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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Another one of my favourite British films and also another one that would definitely be in my all time top 50 is Quatermass And The Pit (1967), the third and final Quatermass film made by Hammer starring Andrew Keir (one of my favourite Actors) as Professor Bernard Quatermass (my favourite Professor Quatermass), definitely the best Quatermass film ever made also starring James Donald as Dr Roney, Barbara Shelley as Barbara Judd and Julian Glover as Colonel Breen, a great film directed by Roy Ward Baker, produced by Anthony Nelson Keys and written by Nigel Kneale with great music by Tristram Cary, the film starts with workmen constructing the new London Underground Station at Hobb's End uncovering ancient remains which brings Dr Roney and Barbara Judd to the site, Dr Roney theorizes that the remains may belong to a race of primates who existed farther back in time than acknowledged by known science, as the dig continues a large metallic object is uncovered thinking it is an unexploded bomb Dr Roney calls in the army, military bomb disposal experts led by Colonel Breen arrive on the scene and the bomb disposal experts discover that the object is not magnetic, Professor Quatermass is now also at the scene, Colonel Breen is convinced that the object is a German V Weapon, when the object is excavated it is revealed to be very large and does not resemble any weapon of the last War, Quatermass, Breen and Roney enter a chamber within the object through an existing door, it is not long before more discoveries are made and many strange events happen, the film contains plenty of memorable and unforgettable scenes, the film also has great special effects, the film is based on the 1958 BBC Television serial of the same name which was also written by Nigel Kneale (Creator of Professor Bernard Quatermass and writer of other Quatermass Television, film and Radio productions), the film also has great performances from Duncan Lamont as Sladden the Drill Operator (Duncan Lamont played the doomed astronaut Victor Carroon in the very first Quatermass TV series - The Quatermass Experiment in 1953), Bryan Marshall (Captain Potter), Peter Copley (Howell) and Edwin Richfield (Minister), Noel Howlett also has a small part playing the Abbey Librarian (he played the role of the Vicar in the original 1958 BBC TV serial).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain vincenzo's Avatar
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    Out of a brilliant staple of films this, for me, was Hammer's finest.



    Future Blake's 7 star Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan) turned up in Plague Of The Zombies and The Reptile. This time Blake himself Gareth Thomas can be seen briefly as one of the workmen who discover the skull in the opening scene.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    The 1967 trailer for Quatermass and the Pit . British Board of Film Censors, "U" Trailer Advertising An "X" Film.



    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsnunQ-NERI"]YouTube- Quatermass and the Pit (1967) Trailer[/ame]

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    That's a terrific movie, but the trailer isn't.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought the British trailer was far better than the American one for Five Million Years To Earth...you can see that on You Tube as well. Somehow, the American distributors, Twentieth Century-Fox, didn't seem sure of how to pitch this film.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK frame69's Avatar
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    One of my favourite films.

    A friend done this for me about 8 years ago...(I know there ar'nt many ink fans on here)




    Frame.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan
    Oh, I thought the British trailer was far better than the American one for Five Million Years To Earth...you can see that on You Tube as well. Somehow, the American distributors, Twentieth Century-Fox, didn't seem sure of how to pitch this film.
    Just watched it. Maybe it's the difference between American and British taste, but that's what we go for.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    This film was made at MGM Borehamwood and I recall reading an interview (with Roy Ward Baker perhaps?) that it was quite sad working there, as there were apparently no other productions on the go there at that time. I think the film was unfortunately one of the last for Hammer's wonderful art director Bernard Robinson.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Here are the links to two sites with lots of interesting information about Nigel Kneale (Creator of Professor Bernard Quatermass).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Kneale



    Nigel Kneale

  10. #10
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    I must say that I prefer the first two, with Quatermass 2 as my favorite. I wish Hammer had made the "Pit" the year after "2" with Brian Donlevy as Quatermass & in b/w (well more like black & grey).

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Quatermass and the Pit was a psychological thriller as well as a horror serial / film and Donlevy was far too bombastic and insensitive an actor to have carried off the role anywhere near as well as Andre Morell and Andrew Keir did, let alone understand the deep psychological implications of the story.



    Generally speaking, the Americans just don't get psychological horror, they like their ghost or horror films to be straightforward like The Cat and The Canary or Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Take a look at the American trailer for the British film The Innocents on the BFI DVD. The way Twentieth Century-Fox in the U.S. pitched it was as the usual "the boogeyman is coming to get you" type of horror picture and don't forget that in those days, there was no film censorship in America like there was in Britain. Here, you had to be sixteen or over to be allowed in to see an "X" film, while in the States, little kids could go and see practically anything they wanted to. In fact, I have heard that films that were rated "X" over here were shown at kids matinees over there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    BELOW: A dramatic scene with Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir in one of the eight colour stills in my original Front-of-House set of Quatermass and the Pit from 1967.




  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Great picture darrenburnfan from one of my favourite films, Andrew Keir is my favourite Professor Quatermass and Andre Morell is definitely my second favourite Professor Quatermass, i also liked Brian Donlevy's performance as Professor Quatermass in the two 1950's Hammer Quatermass films.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Billy. Brian Donlevy was okay in the first two Quatermass films, but somehow, I think he would have looked very out of place in Quatermass and the Pit.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan
    Thanks, Billy. Brian Donlevy was okay in the first two Quatermass films, but somehow, I think he would have looked very out of place in Quatermass and the Pit.
    He would certainly have looked out of place in the BBC version, but I think his brash style would have worked OK in the Hammer film, after all, Andrew Keir's portrayal wasn't exactly that of a shrinking violet.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan
    Quatermass and the Pit was a psychological thriller as well as a horror serial / film and Donlevy was far too bombastic and insensitive an actor to have carried off the role anywhere near as well as Andre Morell and Andrew Keir did, let alone understand the deep psychological implications of the story.



    Generally speaking, the Americans just don't get psychological horror, they like their ghost or horror films to be straightforward like The Cat and The Canary or Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Take a look at the American trailer for the British film The Innocents on the BFI DVD. The way Twentieth Century-Fox in the U.S. pitched it was as the usual "the boogeyman is coming to get you" type of horror picture and don't forget that in those days, there was no film censorship in America like there was in Britain. Here, you had to be sixteen or over to be allowed in to see an "X" film, while in the States, little kids could go and see practically anything they wanted to. In fact, I have heard that films that were rated "X" over here were shown at kids matinees over there.
    Was Day of the Triffids rated X? I saw that in a Halloween triple feature for the kiddies with The Return of Dracula and Three Stooges in Orbit.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, it was rated "X" on it's UK original release in 1963.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    American censors were always more concerned about sex than they were about horror and violence. I believe even back in the 1930's movies rated X in Britain were shown here. It wasn't until the late 1960's movies received ratings. If it got past the censor here, anyone could see them.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Certainly in the 1950's, the British censor and many parents were concerned about any film or any scenes in a film that would shock or upset a child under the age of 16. Some films were thought not to be shocking enough to warrant an "X" certificate, so were classified with an "A", where a child could only go and see it if accompanied by a responsible adult. One such film was World Without End (1956), which I was taken in to the Broadway cinema by an adult to see in January, 1957. I was totally fascinated by the film as a ten year old and a year later, aged eleven, I was standing outside another cinema, the Focus, on a Saturday afternoon waiting for a man to come along so that I could ask him to take me in to see it again. Well, who should come walking up the street but my dad, who had been shopping in the town. "What are you doing here?", he asked me. "I'm waiting to go in to see World Without End", I told him. Well, he took one look at the Front-of-House stills in the display case outside the Focus, with their scenes of the space travellers being attacked by a giant spider in a cave and a savage cave man attacking a young girl and said: "You're not going in to see that...it'll give you nightmares!" "But I went to see it last year at the Broadway", I protested. "Well, you're not seeing it again", he said and marched me off!






  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: England harryfielder's Avatar
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    My first horror film.. I was to work with this director many more times.



    I got a call from Central Casting to go to MGM Studios in Borehamwood, Herts to do a few days on this film movie. I was used as as a workman digging out some Underground holes in a tube station (studio).After some time one of the other extras finds some odd things and digging comes to a stop. A couple of days later I'm back on the film as a possessed man. All we had to do was walk around the tube station as if we were Zombies..

    My wife said ''No change there then''




    Aitch,

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