Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


THE POWER (1968). Director: Byron Haskin.

Professor Jim Tanner (George Hamilton) is part of a scientific committee that is studying pain thresholds in human beings to help determine just what astronauts and others can endure in difficult situations. It turns out that someone either on or associated with this committee is an advanced kind of "super-human" with incredible mind-control and telekinetic type powers. This person, once known as "Adam Hart", tries to kill Tanner and the other members to safeguard his identity and keep them from interfering with his plans. Tanner discovers that his past has been wiped out; he is fired from the university and goes on the run, trying to uncover which of his associates is Hart before his secret, unseen antagonist can kill him. While nowhere near as good as Frank M. Robinson's chilling novel of the same name, The Power has many good, suspenseful scenes and is quite entertaining. Although generally they are good actors, neither Hamilton nor Suzanne Pleshette as his girlfriend really get across the fear, paranoia and desperation they should be feeling in this situation. Yvonne De Carlo is fine in a supporting role, as are Earl Holliman, Arthur O'Connell, Richard Carlson and Nehemiah Persoff as fellow committee members. Barbara Nichols has a nice bit as a lonely waitress in an isolated gas station coffee shop, and Aldo Ray scores as her sinister husband. The very pretty Miiko Taka has a brief scene as Carlson's wife, and Michael Rennie is more than competent as a general who is a liaison to the committee. Miss Beverly Hills is at least vivid as "Sylvia," a swinger at a party attended by the principals. This was produced by George Pal. John Gay's script does not improve upon the novel.

Verdict: Certainly not all it could have been, but creditable. ***. `


Anonymous said...


Great blog! Lots of memories etc...

Could you kindly post the links for "THE POWER (1968)" so I can download it.
I saw it only once, when it was first released. Would love to watch it again in my "older" days.

Many thanks for your reply


William said...

I don't know if "The Power" is available for downloading online. I taped it years ago when it was on Turner Clasic Movies. It may be available on DVD.

Thanks for your comments.