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The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
This Blog will be offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, colorful baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
Photos beat content!

'The Detective' is a gritty sixties color neo-noir crime film directed by the excellent Gordon Douglas (1907–1993).
Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, plays a serious tough cop, fully backed by a good script and fine supporting players.
Lee Remick, Jack Klugman, Robert Duvall, Tony Musante and the young and beautiful Jacqueline Bisset.
There is no sunshine in New York. 
Detective Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) must deal with many frustrating problems.
The courageous cop is surrounded by small minds in his own department.
The marriage with his nymphomaniac wife (Lee Remick) is in trouble. 
A sleazy murder, a cut off penis, crooks and politics, thick-skinned Joe Leland has no easy life.
It's gripping to follow him on his way battling with all the crap in his small world.
Director Gordon Douglas discusses a scene with Frank Sinatra. The chap behind of Frank is his Stand-In (Body Double).
Can someone identify him? He surely did a few of the 'running on the beach' scenes for Frank.
The Location is the old Bibo House Hotel right on the boardwalk at Beach 62nd Street in Arverne (New York).
Obviously not in the very best condition in 1968. The lamp has already had better days.
During the filming there was a wide beach in front of the Hotel, but the Bibo also had stormy times without beach.
Jerome Bibo built the three story stucco faced Bibo House Hotel.
This old postcard shows The Bibo standing in the water without beach. 
Detective Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) on the beach in Arverne, near The Bibo.
The suspect was caught. Filming a scene with Frank Sinatra and Tony Musante.
The underrated Director Gordon Douglas (striped shirt) is preparing a scene with the young and lovely Jacqueline Bisset 
and Frank Sinatra on a beach of California. Malibu Beach?
Jacqueline and Frank talk in between takes on an empty Malibu beach.
Eye candy Jacqueline Bisset and the King of Cool enjoying a coffee.
The earthy story of an intelligent and upright cop is available on a neat blu-ray released by Twilight Time.
Worth seeing!

Your comments are always welcome!

Great excitement in Mijas (Spain), 1967. 
Sexy Raquel Welch riding on a Donkey through the narrow streets of the beautiful town with her spouse Pat Curtis.
Raquel was in Mijas for the filming of the turbulent spy-romp 'FATHOM' which was filmed in southern Spain. 
With Locations in Malaga, Nerja, Torremolinos and Mijas, lensed by the great Douglas Slocombe (1913–2016).
Raquel enjoying the Mijas Burro-Taxi No.1, what a tourist attraction!
Carrying tourists through the alleys, streets and small squares of Mijas on a decorated donkey, the Burro Taxi, 
has become an icon of Mijas. 
The Burro Taxi is one of Mijas’ best-known and most effective tourist attractions since the 60s.
It all started with small traders who have transported goods through the narrow streets on their donkeys in the early sixties.

'Dune' Director David Lynch during a break in filming the challenging battle scenes in the Samalayuca Dune Fields (Chihuahua, Mexico). 
Hundreds of burning tires were used to create the (toxic) black smoke and a bunch of pyro charges were positioned in the sand 
for some big bangs, all handled by Physical Effects Supervisor Kit West and his boys.
Each explosive charge was prepared in close consultation with Stunt Coordinator Richard Humphreys ('Predator') and his stunt crew.
Preparing a scene with an Air Ram in the Samalayuca Desert.
The Air Ram is a pneumatic device that catapults a stunt performer through the air using compressed air.
Activated by the stuntman stepping on the pedal.
Dune battle scenes - Samalayuca Dune Fields.
To simulate the effects of an explosion the stunt performer steps on a large pedal and by using compressed air the pedal is 
released catapulting the stuntman through the air. 
Depending on the air pressure, the Air Ram can throw a stuntman different distances and heights.
It is a device for skilled stunt people. The stuntmen who runs between the explosions must follow exactly their given path,
in order to avoid injuries.
It looks as if the performer is in the midst of the explosion, if the position of the camera is correct and 
the firing of the pyro charge precise.
Several of the Extras are running through the heat of the desert in heavy rubber suits. 
The stuntman on the Air Ram is wearing only a light costume without the Imperial Sardukar gun (risk of injury).
The Special Effects boys 'hide' some pyro charges and ingnition cables in the sand and blur their tracks.
The charges are electrically ignited via cables (firing board).
Learn more about the Special Effects of 'DUNE' here: Kit West.

The actress Nita Lorraine, born in 1942 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, was an EXTRA in several B-Movies and TV shows.
Her Star went up in the 60s, but disappeared relatively quickly. What has happened there? Nita, where are you?
Nita made a few Cult TV appearences (The Saint/The Avengers) and got several small roles in movies like 'Curse of the Crimson Altar', 
'The Assassination Bureau', 'Zeta One' and 'Son of Dracula'.
Here we see Nita riding on a horse in her Nubian slave girl 'costume' for 'The Viking Queen', 1967.
A technicolor production from Hammer-Seven Arts, starring Carita and Don Murray under the Direction of Don Chaffey.
Nita Lorraine, in the part of a beautiful Nubian slave at the Roman camp, dressed in ...paints only!
The 'painting' was done with great joy by famous English make-up man Charlie Parker.
Charles E. Parker (1910–1977) created the make-up for some of the most successful films of the mid-to late twentieth century, 
including 'Ivanhoe', 'Knights of the Round Table', 'Ben Hur', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Zulu' and '2001: A Space Odyssey'.
He was in the 'Star Wars' make-up team for the legendary Cantina Scene.
His 'Nubian Slave Girl' make up for Nita Lorraine was the 'hottest' job during his colorful career.
See more on the making of 'The Viking Queen' here: Carita.
Nita Lorraine - 'The Viking Queen' - Kodachrome 35mm slide.

'Il giorno della civetta' is a fascinating and outstandingly produced Poliziesco thriller by the Italian 
directing genius Damiano Damiani (1922–2013).
The fabulous leading actors, Claudia Cardinale and Franco Nero, have quite rightly won the Italian film award, David di Donatello, 
the most important Italian motion picture award, comparable to the Academy Award in America.
The photo shows both Stars with their 'David' statue for Best Actress and Best Actor, for their roles 
in 'Il giorno della civetta', August 3, 1968.
Franco Nero looks as if he is just coming over from the 'Mercenario' Set in Spain (1968) with his 'Kowalski' beard.
Claudia Cardinale is also working in Spain 1968. She is the leading Lady in 'C'era una volta il West' under the direction of Sergio Leone. 
Those were the great times!
Both producers, Luigi Carpentieri and Ermanno Donati, were also awarded with a Premio David di Donatello.
Director Damiano Damiani received the 'Targa d'Oro' (Golden Plate), a special price of the jury, for his excellent work on 
'Il giorno della civetta'.
The Italian David di Donatello Award is presented each year for great cinematic performances and productions by 
L'accademia del Cinema Italiano (ACI).

Jack Palance (Torvald) in conversation with movie mogul Dino de Laurentiis in Verona (Italy) on set for the colossal spectacle 
'Barabbas', 1961.
The Producer and his Star talk about the climactic chariot scene which will be filmed in the old Roman Arena of Verona.
The superior and innovative epic impresses with numerous well mounted scenes and highlights.
A spiritual and captivating Crucifixion scene filmed in Roccastrada (near Rome) with a real total eclipse as high point.
Demanding scenes in a real mine on Mount Etna in Sicily with an earthquake rigged by the special effects boys and many more.
A very intense battle of Jack Palance (Torvald), in a Chariot, and Anthony Quinn (Barabbas), on foot, in a Roman Arena.
Torvald (Jack Palance) gets to know the horses of his chariot - Verona, 1961.
Director Richard Fleischer and Cinematographer Aldo Tonti discuss different camera angles in the Arena of Verona.
On the right, Production Designer and Art Director Mario Chiari with a scale model of the Arena and the planned built-in Set pieces.
Up to 300 Gladiators (stuntmen) trained hard for the show, staged for over 9000 Extras to play the jeering spectators.
The Director wanted to fill the arena with costumed extras to act as spectators and on the first day of filming he had 
a total of more than nine thousand extras, all of whom had to be made up, fitted with wigs of the period and costumed.
This taxed the production department to the very limit. This meant organizing the dozens of makeup artists, hairdressers 
and wardrobe men and women to handle this huge crowd, literally setting up an assembly line to handle each 
bus-load of extras arriving at the arena.
A fleet of seventy-five buses was hired and ran a shuttle service.
It was certainly quite problematic to direct such an enormous crowd.
One of the major headaches for the staff of production assistants was watching for extras wearing wrist watches or other 
modern adornments. 
The inexperienced extras tried to smuggle cameras in beneath their togas, which was another nightmare for the assistants.
Many would pull out a camera and start shooting just as the action began!
A first cautious round on the chariot for Jack Palance.
Torvald is the most cruel but most popular of the gladiators.
He has been given his freedom several times because of his brilliant performances, but he refuses to leave the pomp and
glory of the arena.
Torvald laughs scornfully at Barabbas before they begin their duel to the death. Mighty scenes!
The Arena battle scene, man (Barabbas) against chariot (Torvald), took four weeks to film.
Jack Palance suffered several injuries during the filming of the arena scenes and fell two times from his chariot.
A real gladiator knows no pain.
If you want to learn more about this great production, I recommend the book:
'Barabbas - The Story of a Motion Picture', 1962.

On location in Mexico City at the Heroico Colegio Militar complex. 
A cheapo lookin'  JohnnyCab taxi cruises along the futuristic building for a scene of the outstanding Sci-Fi thriller 'Total Recall', 
directed by Paul Verhoeven.
The robot-driven vehicle 'JohnnyCab' was designed by the famed conceptual artist, film designer and cartoonist Ron Cobb.
He created the overall look for the 'Total Recall' Mars colony and mine complex with full sized 'mole' mining machines, 
the Marsliner spaceship and the robotic Johnnycab for the earth sequence. 
He also designed the 'Recall' machine.
Ron Cobb did conceptual designs for 'Star Wars', 'Alien', 'Raiders of the lost Ark', 'Conan', 'Abyss' and others.
I recommend his own website for further information:
Director Paul Verhoeven discusses a scene with Special Effects Make-up designer Rob Bottin.
Rob designed the sarcastic robotic capdriver as a fancifully articulated robot with cable- and computer-controlled mechanisms.
Three JohnnyCab puppets were made. A very complex one to handle all the required movements (eyes, mouth,...) and two 
simple figures for the scene when Arnold rips the capdriver out of his place and the blow up scene.
The cabin of the JohnnyCab on a trailer to shoot the close-ups.
Director Paul Verhoeven converses with Special make-up magician Rob Bottin.
'King Kong', 'Star Wars', 'The Fog', 'Maniac', 'The Howling', 'The Thing' and so many more.
The man is a genius!
Rob Bottin, born on April 1, 1959 in El Monte, California, USA, won a Special Achievement Award for his work on 
'Total Recall' 1991, together with Eric Brevig, Tim McGovern and Alex Funke.
He was honored with a Saturn Award for his terrific make-up design on 'RoboCop' (1988) and another one for 'Se7en' (1996).
For years it has been very quiet around Rob Bottin. Golf? Retirement?
Does anyone know anything current about him?
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Director Paul Verhoeven on Set. 
Soon more of 'Total Recall'.