Archive for Once in a Lifetime

The Crumps

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by dcairns

Further Grant Williams investigation — the Incredible Shrinking Man stars as a psychopath killing strangers on the streets of New York en route to his therapy sessions in THE COUCH. He isn’t shrinking in this one, though, as he might have had trouble getting on the couch, or stabbing people above knee level.

The wonderful Shirley Knight, a memorable New York maniac herself in DUTCHMAN, is his romantic interest and Onslow Stevens plays the shrink, her dad. Stevens had an odd career, it seems — I find him really impressive in his brief role in ONCE IN A LIFETIME (1932) and then he’s in the less fortunate HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945) where he manages to cure the wolfman. Will he do the same for the Incredible Shrinking And Murdering Man? A trickier case, it seems.

We’ll be seeing him again in THEM!

Robert Bloch’s writing credit immediately made Fiona suspicious. The mark of quality — medium/low quality. But he shares that credit with director Owen Crump and a young ex-actor named Blake Edwards.

Now, Crump is an unusual name. And it turns out to have been Blake Edwards’s name — he was William Blake Crump. Which sounds like a Victorian poet and engraver falling unconscious to the floor. Edwards was also sort of movie royalty — his stepfather’s father, J. Gordon Edwards was a movie director, his stepfather was Jack McEdward, a production manager. What I can’t find is any assertion that William Blake Crump and Owen Crump were part of the same family. But they must have been, though probably not blood relations. Step-brothers, I’d say. Owen Crump went on to produce several films for Edwards — WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR, DADDY?, GUNN, DARLING LILI, and they co-produced WATERHOLE #3.

Edwards’ most COUCH-like film is the underrated EXPERIMENT IN TERROR.

Anyhow, THE COUCH gets seriously dull in places, but maestro Crump does attempt some striking visuals, and the acting is all fine. Williams figures out ways to make his good looks seem extremely creepy. I immediately recommended the film to an actor friend preparing for the role of a psychopath…

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