CineSavant Column

Saturday September 9, 2023



The mighty Mishka again assumes his best Gorgo pose, to introduce . . .

. . . a news clipping found by fellow CineSavant reviewer Charlie Largent, who asks, is this the origin of Gorgo?  It’s dated December 23, 1958, which means that the King Brothers were working on Gorgo way before its 1961 release date. We suspect that its post-production was stalled for at least a few months, because the street scenes in Piccadilly were filmed in August and October of 1959.


Gossip maven Louella Parsons must have had a slow news day to report on the production of a movie tentatively called “Kuru.”  It sounds like an entirely different kind of project … maybe the final script came together in a rush as well.



Gary Teetzel finds another fairly amazing Auction online: this time it’s a bidding melee for the Gregory Jein Collection. The offerings will stagger hardcore collectors of all things Star Trek and Star Wars — Greg had the studio and sfx connections to beg, buy and borrow everything, and he was crazy about Sci-fi miniatures and costumes.

I visited Gregory Jein’s house in 1976 and found it jammed with models from movies — you couldn’t enter the living room because it was blocked by three oversized ‘miniatures’ of Russian MIGs from Ice Station Zebra. I almost tripped over the robot costumes from Silent Running.

Bidders will need deep pockets to compete in this auction. Somebody’s going to be earning big money . . . !  The auction website page is heavy on costumes, too. Unless Greg got rid of a lot of models and props, I’d have to believe this is only the tip of the iceberg of his collection.

Another post offers more Greg Jein items — most of which he made himself — at the same Heritage Auction page.

I worked for Greg on both of his Steven Spielberg movies; he was nominated for Oscars on both. Greg could be tight-lipped, but he told great stories about his first insane experience working on the notorious Flesh Gordon. He also didn’t talk much about his collectables, but he often loaned out his 16mm prints for screenings. He was generous with collectable gifts he made himself. One Christmas he brought in a beautiful set of dioramas of flying saucers — Klaatu’s ship sitting on the baseball field with a Gort standing guard, the C-57D sitting on Altair 4, with a rover cart, Robby the Robot and several ray gun cannons. I still have a bunch of his vacuformed, unfinished saucer shells upstairs.

On Close Encounters, to express interest in doing the miniature effects for 1941, Greg sent Steven Spielberg beautiful models of the tank, plane and sub described in the script, with the note, ‘don’t play with them in the bathtub.’  Spielberg was very appreciative of Greg’s work.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson