|Richard Boone in IBTL.|
I really like Richard Boone, having suffered a huge crush on him when he played Paladin, the gentlemanly, very moral gunman on Have Gun--Will Travel on TV. That black and silver ensemble – what girl child could resist it? It was strange to see him in ordinary street clothes in IBTL, and he didn’t seem as tall without his black cowboy hat. However, he was still masculine, appealing, and a good actor. The movie also starred Theodore Bikel, a well-respected actor, and Robert Anderson, a well-known character actor and Dad to Dennis the Menace.
Boone plays Robert Kraft, a businessman who has to take his turn amongst the big boys in town to run Immortal Hills, the town cemetery. Bikel is Andy McKee, a Scottish cemetery groundsman who has 40 years in the business and is creepily attached to his graveyard. Anderson is Jess Jessup (his parents must have had no imagination), the town newspaperman who must be frantically looking for some kind of story…he is always at the cemetery. Other members of the cast include recognizable character actors and a woman who plays Boone’s love interest. She is actress Peggy Maurer, whose only other claim to fame is the two-minute part of grown-up Wendy in 1960’s Peter Pan.
The real star of the show is The Map. I capitalize The Map because it is the centerpiece of the movie. isual effects man Edward Vorkapich (who never did anything much else in the movie biz) designed The Map, and it is fairly creepy. It’s really big, and shows the topography of the cemetery. Big black lines, which are never explained as far as what they represent, are scrawled across the map, and look like weird Picasso-ish eyes. Throughout the movie, the map changes perspective, becomes brighter and the black lines bolder. It does so as Kraft goes quietly crazy.
|Bikel and Boone in front of The Map.|
IBTL is directed by Albert Band, known for extremely B movies (my favorite title of his is Dracula’s Dog). The music, which is OK but not particularly good, was done by music editor Eve Newman, also known for her work on Roger Corman’s Poe movies. She also composed the score for TV’s Sky King, one of my favorites when I was a kid (“Out of the blue of the western sky comes … Sky King!”) According to IMDb, most of the people involved in IBTL appear to be best known for this movie, which apparently wasn’t much of an asset to their curriculum vitae.
Turner Classic Movies did show IBTL on its underground movie schedule in 2007. Otherwise, I don’t know where you would find it except in the big barrel at Walmart. By the way, it didn’t really have 85 movies–just 30. Still, three good movies out of 30 is not a good bargain!
The poster is great, but whoever designed it must not have actually seen the movie. A great “cry”? Maybe from the audience who paid money to see it. Otherwise, I didn’t hear a thing.