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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Gog (1954)

Starring Richard Egan, Constance Dowling, Herbert Marshall, John Wengraf, Philip Van Zandt
Directed by Herbert L. Strock
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A government agent is called in to investigate murders and sabotage at a secret scientific laboratory, where an advanced supercomputer controls all the experiments as well as a pair of powerful robots.

Although the special effects are economical and not ground-breaking in any form, this is an efficient thriller well-directed by Strock, and the screenplay contains some fascinating insights for the time into approaching space travel, the focus of the laboratory's scientists in the film.  Despite a great deal of technical jargon and confinement to a small number of sets, Strock keeps things moving along at a nice pace, and the saboteur's attacks come off as exciting and suspenseful.  Although the robots, named Gog and Magog after figures referenced in the Bible (according to Wikipedia), are not especially memorable, they become effective instruments of death in the film's final act.  

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