Friday, April 27, 2012

Now Playing: APRIL 27-8, 1962

This was a slow week for new product fifty years ago. Last weekend's big Easter attraction State Fair still dominates most towns, with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence occupying plenty of territory as well. The lack of new material doesn't stop exhibitors from creatively packaging old product, and as we move into warmer weather and schools are letting out we're getting more multiple bills all over the place. Here's a celebration of school letting out in Portsmouth:

What caught my attention here was the announcement of a serial chapter in the kiddie program. The last American serial had been released back in 1956, but here's proof that the chapterplays were still in circulation long afterward.
Meanwhile, here's an all-peplum program in Albany NY:

I've seen the two "Goliath" films -- they're AIP repackagings of other Italian heroes -- but Seige of the Gladiators is an unknown quantity to me. Even spelling "siege" right draws a blank on Google. Even IMDB has nothing under that name. What is this movie???

While we wait for an answer, Miami has a horror double-feature that manages to exploit Tennessee Williams in the advertising. You'll probably have no better hint at how popular Williams was at this time.

The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus, the film that earned the Williamsesque plaudit, is none other than Georges Franju's legendary French horror Eyes Without a Face. Under its new title it's been shackled to the rather less acclaimed The Manster for a national release. It all makes you wonder whether the target audience for a "Master Suspense Thrill Show" is likely to be impressed by any invocation of the author of Sweet Bird of Youth. Only history knows for sure. But here's the Master Suspense Thrill Show trailer, uploaded by aRemoteViewer

Easter was last weekend, but Bible fare is popular all year round, at least in theory. A theater in Victoria TX practices the theory this weekend.

I never knew before clipping this ad that there was a holy city in the Wichitas. Said city is Lawton, OK, hence the film's alternate title The Lawton Story. It's a film about a Passion Play and its effect on the audience rather than a straight Jesus movie and exploitation legend Kroger Babb had been playing the thing since 1948. That makes it fresh stuff compared to the 1927 King of Kings that we saw still playing somewhere last week, but there was always money to be made from religion or horror, no matter how old, fifty years ago.

Finally, this is how Toledo sells Claude Chabrol to the "art cinema" public.

"Leda" is available on DVD under its original title, A double tour, and it's a pretty good picture. I just can't help wanting to know what that "extra zip preview feature picture that will excite a stone" could be. I guess that means the advertising works, though it does the advertiser no good now....

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