Today in Imagi-Movie History : 12/23

imagi-historyGreetings, Friends and Fiends!
Ye Olde Dragon here, bringing you the happenings on this date – December 23 – as they pertain to the world of Imagi-Movies.

releasedateHere are some notable Imagi-Movie release anniversaries:

1958: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Directed by: Nathan Juran

Starring: Kerwin Matthews, Kathryn Grant, Richard Eyer, Torin Thatcher

Special Effects by: Ray Harryhausen

Running time: 88 min.

This was the first film to be marketed for Harryhausen’s effects under the title of “Dynamation”. Young Richard Eyer also played the title character in Herman Hoffman’s THE INVISIBLE BOY (1957), the previous year.

Producer Edward Small attempted to cash in on the huge success of this film by hiring its director (Juran), hero (Matthews) and villain (Thatcher) for his film JACK THE GIANT KILLER (1962). Despite appearances, this is not a Harryhausen movie and it has been incorrectly identified as one for many years. No doubt, this is due to so many similarities to 7th Voyage. It’s because of the similarities that Columbia threatened a lawsuit against Small that forced him to rework it as a musical, delaying its release.

7th Voyage 1

1954: 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre

Running time: 127 min.

Walt Disney classic based on Jules Verne’s novel. George Pal was actually preparing an adaptation, but Disney beat him to it. Some of his designs were used for ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT (1961). Kirk Douglas did his own singing of the song “Whale of a Tale”, which was actually released as a single in 1954. 20,000 Leagues won the Academy Awards for Best Art Direction – Color and Best Special Effects, though it lost for Best Film Editing for that year.

20kunder

birthdayCorey Haim (1971) – THE LOST BOYS (1987), Sam
James Gregory (1911) – BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970), General Ursus

sirki-summons2Billy Barty (2000) Far too many credits to list, Barty was however a pioneer in fighting for the rights of Little People working in show business.

barty-willowErnest B. Schoedsack (1979) Best known as a producer and co-director of the original KING KONG (1933), he also directed its sequel, SON OF KONG (1933) as well as DR. CYCLOPS (1940) and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949).

schoedsackPatrick Knowles (1995) Handsome enough to be a leading man, but was usually cast in a supporting role. He opposed the monsters in THE WOLFMAN (1941) and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943).

knowlesAs this was the first installment of this column, I’d really appreciate some feedback. Should I continue in this format, or go back to separate entries? I would greatly appreciate it.

—End of line…

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