The Incredible Journey (1963)

The Incredible Journey
Directed by Fletcher Markle
Written by James Algar from a book by Sandra Burnford
1963/Canada/USA
Cangary/Walt Disney Productions
First viewing/Amazon Instant

 

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. George Eliot

Just what the title promises plus all the cuteness anyone could handle.

A professor is offered a short-term teaching assignment at Oxford and leaves his family’s pets – Bodger, an ancient Bull Terrier; Luath, a Golden Retriever; and Tao, a Siamese cat – with a family friend.  Everything goes nicely until the friend goes on a hunting trip and leaves the pets with house sitters.  Something about being with strangers awakens a strong instinct in Luath to return home to the professor’s house.  The other two follow along.  The journey will take them 200 miles over Canada’s wilderness.  They have numerous adventures on the way along with encounters with kindly humans.

These are some super talented animal actors and there is plenty to enjoy if you like this sort of thing.  I do.

The Terror (1963)

The Terror
Directed by Roger Corman et al
Written by Leo Gordon and Jack Hill
1963/USA
Roger Corman Productions
First viewing/Amazon Prime

 

Helene: The crypt! It must be destroyed, and with it the dead.

Roger Corman let all his proteges take a hand in this one.  The result did not wow me.

Jack Nicholson plays Napoleonic officer Lt. Andre Duvalier.  Somehow Andre has become detached from his regiment and meets up with the mysterious, beautiful Helene (Sandra Knight).  She disappears and he searches for her only to be told by everyone there is no such person.  Eventually she reappears and he follows her to the castle of Baron Victor Frederick Von Lippe (Boris Karloff) who also denies knowing anything about her.

Naturally, most everyone is lying.  It turns out Helene may have something to do with the Baron’s young wife Ilsa, now long deceased …

Roger Corman was a great judge of talent.  Although the bulk of the film was shot in only  four days, the second-unit work was filmed over a nine month period by Francis Ford Coppola, Dennis Jakob, Monte Hellman, Jack Nicholson, and Jack Hill.  Too many cooks?

The story is all over the place and is the main problem.  This may be the only wooden performance I have ever seen from Nicholson as well.