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Sunken treasures await your re-discovery: Blog 2016 / Blog 2017
"I always keep my word, I'll send him right where he told me to go ...HELL!"
October 2018
This Blog is offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, thin-skinned baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
The Reality behind the Fantasy! - The Story behind the Spectacle!
No inflated endlessly long stories, but short and crisp. 
'This is Helmet time!'
Photos beat content!
Welcome to the manege of madness! - Have a pleasant trip!

'Tony Rome' is an exhilarated 'Bogart-style' American Neo Noir private eye film starring Frank Sinatra and directed 
by Gordon Douglas, adapted from Marvin H. Albert's novel 'Miami Mayhem'. 
It also stars Jill St. John, Sue Lyon, Gena Rowlands, Simon Oakland and Richard Conte.
The 'King of Cool', Frank Sinatra, is a real giant in the role as supercooled hard-boiled Miami private investigator
who is living on a boat.
Every movement, every gesture ...pure coolness.
Tony likes gambling, booze and pretty girls.
Between two problems there is always time for a glass of gin!
It's just another day in paradise.
Everything is cool here, even the running gag with the just married 'Malcolm' and his always hungry wife.
A highly entertaining sixties show conducted by Gordon Douglas and his versatile cinematographer Joseph F. Biroc, 
powered by the charisma of Frank Sinatra ...and the enchanting sex appeal of Jill St. John.
Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of Frank, sang the film's eponymous swinging title track. 
Great mood and atmosphere - An excellent overall package!
Available on blu-ray.
Frank Sinatra studying the 'Tony Rome' script.
He is wearing a high quality hairpiece / toupee.
During the day Frank plays 'Tony Rome', an ex-cop turned private eye in Miami Beach.
In the evening he is Frank Sinatra, the famous singer, playing shows in the iconic luxury hotel Fontainebleau.
Filming of 'Tony Rome'.
Isn't that the same Captain's cap Frank was wearing in 'Assault on a Queen'?
Learn more about 'Assault on a Queen' here: Water Tank.
35mm Kodachrome.
The Fontainebleau - Miami Beach. 
The casual Ann Archer (Jill St. John) asks Tony: "Don't you ever sleep in a bed?".
The two play very well together.  Sexy.
During a break in filming the Fontainebleau beach scene.
Jill St. John is really perfect in the role as party slut and girl on the side of Tony.
In the sequel, 'Lady in Cement', made in 1968, again featuring Sinatra as Tony Rome, Tony got a new girl, Raquel Welch. 
Appearing in both films was Richard Conte as Miami police lieutenant Dave Santini.
But Raquel and the whole sequel are miles away from the glorious mood of the first show.
Another 'Tony Rome' location is the construction site of the Sheraton Four Ambassadors Hotel.
The Four Ambassadors was built from 1966 to 1968. 
The complex has four towers with shared lobby.
One tower was used as location - A construction site of the Kosterman company, headed by Rudy Kosterman (Simon Oakland).
I found a nice website which shows you the locations of 'Tony Rome' and other Miami film locations.
You will find it here: On the road with Tony.
Filming at The Four Ambassadors construction site.
Frank (Tony Rome) is waiting for his 'Action' signal. 
Director Gordon Douglas, standing on the far right, watches the scene.
For safety reasons, all must wear helmets, except Frank Sinatra.
Or does he have a steel plate in his hat?
35mm Kodachrome.
Filming at the construction site of one tower of the Four Ambassadors complex.
Frank Sinatra verifies the spot where he will save the life of his client, Rudy Kosterman, who will be attacked 
by a hired gunman in the next scene.
The Set crew has prepared a sandpile with soft beach sand for the jump.
On the far left you can see the 'stand-in' of Frank Sinatra doing the 'jump and run' scenes for Frank.
Does anyone know his name?
Next to Frank stands the director of photography Joseph F. Biroc (striped shirt).
They both discuss the scene with Director Gordon Douglas, not in the picture.
The 60s were the golden years for some striking detective stories. 
Our theater shows a fine selection:
- 'P.J.' (1968) with George Peppard
- 'The Detective' (1968) with Frank Sinatra
- 'Marlowe' (1969) with James Garner
More to come!

'Karaoke - Night' on the Set of 'Circus World'.
Members of the cast and visitors make themselves comfortable in front of two gas stoves to sing a
few songs.
Claudia Cardinale and her younger sister Blanche Cardinale, Rita Hayworth, Wanda Rotha, 
John Smith and Katharyna.
'Circus World' was the last big gamble for Samuel Bronston, the legendary producer of colossal epics, 
with a brilliant and expensive cast headed by John Wayne, Claudia Cardinale and Rita Hayworth.
The Super Technirama 70 pictures of the British cinematographer Jack Hildyard ('55 Days at Peking') look glorious.
The costumes and sets are excellent. Some of the effects are pretty well done.
No expense and effort was spared to convince seat buyers ...but Director Henry Hathaway had a hard time.
Although the special Bronston magic was still there, the flair and grandeur, 
the movie suffers from its weak and pale story.
Nothing really holds the great elements together. 
'Circus World' is available on blu-ray.
Claudia Cardinale and her sister Blanche in the beautiful old town of Toledo (Spain), 
in one of the narrow streets.
Blanche is taking photos from Claudia during the walk through the city.
Besides Toledo, Chinchon was one of the locations for 'Circus World' in Spain.
Of course you want to take a look at this: 'Circus World'.

'The War Wagon' is a very entertaining Burt Kennedy Western with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas.
There is a beautiful harmony in the scenes and a fine tone for humor.
On top of that the villain, played by Bruce Cabot, has a great toy to play with and calls it The War Wagon.
A heavily armored stagecoach armed with a deadly Gatling gun in a top-mounted steerable turret.
This special film Prop was built mostly of lightweight plywood with phony rivets.
With the right painting, the wood panels look like heavy iron plates.
The sound effect crew did their best to perfect the successful illusion with some metallic sounds. 
Frank Pierce (Bruce Cabot) is transporting a big gold shipment with his War Wagon and the boys are going
to take that wagon.
'The War Wagon' Prop was displayed outdoor for many years with other movie props as part of the Universal 
Studio backlot tour (California).
This usually means the quick death for the props.
His last years the War Wagon experienced in the Universal Studios Florida. 
What happened to the fast deteriorating remains of the old prop then?
This Kodachrome slide shows the War Wagon still in his full splendour - Universal Studios, California, 1971.
The sign 'Please keep off' surely helped to keep the Wagon in shape for a while.
Director Burt Kennedy put the War Wagon in scene very well without being over the top.
His Cinematographer William H. Clothier lensed some nice outdoor scenes with the wagon in action.
I love the scenes where the groovy War Wagon hops through a breathtakingly beautiful mexican landscape, 
the Sierra de Organos, Sombrerete.
A popular location for Western movies: Guns for San Sebastian.

Your comments are always welcome!
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Sometimes.

When the Alien Edgar wants to make off with a stolen Galaxy in a flying saucer the boys shot him from the sky with a
powerful space weapon.
The flying saucer flutters around and crashes through the New York Unisphere.
An excellent live-action and model miniature composite shot.
ILM Garage - How to build a flying saucer!
The ILM modelshop constructed a big fiberglass Saucer in sixth scale, nine feet in diameter.
The guy in a blue work suit is model shop supervisor Steve Gawley.
Behind him you can see some model cars on the shelf. These are for the Midtown Tunnel miniature set.
You have to look at this: Queens Midtown Tunnel.
The crew of chief modelmaker Rodney Morgan built three sixth scale Unisphere replicas for the crash scene.
Unisphere - Flying Saucer rig.
The boys are preparing the saucer crash.
A special hydraulic cable rig and precise practical effects (pyrotechnics) helped to make the scene successful.
The flying saucer crashes trough the Unisphere.
Wow ...excellent black powder/nitrate mini explosions!
What a flash!
The breaking apart 'steel globe' (Unisphere) looks really good. 
Excellent miniature scene!
On Stage at ILM.
Captain Edgar has lost control. Please strap on, the landing in the park will be a bit bumpy.
Chief modelmaker Lorne Peterson and his crew built a miniature Flushing Meadows set with lights, trees and 
small Park benches.
The flying Saucer is now controlled from below via a special rig for the park landing scene and 
is no longer hanging in the (Unisphere) cable rig.
How cool is that! Very well done!
The pyro explosions in combination with the whirled soil are pretty impressive. 
Perfect miniature show. 
All that is missing is a puppet sitting on the park bench and being swallowed by the dust ...
The Men in Black stay cool, even if it very soon gets a bit dustier.
The live-action scene with Jay and Kay was filmed on a Studio stage.
Here you find some photos: Help, my suit gets dirty!
As Edgar emerges from the Flying Saucer Jay and Kay explain to him that he is under arrest now.
Edgar does not think that's funny at all ...and shows us the real Eddie!
A CGI monster.

The epic-sized comedy Western 'The Hallelujah Trail', directed by the famous John Sturges, is not an easy film to sit through.
Excellent Comedy is not easy to stage at all!
During its monumental running time this crazy 'Booze Trail' offers some subtle humor and goofy charm, 
but also long minutes of helplessness.
The old-fashioned, long-winded Western film has its funny moments and here and there a well prepared comedy scene.
Many scenes, however, seem drowsy.
The film, all the way through, has aged a lot and hardly works today!
A toothless epic without the real big spectacle!
Tragic, because it offers a very good cast, a rousing Score and some excellent widescreen pictures.
Sturges should be able to do more with such ingredients.
The few impressing outdoor shots (Ultra Panavision 70) and quite well action sequences, 
lensed by veteran cinematographer Robert Surtees ('Ben Hur'), can not save the show in the end either.
'See how the West was Fun!'
The advertising messages and promotion sketches are funnier than the movie.
A harmless ride to nowhere.
Burt Lancaster and Director John Sturges on Set of 'The Hallelujah Trail'.
Burt is quite good as Whiskey drinking Colonel Thaddeus Gearhart. 
Some of his rousing 'battle' scenes with Lee Remick are indeed funny!
But too many things just do not work.
Epic comedy films are a style of filmmaking with large scale, sweeping scope, and funny spectacle.
It's (partially) all there ... and yet the fatigue wins.
A strange map to explain the great humor to us the seat buyer.
Maybe the party lights up if you see it on one of those colossal curved screens?

Actor James Darren was concurrently on honeymoon during filming of the awesome epic 'Guns of Navarone'.
He married his girlfriend Evy Norlund, Miss Denmark of 1958, shortly before the filming (6 February 1960).
James really wanted to make the big budget film and so he took his wife on the trip to Rhodes (Greece).
Not a bad destination for a honeymoon.
He had a lot of free time and the young couple took long walks.
The two visited all the impressive and historic sights of the island.
And there is much to discover on Rhodes.
The old city of Rhodes is one of the largest medieval cities in the whole European continent, full of architectural history.
In 1988 the Medieval City of Rhodes was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO.
In the early 60s, one was often alone on the road, tourism was barely noticeable.
In the port of Rhodes the two are surprised by native children.
James Darren, born June 8, 1936 and of Italian ancestry, and his Danish wife do not speak Greek, 
but have fun with the young fans.
All the little boys love the blonde Evy... and small coins.
In the small ancient village of Lindos the two wanted to see the Acropolis of Lindos, 
one of the most visited archaeological sites in Greece.
Lots of narrow streets and impressive ancient architecture.
James Darren and his wife Evy in Lindos (Rhodes), 1960.
On the way to the Acropolis of Lindos with it's ancient temple and the towers on the back of a donkey.
Formerly mainly for locals, today a tourist attraction - The Donkey Taxi of Lindos.
The Donkey Taxi still rides through this narrow street, but you can hardly recognize the white houses today.
The street is now a colorful tourist trap, full of Souvenir shops and restaurants.
A multicolored bazaar. Times have changed.
The 'ancient' charm is gone.
The couple enjoys the leisurely ride up to the Acropolis.
Kodak 2.25 transparency
James Darren was a teen idol on the big screen, did a lot of TV work and was from the beginning known as a singer.
On a couple of 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' episodes he played the swinging 60s crooner and nightclub host Vic Fontaine.
He surely loved that role, where he could combine his passions, singing and acting.
His Vic Fontaine (Deep Space Nine) songs are available on the CD -This one's from the Heart-.
More on 'Guns of Navarone', one of the best epics of the 60s, will of course be published on this channel in future. 
Adorned with a bunch of very rare photos!
'The Best is yet to Come'.
The first appetizing crumbs have sunk into the depths of the blog:
- Explosion on Sea
- Studio Cliff
- Acting up a Storm

The extravagant Biblical epic of producer Dino de Laurentiis was a lavish production of immense size and scope.
The legendary Italian cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno ('The Secret of Santa Vittoria') photographed the epic in 
the majestic new variant of the 70mm Todd-AO format named Dimension 150 (color by DeLuxe Color).
The D-150 scenes, with the 150 degree lens, that gave the new process its name, looked spectacular on the giant screen.
But Director John Huston and his Star-laden movie offers too little spectacle and dramatic tension for such 
an colossal epic.
It is told in a quiet, very simple way with a few glorious moments and bumpy sequences (the cheesy final episode).
All in all it's a fine film with this one splendid episode full of folkish charm and humor.
The flood - Noah's Ark.
Building of the Ark in the forest.
Noah, played by Director John Huston, built the Ark, a large ship by any standard, with only the help of his three 
sons and their wives.
Just how long it took Noah to complete the project, the bible neglects to say.
To speed production, movie mogul Dino de Laurentiis had 5 ships built, three exterior ark sets, one interior 
and one miniature ark (handled by Carlo De Marchis and Carlo Rambaldi).
The screenshot on the left shows the 'sekeleton' ark set in the woods.
What a scene ... a huge ship is being built in the middle of a forest!
The full-scale Ark in construction, 1964.
The giant Ark was designed by Art Director and production designer Mario Chiari ('Fräulein Doktor') and built by 
Aldo Puccini ('Dune'), Mario Scisci and their construction crew.
The photo shows the reproduction of the Biblical 'Titanic' on the spacious backlot of the Dino de Laurentiis Studios.
It's 200 feet long, 64 feet wide and 50 feet high.
The cost of building the different Ark Sets was nearly a million dollars. 
There was not enough wood available in Italy to built the Ark, Dino de Laurentiis had to 
import lumber from Yugoslavia.
Several hundred workers were employed for months on the challenging project.
The specially built large zoo for the animals of the ark also devoured a lot of money.
The Ark episode budgeted alone at tough 3 million dollars.
Lobby Card. The flood is coming!
What a terrific cast!
Promotion guide sketch - The circus parade of animals into the hangar-deck.
The biblical boatbuilder plays his trumpet while leading the column of animals into the Ark.
A pair of zebras, elephants, camels, giraffes, ...and so on.
The wilder animals (predators,...) were filmed from behind giant glass panes for security reasons.
None of the animals really went into the ark. 
They went through a doorway set and directly out again on the other side of the Set.
The imposing interior set was built on a giant De Laurentiis studio stage and was of enormous size.
It had three decks with up to 100 compounds for the animals. 
Excellent Set dressing of Enzo Eusepi ('Fräulein Doktor').
For several month, 1964, Dino de Laurentiis was running one of the largest Zoos in the world with close to 300 
land animals and a thousand birds.
The menagerie De Laurentiis was constructed near the ark set, with mobile homes and cage carts, 
with all kinds of animal noises and smells all around the studio backlot.
Over a hundred animal keepers and all animals had to be provided with food.
The impressive ark "zoo" has eaten a nice piece of the budget cake. 
Feed and care of the animals costs a hefty $6,000 a day, with 1,320 pounds of hay, 550 pounds of meat, 
and 440 pounds of oats, 330 pounds of vegetables and various other snacks like honey, making up the daily menu.
Everything was very cramped and without a large outlet for the animals.
With all the problems of factory farming such as diseases, the large quantities of feces, ...
Dino de Laurentiis has rented the most animals for the filming of the Ark sequence from european zoos and circuses.
It was another costly and big logistical effort to bring them all to Rome.
The first thing you need to film an Epic is an epic budget!
Cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno lensed some great scenes with a Mitchell BFC 65mm camera and the new 150 degree 
lens (and others) that gave the D-150 process its name.
Actually it was Todd-AO with the addition of the new lenses.
The widest lens was very difficult to handle for the cameracrew. 
Nearly everything in front of the camera will be filmed due to the extreme wide angle. 
Scenes must be planned very meticulously and precisely, otherwise you are filming things on the edge 
that you did not want to see in the film at all. Modern cars in a biblical epic, for example.
D-150 was grandiose in scope, but at the end too tricky to handle.
It was only used in one more big Epic movie, the much more successful 'Patton'.
George C.Scott starred in both D-150 epics!

 After 'The War Wagon' we make a second stop on the Universal backlot tour, this time for the props of 
the cult TV show 'Land of the Giants' (1968-1970).
On this old slide of the early 70s you can spot the legendary giant hand, which was used in some episodes.
The most famous prop of the show originally had built-in mechanics to simulate a grab (contraction of the fingers).
A pretty clumsy, but funny effect.
At the balustrade of the balcony lays a big pair of scissors and you can spot a pair of pliers.
The prop crew built some gorgeous pieces for the show.
Nice shot! - The mechanical hand a few years later on another 35mm slide (1974).
The hand now holds a lipstick in the air. Looks great.
On the right you can see a huge roll of yarn, another prop of the excellent TV show.
Over time, many of the series' props were exhibited for the Universal Studio tour.
You always have to show something new to the paying visitors.
Learn more about the groovy giant-sized hand prop here: The Mechanical Hand

'3:10 to Yuma' is a powerful black and white picture with great lighting and this outstanding photography by cinematographer 
Charles Lawton Jr.(1904–1965).
The cast is first class, good score, great story ... but what fascinates me most is the work of the camera and lighting crew.
I do not know how many filters Lawton used, but his (natural) illumination is great, the hard shadows brilliant.
The majestic black and white 'on location' photography highlights this movie clearly out of the crowd.
Available on blu-ray. Highly recommended!
Director Delmer Daves ('Broken Arrow') runs through a scene with Glenn Ford.
Both with a lot of experience in the 'Western Film' business.
Delmer Daves, an avid camera enthusiast, points his Minox at Felicia Farr, who plays the femme lead 
opposite Glenn Ford in '3:10 to Yuma'. 
Photo taken on location near Elgin, Arizona.
The fall/winter 1956 in southern Arizona was pretty cold and windy during the shoot.
The photo shows Glenn Ford (sitting) and some crew members wrapped up in warm clothes.
During the shooting of 'A Time for Killing', a rough B-Western with Ford and George Hamilton, 
completely different conditions prevailed.
Of course you want to see that: Hot & dusty!
The internationally acclaimed portrait artist Paul Fitzgerald, painter of English nobility, delayed return to his native Australia 
to do an oil of Glenn Ford on the Set of '3:10 to Yuma'.
Ford is the first Hollywood Star painted by Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald had the unique ability to capture not only the likeness but also the character and personality of his model (Glenn Ford) 
on his oil painting.
Does this first-class portrait hang in a museum today ... or is it privately owned?

Lunch break on the set in Hoyo de Manzanares (Madrid, Spain).
Kenneth More enjoys the break together with the little family of Co-Star Jayne Mansfield.
Both harmonize wonderfully and have some splendid scenes together.
The filming of the first 'Hollywood Western' in Spain in the year 1958 - 'The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw'.
A charming comedy directed by Raoul Walsh. 
A subtle Western about the effectiveness of inappropriate behaviors.
Unbelievably much funnier than the cheesy 'Hallelujah Trail' with beautiful CinemaScope pictures of Otto Heller (1896–1970). 
His excellent outdoor cinematography takes us to landscapes that were to become famous due to the Spaghetti Western wave in the 60s.
In 1958 and area like 'La Dehesa de Navalvillar' near Colmenar Viejo (Madrid) was an almost untouched landscape.
That will change dramatically fast in the coming years (60s).
Who can tell me something about Camplin's European Mobile Catering Service?
For which film productions did 'Camplin' do the catering?
Jayne Mansfield during the filming of 'The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw', Madrid, 1958.
The film offers her a great role and she did it really fine. 
A great show!
The Spanish Movie Set Construction expert Francisco Prosper and his crew built the wonderful 'Fractured Jaw' Western Town Set.
The entire set consisted mainly of good facades along one big Street. 
The action/filming in the town set took place, for the most part, on this street.
The Set was from the beginning not planned as a permanent one. 'Fractured Jaw' was dismantled completely at the end of filming.
The photo shows a local family from Colmenar Viejo visiting the Set after the shooting was over.
The Saloon facade of 'Fractured Jaw'.
The spot was so ideal that a new larger Western Film Town set was built here soon, the legendary 'Spaghetti Western Town' 
built by Lega y Michelena in the year 1963, but that's another story.
A comprehensive report about the filming of 'The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw' in Spain will be ready soon.
True 'Western Film' pioneers for Madrid! They got something rolling ...