much use. The graphics show, to scale, the relative sizes and aspect ratios of several formats — Academy, CinemaScope, VistaVision and Cinerama. Rhonda Fleming is their pin-up girl.

 We’re getting plenty of positive feedback on the Where Were You in ’62, A.I.P.? article from last Saturday. Correspondent John Black wrote in to say that we left out another A.I.P. muscleman opus that changed character names: Released here in 1964, Sergio Corbucci’s Goliath and the Vampires with Gordon Scott is said to have also been distributed as Samson vs. the Vampires. It was released back in Italy in 1961 as a Maciste movie, Maciste contro il vampiro. John says that Studiocanal is working on a remaster.


 Collector-historian Bill Shaffer sent along a few more double pages from that 1962 American-International promotional book, touting movies that weren’t made or that underwent title changes. Here’s the most interesting, thrown together by me so they don’t align all too well. Again, the graphic is bigger if you open it in a new window.

The item on top is the Julian Wintle/Leslie Parkyn project that shared two provisional titles with what became Panic in Year Zero!, ‘Survival’ and ‘End of the World,’ and then mysteriously dropped from the A.I.P. schedule. The tag line ‘The Most Astounding Motion Picture Ever Made in Colorscope’ reminds me of the famous Hitchcock dialogue line “You’re the most exciting woman I ever met… on the train.”

If the other proposed film When the Sleeper Wakes was really meant to be an adaptation of H.G. Wells, it would have required the creation of an entire world of the future, an undertaking we wouldn’t expect A.I.P. to consider. The studio had the project in development for years, with Vincent Price announced to star, and at one point with Martha Hyer as a female lead.

The 1899 Wells book When the Sleeper Wakes is about a man who takes something for insomnia in 1897 and wakes up 200+ years in the future, in 2100. He discovers a rigidly classed world much like that in Metropolis, with various worker uprisings, etc.  We note that A.I.P.’s commercial artist again reached into poster art for This Island Earth — those building towers come right from the TIE one-sheet. Thanks Bill …




Correspondent and collaborator Marc Edward Heuck has maintained the film-oriented blog The Projector Has Been Drinking since around 2009. Marc also writes for Tarantino’s local retro palace The New Beverly Theater, which we’re waiting (I wonder what for) to see re-open this year. On New Year’s Eve he posted his list of the Best Movies of the Decade 2011-2020, which will provide a good sampling of the quality of Marc’s writing. It’s high time that I linked to his work.




And the news is out — Ib Melchior’s loopy time portal epic The Time Travellers has been assigned a street date of April 27 from Kino Lorber. The one extra is a trailer; I’ll be eager to see how the show shapes up with a widescreen transfer.

When will a disc boutique spring to remaster the various versions of Edgar G. Ulmer’s Beyond the Time Barrier?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson