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Children of the Damned (1963)

NOTE: This commentary is on the "Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned" double-feature DVD released in August 2004.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Screenwriter John Briley Rating:8.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Brian Thibodeau on July 11th, 2005:Find all reviews by Brian Thibodeau
Briley's commentary on this sequel to Village of the Damned is a refreshing counterpoint to Steve Haberman's more formal session on that film in this two-feature set. Briley's got a keen memory and fills the track with ample anecdotes about both the production of this film - his first solo credit as a screenwriter - and the world of filmmaking in Britain in the early 1960's. Briley provides much detail regarding his own induction into the world of film - he was primarily a novelist - and paints vivid pictures of the people he worked with and the world they inhabited, largely at Britain's MGM studios, where, he informs us, the sheep division turned out to be the most profitable of all, with the farmer even sitting in on production meetings (it'll make sense when you hear it!). Briley talks at length about the Hollywood blacklist and how England and Europe at the time were so very much more progressive when it came to freedom of expression (hell, they still are!), as well as an informed digression about Roosevelt's Labout Relations Act, which had the unfortunate effect of screwing screenwriters out of their copyright before many of them knew just how financially damaging such an act could really be. He's candid about first-time film director Anton Leader's difficulty with establishing geography from scene to scene, something many viewers might not have noticed were it not for Briley drawing attention to it here. An all around great track for film scholars who may not necessarily be interested in the somewhat-above-average cult film that it accompanies. Well worth listening to and very educational.