Quick Hits: I Remember: Married to the Blob

It doesn't matter what else this director did. He'll always be remembered for one film ...

I REMEMBER HOW we came up with the title The Blob. Originally we came up with such titles as The Molten Meteorite and The Meteorite Monster. We knew those titles weren’t right, and so did Irv Milgate, the creator of the story. And so we had a blackboard in our conference room, which we all kept writing suggestions on. At first, nobody wanted a title that didn’t have dignity — everybody wanted to be serious. But we began to realize that we couldn’t do that.

We liked dramatic titles like The Night of the Creeping Dread, but we felt we had to go for something that the critics and the comics on radio and television would pick up and kid. One of the titles that came up was The Glob That Girdled the Globe. Finally we said, "Hey, that’s not a bad idea — why don’t we just make it The Glob?"

Then we found out that Walt Kelly (he’s the guy who drew the comic strip Pogo) had just copyrighted a book called The Glob, and the lawyers said we couldn’t use it. Right now we know that we could have, but we were nervous back then. This was, oh, sometime in 1957.

So Jack Harris [producer of the film] started going through the alphabet one day on the way up to New York. "Glob. A-lob. B-Iob … Blob! Why not?" And so that was the name.

WE MADE THE BLOB BECAUSE WE wanted to see if we could get through to another level of our art, and also if we could communicate with people beyond the 16mm field — in the professional, commercial, theatrical field. We just wanted to see if we could do it. Could we make a film that Hollywood would pick up and would then get into theaters all over the world?

I had started in television as a network producer of an ABC series. It was called Youth on the March, and was a musical variety program with a religious message. That was about eight years before The Blob. We also formatted several other new TV shows in Philadelphia and New York. We did Stars in Your Eyes, a college-age musical variety program, and S.S. Telecruise, and a program called Songtime out of ABC’s theater in New York.

After those early years in TV we moved to our studio in Chester Springs in
1952. We bought the old Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts summer campus and moved our studios there. Over the next two years we made about a hundred 16mm films. They tended to be educational films, religious films, a few commercials. They were not theatrical; we made them for various schools, church denominations and other organizations.