Monday, 23 March 2015

Vincent Price Movie of the Week | Playhouse 90: Forbidden Area (1956)

This week's pick is an episode from the classic US drama anthology series Playhouse 90, entitled Forbidden Area.

I'm posting it because I had the pleasure of seeing over the weekend the European premiere of Tab Hunter Confidential, an inspiring new documentary (from I Am Divine's Jeffrey Schwarz) about the former 1950s teen idol and his life in the closet, whose best acting work was done for live television in series like this CBS series (his turn in 1958's Portrait of a Murderer was a career high).

The live anthology series premiered on 4 October 1956 with this 90-minute story directed by John Frankenheimer (who helmed 27 episodes), with Rod Serling adapting Pat Frank's Cold War thriller novel about Soviet sleeper agents trying to sabotage the US war effort.

Alongside Hunter, Charlton Heston, Diana Lynn, Vincent Price, Charles Bickford and a pre-Addams Family Jackie Coogan also starred. Vincent and Tab would later appear in the 1965 AIP adventure, War-Gods of the Deep, in which Price played the Nemo-esque Sir Hugh opposite Hunter's Pat Boone-styled hero. Forbidden Area, however, is made of much sterner stuff.

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