The Glass Web, 1953, Directed by Jack Arnold
Too much to discuss. Sometimes it takes me too long to write and edit my jibber jabber. Should I focus on the obvious? Versatile Sci-fi director Jack Arnold? The early 3-D experimentation craze. Or, the boom boom bodacious Scarjo harbinger Kathleen Hughes. Measurements: 38-24 1/2-36 1/2.
Fortunately in this flick they kind of all fugue together.
In 1948 pretty, perky pin-up girl Betty von Gerkan signed up with Fox on a seven year stab at stardom and adventure. Not too much happened until Fox dropped her. Then she dyed her hair platinum. Presto! The Clairol Cure revs up another stalled career. First came the boys. Then came the parts. One “big” breakthrough was 1953’s It Came From Outer Space.
In It Came From Outer Space (Jack Arnold’s debut Sci-Fi Flick! ), Kathleen Hughes appears as “Jane” in a single scene, delivering just a few lines; however, she’s featured in most of the film’s publicity material , the films posters, and numerous tight sweater studio shots. At the end of the movie she looms up in a bathing suit in 3-D .
Many Science-flicktionados have been distressed that Ms. Hughes hogs up so much of the credits and artwork when all she does is coo a few lines. A real icky alien would have been so much cooler for these guys. Lucky for us Mrs. Kathleen Hughes Rubin is still alive and can clear things up. In 2009 she sat on the dais of one of those Nostalgia conventions with Larry Storch from F-Troop. She spilled the beans on the It Came from Outer Space mystery. Apparently after her first film at Universal she was selected to help them “test” the 3-D cameras by parading up and down a runway in a bathing suit. She said she was selected because she was so “very three dimensional”. . . .Freaking engineers.
Afterward Kathleen claimed she begged for the small part of Jane in It Came from Outer Space for weeks until she finally got it. How coy. Rumors hint that the beautiful bachelorette was dating the film’s producer William Alland. (As if workplace romance is unusual in Hollywood) A couple months later she began filming as the female lead in another Jack Arnold 3-D flick, The Glass Web.
In The Glass Web Kathleen Hughes is awesome. No wonder it is her favorite flick. She is evil, bitchy, and conniving. We wait for the flashbacks to watch her humiliate Edward G. Robinson. She makes a giiger toady of him than Joan Bennett in The Woman in the Window. The only actress alive that can play a blonde bitch with this much bile is Heather Locklear,– but she is all contemptuous troll hair atop a boyish body. In The Glass Web, the high-heeled 5’8″ Hughes glows and towers over the obsequious Edward G. The disdain is operettic.
Kathleen Hughes was so good in this picture she would continue to specialize in the evil Marilyn genre until she got married, had four children, and settled in a life of domestic bliss. If you ever lived in LA, you’ll meet a lot of women like Ms. Hughes. Modeled a bit, acted a bit, got married, settled down and lived a great sun-drenched life near the beach. Not every B actress story is a tragedy like Gloria Grahame or Gail Russell. Many have happy endings.
However, I do think Kathleen Hughes should be given due props as the Original 3-D Girl.
The Glass Web, 1953. Original Vintage Half Sheet. Paperbacked and restored to near mint condition.