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Climax! was an CBS anthology series that ran from 1954-1959, hosted by William Lundigan. It was broadcast live from the studios at CBS Television in Los Angeles, and featured many of Hollywood’s biggest stars at the height of their game and also a number of directors and writers just starting out in the business, including Arthur Hiller, Ida Lupino and John Frankenheimer. Although transmitted in colour, only black and white kinescope copies of some of the episode now survive. Vincent Price appeared in the three of the dramas, Night of Execution (1955), Spin Into Darkness (1956) and Avalanche at Devil’s Pass (1959).

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The second season fourth episode Night of Execution aired on 22 September 1955. Nina Foch plays Emily Rone, a woman is forced to leave her marriage by her violent, over-bearing husband Gideon (Vincent Price) whose objective is to train their young son Keith (Peter Votrian) to follow his evil footsteps. Dick Foran (who appeared with Price in 1940’s The House of the Seven Gables) also appears. Watch it in full here.

Spin Into Darkness was the 26th episode of series two, and was screened on 5 April 1956. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who would go on to helm The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds and Prophecy, and bravely tried to save the dire Island of Dr Moreau remake which starred a bloated Marlon Brando. Alongside Price were Charles Drake, Virginia Grey and Ruth Roman. Sadly, this one seems not to have made it onto kinescope.

Avalanche at Devil’s Pass was the 25th episode of the third series, and it was aired on 25 April 1959. It was directed by Jack Smight, who filmed 13 episodes of the series and went onto helm The Illustrated Man, Frankenstein: The True Story and Airport 1975. Amongst the cast was Judith Evelyn (who appeared with Price in The Tingler, and on the stage in Angel Street), Edgar Buchanan, John Ireland and Wanda Hendix. Like Spin, this one is also missing in action, but I have found some neat pics.

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The Curator

Peter Fuller is a award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.
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