Monday, 8 August 2011

Irwin Allen's 1957 all-star epic The Story of Mankind comes to DVD (in the US)

Irwin Allen produced this very odd adaptation of Henrik Willem Van Loon's best- selling historical volume, featuring an all-star cast.

A Celestial Tribunal has been convened to decide the fate of the Earth after the invention of nuclear weapons, with The Devil (Vincent Price) and The Spirit of Man (Ronald Colman) debating if humankind should be allowed to continue or be exterminated once and for all.

Both elemental forces present examples of human behavior at its best and worst, including Dennis Hopper as Napoleon, Hedy Lamarr as Joan of Arc, Virginia Mayo as Cleopatra, Peter Lorre as Nero, Edward Everett Horton as Sir Walter Raleigh, and Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, and Chico Marx as, respectively, Peter Minuit, Sir Isaac Newton, and a monk. A very curious find, indeed.

Released through Warner Bros on demand Archive Collection label.

Would you believe, I couldn't find a clip of Vincent on YouTube. Will have to upload one soon, in the meantime here's Dennis Hopper as Napoleon.

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