This year, Israel unleashes two of its first zombie films. Is there some meaning behind this outbreak, other than the worldwide popularity of the genre?
On December 3, 1956, “Night of the Auk” landed on Broadway. An audacious work by Arch Oboler, the play was set aboard the first manned spaceship to return from the moon and was written in blank verse. The talent behind the production was stunning. Sidney Lumet directed, Kermit Bloomgarten (“The Diary of Anne Frank”) produced, and the play starred Christopher Plummer, Claude Rains and Dick York.
‘Irving was a natural-born storyteller. He had a flair for telling movie stories, and he knew about the medium — more than most writers knew.” Quite a compliment, from no less than Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood and Broadway’s greatest writers. What makes Hecht’s praise unusual is that he said it not of a fellow scribbler, but of a Hollywood studio executive.
Arch Oboler’s “This Precious Freedom” (1942) is the first film ever made about a Nazi takeover of the United States. It was suppressed by its producer, an automaking company better known today for financial than moral bankruptcy: General Motors Corp.