Edward Bernds’ deliciously ridiculous World Without End (1956)

April 6, 2017 | By

Writer-director Edward Bernds never graduated to A-level films, but his prolific career included a mass of comedy shorts, franchise entries for Blondie and The Bowery Boys, episodic TV, Three Stooges features, and finally The New 3 Stooges animated show in 1965 before he retired and passed away in 2000 at the age of 95.

Besides the Stooges features, he also directed Return of the Fly (1959), and his sci-fi diptych World Without End (1956) and Queen of Outer Space (1958), the latter ultimately released on DVD with a fact-filled commentary track by genre historian Tom Weaver.

World has never received any special edition treatment, and in spite of the gorgeous print sourced for Warner Archives’ new Blu-ray, there’s no extras. Sci-fi B movie fans will love the new Blu, but it really needs a Weaver track (or something similar) to contextualize this ridiculous and fun colour CinemaScope extravaganza produced by one of my favourite B-studios, Allied Artists.

I’ve tweaked the 2012 review and ported it over from the KQEK.com archives, but the impression and enjoyment of Rod Taylor’s dead-serious take on his character really makes the film.

Bernds’ background in comedy is felt in the cheeky banter and reactions between the male leads, but his script and direction play most of the drama straight – adding to the movie’s already built-in fromage factor.

Leith Stevens’ score is also pretty straight-faced, and there’s a sense the movie was either tracked with music from his masterwork Destination Moon (1950) or Bernds wanted a soundalike score, so Stevens crafted an echo that nevertheless stands on its own as a classic genre score, and one deserving a proper CD release, given Stevens’ weak representation on disc.

I’m assuming Bernds knew he was making a tongue-in-cheek film, but AA produced three types of ads.

One strikingly beautiful:

 

Another much more traditional:

 

And here, aimed at, what, kids?

I think the original captions for Vargas’ preposterous ‘interpretation’ probably went something like ‘Meet Garnet! And Deena! Plus Elaine! They’re the future of humanity!’

Coming next is a compact podcast interview with Goblin member Maurizio Guarini, who performed an original score to Italy’s first feature film, L’Inferno, at Innis Town Hall on Wed. April 5, 2017. The 1911 silent version of Dante’s famous tale was restored in 2007, and I’ll have a review of that version as well.

Cheers, 

 

 

Mark R. Hasan, Editor
KQEK.com

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Category: EDITOR'S BLOG

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