Top, L-R: U.S. Marines engaged in street fighting during the Korean War, circa late September 1950; The first polio vaccine is developed by Jonas Salk. Centre, L-R: US tests its first thermonuclear bomb with code name Ivy Mike in 1952. A 1954 thermonuclear test, code named Castle Romeo, is shown here; In 1959, Fidel Castro overthrows Fulgencio Batista in the Cuban Revolution, resulting in the creation of the first communist government in the Western hemisphere; Elvis Presley becomes the leading figure of rock and roll in the mid-1950s. Bottom, L-R: Smoke rises from oil tanks on Port Said following the invasion of Egypt as part of the Suez Crisis in late 1956; French paratroopers march in Algiers in the beginning of the Algerian War, 1957; The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, in October 1957.
The 1950s (pronounced nineteen-fifties; commonly abbreviated as the "Fifties" or the " '50s") (among other variants) was a decade that began on January 1, 1950, and ended on December 31, 1959.
The Twilight Zone (marketed as Twilight Zone for its final two seasons) is an American science fiction horror anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Each episode presents a stand-alone story in which characters find themselves dealing with often disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone," often with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror. The phrase "twilight zone," inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences.
The series featured both established stars and younger actors who would become much better known later. Serling served as executive producer and head writer; he wrote or co-wrote 92 of the show's 156 episodes. He was also the show's host and narrator, delivering monologues at the beginning and end of each episode. Serling's opening and closing narrations usually summarize the episode's events encapsulating how and why the main character(s) had entered the Twilight Zone. (Full article...)
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Night of the Blood Beast is a 1958 American science-fictionhorror film about a team of scientists who are stalked by an alien creature, which implants its embryos in an astronaut's body during a space flight. Produced by exploitation filmmaker Roger Corman and his brother Gene, it was one of the first films directed by Bernard L. Kowalski and was written by first-time screenwriter Martin Varno, who was 21 years old. It starred several actors who had regularly worked with Roger Corman, including Michael Emmet, Ed Nelson, Steve Dunlap, Georgianna Carter and Tyler McVey. The film was theatrically released in December 1958 as a double feature with She Gods of Shark Reef.
Production began after the success of Mayabazar (1957), with M. S. Chalapathi Rao and Jagannadham the film's executive producers. Marcus Bartley was the director of photography. S. Rajeswara Rao composed the soundtrack and background score. G. Kalyanasundaram and K. Radhakrishna edited the film, and Madhavapeddi Gokhale and Kaladhar were its art directors. The film is shown almost entirely in black and white, with the exception of a dance sequence filmed in Gevacolor. (Full article...)
In 1955, Edmund Goldman acquired the 1954 film from Toho and enlisted the aid of Paul Schreibman, Harold Ross, Richard Kay, and Joseph E. Levine to produce a revised version for American audiences. This version dubbed most of the Japanese dialogue into English, altered and removed key plot points and themes. New footage was produced with Burr interacting with body-doubles and Japanese-American actors in an attempt to make it seem like Burr was part of the original Japanese production. (Full article...)
The plot follows the conflicts of the Varner family after ambitious drifter Ben Quick (Newman) arrives in their small Mississippi town. Will Varner (Orson Welles), the patriarch, has doubts about his son, Jody (Anthony Franciosa) and sees Ben as a better choice to inherit his position. Will tries to push Ben and his daughter Clara (Joanne Woodward) into marriage. (Full article...)
The Hideous Sun Demon (sometimes billed as The Sun Demon, or in the UK as Blood on His Lips) is a 1958 science fictionhorror film written, directed, and produced by Robert Clarke, who also starred in the film. It also stars Patricia Manning, Nan Peterson, Patrick Whyte, and Fred La Porta. The film focuses on a scientist (portrayed by Clarke) who is exposed to a radioactive isotope and soon finds out that it comes with horrifying consequences.
The film was inspired by the financial success of The Astounding She-Monster in which Clarke had starred. The film's crew was made up of University of Southern California film students, and the film's cast were either unknowns or Clarke's family and friends. The film was shot during 12 consecutive weekends and was shot by three different cinematographers. Originally budgeted at $10,000, it ended up costing $50,000. The Hideous Sun Demon premiered on August 29, 1958 as part of a double bill with Roger Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters. The film received mostly negative reviews upon its release, but has since become a cult film and has been referenced and parodied many times. An unauthorized sequel, the 1965 short filmWrath of the Sun Demon, was produced by Donald F. Glut. Two redubbed versions of the original film have been released: the comedic Hideous Sun Demon: Special Edition and What's Up, Hideous Sun Demon (also known as Revenge of the Sun Demon), the latter of which was produced with Clarke's permission. (Full article...)
Pathala Bhairavi is based on Kasi Majilee Kathalu, written by Madhira Subbanna Deekshitulu, though it was also partially inspired by the story of Aladdin. As the film is shot as a bilingual, production lasted for a whole year starting from 5 February 1950 until 8 February 1951. Ghantasala composed the film's music and Marcus Bartley served as the cinematographer. The film was edited by the duo C. P. Jambulingam and M. S. Money, while Madhavapeddi Gokhale and Kaladhar were the film's art directors. (Full article...)
I Vampiri (lit. The Vampires) is a 1957 Italian horror film. The film was directed by Riccardo Freda and completed by the film's cinematographer, Mario Bava. It stars Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo D'Angelo and Dario Michaelis. The film is about a series of murders on young women who are found with their blood drained. The newspapers report on a killer known as the Vampire, which prompts young journalist Pierre Lantin to research the crimes. Lantin investigates the mysterious Du Grand family who lives in a castle occupied by Gisele Du Grand who is in love with Lantin. She lives with her aunt, who hides her face in a veil, as well as the scientist Julian Du Grand, who is trying to find the secret to eternal youth.
The film was developed during a growth in the Italian film industry which allowed for the market to expand beyond a local Italian audience and would allow Italian film makers to explore new genres of filmmaking. Freda made a deal with producers at the Italian film studio Titanus to create a low budget horror film by writing a story in one day and filming it in two weeks. The producers agreed and Freda began filming. On the final day of shooting, Freda left the set which led to the cinematographer Mario Bava to direct the rest of the film, which changed various plot points and added the inclusion of stock footage. (Full article...)
Malliswari is a 1951 Indian Telugu-language historical romance film produced and directed by B. N. Reddy under his banner Vauhini Studios. P. Bhanumathi and N. T. Rama Rao star as a couple – Nagaraju and Malliswari – who are separated by Malliswari's greedy mother. Malliswari is sent to the king's palace according to the custom of "Rani Vasam", a tradition during the Vijayanagara Empire wherein young women were fetched to the palace with an offering gold and jewellery to their parents. The rest of the film focuses on the consequences faced by Nagaraju when he, against all rules, surreptitiously enters the palace to meet Malliswari.
Reddy wanted to make a film based on Krishnadevaraya's character ever since his visit to Hampi for the filming of his debut Vandemataram (1939). He employed Devulapalli Krishnasastri to write the film's script and took inspiration from Buchibabu's play "Rayalavari Karunakruthyamu" and Devan Sharar's short story "The Emperor and the Slave Girl". He also incorporated into the script a few incidents from his childhood for the pranks between Nagaraju and Malliswari. S. Rajeswara Rao composed the film's music, Adi M. Irani and B. N. Konda Reddy provided the cinematography, H. R. Narayana and Vasu edited the film, and A. K. Shekhar was the film's production designer. (Full article...)
Ray Charles Robinson Sr. (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He is regarded as one of the most iconic and influential singers ever, and he was often referred to by contemporaries as "The Genius". Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray". Charles was blinded during childhood, possibly due to glaucoma.