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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Vincent Price As Dr Strange! (The movie you probably forgot)

1963 saw the first Dr Strange comic strip which was "created by artist and character conceptualist"  Steve Ditko.  Dr Strange appeared in Strange Tales #110, July, 1963.

Hollywood was quick to grab The Sorcerer Supreme and cast Vincent Price as Stephen Strange -below in typical Dr Strange spell-casting mood.

The spell-casting as well as magic hand shields to stop mystic daggers as well as vivid colourful magic beams were all employed -as can be seen below.

 But...wait....this wasn't a Dr Strange Master of the Mystic Arts movie. It was Roger Corman's classic take on Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, starring Price, Peter Lorre and Karloff (and Jack Nicholson). What? Corman ripped off Ditko's Dr Strange and all its visual magic effects???
Ahem. In fact, if you check you'll find that Corman's movie was released on 25th January, 1963 over five months before Ditko "conceptualised and created" the character.  Coincidence?  Personally, I doubt it.

Remember The Billion Dollar Spider-Man Cover Up post?  Ditko wants to take credit as the sole creator of Spider-Man yet he is only co-creator since Stan Lee had the idea.  But Ditko claims his Spider-Man look and design made the character.  However, it is possible (likely) that Ditko got the design elsewhere and it may well have been a Kirby costume design. Read here:

Ditko has form but rather than say it or that was a "hommage" his ego outrightly insists everything he does is original.  Anyone who knows me, incidentally, will tell you I am a big Ditko fan. But when us kids in the UK first saw Dr Strange in black and white comics we all thought he was supposed to be based on Price. Years later I found many other fans stated the same belief -a good few pointing to Corman's movie.

Us fans always bemoaned the fact that no one got Price to be in a Dr Strange movie and, though it was a little too psychedelic for many, the 1978 TV movie, Dr Strange, starring Peter Hooten, was good.  In fact, some people are still saying it is one of the best TV movies based on a Marvel character (its failure was put down to the "over weirdness").

And it has been over 30 years since I last saw it but, believe me, it was far better than that Captain America TV movie!

Above -the TV Guide advert for the movie!

Yes, I think it is far too much of a coincidence that Dr Strange was "conceptualised and created" by Ditko a few months after The Raven movie debuted. Ditko has form.  Still love his black and white art and the original more sinister looking Dr Strange (and I grabbed all the Marvel Essential Dr Strange volumes as soon as I could -there are four).
Image result for Marvel Essential Dr StrangeImage result for Marvel Essential Dr StrangeImage result for Marvel Essential Dr Strange
Image result for Marvel Essential Dr StrangeImage result for Marvel  Dr Strange pocket book

that last one is a pocket book from 1978 if I remember rightly.

But the movie guys fumbled with the new movie.  They needed a great character actor with the right look. I was so wishing it was going to be Geoffrey Rush -look at him below from the remake of the Price movie The House on Haunted Hill.

No, they thought "Who is Cool right now?"/"Who is everywhere?" and they picked that English bloke to put on a Yank accent.  Can't remember his name.  He'd need to employ magic to get into one of my postings!!!



  1. You know, you had a cool article I would gladly re-blog, and you had to ruin it, at the end, by badmouthing the current popular actor, starring in the new film. Talk about Bollocks.

  2. Remember:YOU posted that comment. Nine months AFTER the posting. I only state this as the whole post was humorous and you never even got the blatantly obvious joke at the end. Seriously?? "He'd need to employ magic to get into one of my postings!!!".....cue Cumberbatch IN the posting AS Dr Strange and pointing at a Dr Strange comic. "Bollocks!" as in "He employed magic! He IN the post!!" Seriously, I hope you are just one of those people who write things in comments for attention because need to learn about humour.