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A group of people converge on a barren Arctic island. They have their reasons for being there but when a series of mysterious accidents and murders take place, a whole lot of darker motives become apparent. Could the fortune in buried Nazi gold be the key to the mystery? Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave investigate. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
An announcement at the very end of the closing credits reads "Coming Soon -Alistair MacLean's (sic) Goodbye California". Bear Island (1979) was intended as the first in a series of Alistair MacLean adaptations which would have included "El Dorado", "Athabasca", "Night Without End", and "The Way to Dusty Death". The very next intended film in the series, "Goodbye, California", was to be shot with a budget of around $12-13 million. However, due to Bear Island (1979)'s disappointing box office performance, "Goodbye, California" and the others were never filmed by producer Peter Snell who had bought the rights to a number of MacLean works in 1975 including ones at the time that had not even been published or written yet. Snell however did get The Hostage Tower (1980) and Detonator II: Night Watch (1995) made for television. See more »
When everyone is outside after the generator explosion it is blowing a blizzard, but the flames are rising vertically with minimal wind disturbance rather than being virtually horizontal, revealing that wind machines are being used just on the area where the actors are. See more »
"Coming soon: Alistair MacLean's Goodbye California" See more »
Miserable film version of MacLean's excellent novel
I wish the people who keep butchering excellent Alistair MacLean books would clear off and stop ruining this great author's works by transforming them into crummy movies. This is a truly dire version of one of his best books ever. It sticks to the plot in loose terms, but alters the characters beyond recognition and even substitues a gold hunting element to the plot to explain why they're all on this desolate island in the first place, when in the book there was a perfectly good explanation for it anyway. Donald Sutherland looks bored, Vanessa Redgrave looks miscast, Christopher Lee gets killed in the middle and looks glad to get out of it early, and Lloyd Bridges wears a smirk that suggests his agent told him it was a comedy. Even the other actors, such as the talented Barbara Parkins, seem unenthused by the whole project. What they needed to do here was to stick more rigidly to the story in the actual book and to get a cast who were actually interested in what they were doing. This is a travesty. Only River of Death beats it as the worst ever film version of a MacLean book.
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