I was barely out of my teens when I visited the set to see my father, Glenn Kirkpatrick, who was camera assistant, and his friend, Charlie O'Rork (camera operator). They had shot one of producer John Hugh's earlier films, "Yellowneck".
I was looking for the working title, "The Cry of the Laughing Owls", then remembered it was released as "Johnny Tiger".
I remember being impressed with the power of the very presence of Robert Taylor. I saw a scene where Gereldine Brooks finished a scene with Taylor in bed (both were fully clothed) and was struck by the intimacy of that simple scene.
I though that Tay Garnet started directing the film and was replaced by Paul Wendkos, but that was a long time ago. I distinctly remember Wendkos getting very upset by the frequent clouds that passed in front of the sun, which would change the lighting in the midst of filming. He began exclaiming "FLORIDA!" as if it were spelled with four letters.
I remember the director ordered the set crew to "age" the beautiful little schoolhouse exterior to look broken down. He wanted the actors to develop and internalize the changes that take place in Johnny Tiger and the community.
Probably the most memorable moments off screen were those created by Chad Everett, who, in full Indian make up and attire ate his lunch off a buck knife. Little boys, who were dressed as little Seminole Indians, sat awe-struck at his feet.
Unfortunately I've never seen the final film.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?