The Beatniks (1960)

Paul Frees really did it all. Actor, voice actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter and even writer and director, at least for this one movie. He’s even the “Ghost Host” in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Disneyworld.

Originally intended to be called Sideburns and Sympathy, this movie is all about Eddy Crane, a small-time crook who gets discovered by a music exec. However, his old gang can’t give up their ways. Then there’s the worry of his old girl, Iris, who is getting left behind for the music exec’s secretary. Things won’t end well.

So yeah. The movie is really bad. But let’s judge Paul Frees, who did so many other cool things, like the films of George Pal (the voice over for the rings in The Time Machine, the reporter in War of the Worlds, the narration that starts Doc Savage), the voices of John Lennon and George Harrison in The Beatles cartoon, the voice of The Millionaire, as well as the vocal chords behind Colossus: The Forbin Project. He’s also the man behind the narration that apocalyptically ends Beneath the Planet of the Apes: “In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium-sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead”.

You can watch this on YouTube. You can also download it on the Internet Archive.

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