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

Thursday, October 4, 2012


4D MAN (1959). Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.,

Scientist brothers Scott (Robert Lansing) and Tony (James Congdon) Nelson are in the middle of an awkward triangle situation involving Scott's alleged fiancee, Linda (Lee Meriwether). All of this romantic stuff seems negligible, however, when through experimentation Scott develops the ability to walk through walls. If he touches anyone, he absorbs that person's life energy and they wither and die. Lansing is typically blase and unemotional at first but gets better as his predicament gets worse. Lee Meriwether and James Congdon are both quite attractive and memorable. [Patty Duke is supposed to be in the cast, but either her scenes were edited out of the print I saw -- or her scenes were dropped altogether -- or she's on so quickly that you blink and miss her. As she's a fairly distinctive actress I suspect it's the former.] The picture is reasonably absorbing but it isn't well-served by the terrible and inappropriate jazz scoring. The best scene is an early one in which Scott tries to push his hand into a block of stone and it gets caught ... Congdon appeared with Bette Davis in the interesting ":Out There -- Darkness" episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Yeaworth is best-known as the director of The Blob (1959).

Verdict: Good idea with mediocre execution. **1/2.

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