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  • TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Sci-Fi Adventures

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010

    Includes:The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) Them! (1954) Satellite in the Sky (1956) World Without End (1956) The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms A longtime "dream" project of production designer-turned-director Eugene Lourie, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms sees the titular beast unleashed on the world via nuclear testing. Making its way from the Arctic Circle, the monster-a carnivorous "rhedosaurus"-begins advancing towards New York. It stomps its way around Wall Street, pausing to have a policeman for lunch. By the time it has reached Coney Island, the rhedosaurus is more of a danger than ever because of the deadly bacteria it carries within its system. It's up to researcher Paul Christian and sharpshooter Lee Van Cleef to try to liquidate the beast with a grenade chock full of radioactive isotopes. Beast From 20,000 Fathoms represented effects artist Ray Harryhausen's first solo effort, after assisting Willis O'Brien on Mighty Joe Young (1949). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Them! A little girl is found wandering in the desert, in a state of complete shock. When she finally revives, she can scream out only one word: "Them!" Any aficionado of 1950s horror films can readily tell you that "Them" are giant ants, a byproduct of the radiation attending the atomic bomb tests of the era. Extremely well organized, these deadly eight-to-twenty-foot mutations converge on the storm drains of Los Angeles in the finale. Forming a united front against the oncoming ant battalions are New Mexico police sergeant James Whitmore, FBI representative James Arness, and father-and-daughter entomologists Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon. Since the details of Them are fairly common knowledge today, the mystery-thriller structure of the film's first half tends to drag a bit. Things liven up considerably during the search-and-destroy final reels, as the audience is barraged with convincing special effects and miniature work-not to mention that eerie ant-induced sound effect, so often imitated by subsequent lesser films. Fess Parker appears in a starmaking cameo as a pilot driven to the booby hatch after witnessing the ants in action, while an uncredited Leonard Nimoy is seen pulling info out of IBM machine. Definitely the high point in the careers of director Gordon Douglas and scenarists Ted Sherdeman and George Worthing Yates, Them is also one of the handful of vintage science-fiction thrillers that holds up as well today as it did when first released. (Sidebar: Though filmed in black-and-white, Them is alleged to have been released with a Technicolor opening title, the word THEM! hurtling towards the audience in a vibrant red). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Satellite in the Sky The topicality of Satellite in the Sky enabled the British-based Danzinger Bros. to release the film through Warner Bros., rather than their usual United Artists distribution channels. The story concerns the first manned space satellite, launched from England with commander Michael Hayden (Kieron Moore) at the controls. It is the mission of Hayden and his crew to test out the deadly "tritonium" bomb in outer space. Once he's left the atmosphere, Hayden discovers that he's been harboring a stowaway: reporter and anti-weapons activist Kim Hamilton (Lois Maxwell). Everyone's life is placed in peril when the bomb affixes itself to the side of the satellite. As tension mounts, the crew -- and Kim -- race against time to either remove or defuse the tick-tick-ticking weapon. Satellite in the Sky represented documentary filmmaker Paul Dickson's first fictional effort; like most other directors, Dickson was unable to curb the overacting of the venerable Donald Wolfit, here cast as the near-maniacal creator of the tritonium bomb. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide World Without End The first spaceship to Mars rounds the Red Planet and heads back toward Earth but runs into an unexplained phenomenon in space that accelerates the craft to such a high speed that all four men aboard black out. When they awake, they've crash-landed on a planet that they only gradually realize is Earth -- of the distant future: they have crashed through the time barrier. After they are chased by ugly "Mutates," they are taken in by the declining remnants of human civilization who live underground. It's now 2508 A.D, almost 400 years after an atomic war almost wiped out the human race. John Borden (Hugh Marlowe) falls in love with Garnet (Nancy Gates), daughter of Timmek (Everett Glass), leader of the underground people -- a fact that enrages Mories (Booth Colman), who's always assumed she would someday be his. The scheming Mories tries to turn his people against the space/time travelers, but falls victim to his own nefarious plans. Learning from Deena (Lisa Montell), a servant girl from the surface of Earth, that most people up there are normal though cruelly ruled by the deformed ones, Borden and his friends take on the mutates with modern weaponry and reclaim the Earth for normal humanity. Although this is (surprisingly) the first American feature film to deal with scientific time travel, World Without End is really just another lost-civilization plot, complete with princess, evil grand vizier, and lots of skulking in corridors. There are few imaginative touches -- the giant spiders in particular are pathetic -- and some of the cast isn't very good. But for the period, this is slightly above-average science fiction; the exteriors, shot at the famous Iverson Ranch, have an open, fresh feeling, but the interior sets are unimaginative and routine. The plotline owes more than a little to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine (a lawsuit was filed), which makes the presence of Rod Taylor in the cast (as the hunk from our time) a little ironic, as just a few years later, he starred in George Pal's much-loved movie version of the Wells novel. ~ Bill Warren, All Movie Guide
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    Cast of 'Archer' talks sex, drugs and season 5

    Type: Article | Date: Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013

    Star divulge what to expect from the former-ISIS agents
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    What's W.R.O.N.G. with 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'?

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013

    Bland characters, forgettable stories and a tenuous connection to Marvel
  • Gwen Stefani is set to join 'The Voice' as a judge

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Apr 18, 2014

    Gwen Stefani is set to join 'The Voice' as a judge “Orphan Black” accused of stealing “Mixology” looking good for renewal, “Trophy Wife” and “The Neighbors” are still on the bubble
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    Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Get Our Groove On'

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Oct 27, 2013

    It's off to Poland where a Double U-Turn awaits
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    Interview: 'Vikings' creator Michael Hirst talks 'Blood Eagle' and targeting Paris

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

    Hirst also discusses Lagertha's journey and King Ecbert's fate
  • The Waltons: Movie Collection

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010

    Includes:A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982) Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain (1982) A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982) A Walton Thanksgiving (1993) Waltons: A Walton Wedding (1995) A Walton Easter (1997) A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain Featuring a reunion of most of the cast of the long-running family series, The Waltons, this touching drama centers on the attempt of the now grown and scattered brood of Olivia and John Walton to regroup for an old fashioned family holiday. Unfortunately, John-Boy is not among them. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain The second of three TV-movie spinoffs of the long-running series The Waltons, Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain marked the return of actress Michael Learned in the role of Olivia Walton, a part she had relinquished when her contract expired one year before the original series' cancellation in 1981. Still consigned to a tuberculosis sanitorium, Olivia has only a few scenes in the film, though she does return to Walton Mountain in time to help her daughter Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) weather a crisis. It appears as if Mary Ellen, newly wed to longtime beau Jonesy (Richard Gilliland) will be unable to have children, thanks to an auto accident; meanwhile, the rest of the Walton clan has problems of their own, including son Ben's (Eric Wilton) efforts to restore harmony between himself and his own wife Cindy (Leslie Winston). Of the original Waltons cast, only Richard Thomas, Ellen Corby and the late Will Geer were absent from the proceedings. Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain debuted May 9, 1982, on NBC. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide A Wedding on Walton's Mountain A Wedding on Walton's Mountain has no John-Boy (Richard Thomas) or Olivia (Michael Learned),but does feature five regulars from the long-running TV series: Ralph Waite as John Walton, Ellen Corby as Grandma, Mary Elizabeth McDonough as Erin, Jon Walmsley as Jason and Judy Norton-Taylor as Mary Ellen. The year is 1947, and the wedding is Erin's, about to tie the knot with lumberman Paul Northridge (Morgan Stevens). Erin's ex-boyfriend (Louis Welch) threatens to gum up the works, but with the help and support of her family the girl is successfully wed. The first of several Waltons TV movies following the demise of the series in 1981, The Wedding on Walton's Mountain turned out to be an unexpected ratings magnet. It assured the Faithful that there would be many minings of the Waltons vaults for future made-for-TV specials--the most recent of these appearing in early 1995. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide A Walton Thanksgiving America's favorite family, now grown with kids of their own, reunites for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving. Set in the wake of JFK's assassination, the gathering provides each family member time to look back upon their lives. This heart-warming family drama marks the return of Richard Thomas to the role of John-Boy. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Waltons: A Walton Wedding No synopsis available. A Walton Easter The sixth TV-movie spinoff of the popular family series The Waltons, A Walton Easter manages to reunite all of the surviving cast members--and in so doing, unintentionally reveals why several of those performers hadn't been doing much acting recently. Throwing the orginal series' chronology to the four winds, executvie producer Earl Hamner Jr. would have us believe that the 40th wedding anniversary of John and Olivia Walton (Ralph Waite, Michael Learned) is taking place in the year 1969, which doesn't quite explain how the couple managed to have all those teenaged offspring back in the late 1930s. Once we're past this inconsistency, the story boils down to the Easter reunion of the family at Walton Mountain in West Virginia--and more specifically, the return to the fold of John-Boy Walton (Richard Thomas), now a successful TV news anchorman in New York. John-Boy has not only brought along his pregnant wife Janet (Kate McNeil), but also Aurora Jameson (Sydney Walsh), a Time magazine photojournalist who is covering the reunion. Gradually, the various intrigues of the other Waltons are shunted to the background as the film's Big Question raises its head: Will John-Boy return to New York with his city-bred wife Janet, or will he sentimentally choose to remain at Walton Mountain...with someone else by his side? A Walton Easter debuted March 30, 1997 on CBS. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
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    Men At Work's 'Down Under' loses copyright battle to a flute

    Type: Article | Date: Tuesday, Jul 6, 2010

    Five percent of the song's earnings starting in 2002 go to 'Kookaburra' songwriters
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    Review: 'Silver Linings Playbook' plays by the rules but gets it all right

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012

    Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have never been better
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    Quick Look: NatGeo Wild’s ‘Shane Untamed’

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Jun 14, 2011

    Why Shane-O isn't what you might think