December 23 – 20,000 Leagues, Clay Cole Christmas, Good Bad Ugly


Disney releases its first sci-fi film, carefully crafted 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on a story by Jules Verne.

Giant squid

Unlike most SF films of the time, it offers major stars, great technical talent and a serious budget (~$5 million).

James Mason is a daunting Captain Nemo, Kirk Douglas his guest. The film scores two Oscars for art direction and special effects, probably for the excellent sets & props and giant-squid battle.

Not until Jan. 29, 2008 does Disney finally release Paul Smith‘s original soundtrack … digital-only at first. In 1940 Smith, along with Leigh Harline and Ned Washington won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for Disney-animated Pinocchio.


The ten-day Clay Cole’s Christmas Show at the 4000-seat Brooklyn Paramount — built in 1928 at 385 Flatbush Avenue (*) (*) — begins.

MCed by NY DJ Murray the K, breaking all attendance records, it includes Ray Charles, Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee, Neil Sedaka, Johnny Burnett, The Delicates, Kathy Young, Dion, Bobby Vinton, Bo Diddley, Chubby Checker, Bobby Vee, Jimmy Charles and groups Dante & the Evergreens, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Shirelles, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.

Clay Cole hosted a NYC rock music TV dance show from 1959 to 1967. He made an appearance in 1961 film Twist Around the Clock.
 Clay’s gallery

Two kinds of people in this world

US release of Sergio Leone classic spaghetti-western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, one year after the Italian release.(*)

It is a slow earthquake. It stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach — and a whole lot of nonchalant style. Hollywood gets schooled bigtime — for $1.3 million!!

‘Hey Blondie! You know what you are?’

Amazing tension between sly, gritty realism — sweat, gunpowder, horse shit, death — and outrageous plot elements.

Tuco: You never had a rope around your neck. Well, I’m going to tell you something. When that rope starts to pull tight, you can feel the Devil bite your ass.

It features one of the great, experimental soundtracks by Ennio Morricone; the hit album reaches US#4. Morricone’s theme pays direct homage to Pierre Schaeffer‘s little-known 1948 experimental sound collage Ètude aux chemins de fer. MP3
GBU opening titles GBU graveyard GBU ending Once Upon a Time
( Morricone site ) ▷Morricone bio▹ ▷▹

See also: Dollars Trilogy, Man with No Name