The Law of Contact

Teenage Thunder (November 27, 1957)

Robert Fuller in Teenage Thunder
 

Released on November 27, 1957: Teenager Johnnie Simpson discovers that 'chicken' isn't just a game, . . . it could be murder.

Directed by Paul Helmik

The Actors: Chuck Courtney (Johnnie Simpson), Melinda Byron (Betty Palmer), Robert Fuller (Maurie Weston), Tyler McVey (Frank Simpson), Paul Bryar (Bert Morrison), Helene Heigh (Aunt Martha Simpson), Gil Perkins (Sergeant Benson), Bing Russell (used car salesman), Gregory Marshall (Jimmy Morrison), Marshall Kent (Mr. Palmer), Mona McKinnon (Betty's sister)

 

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Playing Chicken in Hot Rod Heaven, and the Girl in the Middle of the Road

Dance instructor Betty Simpson wanted her son Buddy Lee to be a dancer in the movies. The family moved to Hollywood and Buddy got a job in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as a doorman, collecting movie tickets for thirty cents an hour. When he was eighteen years old, he joined the Screen Actors Guild, changing his name to Robert Fuller. He is best remembered for his roles on Laramie, Wagon Train, and later as a doctor on the 1970’s medical show “Emergency!”

After a bit part in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Korea during the Korean War. Back home in 1955, his movie career was going nowhere fast. Fortunately, his friend Chuck Courtney had just gotten a star role in a new independent movie, and the star of the movie convinced the director to use Robert Fuller for the role of the bad-boy in this teenage coming-of-age adventure.

This movie role catapulted Robert Fuller to eventual star status. He wasn’t in most of the scenes, but he clearly dominated every scene he was in. Robert Fuller was the only young actor in this story to become famous on the big screen and on television. I suspect that the character of ‘the Fonz’ in the “Happy Days” television show might have been patterned after Robert Fuller’s role in this movie. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

The Race
The Race
The Speeding Ticket
The Speeding Ticket
Bing Russel
Bing Russel
Chuck Courtney
Chuck Courtney
Chuck Courtney, Paul Bryar
Chuck Courtney, Paul Bryar
Chuck Courtney
Chuck Courtney
Chuck Courtney
Chuck Courtney
Gil Perkins, Marshall Kent, Melinda Byron
Gil Perkins, Marshall Kent, Melinda Byron
George Marshall, Paul Bryar
George Marshall, Paul Bryar
Helene Heigh
Helene Heigh
Helene Heigh, Tyler McVey
Helene Heigh, Tyler McVey
Helene Heigh
Helene Heigh
Melinda Byron
Melinda Byron
Melinda Byron, Chuck Courtney
Melinda Byron, Chuck Courtney
Melinda Byron
Melinda Byron
Melinda Byron, Chuck Courtney
Melinda Byron, Chuck Courtney
Tyler McVey, Gregory Marshall, Paul Bryar
Tyler McVey, Gregory Marshall, Paul Bryar
Melinda Byron
Melinda Byron
Mona McKinnon, Melinda Byron
Mona McKinnon, Melinda Byron
Paul Bryar
Paul Bryar
Paul Bryar
Paul Bryar
Tyler McVey
Tyler McVey
Tyler McVey
Tyler McVey