In loving memory of a master of imagination

Original newsprint images were in pdf format and loose a little in conversion to jpg, even though some were pretty fuzzy to begin with. I've included a few transcripts for some of them. If you'd like the entire page pdf format I found these articles, let me know and I can email them to you.

Carol aka catfish

Seaview Stories Main Page

Glimpses of Irwin Allen

A few newspaper articles of interest

Irwin pulls a fast one on Captain Crane (film version):

Irwin's Stag Party:




Hollywood (UPI)_(The Daily Review, Hayward, Ca. Tues. Feb.(?), 1975


~The Towering Stag Party


The ancient and not-quite honorable tradition of the bachelor stag party on the eve of a wedding will never be the same following producer Irwin Allen's prenuptial blowout the other night.


Customarily the groom-to-be gets drunk along with his pals. Songs are sung around a piano-"Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine"-dirty jokes and lies are exchanged. Eventually everyone staggers home, assured tradition has been served.


But Allen is currently the toast of the town with "Towering Inferno," surpassing his "Poseidon Adventure" thriller at the boxoffice.


To Celebrate his real life adventure into wedlock a group of friends chose to send him reeling from the ranks of single men with a stag party to end all stag parties.


A banquet room in Veverly Hill's fanciest hotel was rented. Some 200 guests in their drinking clothes arrived bearing grungy gifts.


Steve Allen was master of ceremonies, abetted by George Jessel, Jack Carter, Jim Backus, George Burns, Bill Dana and others. Most of the celebrants had worked in Irwin's pictures over the years.


After a 14-year courtship of Sheila Mathews, Allen was taking the plunge for the first time. Almost everyone else in the room could count at least two marriages and some even more.


Following liberal applications of potables to all of the assemled, a steak and lobster dinner was dispatched, washed down with vintage red and white wines.

The moment of truth had arrived for Irwin Allen. It was with trepidation, then, that the picture maker took his seat on a dias beside Steve Allen.


George Jessel, looking somewhat bilious, provided Irwin with gratuitous advice on wedding-night etiquette which was both hilarious and vengeful.


Steve Allen took over to announce that two of Irwin's old girlfriends had shown up for the party. The producer paled at the news.


The orchestra played a fanfare. A spotlight picked up a woman in a provocative dress. Then she turned to face Irwin. The dear girl was a genuine bearded lady.


Irwin was only just recovering when Steve called out his second paramour. An emornous albino lady appeared and proceeded to swallow seven swords at once.


Red Buttons and Jack Carter contributed some of the funniest and dirtiest material heard even at a stag party. Henry For(?)da and Fred Astaire, who were sitting on the dias, looked away in embarrassment.


The festivities, despite Steve Allen's masterful attempts to steer things to cleaner waters, were on the point of foundering when a large gift-wrapped box was borne into the room.


Another tradition observed. Surely a nude maiden would leap from the box and cavort around the room. Irwin was called to open the package.

He recoiled and jumped backward. Instead of a nubile girl, the package disgourged the smallest midget imaginable dressed in pink satin, wearing a top hat and smoking a 10-inch cigar.


Mistaking Steve Allen for Irwin Allen, the profane midget belabored Steve in broken English. He was Hungarian and furious about something which never was established.


Irwin Allen's marriage should be long-lasting. Clearly, he could not survive another stag party.~

On Allen set: 'Swiss' stars interviewed after tiki fire:



Sun Aug 17 1975

Television: On Allen Set

'Swiss stars interviewed after tiki fire

Byline Joan E. Vadeoncoeur



Smoke was billowing from a tiki when the 60 television editiors arrived on the set of Swiss Family Robinson.

"Wonderful effect," praised one.

"Real effect," retorted the 20th Century-Fox tv publicity chief. "We just had a fire. A lamp overheated and the celluloid caught on fire."


What else? The tv version of the Defoe novel is being produced by Irwin Allen, king of 'disaster' moives whose latest is 'The Towering Inferno'.


If the fire was short of disaster, the press conference with Allen and the series' stars Maring Milner, Cameron Mitchell, and Pat Delany wa not. It went like this:


Why tv?


Why are you going back into tv when films are so much more lucarative and otherwise rewarding?


Allen: Televeision is the most exciting. It takes a year and half to do a picture (movie) so there's not the same sense of immedicacy. Besides, I'm just crazy enough to want to do it.

Milner (interupting as he sipped a drink): Neither Irwin or I need the money but Cam (Mitchell) needed a series to pay back tgaxes (Editor's Note: More truth than joke. Michell is repaying creditors.)

Mitchell: (gulping drink) :Irwin added the character 'cuz he knew I couldn't pay my taxes otherwise.


Question: Why is the series called Irwin Allen's Swiss Family Robinson.


Allen (sharply): Is your name at the head of your column? Same reason.


Question (to Miss Delany): How did you get the role?


Late Arrival


Miss Delany: I have a thing; I can't go anywhere without washing my hair. So I was late getting to the studio for my apointment and I'd forgotten my glasses. In the distance, coming onto the lot, I saw a man and almost ran over him. His face was red from anger and he shouted, 'How dare you drive that fast?" It was Mr. Allen, I found out when I got to his office. But he let me have the part. I guess he likes danger.


Question: Haven't you changed all the children since the movie pilot?

Allen: Yes. We needed better chemistry between the three children. They either spark or do not spark. The others didn't. Why don't you ask some questions of my actors?


An effort was made. To Mitchel: Were you offered other series?


Drunk at Noon


Mitchell (slurring his words): I could have done a couple of cop shows

Milner (interrupting): Cam, you've had too many.

Mitchell: I resent that. I was drunk at noon and I was the only one who didn't flub any lines.


Back to Allen: Don't you have a desire to do something besides these commercial 'disaster' movies?

Allen (growing angry but sill joking): I have a desire to do 'Private Lives'. I'm attacted to disaster. There's something wrong with us because we all are. It's a missing link in our own ids. If that's commercial, so be it.


Question: What about your next motion pictures? I've heard your'e working on two.

Allen (snapping): We're here to discuss my tv series. I don't think ABC wants us to waste their time. We'll discuss that afterward.

ABC publicity executive with false heartiness: That's all right Irwin. We donít mind.


Called Halt


But Allen, realizing his 'name' and story were more important to the interviewers and seeing his stars in dissarray, called a halt after two more questions.

Restored to better humor with the conference pressure off, Allen chatted wth the several editors also involved in motion picture coverage. He insisted on introducing his bride of three months, a jovial, large woman. Mitchell leaned over his shoulder and insited on doing the same for his Southern belle wife.

Next, he reported, he will do "The Swarm," story of the killer bees invading the US. Specifically, they will cover Atlanta, necessitating a burning at least equal to the one in "Gone With the Wind."


"I read the book a year ao. It had a pretty good sell,"he said. "Stirling Silliphant (his "Poseiden Adventure" adaptor) will do the screenplay at my request."

"Then comes "Poseiden 11" explained the producer, "It's my own idea about the surviors of the first film caught on a train in an avalanche in Sqitzerland. It hasn't been written yet. I have four different screenwriters working on it.

And therey's a property called "The Typhoon" grinned Allen, "I'm tempted to do it."


With Swiss Family Robinson, Allen must fight for ratings directly opposite Walt Disney's longtime hit.

"Don't forget I had a little ditty called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which did damned good against Disney for this network," he pointed out. "I think we'll be on the air five years with this."

Flamboyant Producer

Lights up tube



May 1977

Iwrin Allen's moive 'Fire' lights up tube tonight

By Jerry Buck AP Television Writer


~ Irwin Allen says he's in no danger of running out of disasters to turn into motion pictures.


The man who turned an ocean liner upside down in "The Poseidon Adventure" and incinerated a skyscraper in "The Towering Inferno" is back with a forest fire big enouogh to cause a timber shortage.


"Fire," starring Ernest Borgnine, Vera Miles, Patty Duke Astin, Alex Cord and Donna Mills, is an NBC "Big Event" at 9 p.m. today (on Channel 4).


"As long as in real life we have floods, storms, fires and other disasters, there's no end in sight," said Allen. "These kinds of pictures will be around as long as we're alive. Every poll we've taken says "Give us more."


"No, I'm not going to run out of disasters. Pick up the daily newspaper which is my best source for crisis stories, and you'll find 10 or 15 every day."


The veteran producer said there are two reasons for the popularity of crisis stories, as he prefers to call them.


"Every man, and every woman for all that matter, fancies himself as a Walter Mitty character," he said. "Everyone wants the thrill of being a hero, and films like this let them be Errol Flyn without getting hurt."


"The other reason is in human nature. I think we all suffer from a faulty id. People chase fire engines, flock to car crashes. People thrive on tradgdy. It's unfortunate, but in my cas it's fortunate. The bigger the tragedy, the bigger the autdience."


There is no shortage of tragedy in "Fire." It seems that the writers researched every forest fire in recent years and found every possible complication and tragic turn-and put them all into this movie.


It's an esciting and tense film, and the fire is nothing less than spectacular. It should be. Thatís a real forest burning.


Allen said he obtained permission to film during the annual slash burning in Oregon. These are controlled fires set by the state's Forest Service. He also bought several old buildings on the outskirts of Silverton, Ore. And set them on fire.


"We added our own movie magic fires to make it look like the whole world was on fire," he said.


Norman Katkov and Arhur Weiss wrote the script and Earl Bellamy directed.


Like all such films, this one is a series of overlapping stories: two convicts who set the fire to cover an escape attempt; a lumberman trying to get the lodge owner to marry him; a husband-wife doctor team headed for divorce court; a teacher-who loses one of her young charges in the forest; a helicopter pilot who's just landed a new job, and the tough-tender fire boss who finally whips the blaze.


All the disasters in the world wouldn't amount to much unless they were told in human terms, Allen said. "You become wrapped up in who lives, who dies, who rises above normal cowardice at a time of crisis. I think that's the reason for the success."


Allen's production company occupies two buildings at the Burbank Studio, where he is at work planning a dozen or more crusis movies. Every movie is plotted out in advance on story boards, with arttist's rendition of each scene.


Next up for NBC in the coming season are "The Night the Bridge Collapsed" and "Hanging by a Thread," about a cable car collapse. Theatrical films in preparation are "Swarm," a $12 million film of the invasion African killer bees from South America,and "The Day the World Ended," a $20 million re-creation of the volcano eruption on Martinique that killed 24,000 people in 15 minutes.~