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Date with Death

Date with Death(1959)

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The only review located for the film lists its title as A Date with Death, but the screen credits list it without the initial article. Although there was an illegible copyright statement on the viewed print, the film was not registered at the time of its release. The film was, however, registered for copyright on December 7, 1987 to Pacific International Releasing Company, under number PA 361-572. No national release date has been found for the film, but it was approved for exhibition in New York State in 1959, played in Roswell, NM in January 1959 and, according to information in the file on the film in the AMPAS Library, opened in Los Angeles on August 17, 1960. Early in the film, when "Mike Mason" shows the motorcycle policemen "Deverman's" driver's license, they are unaware that he is an imposter because many state licences at the time did not include photographs.
       As noted in the onscreen credits, Date with Death utilized "Subliminal Communication by Precon." The process, called "Psychorama," was developed by psychologist Dr. Robert E. Corrigan. As noted in the Motion Picture Herald review, the process inserted subliminal messages within the film, words or images that were flashed onto the screen to alert or otherwise effect the audience. The messages were "too fast for the eyes to readily see but perceivable by the subconscious mind," according to the review. No inserted words or images were detected on the print viewed, either at normal or slow speed. However, at various points in the story, white dots flashed momentarily on the screen, indicating the likely places where the subliminal messages originally appeared. The first film featuring Psychorama, My World Dies Screaming, was released in 1958. That film shared many of the same crew with Date with Death, including producer William S. Edwards and directer Harold Daniels, and starred Gerald Mohr (see below).