Saturday, March 31, 2018

CITY BENEATH THE SEA - Suzan Ball - "Handle With Care" (1953)

Tonight's Saturday Night Special is an undersea action and adventure tale in Technicolor from 1953 called "City Beneath The Sea!" Don't look for any giant octopi!

"City Beneath The Sea" would become a very popular title between 1953 and 1971. There was a TV series in 1962 that was a different story but had the same title, then there was a failed pilot for another TV show in 1969, and finally, the king of disaster movies, Irwin Allen came out with a TV movie by the same name in 1971.

Can't beat the location!

Here's our heroes! On the left is Robert (Captain Nemo) Ryan, and on the right is Anthony (Quasimodo) Quinn! 

They're better at deep sea diving than they are at driving!

Lalo (Touch Of Evil) Rios is the First Mate called Calypso! You can tell he's First Mate by his professionally made uniform!

There are three ways to explore the ocean! Surface level snorkeling, mid level scuba diving, and deep deep down deep sea diving.!

Special 1953 equipment!

 The most exciting part of the movie is this song from the club with the stunning Suzan Ball performing "Handle With Care!"
The club singer's name is Venita, aka Mary Lou Beetle! Suzan's life was a super sad story that you couldn't possibly make up. Suzan was Lucille Ball's second cousin, and a singer and a dancer. During a dance number she hurt her leg, and later fell and broke it. It was then discovered to be full of tumors so they had to amputate it, but the cancer quickly spread to her lungs and she succumbed to the horrible disease some six months after her 21st birthday! What a real tragedy!

 After that great song, a fight scene breaks out, and the band just keeps on jamming!

Since this movie is not a fantasy, the underwater city is uninhabited! There's the remains of some civilization and a ship that was hauling a million dollars in gold, and that's about it! No dancing girls!

Robert Ryan's love interest is the Captain of the boat they're using to look for the gold who is played by Mala (The Unknown Terror, The Colossus Of New York) Powers!

This voodoo dance scene looks like one of Tabonga's abstract paintings!

The voodoo element is kinda creepy, but they never go anywhere with it! These two shots are pretty krazy though!

They do find the gold, then they lose it, and then they are offered an opportunity to go find it again!

Happy couples!!

Happy ending!

I'm not a big fan of the underwater movies genre as I've stated here before, but despite that, I still liked this movie! Great colour, great club scene, and Anthony Quinn's character is over the top macho 1953! How the Hell can you possibly go wrong? It's just good fun, and I just love the fact that the two gals in this lobby card are not the two they end up with!


Laird Hobbs said...

Suzan Ball, what a beauty, and so tragic. Dick Long married her and they apparently had a happy few months, but I've never read anything he ever said about her and their life. Have you?

Laird Hobbs said...

There's more......! Dick Long married Suzan Ball after her leg was amputated. I have never read anything he ever said about their personal life, have you?

EEGAH!! said...

Hey Laird. no I really couldn't find out much either. They were only married a few months over a year, and but I did read this on IMDB, "Her husband Richard was always praised for his love and devotion to Suzan during her long illness," and that "The only time she appeared with husband Richard Long was on TV in Lux Video Theatre: I'll Never Love Again (1954), in which she played an accident victim confined to a wheelchair. The couple also toured in a nightclub act." Richard Long also had a premature death, dying from a heart attack at the age of 47. It's pretty amazing what some people can manage to accomplish in such abbreviated lives!

Laird Hobbs said...

Sorry for redundancy. Had an error that my comment didn't post.

Mr Long was 'prettier' than he was talented, but whatever charisma he possessed, he took it quite a way in his carrer. How many actors worked with Orson Welles, Barbara Stanwyck + Natalie Wood? (Oh! perhaps many!) Maybe he had natural talent, but he wasn't very versatile + being gorgeous has rarely actually hurt anyone.

EEGAH!! said...

Sorry about that. You did leave three comments. The middle one only said "Dick Long" so I chose not to publish it because it seemed incomplete.

Laird Hobbs said...

I have hoped for your response, to my response, from you (!) but I see you haven't responded. (?) BECAUSE I failed to send my blah blah blah. Here we go again, yet not.......
I have noticed, on the 'I swear' few times I've gone to it, The Data Lounge, that literally everyone knows someone who knows someone who knew that famous person's valet and prefaces their comments within that arena. I say this to parents really, really, really knew someone who once knew Richard Long. I call him "Dick Long" because of parents called him by that name.
The many storied tales from my family number in practically the hundreds and historically began with my Pop giving Pat Buttram his first job, a radio commercial.
This I tell you about Dick Long.....he was a drunk. Bless his heart, and I'm sure he could be a lovely man, but his dark side showed when he was imbibing.

EEGAH!! said...

Hi Laird, I'm a little confused here by your last comment. I thought I had responded to every one of your comments so far, and I don't even know what The Data Lounge is, so Thanx for more Richard Long information, sorry to hear he was a dick when drunk, but then most people are!

Marc Leslie Kagan said...

One of the saddest stories in Hollywood concerns the courageous beauty Suzan Ball. Even at an early age, she could turn heads. An ethereal creature with an abundance of talent and supreme courage, she fell victim to a crippling disease that cut short what was becoming an illustrious career. In the best tradition of Movieland fairy tales, the studio publicity mills called her "The New Cinderella Girl of 1952." Suzan's career was shifting into high gear but unbeknownst to anyone, Suzan ball had only three more years to live. Suzan's fade into premature obscurity took away her moment of prominence and the glass slipper into another Hollywood statistic. Her dreams, her happiness and all her fairly tales were all washed away.
Her friend Mary Castle who just signed with Universal took Susan to meet Universal's top talent scout Bob Raines. He knew immediately that she would be a big star. At this time Susan decided to change the spelling of her name to Suzan thinking it was more exotic. Suzan received "introducing" billing in Untamed Frontier (1952) as the scheming mistress of Scott Brady. Her notices were good and that she is most persuasive as the female menace.
Her friend Mara Corday realized that Suzan was accident prone. Suzan's next film was East Of Sumatra (1953) and the first signs of her doomed illness began to manifest itself. Suzan was rehearsing a dance number when Suzan was to drop to her knee and not exactly knowing how to land on your knee without any damaged Suzan fell with all her weight on her knee. She was treated by the studio doctor and forgot about it. While driving up to the Berkshire Mountains with studio publicist Gail Gilford, their car was sideswiped by another car. Nobody was hurt and the car was slightly damaged However, when they received the jolt, the upper part of Suzan's knee struck the window crank handle of the car. She didn't think much of it at the time. It was during the filming of Suzan's next film War Arrow (1953) that she was told by her doctor that she developed tumors on her leg.
Suzan went on location with Long for his film Saskatchewan in Banff, Canada. When she returned to Hollywood two doctors that her leg would have to amputated. They made arrangements to get married. While preparing lunch Suzan slipped on some water and broke her leg. On January 12, 1954 Suzan's leg was amputated and on April 11, 1954 which was Palm Sunday Suzan walked down the aisle of the El Montectio Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara and married Richard Long.
George Sherman who directed Suzan in War Arrow wanted her to star with Victor Mature in Chief Crazy Horse (1955), when the excutives attempted to replace Suzan with Susan Cabot, Sherman insisted its Suzan or no one else. For thios film Suzan received her best reviews.
While Suzan and Long were rehearsing a "Climax" television drama Suzan collasped and was rushed to City of Hope Hospital where it was discovered that the cancer spread to her lungs.
Universal-International stood by Suzan, personally assuming all medical expenses, although legally they weren't liable. On August 5, 1955 Suzan Ball passed at the of 21 years old. Her death set off a tidal wave of emotion from her friends and colleagues. After suffering several heart attacks, Richard Long died on December 21, 1974, at Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles, four days after his 47th birthday.

EEGAH!! said...

Thanks for all the amazing information Marc! It's fascinating how over time the real stories of the people who made the movies are more interesting than the movies themselves. Suzan's was a sad story indeed, but then, there are so many sad stories.

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