The Absent-Minded Professor

Add Comment on March 16, 1961 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   Walt Disney follows up his blockbusting "The Shaggy Dog" of 1959 with another modest-budget, black-and-white live-action comedy that bids fair to break records in 1961. All the popular ingredients are present: Fred MacMurray is again starred, this time as a zany scientist who invents a rubbery substance, which he names "flubber"; the screenplay by Bill "Shaggy" Walsh, based on a story by Samuel Taylor, is another fantasy in a small-town setting; and Robert Stevenson has directed in a broad, Mack Sennett-like fashion that will have audiences howling as MacMurray's flubber has people and an old flivver bouncing sky-high.

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101 Dalmatians

Add Comment on January 25, 1961 by Kim Williamson

Aptly enough, John Hughes' script is based on the Dodie Smith novel "The One Hundred and One Dalmatians," and not on the original animated version. That Disney classic still has the fifth biggest boxoffice (in adjusted dollars) of any film ever, and one reason for that moviegoer response was an appreciation of the wonderfully personal voices that the puppies, their dad Pongo and mom Perdy, and sundry other animal participants possessed. Here, in their most questionable decision, director Stephen Herek (working closer to his "The Mighty Ducks" territory than that of his recent "Mr. Holland's Opus") and writer/producer John Hughes (who again provides numerous "Home Alone" moments) have decided that their critters won't speak.

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The Time Machine (1960)

Add Comment on August 17, 1960 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   It is the year 1900. A British inventor (Rod Taylor) has perfected a time machine that will take its occupant as far into the past or future as he chooses. He decides to go into the future and resultantly witnesses three world wars, the last of which is of the atomic variety and lays the entire world in waste. He pushes on until he reaches the year 802,701, and there he encounters a new civilization made up of docile, brainwashed young people who live above ground and man-eating monsters who live below.    Producer-director George Pal, the granddaddy of sci...

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Hercules (1959)

Add Comment on May 18, 1959 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   An elaborately staged and splendidly photographed costume spectacle packed with hair-raising adventures of the comic book variety, this Italian-made picture produced by Federico Teti is ideally suited to the fast playoff of saturation bookings, where the youngsters and action fans will "eat it up," or for the drive-ins. Joseph E. Levine, who had tremendous success with "Attila," also an Italian action spectacle, is planning a colossal exploitation campaign to launch this film for its summer showings, and the mass public is sure to make it a boxoffice hit. But, because sophisticated patrons might scoff at the early De Mille-type lavishness and pageantry, key city first runs should be bypassed. The only selling name is Steve Reeves, a handsome "hunk of man" who was Mr.

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A Night To Remember

Add Comment on December 16, 1958 by BOXOFFICE Staff

One of the greatest catastrophes of modern times--the sinking of the "unsinkable" Titanic after it struck an iceberg in the Atlantic in 1912--has been superbly recreated on film in almost documentary fashion by the Rank Organization. If heavily exploited, this two-hour feature should do fine business, particularly in key cities. Although Walter Lord's best-seller was the basis for an outstanding live TV show, plus a live repeat, a few seasons ago, Rank producer William MacQuitty maintains that thee merely served as trailers for this far more complete and frighteningly realistic film. After 40-odd years, this astonishing tale still has tremendous impact, especially for patrons who remember or had read or heard about the events of that awful night.

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Touch Of Evil

Add Comment on April 23, 1958 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   [Re-edited to comply with writer/director Orson Welles' 58-page memo detailing his desired changes to the studio cut, the classic noir thriller "Touch of Evil" will be rereleased on Sept. 11 by October Films. Here's BOXOFFICE's review of the original, released 40 years ago.]    This tale of the narcotics underworld along the U.S.-Mexican border packs a terrific punch that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. A series of scenes of violent intrigue, murders and seamy characters build up to a climax that cannot be anticipated and yet it is inescapable. There are st...

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Invasion of the Saucer Men

Add Comment on July 13, 1957 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   Because it required no small amount of courage to venture with a limited budget a comedy that undertakes to spoof that staple of contemporary filmmaking, the space opera, this undertaking rates an "A" for effort. That it failed to jell in the manner that undoubtedly was envisioned by its perpetrators dims but little the intrepidity of the attempt. The teaming of the picture with "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" to form one of American International's popular package bookings should, in itself, assure the film's success in the action-exploitation market. The cash customers will buy "Werewolf" for chills and this one for laughs. Moreover, the feature should generate some of the latter, albeit they could come in the wrong places and be inspired by unintended reactions.

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