Saturday, January 29, 2022

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

 

Good heavens, this man looks fiercer than Zoltar! And he probably charges more than 50¢ per fortune. If you remember the movie this scene is from, then you will remember that this man's fortune played a part in the destiny of the main characters.

As always, if you are not familiar with the rules to the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game or the prize, click here!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

The Warlords of Atlantis ( 1978 )

An incredible tale of terror and suspense .....above and below the sea! 

So reads the tagline to Warlords of Atlantis, another one of director Kevin Connor's sci-fi adventure films of the 1970s. In this story, American inventor Greg Collinson ( Doug McClure ) and British scientist Charles Aitken ( Peter Gilmore ) set out under the sea in a diving bell to search for the lost city of Atlantis. They not only find the city still thriving underwater but find themselves trapped in it and unable to escape from the warlords who rule it!

Warlords of Atlantis aka Warlords of the Deep starts off with a bang and ends with an exciting finale but - like most of Kevin Connor's films - it is very tiresome in the middle segments. Nevertheless, it is a fun adventure film to watch ( especially if you leave the tele to take a sandwich break midway through ) and features some good stop-motion monsters by Roger Dicken. 

Connor loved working with Doug McClure ( this was their fourth film together ) so naturally, the all-American hero had the starring role, but Connor also cast that wonderful English actor Peter Gilmore ( The Onedin Line ) in a really strong supporting role. Gilmore portrays Charles Aitken, a brainy spectacled scientist who is fascinated with the creatures and culture of Atlantis and couldn't care less for their golden treasure. The warlords of Atlantis, Atraxon ( Daniel Massey ) and Atsil ( Cyd Charisse ) want to use Aitken's mental powers to expand their conquest. Why they need him and how they plan to use him is never really explained but, when Greg finds out their plan, he sets out to rescue his friend and return to the calm waters away from Atlantis. Gilmore's character reminds me of the engaging Dr. Perry ( Peter Cushing ) from At the Earth's Core ( 1974 ) and could have been his younger self. 

The screenplay to Warlords of Atlantis was penned by Brian Hayles, who is best known for writing several Doctor Who scripts but also wrote the children's miniseries The Moon Stallion ( 1978 ) and Arabian Adventure ( another Kevin Connor production ). Hayles included a good plot twist in Warlords of Atlantis involving Captain Daniels ( Shane Rimmer ) and his suspicious crew of sailors. 

Also in the cast is Lea Brodie as Greg's love interest, John Ratzenberger, and the striking Michael Gothard. While the film is not worth hunting feverishly for, if you happen to catch it on television then grab yourself some popcorn and sit back and enjoy it. Personally, I love cheesy adventure films and Warlords of Atlantis is a great example of that genre. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

From the Archives: The Three Lives of Thomasina ( 1963 )

 

Susan Hampshire is pictured getting close to two kittens in this candid photo from The Three Lives of Thomasina ( 1963 ) released by Walt Disney Studios. In the film, Hampshire portrays Lori, a "witch" of the glen who rescues animals. One of the animals she saves is Thomasina the cat, whom young Mary McDhui ( Karen Dotrice ) believes has died. In a more recent DVD interview, Hampshire mentioned that she filled her apartment with cats and other animals to really feel as Lori did. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store : http://stores.ebay.com/Silverbanks-Pictures

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Josie and the Pussycats - The Real Life Band

In September 1970, Hanna-Barbera launched a new cartoon series called Josie and the Pussycats featuring a group of girl singers who traveled around the world performing gigs and encountering adventures in the process. The show was Hanna-Barbera's own take on Filmation's 1968 musical cartoon sitcom The Archie Show which featured young Archie and his band performing teen-oriented pop tunes each episode. The series was immensely popular ( The Archies' song "Sugar, Sugar" reached #1 in 1969 ) and inspired Hanna-Barbera to launch a number of similarly themed cartoons with musical inserts. 

Unlike The Archie Show, which featured a fictional pop band, Hanna-Barbera hit on the brilliant idea of creating a real-life Josie and the Pussycats band to coincide with their new television series. Three young women would be selected from a nationwide talent search and it would be their voices that the children would hear performing on the show. 


Songwriter and producer Danny Janssen ( who wrote The Partridge Family theme ) and Bobby Engemann ( lead singer of The Lettermen ) of La La Productions were given the task of selecting the girls, writing their songs, and cutting the albums. To help in this task, they recruited Sue Steward as a songwriter and Austin Roberts who is best known for singing the 1975 song "Rocky" but also performed the leads for all of the Scooby-Doo -Where Are You songs. 

Nearly 500 finalists were under consideration before they settled on three girls who not only looked their parts but had fab singing voices, too. These were Kathleen Dougherty, a musical theater major from the University of Southern California; Patrice Holloway, an engaging R&B singer who penned, along with her sister Brenda and Berdy Gordy, the popular tune "You've Made Me So Very Happy" ( performed by Blood, Sweat, and Tears ); and lastly, Cherie Moor, a pretty South Dakota native who had a strong stage presence and a good singing voice. Cherie - born Cheryl Stoppelmoor - later became famous as Kris Monroe on the television series Charlies Angels ( 1977-1981 ) using her married name Cheryl Ladd. 

Kathleen Dougherty is credited as singing the lead character Josie, with Patrice as Valerie and Cheryl as Melody but Kathleen actually preferred singing background harmonies, so Patrice and Cheryl took turns doing the leads for the songs. 

Josie and the Pussycats recorded 19 songs, some of which were released as singles and others that appeared on their 1970 album "Josie and the Pussycats". The band never went on tour and none of their singles became hits but nevertheless, they had a groovy sound, and some of their numbers were really quite good. 

To read more behind-the-scenes stories about Josie and the Pussycats, check out this great article

"Did You Know?".....sometimes we just feel like sharing interesting fragments of television and movie history and now we have a place to do just that. If you have a hot tip that you would like us to share on Silver Scenes, drop us a line!