Gwangi Producer Dies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 23rd, 2009

Producer Charles H. Schneer, who worked with Ray Harryhausen on films including many filled with cryptids and cryptocinematic imagery, including movies such as The Valley of Gwangi and Jason and the Argonauts, died January 21, 2009, in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 88.

Schneer’s movies are remembered by many of us for the remarkable creatures that haunt them: modern living dinosaurs, the roc, giant octopus, a Phorusrhacos, and other incredible beasts, which merge into cryptids, in some cases. The video below shows several examples from Schneer-produced films.

Schneer started out at Columbia’s B-picture unit, producing Harryhausen’s special effects-laden films including It Came From Beneath the Sea, box office hit Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and 20 Million Miles to Earth.

Convincing Harryhausen to work in color, Schneer produced their biggest hit of the 1950s, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. They continued with Columbia sci fi titles including The Three Worlds of Gulliver, Mysterious Island and the influential Jason and the Argonauts, while Schneer remembered as his favorite title of the collaboration.

He reteamed with Harryhausen on The Valley of Gwangi, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and their final film, the bigger-budget Clash of the Titans for Universal.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Schneer graduated Columbia University and made training films while serving in the Signal Corps during WWII.

He was an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was Chairman of the London Events Committee from 1989-1998.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley, two daughters; three grandchildren and four great grandchildren and a sister.

Charles H. Schneer’s IMDb listing reflects his far-reaching cryptocinema influence.

Clash of the Titans (1981) (producer)
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) (producer)
… aka Sinbad at the World’s End
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) (producer)
The Executioner (1970) (producer)

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) (producer)
… aka Gwangi
… aka The Lost Valley
… aka The Valley Time Forgot
… aka The Valley Where Time Stood Still
Land Raiders (1969) (producer)
… aka The Day of the Landgrabber
Half a Sixpence (1967) (producer)
You Must Be Joking! (1965) (producer)
First Men in the Moon (1964) (producer)
… aka H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon (UK: complete title)
East of Sudan (1964) (executive producer) (uncredited)
Siege of the Saxons (1963) (producer) (uncredited)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963) (producer)
… aka Jason and the Golden Fleece
Mysterious Island (1961) (producer)
… aka Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island (UK: complete title)
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) (producer)
… aka The Worlds of Gulliver
Wernher von Braun (1960) (producer)
… aka Der Mann, der nach den Sternen griff (West Germany)
… aka I Aim at the Stars (USA)
… aka Ich greife nach den Sternen
… aka Wernher von Braun: Ich greife nach den Sternen (West Germany)

Battle of the Coral Sea (1959) (producer)
Face of a Fugitive (1959) (executive producer)
Good Day for a Hanging (1959) (producer)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) (producer)
Tarawa Beachhead (1958) (producer)
The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) (producer)
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) (producer)
… aka The Beast from Space
… aka The Giant Ymir
Hellcats of the Navy (1957) (producer)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) (producer)
… aka Invasion of the Flying Saucers
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) (producer)
… aka Monster from Beneath the Sea
The 49th Man (1953) (associate producer)
… aka 49 Men (USA)
… aka The Forty-Ninth Man

Ray Harryhausen: Working with Dinosaurs (1999) (TV) …. Himself
The Harryhausen Chronicles (1998) (TV) …. Himself

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

5 Responses to “Gwangi Producer Dies”

  1. Indian Tracker responds:

    WOW…I remember as a small child watching and loving this movie. This man was an inspiration to alot of film makers, and he will be greatly missed.

    Thank You Charles H. Schneer…….Where ever you are !! You have sparked imaginations of millions of us. May your spirit always dwell within your movies.

  2. dabode responds:

    I agree Indian Tracker, Mr. Schneer and Harryhausen brought wonder and joy to my childhood. Even today I put on a Sinbad or Gwangi flick for my Grandkids and watch with delight as they capture their fantasies as they once (and still do) mine.

    Thank you for letting us into your worlds.

  3. crowmagnumman responds:

    I’m a huge fan of Harryhausen and the movies he made with Schneer. I’m sad to hear that he’s gone.

    My favorite Harryhausen film is Mysterious Island. Glad to see some pictures of it here. I get the impression that you’re a big fan of it as well Loren, as I’ve seen you reference it in other posts from time to time.

  4. hudgeliberal responds:

    RIP Mr. Schneer. Sad that we are losing a lot of greats in the film industry,guys who did work that far surpasses the majority of crap that passes for film these days. Gwangi was a neat little flick that has gained a cult following. Harryhausen could do more with clay, camera and a little time than most of the effects people out there today with loads of technology behind them. RIP Mr. Schneer, thanks for a great body of work that has, and will, entertain for years and years. Give me a Harryhausen monster anyday over the CGI fakes that run around today LOL. Seriously, I think CGI has its place in film, however, the producers, directors and effects people seem to overuse the technology and it has made them lazy and takes from the creative ability of the people behind the scenes. I think sometimes a director (and crew) can do their best work when they don’t necessarily have the budget they desire. Take Night of The Living Dead for instance, it was shot for pennies but it forced Romero and company to get creative and improvise and the result…classic. Sorry to ramble, but I hate to see guys like Schneer and others fade away. Not many left to carry on at the same level. The great directors and producers are passing on and the younger directors just aren’t that good. My thoughts are with his family in their time of loss. He will live on through the films he was involved with.

  5. shumway10973 responds:

    watching that utube piece I recognized the sinbads and clash of the titans. There were a few I recognized that weren’t apart of those, but I’m not sure which one they were from. If anyone today did graphics like that again (in that style and manner) and actually pulled it off as well as he did, I would have major respect for them. the movies may look “real” with the cgi and all, but it doesn’t have the feel that those did. Not to mention the acting against basically nothing, that took talent. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

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