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Rob Cohen and screenwriter Ezra Sacks actually attended Harvard. After the film crew was barred from filming in Harvard Yard, Cohen found ways to sneak his crew in to get the remaining shots they needed. See more »
Students are seen dancing to the Rolling Stones record "Street Fighting Man" moments after President Lyndon Johnson's television address in which he announced he was not running for reelection. However, that speech was delivered on the last day of March 1968, while the song had not even been recorded yet and was not released until the last day of August 1968. See more »
I didn't live the real events, I lived part of the film
This film, and the principal people involved with it, have long held a special place in my life as I was an extra during the riot scene at "Harvard"(nee Bridgewater State College). While I don't have a truly memorable role in the finished film(although many close friends of mine do and were featured on two of the lobby cards from the film), I am part of the cluster of people on the main building's upper balcony(a most unsafe act as that creaky and once condemned balcony held about 15 of us at one point). Shooting went from 6 PM until 6 AM on a very rainy evening. All the rioters, with the exception of the principal actors, were student extras who raided their older sibling's closet to get the historical costumes. Real Boston MDC riot police were used, some of whom had been at the riots in the 60's. First take was particularly chaotic and bloody as students fought with the police who, acting upon instinct, violently did the same. Being part of the student press covering the event(with a story which, based on our notes, was picked up by AP), I got the opportunity to meet and greet the stars shortly before nationwide opening of the film. Filmed opened on a Wednesday and closed the following Tuesday. A great financial disappointment which truly hurt a burgeoning career for Cohen. Other brief notes: there are two familiar Steinman thematics running throughout the film. The first did become TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART while the second became a #1 hit for Air Supply, MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL. The reason that the film ended up at BSC did have to do with Harvard's exam schedule. As it turned out, this was the final scene in the film to be shot, leading studio execs to frantically find a suitable location in order to stay on shooting schedule and budget. Also, the "paddy wagon" seen rocking during the sequence(and featured prominently on one of the lobby cards) was actually rolled over onto it's roof during the first take. The student riding the vehicle is William Hoffman. Truly looking forward to seeing the DVD(first time the film, long out of print on VHS, will be in widescreen) and hearing Cohen's commentary on the while experience.
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