Monday, August 11, 2008

The Billing, The Story, The Staff

I found it rather peculiar that the United States press book for "U.F.O." displayed only this brief synopsis of the story (despite other promotional information), while the British press book provided far more detail in its synopsis section; its length, in fact, gave me the opportunity to use and augment it lightly for my second magazine article on the film (printed in Argosy UFO -- see note in margin for my two early articles available for viewing via one link, which takes you to the Web site).

Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Researcher Gary Mangiacopra, exceptionally knowledgeable about movies and the technical processing of film itself, recently astonished me with a revelation that the British version of the 1953 science fiction movie, "Invaders From Mars," contained something the U.S. version lacked. There's a scene in this fictional movie, one of the better sci-fi films of the 1950s, where a scientist actually discusses with other characters the leading United States UFO incidents of the day, including Capt. Mantell's death, and photos of the famous "Lubbock Lights" and other supposedly real UFOs are prominently posted on the wall. In the version released to American theaters, all of this is missing! Now that both versions are available on DVD, the amazing comparison can easily be made.

For all the freedoms enjoyed by Americans, it's disturbing how many are apparently not. Who's in charge here? Or maybe, as per the original story title upon which the movie, "The Thing" was based, we should ask: "Who Goes There?"