Beginning of the End (1957)

USA, 1957
76m
35mm film, Horrorscope, black and white, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American science fiction film directed by Bert I. Gordon. Production began on 3 December 1956.

Plot Summary

Journalist Audrey Ames investigates sightings of giant grasshoppers that seem to have been accidentally released from an experimental farm in Illinois. As the military tries to cover up the accident, the grasshoppers advance on Chicago.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Bert I. Gordon
© [not given on screen]
AB-PT Pictures Corporation *
Produced by: Bert I. Gordon
Screenplay by: Fred Freiberger and Lester Gorn
Assistant Director: Melville Shyer
2nd Assistant Director: Wilson Shyer
Director of Photography: Jack Marta
Chief Set Electrician: Austin Herick
Film Editor: Aaron Stell
Music Composed and Conducted by: Albert Glasser
Music Editor: Morris K. McNaughton
Song: Natural, Natural Baby words and music by Lou Bartel & Harriet Kane, sung by Lou Bartel & chorus, an ABC-Paramount record
Sound Mixer: Richard E. Tyler
Sound Effects Editors: Douglas Stewart, George J. Eppich
RCA Sound Recording
Makeup: Steve Drumm
Special Technical Effects: Bert I. Gordon
Optical Effects: Consolidated Film Industries
Art Director: Walter Keller
Set Dresser: George Milo
Property Master: James Harris
Stagehand: Duncan ‘Dean’ Parkin *

Cast
Peter Graves (Dr Ed Wainwright)
Peggie Castle (Audrey Aimes)
Morris Ankrum (General John Hanson)
Than Wyenn (Frank Johnson)
Thomas B. Henry (Colonel Tom Sturgeon)
Richard Benedict (Corporal Mathias)
James Seay (Captain James Barton)
John Close (Major Everett)
Don C. Harvey (guard at lab)
Larry J. Blake (patrolman)
Eilene Janssen (teenager)
Hylton Socher (Frank)
Frank Wilcox (General John T. Short)
Douglas Evans (Norman Taggart)
Paul Grant
Richard Emory
Hank Patterson (Dave)
Steve Warren (observation post 3 soldier)
Frank Connor (observation post 1 soldier)
Don Eitner (observation post 2 soldier)
Rayford Barnes (Chuck)

Alternative Titles

Pelon katu – Finland

Extracts included in
It Came from Hollywood (1982)

Press

1960
Kine Weekly vol.512 no.2728 (14 January 1960) p.10
Science-fiction melodrama cast in a familiar, nay, moth-eaten mould […] The principal players take their parts seriously and there are some neat photographic effects, but its script sadly lacks invention. The “giant insects” itch, but never thrill. The preparations for the bombing of Chicago impress and the cameraman leaves nothing to chance, yet no sense of urgency is created. It’ll leave most audiences cold. – from a review by Josh Billings

References

Periodicals

  • The Daily Cinema no.8256 (18 January 1960) p.12 – credits, review
  • The Film Daily vol.112 no.8 (12 July 1957) p.9 – credits, review
  • Film Score Monthly vol.8 no.5 (June 2003) p.48 – DVD review (The laserphile: fun fun fun: ’til your daddy takes the DVDs away… by Andy Dursin)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.145 no.26 (1 July 1957) p.3 – credits, review
  • Kine Weekly vol.512 no.2727 (7 January 1960) p.30 – note (Trade shows)
  • Kine Weekly vol.512 no.2728 (14 January 1960) p.10 – credits, review (by Josh Billings)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.27 no.313 (February 1960) p.22 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.208 no.2 (13 July 1957) p.51 – credits, review
  • Variety 3 July 1957 – credits, review

Books

  • Earth vs the Sci-fi Filmmakers: Twenty Interviews by Tom Weaver pp.133-148- illustrated interview with Peter Graves
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.43 – credits
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.30 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.21 – credits, review