Friday, January 20, 2012

Now Playing: JAN. 20, 1962

Sorry for the poor reproduction quality, but you work with the archives you have. Here's something opening in Baltimore this weekend fifty years ago.

Of course, the Italians had a more interesting title for it. They called it "The Scimitar of the Saracen," approximately. Director Piero Pierotti seems to have specialized in period adventure films, while star Lex Barker is an erstwhile Tarzan enjoying Euro stardom -- American audiences would be seeing him in La Dolce Vita around this time. This clip uploaded by SapphoPEPLUM makes the show look a little like the Ziegfeld Follies. Take a look:

The second feature on the Regent double bill is something I've actually seen: purportedly the first martial-arts movie made in the United States.

Something Weird Video released this one back in those halcyon days when their mass-market DVDs could be found in any -- sob! -- Borders bookstore. It's predictably primitive, but a wartime flashback of the hero going berserk and karate-chopping his enemies has a memorable charge. If you can't quite make it out, the ad is promising "A new powerful dimension in TERROR!" Unfortunately, there isn't any unmarred footage available to embed here, but I could recommend the film to people with a historical interest in the genre. Overall, it looks like an interesting night at the movies back in the day.

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