William Castle

QUESTION: Which of the following movies was William Castle NOT the director?
A)  Undertoad
B)  The Fat Man
C)  Uranium Boom
D)  13 Frightened Girls
ANSWER BELOW

We promised you yesterday that today's blog would be dedicated to the great William Castle, and so it will be. Born William Schloss, Jr. ("schloss" is a German word that translates to castle) in 1914, he was orphaned by the age of eleven and moved in with his sister. Two years later, we went to see a play called Dracula starring a Hungarian immigrant named Bela Lugosi. This experience steered the course of his life. Lugosi took the boy under his wing and got him a job as assistant stage manager for the touring company of the play. Castle immediately dropped out of school and joined the theater. He then produced his own shows, recognizing that good publicity was often more important than a quality production. Success led to a journey west, and soon he was in Hollywood. He was still in his twenties when the somewhat notorious Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures gave him his first break, and he directed a film called The Chance of a Lifetime. He made it on schedule and under budget, and did well enough that his career as a film director/producer/writer and promoter was off to a good start.

Castle made dozens of films, the vast majority of them low-budget horror films with names such as Slaves of Babylon (1953), Jesse James vs. the Daltons (1954), The Tingler! (1959), and Zoltz! (1962). Towards the end of his life, he hoped to produce and direct A-list films, notably 1968's Rosemary's Baby, but the studio refused to allow him to direct.  He did produce the film, but Roman Polanski directed. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 63 of a heart attack. He may not have reached the heights to which he aspired, but he definitely made an impact on cinema and gave joy to countless movie watchers to this day. 

ANSWER:  A)  Undertoad. But he did direct a film in 1949 called Undertow, so don't feel too badly if you missed that one.