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 2023 - Part 1
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. 
Photos beat content!
Welcome to the manege of madness! - Have a pleasant trip!

Cromwell - On Set in Spain - 1969 - Parque Natural de Urbasa-Andia, Navarra.
General Ken Hughes (Director) explains to his Officers how he thinks the upcoming battle should be fought.
Old school, with chalk and a big blackboard.
The excellent historical epic, directed by Ken Hughes, with Stars like Richard Harris, 
Alec Guinness, Robert Morley and Timothy Dalton, was produced by 'Matt Helm' chief organizer
Irving Allen ('Genghis Khan').
All the rich and colorful battle scenes were staged on the 'Rasos de Urbasa', 
the hilly green plains of the Urbasa Natural Park in Navarra, Spain.
The effort was gigantic!
The Spanish army alone provided over 2000 soldiers for the big battles.
More than 600 horses were needed, thousands of weapons and costumes.
Many producers of such historical epics were happy to fall back on Samuel Bronston's 
colossal pool of props and costumes, which he had stashed away in his Madrid studio.
But for 'Cromwell' most of it was made by hand in-house, especially for this production.
The Oscar winning costume designer Vittorio Nino Novarese ('Cleopatra') had to produce 
not only the elaborate costumes for the Stars, but also costumes for thousands of spanish soldiers!
His spanish assistant, Gumersindo Andrés, had extra looms made to make the fabrics as 
historically accurate as possible.
What an exhausting but successful work for which Vittorio Nino Novarese (1907-1983) won his second Oscar.
Academy Award - Best Costume Design for 'Cromwell'.
A competitive contribution to one of my favorite genres, the great film epics.
Richard Harris in a good mood! - I like the movie - 7/10.
The Spanish Army showing the costumes! 
Every morning at 6 the army started to move - On to the fight!
The filming of the battles dragged on for many weeks, which caused enormous problems.
Most of the soldiers came from distant barracks and could not return there in the evening.
A large bivouac was set up, hundreds of people had to be fed.
And I only say one more word: latrines!
This is not for wimps!
And we haven't even talked about the huge herd of horses.
All this was quite a tremendous operation.
The wimps, pardon me, the Stars naturally slumbered in warm hotel beds (in Alsasua?) or in cozy caravans.
But the smaller the Star, the smaller the caravan.
A little excursion into farm life?
Latxa sheep can be seen in the photo above on the right.
The Latxa is a breed of domestic sheep native to the Basque Country of Spain.
Common in the provinces of Biscay, Gipuzkoa and Navarre.
(35mm Slide)
Breathtaking special effects work of British veteran Bill Warrington ('Guns of Navarone') and 
his assistant Jeff Clifford ('Dune').
These cannonball impacts (charges in cones) in the middle of hundreds of extras must be carefully planned 
and are not without danger.
Everyone must always know exactly where they are allowed to stand and where they should not stand 
in order to avoid pain.
After the battle came the 'corpse collectors'! What?
A small squad had to collect the corpses (puppets/soldier dummies), lost weapons and costume parts.
But there was still plenty for the locals to find after the battle.
With more than 2000 people in the wild turmoil, a lot was certainly lost.
One or the other beautiful piece (a sword, helmet,...) later ended up at the flea market.
I go nuts!
(35mm Slide)
Los Rasos de Urbasa, 1969.
Sitting in the saddle behind the camera is operator Peter MacDonald ??? (grey cap) and 
next to him sits director Ken Hughes (white cap).
This is big scale cinema!
The fight scenes are pretty exciting, powerfully staged and shot!
The poor guy over there with the megaphone is trying to somehow control the wild hordes.
Comparison photo of the 'Rasos de Urbasa' today. 
A very British looking landscape.
Richard Harris ('Camelot') on set in Spain - Rasos de Urbasa, 1969.
He was very impressed by the colossal marches by a seemingly infinite number of people and 
took pictures of everything with his SLR camera.
(35mm Slide)
Richard Harris discusses an upcoming shoot with Director Ken Hughes.
The filming of 'Cromwell', 1969.
The production company most likely rented spotlights and other technical equipment from the 
master of epic productions, tycoon Sam Bronston.
This was quite common and Sam had the largest stock in all of Spain!
Battle of Naseby - Urbasa Natural Park, 1969.
Director Ken Hughes behind the camera - Eagerly waiting for the first salvo of the cannons.

Only the very best of the normally unknown 'man-in-a-suit' creature actors of cinema's early days 
have risen to prominence throughout their careers.
Charles Gemora (1903-1961) was one of them.
He modeled his own costumes and then often took on the role himself.
Charlie became one of Hollywood's most famous 'gorilla guys', a true specialist for ape suits.
His gorilla performances were always dynamic and enthusiastic.
Nobody ever played a gorilla with so much grace, verve and grandeur.
Charlie was a very talented sculptor and special make up man, prop man, costume designer and 
even did the special effects work for different movie productions.
He built several thrilling Alien figures.
For example the terrifying Martian creature in 'The War of the Worlds' (1953), 
constructed out of paper mache and rubber, all painted in a bloody red.
Guess who squeezed into the costume, Charlie!
He also did a few technical gadgets, like the greedy mechanical 'ants-effects' in 'The Naked Jungle' (1953).
The sound effects work for the scenes with the ants are awesome, by the way!
Charlie Gemora worked as make up man for the Elia Kazan western 'Viva Zapata!' (1952) which 
stars Marlon Brando as Emiliano Zapata.
Years later, Marlon Brando may have remembered him and hired Charlie for a special make-up job 
needed in his film 'One-Eyed Jacks' (1961).
Charlie was in charge of the make-up fx for the whipping scene.
Rare 35mm Slide showing Charles Gemora on set, working on the Marlon Brando (Rio) make-up.
Final finishing of the make-up fx for the whipping scene.
Standing in the back is Larry Duran, and old buddy of Marlon Brando.
He watches Gemora's work with great interest.
Brando kept getting him small roles in his films.
Like Gemora, Larry Duran was part of the crew of 'Viva Zapata!' in the early 50s.
1932 - Laurel and Hardy: The Chimp (Charles Gemora).
Charlie continued to work in the makeup and effects department, conquering the entire spectrum, 
but even decades later he will always be remembered as "The Gorilla Man".
And that is undoubtedly an honorary title!

All lines are busy, but you can contact us at any time by e-mail, carrier pigeon or post.
(James Garner in 'Marlowe' - Kodak 2.25 transparency)

'Comrade Airlines' Flight 007 to Cuba is now ready for takeoff!
A bunch of Fidel Castro impersonators on vacation and right in the middle is our hero 
'Flint' (James Coburn), with fake beard glued on and standard green uniform.
'In like Flint' is not a spoof movie, it is a crazy spoof of a spoof movie!
Coburn revs on top speed and delivers a truly hilarious performance.
Sometimes he struts around like a rooster, then he dances like Bruce Lee.
With the help of manipulated drying Hoods a gang of pretty chickens want to achieve world domination!
Yeah, Baby! Ride to the moon on electric toothbrushes!
And only one man can pull the plug, super-spy Flint!
What's happening? 
Glorious, sometimes baffling, top-notch jaunty 60s entertainment!
Fiesta on a plane.
Flint presents the stewardess a chicken as a gift, 'para usted', and donates a few cigars to the pilots.
'Como esta, Pilotos?'
He then ties and gags the pilots and...
With a parachute on his back, he cheerfully sings a Russian folk song ... and jumps out of the plane!
'Adios, Amigos!'
What a groovy show!
Hardly landed in the ocean, he quickly swims over to a small Caribbean island that floats by on the horizon.
Flint speaks the language of dolphins fluently, of course, and with their help he reaches the beach of 
the 'Fabulous Face' island resort, the power-hungry girls' base of operations.
Actually it is the Round Hill resort, Montego Bay, Cornwall, Jamaica.
The photo shows James Coburn in his Cuban army outfit during a break in filming 'In Like Flint' 
On Set in Jamaica, 1966.
The jet-set lifestyle of a spy in the 1960s. 
Easygoing 'n cool!
(35mm slide)
Comparison photo of the fabulous location.
Is this still about working on a movie or is it a vacation?
Director Gordon Douglas managed a great trash flick with quite a bunch of weirdo moments!
Extremely amusing cartoonish fun!
His Detective movies starring Frank Sinatra are also definitely worth seeing.
Of course you want to see that.
The filming of:
- Tony Rome
- The Detective
Yesterday in The Astro, Omaha.
Even the swinging 'Matt Helm' has his trash pearl: The Ambushers.
Flying Saucers, Slay Girls ...coming soon in the little moon-city-garbage 'theatre of forgotten celluloid'.
The Astro Theater in Omaha originally opened as The Riviera (built in 1926) and 
is currently known as The Rose.