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The Crawling Hand

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Released to theatres in 1963, "The Crawling Hand" was directed by Herbert L. Strock. Strock was introduced to the movie business while working as the director of the Fox Newsreel crew, where he would visit the homes of Hollywood stars. Strock went on to work for MGM studios as an editor and moved to producing and directing for television. He later produced and directed "The Cases of Eddie Drake", the first motion picture film to become a network series. Strock made his transition to feature film directing in 1953, when he took over direction of the science fiction thriller, "The Magnetic Monster".

Strock chose Kent Taylor to play the role of Dr. Max Weitzberg in "The Crawling Hand". This low-budget film is one of many that Taylor acted in throughout his career. A celebrated B-movie actor, Taylor was inspired to pursue acting after he met director, Henry King. Though Taylor acted in over 100 films throughout his career, he was never cast as a lead actor in any of the A-list movies that he acted in. Taylor is perhaps best remembered for his performance as Doc Holiday in the 1942 film, "Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die". Though Taylor had a prominent presence in the film industry throughout the 30s and 40s, he found that fewer opportunities were coming his way and eventually turned to television in the 50s, landing the lead role in the 1958 series, "The Rough Riders".

Allison Hayes plays the role of the beautiful Swedish student, Donna. The West Virginia native, whose birth name was Mary Jane Hayes, was noticed early on for her remarkable beauty when she was the 1949 Washington D.C. entry into the Miss America Pageant. Hayes got her start in entertainment in Washington D.C., where she worked in local television. After heading to Hollywood in the 50s, Hayes was noticed by Universal Studios, and began acting in films produced by the company. Hayes unintentionally found herself bound to low-budget films, even though she showed potential for A-list films. Hayes made an ever-lasting impression on the fan base of B-movies after her lead role in "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman", and is still celebrated today for her role in that film. The former symphony-orchestra pianist’s last film appearance was with Elvis Presley in the 1965 production of "Tickle Me". "The Crawling Hand" was her last horror film. Sadly, the talented actress died at the young age of 47 due to blood poisoning.

Alan Hale Jr., who plays the role of Sheriff Townsend, is probably the only other recognizable name in the film. Son of the great character actor, Alan Hale Sr., Hale did his first movie as a baby, and continued to act until his death. Hale starred in a number of classic films such as "The West Point Story" produced in 1950, and "Up Periscope", filmed in 1959. Hale moved on to making a number of TV guest appearances until landing the role of The Skipper, on the legendary "Gilligan’s Island". After the conclusion of "Gilligan’s Island", Hale starred in a number of guest roles while simultaneously maintaining his business interests which included owning a restaurant and a travel agency.

The Science

Pierre Sokolsky

Pierre SokolskyPhysicist Pierre Sokolsky of the University of Utah discusses cosmic rays and the film “The Crawling Hand.”

 

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Pierre Sokolsky

Department of Physics & Astronomy - University of Utah

Physicist

High Resolution Fly's Eye

spaceweather.com

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