"The Blob" Introducing Steve McQueen
Beware The Blob!
Looking back on the movies of the 1950s, I particularly remember the movie "The Blob" from the days of going to drive-in movies. At that time, invaders from outer space films were the rage. It was science fiction and horror rolled into one. It affected many of us because of our fear of a communist invasion, and in our minds at least, it was practically the same kind of thing. The Blob was even more terrifying because it was without a definite form; just matter, that could slip, slide and glide through any tiny opening. It could then cover you, and eat you alive! With each human absorption, it grew larger. Oh yes, it was terrifying and being terrified just fascinated all movie goers.
Another Reason "The Blob" Was Interesting
There was another reason for our fascination, at least for the females. The movie introduced a guy in his first leading role, whom we all came to know and love; Steve McQueen. He played a teenager (he was actually 27 years old) who tried to warn the community about this menace, but who was ignored. I liked his big blue eyes and his way of handling himself. For his role in "The Blob" McQueen received only $3,000, turning down an offer of a smaller upfront share with 10 percent of the profits. He didn't believe the film would make any money and he needed the money to live on. Too bad he couldn't see the future when making the deal; the blob grossed over $4 million dollars at the box office. Still, it gave him the toehold in Hollywood that he needed.
Who knew then that he would go on to be the legendary "tough guy" of so many films we loved? His performances in "The Sand Pebbles" (for which he received an Academy Award Nomination) "The Thomas Crown Affair," "Bullitt," "Papillon," "The Great Escape," "The Magnificent Seven," "The Towering Inferno," and other roles, brought him to the peak of his craft in earnings, making him the highest paid star in Hollywood in 1974. After that, he did not make another film for six years. In 1980 he made his last two films, "Tom Horn," and "The Hunter." Steve McQueen died of cancer on November 7th, 1980.
The Movie Plot "Thickens" (Pun Intended)In a small rural town in Pennsylvania, a teenager, Steve Andrews (McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut) are doing some heavy kissing in a local lover's lane when they see something speed out of the night sky and crash just beyond the next hill. Curious to see what the object is, they decide to go see what it's all about. Before they can get there, an old man has found it first and he pokes it with a stick. The meteorite breaks open and a small jelly-like substance suddenly leaps and attaches to his hand and arm. In pain and unable to remove the substance, he runs into the road and is nearly struck by McQueen's car as they arrive at the site. They take him to the doctor, who asks Steve to go back to the site and see what kind of information he can find about the substance. They leave and we pan back to the doctor's office, where the old man is slowly being absorbed, and both the doctor and the nurse are also absorbed by the Blob, which then grows in size. It's the beginning of many more such horrific scenes. The fright overcomes most folks watching because it's the sort of thing we dread; the invasion of something that overcomes us without our being aware of its intentions until it's too late.
The movie may be purchased here from Amazon.
The Blob (1958)