Saturday, December 7, 2013

R.I.P. Paul Mantee.

Actor Paul Mantee left us on November 07, 2013, at the age of 82. 

Mantee starred in the 1964 classic sci-fi film “Robinson Crusoe on Mars”, also mentioned in THIS POST concerning his co-star for that film, Victor Lundin.  BATMAN 1966 actor Adam West, also appeared in that film.
Paul Mantee (right) with Victor Lundin in "Robinson Crusoe on Mars"
And, more recently... Lundin (left) and Mantee (right)
Paul Mantee does extensive commentary for The Criterion Collection's release of “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” -- and it's really nice to hear his thoughts and recollections in his own voice.   I very much recommend this DVD, as it also features commentary by Victor Lundin. 

Mantee had a recurring role in the ‘80s series CAGNEY AND LACEY, though I can’t comment much on that, because I watched little or no television during that period. 
But, to me, Paul Mantee’s other standout role was that of US Government UFO expert “Bentley” on the wonderfully bizarre episode of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, aptly titled “Nightmare” (1968). 

Bentley finds himself alone with Captain Crane, on the otherwise deserted Submarine Seaview – while the disembodied voices of Admiral Nelson and the crew make plans to attack Washington DC with the sub’s fearsome nuclear weapons.    

Oddly, Mantee’s episode of VOYAGE (“Nightmare” ) ran directly after “The Lobster Man”, with his “Crusoe” co-star, Victor Lundin. 

For those interested, both “Nightmare” and The Lobster Man” can be found on the DVD set VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: SEASON FOUR, VOLUME TWO, covering the period which took the series out of "Monster-of-the-Week" mode and into it's final phase of "Weird Fantasy".  

 Also, of possible interest to probably no one but me, I happen to have a copy of an original script to “Nightmare”, the VOYAGE episode in which Paul Mantee guest starred.    It’s kinda nice to possess a copy of something that the actor has actually seen – and note the differences between script and finished product.  Though, by the notes highlighted; this probably belonged to a member of the production crew, rather than an actor. 

Click to enlarge for more detail.

Check it out!  Something that Paul Mantee and David Hedison performed together!  Click to enlarge for subtitled Dialogue!

Rest in Peace, Paul Mantee, and thank you for the great moments.  ...Even that "world coming to an end" stuff!


TC said...

While he did not often play the leading man, he had a long career as a character actor. He wrote an article for TV Guide about his experiences playing hired killers and henchmen in various TV detective shows.

In 1966, he starred in A Man Called Dagger, one of about 500,000 spy-action movies that came out that year. (It was the peak of the spy-fi fad, and there were more secret agents in movies, TV, and comic books, than you could point a Walther PPK at.) The producers probably hoped to do a long series about the adventures of Richard Dagger, but, AFAIK, there were no sequels.

Joe Torcivia said...

That series would have been interesting, and something I would very likely have watched. Too bad, it didn't happen.

jefman36 said...

Very cool you have that script man. I get it ��!
I personally love 50’s 60’s and 70’s sci fi movies. Modern sci just does not compare in storylines or even special effects. Can’t stand all the cgi looks so fake

jefman36 said...

Very cool you have that script man I get it 😃! I’m watching RCOM right now great movie. I love 50’s 60’s and 70’s sci fi modern movies just don’t compare too much CGI and action no character development

Joe Torcivia said...

I completely agree, Jefman!