The Giant Claw 1957
The Giant Claw - Released June 1957. Directed by Fred F. Sears
Mara Corday and Jeff Morrow, 1957
Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday fill up most of the run-time for The Giant Claw, a science-fiction giant-bird film featuring a rather unconvincing outer space vulture that is tormenting pilots across the North America skies.
With dialogue being cheaper than special effects, Morrow and Corday have a lot of work to do in carrying this story over its 75 minutes, even if it means standing in front of the cameras and simply checking off items on a clipboard, something we see Corday do in many scenes.
Originally producer Sam Katzman worked with Ray Harryhausen who created a prototype for the titular monster bird, but because of the low budget, Katzman switched the actual effects work to a small company in Mexico who used marionettes instead of stop-motion.
To save additional money, scenes from other films are cobbled together with actual shot footage to fill out the 75 minutes. Scenes from 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, Mission over Korea appears, as does special effect moments from Earth v. The Flying Saucers.
The result is a movie which isn't laughably bad until the "giant claw" appears, and then: it is laughably bad.
The film screenwriter (Samuel Newman) also wrote Invisible Invaders, and re-used the character Dr. Karol Noyman for that film.
Plan 9 and the Giant Claw
It appears Director Ed Wood studied Katzman's film. Comparing The Giant Claw with the Ed Wood magnum Opus Plan 9 from Outer Space, Wood's 1959 film shows some similarity onscreen.
Wood uses Katzman's story-telling methods of an unseen (to the viewer) phenomenon that frightens pilots who are not believed when they report what they've seen.
Katzman also communicates plot points by newspaper headline, as does Wood.
Police cars move around in the night in both films.
And both films rely on military personnel in perfectly pressed suits analyzing the danger while surrounded by stacks of radio equipment which are turned toward the viewer so that they can enjoy the technology.
And both films use stock footage (or borrowed footage) to help stretch the run time.
More Mara Corday
Original Page Aug 2, 2014 | Updated April 2016
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
- Central Park - 1932 - Joan Blondell has trouble on her hands when she gets suckered into helping a gangster to rob a charity event. Though this film stars Joan and Wallace Ford, it also features the American Great Depression which is the background for the hunger and desperation that flavors the film.
- Robert Osborne - 1932 - 2017 - The "Movie Man" who worked as a film historian and host for The Movie Channel and Turner Classic Movies.
- Classic Cinema releases to DVD, Blu Ray and Streaming - March 2017 List
- Torchy (Glenda Farrell) Gets Her Manand solves crimes faster than her boyfriend (a policeman) and the whole police force.
- Get Smart - 2008 - Maxwell Smart is back in action with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) on a mission into Russia which turns into a hunt for a traitor within CONTROL's ranks - - and everyone is starting to think it might be Agent 86.
- Ernest Saves Christmas - 1988 - Florida seems like the wrong place to find a missing Santa Clause, but taxi driver Ernest locates him there all the same.
- Jeopardy 1953 - - A Mexican vacation goes off the rails when escaped American convict (Ralph Meeker) hijacks Barbara Stanwyck.
- Zorba The Greek 1964 - Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn are on Crete, with Irene Papas
- Frankenstein Island - 1981 - The plot moves slowly and often doesn't seem to make sense in this legendary bad film featuring a projected image of John Carradine that rattles off incoherant dialogue.
- The Lady Vanishes - 1938 - Hitchcock's famous film about a disappearing lady aboard a trans-continental train. Except for one stubborn young female passenger [who is consequently accused of mental instability] no one aboard can remember the vanished elderly Miss Froy.
- White Zombie - 1932 - Bela Lugosi likes making zombies, and this comes in handy when a local plantation owner on Haiti decides if he can't woo a certain girl to be his wife, he'll have Lugosi turn her into a mindless slave that he can command.