Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Forgotten Films: Fort Ti

Ed Gorman mentioned this movie in an e-mail a few weeks back and sent me into a veritable frenzy of nostalgia.

When I was a kid, my grandmother and aunt would sometimes take me and my brother and sister to Galveston for a few days in the summer. For my brother and sister, the attractions were the Gulf of Mexico, the waves, the beach, the seashells, and so on. I liked those things, too, but what I liked most was that there were first-run movies in the theaters. In my hometown, we had to wait weeks for films to reach us, and we got to see them long after the new had worn off. And as far as I know, there was never a 3-D movie shown in Mexia, Texas.

So instead of the beach and the waves and all that other stuff, the big attraction for me was getting to go to a movie. In 1953, that movie was Fort Ti. It might not be a great film, but in 3-D to a kid my age, it was a miracle. The story's about Rogers' Rangers in the French and Indian Wars, but I didn't care. All I cared about was the tomahawks and arrows flying around my ears, cannons firing in my face, and leering redskins stalking out into the audience.

My grandmother went to this movie with us, and it may well have been the last time she was in a theater, though she lived for twenty more years. She was a hilarious embarrassment to us all, screaming "Get away from me!" when the Indians seemed to pop out of the screen. Good times, good times.

When I was a kid, I had no idea who William Castle was, but he directed this movie before he went on to do the things for which he's better known. If there was anybody who knew how to work the 3-D for all it was worth, it was Castle. I'd love to see this film again in that format, but I'm sure I never will. There's not even a trailer for it on YouTube, much less a 3-D DVD, and the world is a poorer place for that.


Todd Mason said...

I suspect the looting for 3D fodder isn't over yet, and Castle is about due for a revival with that format trying, at least, to gain broad acceptance.

Todd Mason said...

The giant mosquitoes did it for me at a Jurassic recreation short film I saw once. And for nearly everyone else in the audience.