Ad: "A Deadly Inferno Destroys a City of One Million!"
Plot: During a summer drought, an explosion at an oil refinery spreads fire through an already-dry city.
Exec: Harold Greenberg (Terror Train)
Dr. Frank Whitman / Barry Newman (Pretty Boy Floyd)
Trivia: This movie starred three major actors, whose careers were on the decline when it was made.
Born Shirley Schrift in 1922, SHELLEY WINTERS was known for her beauty as well as her acting ability, a rarity in Hollywood. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1959's The Diary of Anne Frank and 1965's A Patch of Blue, in which she played the abusive mother of a blind girl. She also was Oscar-nominated in the same category for 1972's The Poseidon Adventure in which she (by then over-weight) had a much-parodied swimming scene. Winters was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar (even though her role was really a supporting character) for 1951's A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Winters has written two excellent autobiographies detailing her film career and interesting love-life.
Father of actors Jane and Peter, grandfather of actress Bridget, HENRY FONDA (1905-1982) was known for his ability to portray the dignity of the "average American man", an ability similar to his contemporaries James Stewart and Gary Cooper and to today's Tom Hanks. Because he had not previously won an Oscar (even though he was nominated for his role 1940's The Grapes of Wrath and for producing 1957's 12 Angry Men), Fonda was given an honorary Oscar in 1980. Then in failing health, he was nominated for 1981's On Golden Pond co-starring Katharine Hepburn and his daughter Jane. He won, and Jane accepted the Best Actor Oscar on his behalf, since he was too ill to attend the ceremony.
Fonda's other numerous major films include: 1937's That Certain Woman starring Bette Davis; 1938's The Mad Miss Manton with Barbara Stanwyck; Jezebel again with Davis; 1939's The Young Mr. Lincoln; 1941's The Lady Eve again with Stanwyck; 1942's The Big Street with Lucille Ball; 1946's My Darling Clementine directed by John Ford; 1947's Daisy Kenyon with Joan Crawford; 1948's Fort Apache with John Wayne; 1955's Mister Roberts with James Cagney; 1956's The Wrong Man directed by Alfred Hitchcock; 1962's Advise and Consent directed by Otto Preminger; 1963's Spencer's Mountain with Maureen O'Hara; 1964's Fail-Safe with Walter Matthau; 1966's A Big Hand for the Little Lady with Joanne Woodward; 1968's Yours, Mine and Ours again with Ball; 1969's Once Upon A Time in the West in a rare role as a murderous villain, directed by Sergio Leone; and 1976's Midway with Charlton Heston.
Her beauty perhaps second only to Sophia Loren's, AVA GARDNER (1922-1990) never won an Oscar, but was nominated for 1953's Mogambo co-starring Clark Gable and Grace Kelly. She was just as famous for her stormy marriages to Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, and bandleader Artie Shaw. Gardner's films include: 1946's The Killers with Burt Lancaster; 1947's The Hucksters also with Gable; 1951's Showboat in which her adequate singing was dubbed by someone else, much to her distress; 1954's The Barefoot Contessa starring Humphrey Bogart; 1959's On the Beach with Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire; 1964's The Night of the Iguana starring Richard Burton and directed by John Huston; 1966's The Bible again by Huston; 1974's Earthquake with Heston; and 1977's The Cassandra Crossing with Lancaster and Loren.
Last Updated: 6/14/1999
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