The War Lord (1965) - News Poster

(1965)

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How ‘Planet of the Apes’ Started Hollywood’s Franchise Obsession

How ‘Planet of the Apes’ Started Hollywood’s Franchise Obsession
If Matt Reeves’ much-anticipated “War on the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox) opens Friday to an expected $70 million or more, that would put it ahead (in domestic returns at least) of such recent high altitude-franchise stumbles as “Alien: Covenant,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “Transformers.”

Several factors contribute to the elevated respect for the series, going back almost half a century to when the first film, never intended as anything other than a standalone, became a surprise success in 1968.

Let’s track some curious highlights on the unusual trajectory that brings us to the ninth entry in the longest running English-language film series other than James Bond:

The Genesis Was a Stand-Alone Novel

Pierre Boule was well-known for the World War II novel “The Bridge on the River Kwai” which became a David Lean Best Picture winner and massive worldwide hit in the late 1950s.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Planet of the Apes’ Filmmakers Worried 1968 Original Wouldn’t Be Taken Seriously

‘Planet of the Apes’ Filmmakers Worried 1968 Original Wouldn’t Be Taken Seriously
Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” is generating strong buzz before its July 14 launch. When the film series began 50 years ago, nobody imagined it would last this long. In fact, they weren’t even sure the first one could get off the ground.

Early tests for makeup, costumes, and art direction were so challenging that the film’s production was delayed two years.

The premise of the book (and the first film) was so radical — as Variety termed it back then, “an ape-human switcheroo” — that the filmmakers knew they needed to create a world that looked realistic and dangerous: Their biggest concern was that audiences would giggle at the idea of monkeys ordering around humans.

Pierre Boulle’s French-language novel “La Planete des Singes” was published in 1963; British author Xan Fielding translated it into English the following year. In January 1965, producer Arthur P. Jacobs told Variety’s Army Archerd that he would film the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hal Needham, Hollywood Stuntman and Director, Dead at 82

  • The Wrap
Hal Needham, Hollywood Stuntman and Director, Dead at 82
Hal Needham, a stuntman and film director, died in Los Angeles on Friday morning at 82, a representative for Needham told TheWrap. The cause of Needham’s death was not immediately available. Also read: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2013 Born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1931, Needham got his break in the business as a stunt double in the TV western “Have Gun, Will Travel,” and provided stunt work in films such as “How the West Was Won,” “The War Lord” and “Little Big Man.” He frequently served as a stunt double for actor Burt Reynolds. Needham’s working relationship with Reynolds extended when Needham branched.
See full article at The Wrap »

R.I.P. Hal Needham, legendary stuntman and Smokey And The Bandit director

Stuntman-turned-movie director Hal Needham has died, at the age of 82. Needham broke into TV and movies in the late 1950s, doing stunt work in such films as Pork Chop Hill, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, How The West Was Won, Donovan’s Reef, Major Dundee, In Harm’s Way, The War Lord, Hells Angels On Wheels, Little Big Man, and many others. His big break, in terms of steady work, came in 1957, when he was hired as Richard Boone’s stunt double on the Western TV series Have Gun—Will Travel, where he also served as stunt ...
See full article at The AV Club »

The Doctor Who Column: Rules for guest actors

Time's a healer, so they say. Well whoever “they” are, “they” must have got their facts wrong, since time is anything but a benign presence. Time brings two spectres of evil: Old age, with its saggy, wrinkly skin, creaking bones and chilblains. And of course, death. It's inevitable of course, but that still doesn't make a loss of life any easier for that person's friends and family.

Between them, Halliday, Chinnery and Madoc have graced many iconic TV programmes for the past 50 years, whether it's A For Andromeda, The Champions, The Avengers, The Goodies or Casualty. They were the sort of actors who turn up in these programmes and you'd go “Oh yeah, it's that guy again...” So of course, it's no real surprise that their CVs contained Doctor Who. I actually read an obituary for Madoc the other day which snootily said something along the lines of 'Madoc appeared
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Actor James Farentino Dies

  • PEOPLE.com
Actor James Farentino Dies
James Farentino, a handsome, darkly intense actor who also made headlines thanks to his fiery private life, died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital on Tuesday after a lengthy illness, a family spokesman told the Associated Press. He was 73. A "Most Promising Newcomer" Golden Globe winner in 1967, Farentino racked up 100 TV credits, including his 1978 Emmy-nominated Saint Peter on the mini-series Jesus of Nazareth (said to be his favorite role) and recurring roles on Dynasty, Melrose Place, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers and ER, as the estranged father to George Clooney's character. Among his four wives were the actresses Elizabeth Ashley and Michelle Lee,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Walter Seltzer obituary

Shrewd film publicist who later achieved success as a producer

A masochistic Hollywood decree insists that press agents must be depicted on screen as loathsome toadying creatures, and movie moguls as vulgar, mercenary despots. Walter Seltzer, who has died aged 96, was both a press agent and a producer, but he failed to conform to either of the self-perpetuating stereotypes. As a press agent he was persuasive rather than pushy; as a producer, he believed in consensus decision-making.

Undoubtedly his greatest achievement as a press agent was in his promotion of Marty (1955), a gentle, small-scale study of the mundane with no star names. Seltzer believed so much in the Harold Hecht/Burt Lancaster production that the promotional campaign for the film was more expensive than the film itself: $400,000 compared to $343,000. Among Seltzer's tactics was his sending prints of the film to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

DVD Review: "Kona Coast" Starring Richard Boone And Vera Miles

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Warner Archive has released the 1968 thriller Kona Coast, based on the novel Bimini Gal by popular mystery writer John D. MacDonald. The modestly-budgeted production reminds one of John Ford's Donovan's Reef in the sense that one suspects both movies were primarily used as justifications for cast and crew to take a nice vacation in Hawaii. Boone plays Sam Moran, a charter boat captain living the good life in Honolulu, where he routinely indulges in drinking binges and womanizing. When his teenaged daughter falls in with a local high living drug peddler named Kryer (Steve Inhat), she is accidentally given a heroin overdose at a drug-fueled party. Rather than deal with the consequences, Kryer orders her to be murdered. When her body washes ashore, the police think it's a drowning but Sam suspects foul play from the beginning. As he begins his own investigation, he is severely beaten,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

The War Lord | DVD review

Charlton Heston plays a Norman knight in this impressive costume drama set in 11th-century France

Director Franklin J Schaffner (1920-1989) went into TV immediately after service during the second world war with the Us Navy and built a considerable reputation during New York's golden age of live TV drama before turning to the cinema with a succession of intelligent, visually striking pictures. Patton is most famous, but before that he had two happy collaborations with Charlton Heston on Planet of the Apes and the less well-known The War Lord. In the latter, a highly impressive costume drama set in 11th-century France, Heston (right) plays a Norman knight going dangerously astray when assigned to a remote garrison on the fringe of Europe, where Christianity confronts paganism. The literate script is by British novelist John Collier and Millard Kaufman (author of Bad Day at Black Rock), the music is by Jerome Moross
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

John Scalzi - Directors Don't Have to Be Sci-Fi Nuts To Make Great Science Fiction

Certain directors have made themselves right at home in the genre of science fiction -- George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are three directors who come to mind for whom their science fiction films are their cultural calling cards. But scifi flicks aren't only made by specialists -- some of the great films, in fact, are by directors who found their greatest fame outside the genre. Now, not every great director is a great fit for science fiction -- see Robert Altman's Quintet or Stanley Donen's Saturn 3 for evidence of that -- but for the curious, here's a sampling of the ones who were.Franklin J. Schaffner Schaffner won his directing Oscar for Patton and made his technical bones as an innovative television director who brought movie techniques to the small screen in shows like Studio 90. But science fiction fans know him as the director of Planet of the Apes,
See full article at AMC Filmcritic's John Scalzi on Scifi »

John Scalzi - Directors Don't Have to Be Sci-Fi Nuts To Make Great Science Fiction

Certain directors have made themselves right at home in the genre of science fiction -- George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are three directors who come to mind for whom their science fiction films are their cultural calling cards. But scifi flicks aren't only made by specialists -- some of the great films, in fact, are by directors who found their greatest fame outside the genre. Now, not every great director is a great fit for science fiction -- see Robert Altman's Quintet or Stanley Donen's Saturn 3 for evidence of that -- but for the curious, here's a sampling of the ones who were.Franklin J. Schaffner Schaffner won his directing Oscar for Patton and made his technical bones as an innovative television director who brought movie techniques to the small screen in shows like Studio 90. But science fiction fans know him as the director of Planet of the Apes,
See full article at AMC Filmcritic's John Scalzi on Scifi »

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