The Gamma People (1956)


Introduction

The Gamma People is a 1956 British-American black-and-white science fiction film, produced by John Gossage, directed by John Gilling, that stars Paul Douglas, Eva Bartok, and Leslie Phillips.

Outline

A train passenger car carrying a reporter and his photographer mysteriously breaks away from its locomotive, accidentally ending up on a remote sidetrack in Gudavia, an isolated Ruritanian-style, one-village Eastern Bloc dictatorship. The newsmen discover a mad scientist using gamma rays to turn the country’s youth into either geniuses or subhumans, all at the bidding of an equally mad dictator.

Cast

  • Paul Douglas as Mike Wilson.
  • Eva Bartok as Paula Wendt.
  • Leslie Phillips as Howard Meade.
  • Walter Rilla as Boronski.
  • Philip Leaver as Koerner.
  • Martin Miller as Lochner.
  • Michael Caridia as Hugo Wendt.
  • Pauline Drewett as Hedda Lochner.
  • Jocelyn Lane as Anna.
  • Olaf Pooley as Bikstein.
  • Rosalie Crutchley as Frau Bikstein.
  • Leonard Sachs as Telegraph Clerk.
  • Paul Hardtmuth as Hans.
  • Cyril Chamberlain as Graf.

Production

In June 1951, Irving Allen announced he would make The Gamma People in Austria with Brian Donlevy and Virginia Grey. It was based on a screenplay by Oliver Crawford and a story by Louis Pollack. Allen said the script was about German scientific experiments during the war which caused cells to mutate. He said he had finance from the United States and Austria. Allen did a location trip to Austria in July.

In December 1951 Allen announced he had formed Warwick Productions with Albert Broccoli, but that he still intended to make The Gamma People with Robert Aldrich. Dick Powell was slated to star.

The film would not be made until three more years. Paul Douglas was cast in the lead and Warwick wanted Trevor Howard to co-star. Filming took place in Austria in July 1955. Patricia Medina was meant to co-star, but then was called in for another commitment, on a Sam Katzman film. Eva Bartók took her place.

Writer Louis Pollack would be blacklisted for five years, having been confused for a clothier with the same name who refused to give testimony to the House of Un-American Activities Committee.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): John Gilling.
  • Producer(s): John Gossage.
  • Writer(s): John Gilling and John Gossage.
  • Music: George Melachrino.
  • Cinematography: Ted Moore.
  • Editor(s): Jack Slade.
  • Production: Warwick Films.
  • Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures.
  • Release Date: 30 January 1956 (UK).
  • Running Time: 79 minutes.
  • Rating: A.
  • Country: UK and US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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