W.C FIELDS ONCE CRACKED "THERE'S NOTHIN' WRONG WITH GAMBLING. LOOK AT LADY GODIVA- SHE PUT EVERYTHING SHE HAD ON A HORSE!" FOLLOWING SUIT IS THIS LOVELY FROM "ZARDOZ". MISTER ED NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD.
WHO IS THAT MASKED MAN? NO, HE'S NOT THE DOORMAN AT THAT BAR IN GREENWICH VILLAGE WE SAW YOU DUCKING OUT OF LAST WEEK. IT'S SEAN CONNERY IN DIRECTOR JOHN BOORMAN'S BIZARRE BUT FASCINATING 1973 FILM "ZARDOZ". SEAN TOOK OVER THE ROLE WHEN BURT REYNOLDS HAD TO BACK OUT OF THE FILM. CONSIDERING THE COSTUME, WE'RE GRATEFUL THAT ORSON WELLES DIDN'T HAVE TO TAKE OVER FROM CONNERY!
Cinema Retro was proud to recently assist in the commemorative documentary about the making of The Eagle Has Landed for the new UK DVD special edition of the classic WWII film. In this article, Matthew Field, producer of the DVD special edition, relates how the project came together.
Helping the "Eagle" Take Flight
By Matthew Field
What do you do when you are faced with the challenge of creating value added material on a classic title, when the director is dead, the stars are too busy and very little archive material exists?
This was the challenge we faced at Picture Production Company (PPC) when we began working on a special edition DVD of John Sturges’ The Eagle Has Landed for Granada Ventures.
PPC wanted to create value added materials beyond the ‘standard’ package of trailers and cast biographies and produce something which would take audiences on a journey behind the making of the movie, but with an original spin, that didn’t rely on the stars of the picture.
I knew one person who would have all the answers - my good friend Dave Worrall, co-founder of Cinema Retro magazine. He immediately came to our rescue with dozens of stills, archive material, posters from every international territory imaginable and a knowledge of The Eagle Has Landed like no other.
You would have thought that virtually every conceivable aspect of the James Bond phenomenon has been covered in book form by now. It seems the only remaining angle to write about is Ian Fleming's laundry list. However, Cinema Retro contributing writer Robert Sellers has managed to breathe new life into the literary world of 007 with his highly-anticipated new book The Battle for Bond (Tomahawk Press, UK). This is an exhaustively researched volume that covers one of the few remaining aspects of Bond lore that has not been written about extensively: the long-simmering legal battles between producer Kevin McClory and Eon Productions over control of the rights to the novel Thunderball and subsequent screen adaptations. Bond scholars have long been acquainted with this fascinating aspect to the 007 legacy, but the average movie fan will find these facts new to them.
We love those old British films that took full advantage of the relaxation of censorship laws in the early 1960s. If you wonder why we love to revel in such sleaze, check out this UK poster for Beat Girl, a 1960 exploitation epic about a girl who decides to get even with her young step-mother by revealing her past life as a stripper. "This could be your teen-age daughter!", warned the tag line. We don't find anything wrong with that at all, as long as it is your teenage daughter. There was an alternate phrase used on other posters that proclaimed, "Uninhibited striptease! Melt! Melt! Melt!" Naturally, the studio presented the tawdry teens in the thinly disguised veil of being a commentary about a mainstream social problem. You know, like Bill O'Reilly's reports on the horrors of overindulgence during spring break in Florida - but seemingly the problem only affects beautiful, big busted chicks with morals that make Paris Hilton look like Mother Theresa. As with most British films of this era, this low-budget potboiler had minor roles by some major stars in the making including our old friend Christopher Lee and mad dog and Englishman Oliver Reed who has a role so small he is billed simply as "Plaid Shirt" (well, at least it wasn't polyester.) If you check the fine print, you'll also see that the John Barry Seven provided the beatnik musical score. Yes, that John Barry who would become a musical legend within a few years. Well, we all have to start somewhere.
Beat Girl will finally be released on DVD in the UK on July 1. We are not listing the link for the USA version, as we're told it is a severely cut edition of the film. We will list it when and if the uncut version is made available. After all, we don't want to disappoint our fellow middle aged, dirty old men! - Lee Pfeiffer
OBNOXIOUS BUT UNPRETENTIOUS SELF-PROMOTION DEPARTMENT:
We just got a call from Luciana Paluzzi to say that the first part of her interview in issue #8 of Cinema Retro was "the best and most accurate I've ever seen." Quite a compliment considering she has given thousands of interviews to the international press since starring as the sexy black widow assassin Fiona in the 1965 James Bond classic Thunderball. For those of you who are still stragglers, if you subscribe today you can enjoy Part 1 of Luciana's exclusive interview in which she relates some wonderful stories about her early days in the Italian cinema as well as working on cult movies like Muscle Beach Party. In this first installment, she also discusses how she got the role in Thunderball. In the second part, which will run in issue #9, she relates the full story of starring in the film. Issue #8 is now almost sold out and is available only as part of our three issue subscription package (see subscription section for details.) It is no longer for sale as a single issue. If the lovely Luciana isn't enough to make you subscribe, then consider this issue also includes tributes to Our Man Flint, Danger: Diabolik!, Easy Rider and our latest interview installment with David McCallum. Plus you get a cool exclusive CD packed with rare radio spots from films of the 1960s and 1970s- oh, and we'll drive to your house and do some light cleaning up on Thursday mornings.
We also confess that we ran this entire blurb not only to separate you from your hard-earned dollars, but to also run a couple of sexy photos of Luciana.
Warner Brothers will release a special DVD edition of director William Friedkin's controversial 1980 thriller, Cruising starring Al Pacino in the most controversial role of his career. At the time of its initial release, gay rights groups protested that the film was homophobic. The plot centers on a heterosexual New York City detective who, in the course of going under cover to solve a gruesome murder, infiltrates the city's gay S&M scene. Some gays protested that the script implied that homosexuality was not only deviant but could cause straight men to adopt the lifestyle simply by being in the presence of gay men. The film also caused a firestorm because of its boundry-breaking sequences of sexual activity in the underbelly of the S&M clubs. The DVD will be released on September 18 and feature a remastered version of the film, commentary by William Friedkin and new behind-the-scenes featurettes. Intriguingly, the film will have a limited theatrical run immediately prior to its home video release. It will be interesting to see how the gay community evaluates the film after the passage of time. Look for a full review on Cinema Retro. To see WB's official press release, continue reading.
Visit the Cinema Retro movie memorabilia store operated by our affiliated company, Spy Guise Inc. Here you'll find back issues of the magazinea and a convenient method of subscribing. There are also hundreds of rare movie photos, posters and other great pieces of memorabilia. (Please note: as explained in an article we posted earlier, individual copies of issues #6 and #8 are no longer available. These issues are almost completely sold out and will never be reprinted. The small reserve number of copies of #8 are being held so that we can fill orders from new subscribers. Issue #6 is being reserved for new subscribers who want to purchase it as a back issue.)
After so many dirt-dishing, tell-all books about legendary stars, it's good to finally come upon one that was written by someone with a genuine respect for their subject. Author Thomas Santopietro's new 400 page biography, Considering Doris Day (Thomas Dunne Books) is a classy, well-researched volume that shines as an homage to one of Hollywood's last genuine legends. Nevertheless, the author does not steer away from covering the unsavory and controversial aspects of this remarkable woman's life. Day is all the more fascinating because she has shunned the spotlight for decades after entering self-imposed retirement. She has turned her back on the industry that made her an international star, preferring to live a quiet life and concentrate on her main passion: animal rights. Perhaps because she has not been on center stage in many years, her career has not been analyzed to the extent that her contemporary's have.
EWA AULIN WAS MISS TEEN SWEDEN IN 1965. BY 1968, THE 17 YEAR OLD HAD LANDED THE TITLE ROLE IN THE PROVOCATIVE SEX COMEDY "CANDY". THE PRESS RELEASES SAID HER MEASUREMENTS WERE 39-24-37, BUT YOU KNOW HOW HOLLYWOOD PUBLICISTS LIE. IN FACT, THE COMELY MS. AULIN CAME IN AT 36B-23-36. SHE MADE SEVERAL MORE EUROPEAN FILMS BEFORE RETIRING FROM ACTING TO TEACH. AH, BUT WE STILL HAVE THOSE MEMORIES...
CLINT EASTWOOD LOOKIN' HUNKY IN THE 1968 THRILLER, "COOGAN'S BLUFF". THE FILM REPRESENTED EASTWOOD'S FIRST COLLABORATION WITH DIRECTOR DON SIEGEL. IT ALSO WAS THE UNOFFICIAL INSPIRATION FOR DENNIS WEAVER'S HIT TV SERIES "MCCLOUD."
It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since the fifth James Bond epic, You Only Live Twice opened on theater screens around the world. To commemorate the occasion, Cinema Retro has delved into its extensive photo archives to present rarely-seen images from the making of the film. Additionally, Cinema Retro publishers Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall (authors of the best-selling book The Essential James Bond) along with Bond author and CR columnist Raymond Benson, have provided reflections on the legacy of the film. These articles can be found on the 007 web site www.mi6.co.uk To access the articles, click here.
MGM has announced that it has partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment to remake director Brian DePalma's 1980 suspense thriller, Dressed to Kill which starred Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson. The original film was praised by some as an homage to Hitchcock's Psycho and damned by others as a blatant rip-off of that film. MGM will be exploring the sales potential of developing more properties for direct-to-video projects. No cast, director or budget has been announced for Dressed to Kill. However, the DVD will feature interactive content and web-based features that compliment the storyline. MGM's DVD line is now distributed by 20th Century Fox. For a full report from Video Business, click here.
ONE SHEET POSTER FOR DIRECTOR BRIAN DEPALMA'S ORIGINAL 1980 FILM
Long before gore and sleaze infested the sci-fi and horror genre, some of the industry's best writers, directors and actors came of age through their involvement with classic TV series. One of the most respected series was The Outer Limits. Whereas it's better known rival, The Twilight Zone tended to rely on the human elements of its stories, The Outer Limits stressed special effects - though never at the expense of providing a compelling storyline. The show premiered in 1963 and did not have the longevity or acclaim that was accorded to Twilight Zone,but over the years it has built a substantial and loyal following. One of the great joys is seeing "up and coming" stars of the future making early appearances in the series. Those of you who have been following our interviews with David McCallum in the print edition of Cinema Retro will recall that he made two appearances on the series. MGM has now re-issued first season episodes of the series, though rather surprisingly, the company has not gotten on the bandwagon with other series releases and put all episodes from that season in one set. Instead, this is a reissue of the set that was originally released in 2002 consisting of two discs with 4 episodes on each disc. On the upside, this season features David McCallum's best-remembered appearance in The Sixth Finger episode that provides one of the most iconic makeup achievements in TV history. The Outer Limits has been called "the best program of its type ever to run on network TV" by none other than Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about this genre. If nothing else, it will bring back a more innocent time when the only debate about illegal aliens concerned beings from another planet!- Lee Pfeiffer
CONTINUE READING TO VIEW CLIPS FROM THE ACTUAL EPISODES AND READ THE OFFICIAL MGM PRESS RELEASE
We all know that it was Sean Connery's trip to Japan to film You Only Live Twice back in 1966 that hastened his departure from the role of James Bond. The normally polite Japanese press went into western-style overdrive and chased after him everywhere like a scene from La Dolce Vita. Our latest Bond, Daniel Craig, is also a no-nonsense guy who doesn't easily suffer the excesses of the international press. However, Cinema Retro's Tokyo correspondent Makoto Wakamatsu snapped these photos of Craig and co-star Eva Green on a promotional jaunt for Casino Royale last December. Unless Craig is a much better actor than even we give him credit for, he actually appears to be enjoying himself. Then again, how much drudgery can there be in traveling the world in first-class style in the company of Eva Green?
Hundreds of appreciative fans attended the majestic Loews Theater in Jersey City, New Jersey last night to enjoy a rare big screen showing of Stanley Kramer's 1963 comedy classic It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The Loews is a true movie palace - gigantic in size and a masterpiece in terms of design. There's no better place to see a classic film in the New York City area and the fans who attended the Mad World screening got more than their $6 worth. A IB Technicolor 35mm print was shown to the delight of the audience, who howled at the all-star comedy cast's antics. Many of the attendees have become regulars at Loews film events, so each movie screening is like a reunion for fellow classic movie fans. It's become a tradition to go out after the movie to discuss the show. Prior to the screening, Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer gave a brief talk that gave insights into the making of the film. (Did you know it was originally going to be made in England under the title Too Many Thieves?) Those who were still awake after our illustrious editor's yakking not only enjoyed the show but also pored over an impressive display of Mad World rarities from the collections of Paul and George Ann Scrabo and Jim Kroeper, who are among the foremost experts on the film. (The Scrabos filmed many of the interviews with stars of the movie for MGM Home Video's documentary in the 1990s). The pieces on display ranged from international movie posters to matte paintings and props from the films, including the Scrabo's prized possesion: the cabby's hat worn by Peter Falk in the movie.
The following news items were reported in industry trade papers during the week of August 31, 1962:
A gross of more than $1,000,000 has been racked up by The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm since its release as a hard-ticket attraction three weeks ago, MGM and Cinerama announced here yesterday.
KARL BOEHM AND LAURENCE HARVEY IN RARE PUBLICITY STILL FOR "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM"
MGM Records plans the biggest exploitation campaign in its history in the release of four special albums featuring Bronislau Kaper's music from Mutiny on the Bounty. The albums will be released before the world premiere of the film in November with prior ads in newspapers and national magazines.
The Music Man ended its first week at Radio City Music Hall with a take of $207,333. It was the second highest week in the theater's history.
A production unit headed by star Stanley Baker has arrived in Africa from London to chart locations for Zulu, adventure drama to be produced by Baker and Cy Endfield in association with Joseph E. Levine's Embassy Pictures, which has world release. Endfield will direct the film, based on the Zulu War of 1879, from his own script in color and 70MM.
U.S ONE SHEET POSTER FOR "ZULU"
MGM has nine releases in theaters at the Labor Day weekend. They are The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Lolita, Tarzan Goes to India, Two Weeks in Another Town, Ben-Hur, King of Kings, Boy's Night Out, The Tartars and Damon and Pythias.
I’ve Said but Probably Shouldn’t Have by Bruce Dern, with Christopher Fryer
and Robert Crane(Wiley, ISBN
#0470106379, 304 pages, hardcover; $29.95)
Bruce Dern provides a breezy, entertaining journey through
his decades as star of stage, screen and TV. The actor’s reflections are often
brutally candid, especially when dealing with his fractured home life. (He came
from a privileged family from which he became estranged.) The book’s fast pace
skips through the decades at an often dizzying pace like Rod Taylor in The Time Machine and the tendency to not
follow a linear narrative might be off-putting for those expecting a
traditional tome. However, Dern’s anecdotes are as priceless as they are
fascinating. It’s mind-boggling how many legends the man has worked with, from
Kazan and Strasberg to Nicholson, Wayne, Hitchcock and Frankenheimer. Dern is
also completely honest about the rivalry between actors who are friends: you
wish your pal success, as long as it doesn’t exceed your own. This is
particularly illustrated in a section in which Nicholson asks Dern to evaluate
his performance opposite Brando in The
Missouri Breaks. After Dern’s scathing analysis, one is surprised the two
men are still on speaking terms. It brings to mind Gore Vidal’s statement that
“Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little bit.” Dern bemoans missed
opportunities (he turned down roles in The
Godfather and Ghandi among others),
and admits frustration that after more than 40 years in the film industry he is
not considered a “star”. However, he continues to be in demand and has worked
steadily for 50 years, continuing to hone his craft and improve his talents.
Not bad for a guy who failed in his dreams to become a sportswriter because “I
couldn’t write worth a shit.” Consider this a “must” for your bookshelves.
BRUCE DERN ENGAGES IN A Q&A SESSION AT THE PLAYERS, NYC
On June 1, Cinema Retro hosted a tribute to actor Bruce Dern at New York’s legendary club, The Players. The Oscar-nominated actor was in New York to promote his new autobiography Things I’ve Said But Probably Shouldn’t Have (Wiley), co-authored by Christopher Fryer and Robert Crane. The book is a candid reflection on Dern’s decades in the entertainment industry and includes anecdotes pertaining to his work with legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Frankenheimer, Sydney Pollack and John Wayne. Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer interviewed Dern for two hours, followed by a Q&A from the audience and book signing session. Pfeiffer also gave Dern a personalized tour of the historic club that was founded by actor Edwin Booth in the late 1800s. The Players remains New York’s primary gathering place for actors, writers and filmmakers.
Bruce Dern fielded questions about virtually every aspect of his life and career. Among the highlights:
• Recalling arranging a surprise meeting between director John Frankenheimer and his idol Alfred Hitchcock. Upon meeting Hitchcock, Frankenheimer could barely speak and was thrilled when the master director informed him that he was a great fan of his film The Manchurian Candidate. • Hitchcock refusing Dern’s pleas to introduce him to Steven Spielberg, whose Jaws had just been released. Dern, who was starring in Hitchcock’s final film Family Plot at the time, pleaded with Hitchcock to meet the young filmmaker in order to fulfill Spielberg’s lifetime dream. Hitchcock refused on the basis that he would be too ashamed since he had recently accepted a large fee from Universal to provide the voice for the studio’s forthcoming Jaws theme ride. He felt he had acted as a “whore” and did not want to face Spielberg.
DERN WITH HITCHCOCK ON THE SET OF "FAMILY PLOT" (1976)
• Although Dern acknowledged that Frankenheimer’s Black Sunday was a superb thriller, he regretted having starred in it. He felt that the movie now provides a “how-to” manual for would-be terrorists. • He spoke at length about his decades-old friendship with Jack Nicholson and having starred in Drive, He Said, one of only two films directed by the Oscar-winning actor. He recalled how in their early days in the industry, Nicholson and he had a mutual agreement to try to help the other guy get work in bit parts on TV westerns. • He told amusing and moving anecdotes regarding his work with the legendary Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg in The Actor’s Studio and how a rave review in the New York Times misspelled his name, leading his mother to disown him for changing his name in order to get a part in a play. • After screening a clip from The Cowboys, Dern recalled filming the grueling fight scene in which he murders John Wayne and the subsequent impact it had on his career.
Bruce Dern’s appearance at the Cinema Retro forum was in synch with the style of his book: candid, honest, amusing and occasionally heartbreaking. Look for excerpts from Bruce Dern’s interview in future issues.
AMONG THE ATTENDEES AT THE CINEMA RETRO EVENT: THE GREAT SCOTTISH COMEDIAN BILLY CONNOLLY, WHO SWAPPED QUIPS WITH EDITOR LEE PFEIFFER AT THE COCKTAIL HOUR.
THE END OF AN ERA FOR NJ MOVIE FANS WHO LINED UP 30 YEARS AGO TO SEE STAR WARS AT THIS THEATER (Photo copyright Bill Duelly)
NEW JERSEY'S RT 4 STANLEY WARNER THEATER SHUTTERS
A sad day for New Jersey movie-goers occurred on May 25, 2007, the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. The Rt. 4 Stanley Warner Theater closed its doors, as its current owner, AMC opened a 16 plex theater a mile away. The theater was built in 1966 and was always considered a showcase site for exclusive engagements. (Remember those???)
For the Star Wars generation, all three of the original films had exclusive 70MM engagements there. In 1999, the theater was chosen as one of two sites in New Jersey to conduct test screenings in digital (video projection) with Star Wars: Episode 1. Due to the theater's rich history with the franchise, management was able to secure a print of the original film from Lucasfilm to screen for the employees on closing night - a bittersweet experience, to be sure.
The theater will be torn down and replaced with a Loew's home improvement store. - Bill Duelly
PROMOTIONAL CARD FROM THE 1960S EXTOLLING THE STATE OF THE ART ASPECTS OF THE THEATER
Matt Helm, the spy who personified Sixties pop culture, is coming back to the big screen. But this ain't your old man's Matt Helm- the new script will present him as a hard-as-nails modern day Jack Bauer-type agent. This would be in line with the series of paperback thrillers by Donald Hamilton. When Columbia Pictures brought four of these titles to the screen, Hamilton fans were horrifed to discover that virtually every aspect of the books had been discarded in favor of turning the stories into spy spoofs suited to Dean Martin's well-known penchant for booze and broads. Four Matt Helm films were made between 1966 and 1969: The Silencers, Murderer's Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew. A fifth film, The Ravagers was announced but never made. The Helm movies were regarded as guilty pleasures even in their day but all were successful at the box-office. Now, plans are afoot to bring Helm back in major motion picture. www.latinoreview.com has an evaluation of the script - and it sounds like Donald Hamilton will finally get his revenge. Click here for details
The British Film Institute has announced that the classic Hammer horror film Dracula (released in the USA as Horror of Dracula) has undergone an extensive and painstaking restoration. The 1958 film was instrumental in making Hammer the legendary studio it is now regarded as. It also immortalized Christopher Lee's interpretation as Bram Stoker's infamous Count as a seminal point in horror film history. The film starred Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. He and Christopher Lee had made screen appearances together previously, but it was with Dracula that their names would be inextricably linked as both friends and frequent co-stars. The restored version includes sequences that had been deleted in the UK for censorship reasons. The print was recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and other theatrical showings in the UK are planned. Read on for more details from the BFI's recent press release.
Fox has released special editions of two sci-fi classics and one mid-range film. The two real gems are Fantastic Voyage and Voyage to the Bottom of Sea. The third title is the little-seen adventure The Neptune Factor. We'll be reviewing them all over the course of the next week, but for the moment let's begin with Fantastic Voyage - a special edition that fans have been lobbying to get for years. The premise finds a diplomat who is about to die from a blood clot on his brain. He possesses vital intelligence information that pertains to national security. A team of scientists are shrunk to microscopic size and injected into his body. They have a very limited time table to perform surgery from inside the patient then get out before the body's natural defenses begin to attack them. Thus, this makes the first film in which you can justifiably shout "What a body" without it referring to star Raquel Welch.