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The Osterman Weekend (1983) Poster

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Director Sam Peckinpah was in ill-health throughout the shoot. The long-term toll of his drug and alcohol abuse suggested to many in the production that he was dying. Peckinpah would go off and take opportune naps, but still completed and delivered his initial cut of this movie on time, despite sickness and exhaustion.
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Several cast members who worked on this movie, such as Sir John Hurt, Dennis Hopper, and Burt Lancaster, took lower salaries, so they could work with legendary Director Sam Peckinpah.
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Sam Peckinpah was fired when he refused to re-edit this movie after it was screened for a test audience on May 25, 1983, and met with a confused and mixed reaction. Producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer took over editing, with the assistance of Editor Edward M. Abroms, and drastically altered the opening and ending sequences.
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Composer Lalo Schifrin had to sit by Director Sam Peckinpah's sick bed in order to spot the movie and decide which scenes did or did not need music.
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According to Jason Robards, Jr., Robert Ludlum offered to re-write the overly complex and confusing script for free, but differences between the producers and Sam Peckinpah, who'd expressed his concern from the beginning, prevented this from happening.
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This movie marked some story element similarities with Director Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs (1971). Peckinpah once said: "Same thing. Here we have a dead dog in the refrigerator, in Straw Dogs (1971) there was a dead cat in the closet. Both involve a house under siege."
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A clip, which was shown to a test audience, is now available on the Anchor Bay DVD release. Several people walked out of the test screening, due to the infamous opening sex scene between Fassett (Sir John Hurt) and his wife. The producers wanted Director Sam Peckinpah to cut the scene out. When he refused, he was fired. Deleted scenes on this DVD include: 1) The sex scene is extended, and shot more wobbly, to express how Fassett's breaking point for revenge had occurred. 2) A deleted scene of Osterman and Joe talking on the phone about their deal. 3) An extended scene of Virginia flirting with Dick on the phone. 4) There a deleted scene of John Tanner of having an affair with his Director, Marcia, and wakes up to find her dead. 5) The scene where Tanner and guest are arguing by the dinner table. In the theatrical cut, Fassett switches on a Swiss ad. In the Peckinpah cut, he has a big image of Danforth. 6) Alterative ending is juxtapositioned between Tanner searching for his family, and the television studio.
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The mustache that Craig T. Nelson wears throughout this movie is glued on. Sam Peckinpah apparently hated it, and would rib Nelson constantly about it during the shoot.
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According to the documentary Alpha to Omega: Exposing 'The Osterman Weekend' (2004), Sam Peckinpah hated Robert Ludlum's novel, and he did not like the screenplay for the movie either. But regardless of his dislike for the book, Peckinpah still accepted the director's job, as he was desperate to re-establish his legendary director position within the Hollywood film community.
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According to "The Espionage Filmography", "(Sam) Peckinpah claimed the film was botched in the final edit." In the February 1984 edition of Photoplay (U.K.), Director Sam Peckinpah said he was happy with the final cut, despite six minutes of scenes with humor being cut out, which he said balanced the violence. According to wikipedia.com, "The producers changed the opening sequence, and deleted other scenes they deemed unnecessary. (Sam) Peckinpah proclaimed that producers had once again sabotaged his film, a complaint he made after filming Major Dundee (1965) and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973). He was less vocal this time, mindful that studios and producers were keeping an eye on his behavior."
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No damage, special effects, or action work was meant to be done at Robert Taylor's former ranch residence, the filming location for the house seen in the movie. But the production just went ahead, and shot out windows, conducted a poolside shoot-out, and damaged the swimming pool.
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Director Sam Peckinpah apparently put as much of Alexander Haig into Burt Lancaster's character Maxwell Danforth as he dared he could.
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First feature film adaptation of a Robert Ludlum novel. It was the second Ludlum adaption overall for any filmed production, as The Rhinemann Exchange (1977) had been made-for-television. This movie was the first of three 1980s movies based on Ludlum novels. The others being The Holcroft Covenant (1985) and The Bourne Identity (1988).
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Chris Sarandon's wife was pregnant throughout the filming of this movie. He said that the added tension provided his character with a little more depth. His wife gave birth shortly after filming wrapped.
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Meg Foster hit Helen Shaver hard by accident in one scene, and welted her, connecting with her jaw and hitting her. Shaver then got up, and the two then did another take.
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Director Don Siegel, long time friend, and mentor to Sam Peckinpah, recommended Lalo Schifrin as the composer. Schifrin had scored five of Siegel's movies.
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Final movie of Sam Peckinpah. It was also Peckinpah's big "comeback movie". It was his first in five years, his last movie having been, at the time, Convoy (1978). This movie is also Peckinpah's only feature film of the 1980s.
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Before filming began, Sam Peckinpah insisted that he use actors and actresses that he worked with previously, such as James Coburn. Producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer balked at the idea, and Peckinpah finally agreed to the cast that was chosen.
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This movie was released eleven years after its source novel of the same name, by Robert Ludlum, was published.
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One of a few movies where Sam Peckinpah was fired during post-production. The others being Convoy (1978) and Ride the High Country (1962).
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The code names of John Tanner (Rutger Hauer) and Maxwell Danforth (Burt Lancaster) were "Cloak" and "Dagger", respectively.
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The setting of the novel was changed from New Jersey to California for this movie.
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The production shoot ran for fifty-four days.
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Sam Peckinpah asked the producers to do re-write work on the script, and was given permission to do so, but after submission of his first few pages, the producers relented, and forbade Peckinpah from doing any more re-writes.
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This movie was shot during November and December 1982 and January 1983.
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Craig T. Nelson was relatively unknown at the time, and felt uncomfortable at early read-throughs with Sir John Hurt and Rutger Hauer, due to the large amount of dialogue he had.
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A feature-length documentary, Alpha to Omega: Exposing 'The Osterman Weekend' (2004), about the making of this movie, was made for the Commemorative Edition two-disc DVD release.
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According to the December 30th edition of "The Gettysburg Times", Producer William N. Panzer acquired the Ludlum property with partner Peter S. Davis "after a chance encounter with the previous owner of the screen rights." The movie's budget "was raised by selling foreign, home video, and pay television rights, with an assist from private investors." Panzer said: "Sam's name was a big help in selling the foreign rights. He's even more known abroad than he is here."
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The last actress and actor cast for this movie were Sam Peckinpah regulars, Cassie Yates and Dennis Hopper.
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Final of two movies that Cassie Yates made with Sam Peckinpah, the first being Convoy (1978).
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This was the second movie in the spy and espionage genre that Sam Peckinpah directed. The first had been The Killer Elite (1975).
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This movie featured the first major American character in a Hollywood movie played by Dutch actor Rutger Hauer.
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This movie is dedicated to actor Helmut Dantine.
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According to the February 1984 edition of Photoplay (U.K.), after this movie, Director Sam Peckinpah intended to make a western as his next movie.
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Meg Foster and her son Christopher Starr appeared in this movie playing mother and son Ali Tanner and Steve Tanner, respectively, Rutger Hauer's John Tanner, being her husband, and his father. To date (April 2019), this is the only movie credit for Starr. Sam Peckinpah had previously directed his father Ron Starr in Ride the High Country (1962).
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The Finnish title of this movie is "Verinen Viikonloppu", which means "Bloody Weekend" in English.
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The main poster featured a female archer with a bow and arrow, and was a similar image to what had appeared on the cover of some editions of the dust jackets of the novel.
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The movie's signature house setting was a 1950s ranch located in upper Mandeville Canyon, in the Hollywood Hills. It was a property once owned by Robert Taylor, and has frequently been known by the names "The Taylor Estate" and "Robert Taylor Ranch".
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The movie's video sequences caused several problems for the production. The story calls for scenes with the actors and actresses watching various television screens. Problems arose in capturing the video images for film.
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Larry Jones sold the movie rights to the novel to Producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer, due to dissatisfaction in being able to have a suitable screenplay developed. In the book "Bloody Sam" (1991) by Marshall Fine, Screenwriter Alan Sharp said that he didn't like his own script for this movie, and thought it incredible that the producers used his draft for filming. The producers bought the movie rights, due to the marquee value of the project, that they thought would elevate them out of making B-movies.
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According to David Weddle's book on Peckinpah, "If They Move, Kill 'Em", despite the extensive surveillance sequences, and Director Sam Peckinpah's declining health, this movie wrapped production on January 17, 1983, on time and on budget.
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A long time in development, Dalton Trumbo had written a screenplay for Producer George Litto in the early 1970s.
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This was the first Robert Ludlum novel to hit the big screen. Sir Lew Grade had announced "The Scarlatti Inheritance" to star Ingrid Bergman, and "The Gemini Contenders" at the Cannes Film Festival several times during the late 1970s, but a string of flops led to the demise of his brief filmmaking empire.
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In his diary, Charlton Heston wrote that he was offered the script in the early 1970s.
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One of two 1983 Hollywood movies involving friends spending a weekend together. The other being The Big Chill (1983).
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Burt Lancaster and Craig T. Nelson were very keen and excited about doing the movie, and working with Sam Peckinpah.
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Horror filmmaker William Castle was the first owner of the movie rights to the novel. Castle asked Robert Ludlum to write the screenplay, but he was reluctant, and declined. Castle once said: "I didn't leave that crowd of ocelots to go back into it."
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This movie was based on Robert Ludlum's shortest novel.
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Sam Peckinpah nicknamed Craig T. Nelson "Fish" because he had to stay underwater a lot in the nighttime swimming pool shoot-out sequence.
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This was the first movie in two consecutive years where Sir John Hurt starred in a surveillance movie. Hurt appeared in George Orwell's 1984 (1984).
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Cameo 

Buddy Joe Hooker: The stuntman as a kidnapper.
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