4D MAN (1959)
Article #546 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-12-2002
Posting date: 2-5-2003
A scientist develops the ability to pass through solid matter.
This was the second of three movies produced by Jack H. Harris and directed by Irwin S. Yeaworth, Jr., the first being THE BLOB and the third being DINOSAURUS!. They were made in an order of descending quality (IMHO), which means I think this one, though not as good as THE BLOB, is better than DINOSAURUS!. It does have definite strengths, particularly in the areas of story and character development. The character of Scott Nelson (excellently played by Robert Lansing) is so well established and the circumstances of his situation so well set forth that you understand fully why he takes to crime once he develops his abilities; these decisions don’t seem arbitrary or convenient. It’s also the most adult of the three movies, not as teen oriented as THE BLOB or child oriented as DINOSAURUS!. It does have problems, though; certain of the romance scenes early in the movie are too cutesy for words, for example. The biggest problem, though, is the soundtrack; the James Bond-style jazzy horn arrangements would be appropriate for light-hearted action fare (like James Bond) or for movies in which a kind of swank nightclub atmosphere was important, neither of which fit this movie; every time those horns come in, they’re intrusive and distracting, and draw your attention away from the seriousness of the characters and the situations. It’s still possible to appreciate the finer points of the movie, but it’s not easy, and I’d like it better if it had a more somber soundtrack.