Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The article is about the Frank M. Robinson science fiction novel and 1968 film. For other uses of the term power, see Power.
The Power is a 1956 science fiction novel by Frank M. Robinson that was made into a Studio One television episode and a 1968 film of the same name. Its protagonist, a researcher named Tanner, discovers evidence of a person with psychic abilities among his coworkers. As he tries to uncover the superhuman, his existence is erased and his associates murdered, until he faces a showdown with an apparently undefeatable opponent.
Professor Bill Tanner, head of a Navy-funded human endurance project at a Chicago university, is surprised when one of his teammates, Jim Olson, uncovers the existence of a superhuman on the project — a person who can manipulate matter and people's minds psychically and remotely. When Olson inexplicably dies at home while writing to Tanner about someone named "Adam Hart", Tanner finds himself under suspicion for murder and terminated from his university position. As his co-workers and students gradually forget he even exists, the beleaugered Tanner pursues traces of Hart to his hometown and back to Chicago. One by one, the project members wind up dead, leading Tanner to an inevitable confrontation with the ruthless superman.
The Studio One episode
CBS television anthology series Studio One broadcast an hour-long adaptation of Robinson's novel in an episode titled "The Power" on June 4, 1956. Directed by William H. Brown, it starred James Daly as Bill Tanner, Shepperd Strudwick as Navy liason Commander Nordlund, and Theodore Bikel as physicist Karl Grossman.
The 1968 film
In 1968, MGM released a film based on Robinson's novel, also titled The Power. Directed by George Pal, it was substantially changed in the John Gay screenplay, moving the location to San Marino, California, changing most of the characters' names (although retaining the surnames of Tanner, Nordlund, and department head Professor Van Zandt), and eliminating several subplots and characters, presumably to fit the story into a 108-minute film. George Hamilton starred as Professor Jim Tanner, Suzanne Pleshette as his teammate and romantic interest Margery Lansing (Marge Hanson in the novel), and Michael Rennie (famous among science fiction movie fans as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still) as new government liason Mr. Nordlund. Otherwise, the story proceeds in a fashion similar to the novel, except for a somewhat different twist to the conclusion.
This somewhat obscure movie is memorable for a number of intriguing scenes, including murder by centrifuge, a seemingly possessed "Walk / Don't Walk" sign, toy soldiers firing with real gunpowder, and winking inanimate objects (the last two also in the novel). The soundtrack also memorably features a beating heart to signal the mind-control attempts and eerie music from a cymbalum (a hammered dulcimer-like instrument) accompanying the more suspenseful moments. The music, written by Oscar-winning Ben-Hur composer Miklós Rózsa, actually contributes an amusing fourth wall-breaking moment when Tanner, hearing the haunting tune, seems to expect a new disaster, only to be visibly relieved when he finds a cymbalum-violin duet being performed in the hotel lobby.
- George Hamilton — Professor Jim Tanner
- Suzanne Pleshette — Professor Margery Lansing
- Michael Rennie — Arthur Nordlund
- Arthur O'Connell — Professor Henry Hallson
- Earl Holliman — Professor Talbot Scott
- Nehemiah Persoff — Professor Carl Melnicker
- Richard Carlson — Professor Norman E. Van Zandt
- Gary Merrill — Policeman Mark Corlane
- Yvonne De Carlo — Mrs. Sally Hallson
- Barbara Nichols — Flora (Joshua Falls diner)
- Aldo Ray — Bruce (Joshua Falls mechanic)
- Celia Lovsky — Mrs. Hallson (Henry's mother)
- Vaughn Taylor — Mr. Hallson (Henry's father)
- Ken Murray — Fred Grover (man at party)
- Miss Beverly Hills — Sylvia (woman at party)
- Miiko Taka — Mrs. Van Zandt
- Lawrence Montaigne — Briggs
- Forrest J Ackerman — Hotel clerk (uncredited)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details