Welcome to today’s show, Seven Days in May (1964), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts.
Today’s movie is Seven Days in May (1964). This star-studded military movie doesn’t feature any combat. But there is enough action for anyone, as a rogue general tries to replace the US president in a military coup. Every actor in this movie is amazing but I want to call out Edmond O’Brien who plays a drunken Senator. Rod Serling wrote the screenplay and the movie was directed by John Frankenheimer.
So, let’ jump right into the actors, many of whom of show veterans.
Burt Lancaster played Gen. James Mattoon Scott. The great Burt Lancaster was covered in Episode 30 – Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).
Burt Lancaster was born in Manhattan. All four of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. Lancaster grew up on the streets and was a tuff character. He became interested in gymnastics and was a high school athlete. Following his mother’s death, he dropped out of college and later joined the circus at age 19 where he could use his considerable physical skills.
He met his lifelong friend Nick Cravet during his circus period. In 1939, a hand injury forced Lancaster to quit his beloved circus. For a time he worked at department stores as a singing waiter.
When World War II broke out he joined the Army and ended up in the USO entertaining troops. He served in the Italian theater of operation. Following the war, he was not excited to become an actor but he tried out for a stage role and landed the part. With his intense blue eyes, athletic physique, and devilish smile it is not hard to see how he got the role.
Although the play …
Hugh Marlowe was born in Pennsylvania in 1911. Marlowe had a radio, stage, and film career. I will confine myself to just the films at this point.
Marlow began his stage career in the early 1930’s at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. His first appeared on the New York stage in a 1936 production of ”Arrest That Woman.”
Marlowe’s best work was in sci-fi. Marlowe’s first film was Married Before Breakfast (1937). His films included Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Twelve O’Clock High (1949) as a critical character in this fine story along with Gregory Peck, All About Eve (1950), Night and the City (1950), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Rawhide (1951), Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) as the lead Earth scientist, World Without End (1956), Elmer Gantry (1960), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964).
When Marlowe’s film days were over he was on the soap opera “Another World” from 1969 until his death in …
Kirk Douglas was a descendant of Jewish Russian parents from what is now in Belarus and was raised in a tough area of New York. He went on to be perhaps one of the greatest actors in American history. He performed a little on Broadway until he joined the Navy in 1941. At the end of the war, he returned to acting and was cast in the lead role in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). The next role was in a film noir masterpiece title Out of the Past (1947). This was followed by a roll in I Walk Alone (1948), marking the first of seven times he would work alongside Burt Lancaster. In Champion (1949) he played an untrustworthy boxer. Douglas was cast as painter Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956). This was followed by the western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) with Lancaster. In 1957, he played a French Colonel in Stanley Kubrick’s intense anti-war drama Paths of Glory (1957). In 1960, …