The Beast with a Million Eyes
|The Beast with a Million eyes|
|Directed by||David Kramarsky
Roger Corman (uncredited)
|Produced by||David Kramarsky
|Written by||Tom Filer|
|Music by||John Bickford|
|Edited by||Jack Killiferart|
San Mateo Productions
|Distributed by||American Releasing Corporation|
The Beast with a Million Eyes is a science-fiction movie about an alien able to see through the eyes of the many creatures he takes control of. It was produced and directed by David Kramarsky, although some sources say that it was co-directed by Lou Place and co-produced by Roger Corman and Samuel Z. Arkoff. The movie was released in 1955 by American Releasing Corporation that later became American International Pictures.
The isolated Kelley family struggle with their small farm in a bleak landscape. A mysterious plane crash happens nearby. Then wild and domesticated animals and finally their handyman turn on the family and attack. It turns out a space alien (the beast of the title) has taken over the minds of the lesser animals (the 1,000,000 eyes of the title), working its way up to controlling humans as part of a plan to conquer the world. In the end, the family bond together, unite against the alien and their love conquers all.
- Paul Birch (Allan Kelley)
- Lorna Thayer (Carol Kelley)
- Dona Cole (Sandy Kelley)
- Dick Sargent (as Richard Sargeant)(Larry)
- Leonard Tarver ('Him')
- Bruce Whitmore (voice only) (The Beast)
- Chester Conklin (Old Man Webber)
The movie was the third of a three-picture deal Roger Corman had with the American Releasing Company following The Fast and the Furious and Five Guns West. He was only given $29,000 to make the movie.
He made it for Pacemaker Productions.
It was a non-union movie originally entitled The Unseen with Lou Place to direct. After one day's filming the union threatened to shut down the film unless everyone signed with the Guild. Roger Corman, who was producing, took over the film as director and replaced the cinematographer with Floyd Crosby; however Corman took no official credit.
Another story has Corman allocating directing duties to his associate on Five Guns West, Dave Kramsarsky.
Special effects were done by Paul Blaisdell. Notably, the Art Director was Albert S. Ruddy, who would later win two Best Picture Academy Awards ("The Godfather" and "Million Dollar Baby").
The music, credited to "John Bickford", is actually a collection of public-domain record cues by classical composers Richard Wagner, Dimitri Shostakovich, Giuseppe Verdi, Sergei Prokofiev, etc. used to defray the cost of an original score or copyrighted library cues.
When Sam Arkoff of ARC received the film he was unhappy that it did not feature a Beast, which was promised by the title. Paul Blaisdell was hired to create a space ship and alien for $200.
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 pp. 24–27
- The dime-store way to make movies-and money By Aljean Harmetz. New York Times (1923–Current file) [New York, N.Y] 04 Aug 1974: 202.
- Harris M. Lentz, III – Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy Film and Television Credits vol. 1, McFarland Press, 1983, pp. 608, 629
- Gary A. Smith, American International Pictures: The Golden Years, Bear Manor Media 2014 p 18-19
- MOVIELAND EVENTS: Gig Young Obtains 'A Man in Eritrea' Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 06 Apr 1955: B6.
- Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 21
- The Beast with a Million Eyes at the American Film Institute Catalog