A rare sighting of the elusive Bob Gardiner, seen here loping up to the podium to receive his 1975 Oscar for Closed Mondays. I hadn’t realized that George Lucas based the character of Chewbacca, the Wookiee on this Oregon animator, until I saw this footage.
The post brought to you by the Oregon Cartoon Insitute.
Tags: Bob Gardiner·Chewbacca·Closed Mondays·George Lucas
This post brought to you by the Oregon Cartoon Institute.
Tags: Will Vinton
A drunk wanders into the Portland Art Museum. The envelope, please.
Closed Mondays won the Oscar for “Best Short Film, Animated” in 1975. It was the first film of Portland animators Bob Gardiner and Will Vinton.
I hereby claim Closed Mondays as an Oregon film.
This post brought to you by the Oregon Cartoon Institute.
Tags: Bob Gardiner·Closed Mondays·Will Vinton
Right on the heels of mega-turkey Lost Horizon comes this overproduced, lovingly hand composited Disney fantasy about Victorian explorers who discover a lost tribe of Vikings hidden in a warm green paradise at the North Pole. Partially shot in Redmond, Oregon, this film is barely watchable for people who like story, and endlessly fascinating for people who like to see special effects and Vikings.
No expense was spared. Norwegian actors (ie real Vikings) were flown here to play the lost tribe.
Here’s the villain:
Here’s the girl:
Here’s the real hero:
I can’t recommend Island At The Top of the World, but I can claim it as an Oregon film, on the basis of the location shooting.
Tags: Island At The Top Of The World·Robert Stevenson
March 2nd, 2009 by Anne Richardson · Side Notes, Videos
Tags: Lost Horizon (1937)
“In a cloudless sky before me rose the peerless pyramid of Jambeyang, the finest mountain my eyes ever beheld.” So says Hugh Conway, the British diplomat in James Hilton’s novel who comes to Shangri La against his will to serve as its ruler.
Frank Capra adapted Hilton’s best seller in 1937. The 1973 musical remake of Capra’s film is one of Hollywood’s most infamous turkeys. As you can see above, the “peerless pyramid of Jambeyang” is played in the musical version by Mt. Hood. The rest of the mess is the responsibility of director Charles Jarrett (Anne of a Thousand Days), writer Larry Kramer, composer Bert Bacharach, and choreographer Hermes Pan. Peter Finch and Michael York star as the two brothers who stumble into paradise, where they meet John Gielgud and Charles Boyer, and fall in love with Liv Ullman and Olivia Hussey. George Kennedy, Sally Kellerman and Bobby Van round out the cast.
Even people who enjoy bad movies have trouble with Lost Horizon, which received the nickname Lost Investment in Hollywood. An example of the whole being much, much less than the sum of its parts.
But Mt. Hood did its job well. I hereby claim Lost Horizon (1973) as an Oregon film, on the basis of the location shooting of establishing shots. Oregon provides the snowy mountains which ring the studio backlot where this hapless group of A list actors struggled through the dubbed musical numbers which seem to be a way of life in the fabulous lost kingdom of Shangri La.
Tags: Bert Bacharach·Bobby Van·Charles Boyer·Charles Jarrett·George Kennedy·Hermes Pan·John Gielgud·Larry Kramer·Live Ullman·Lost Horizon (1973)·Michael York·Mt. Hood·Olivia Hussey·Peter Finch·Sally Kellerman
March 1st, 2009 by Anne Richardson · Oregon filmmaker
From R. J.Thompson’s assessment Robert Aldrich: an independent career
In the late 1960s, I saw what I remember as a 70mm print of The Dirty Dozen (USA 1967) in a big Chicago first-run house, but what was most important was hearing it. For the first time, I could hear different levels and layers of the soundtrack or what we now call sound design. Of course, I knew about sound mixing and music/dialogue/effects as separate tracks, but this was my discovery experience of the manipulation of levels, volumes, registers, and apparent spatial relationships. None of this seems to survive in current videotapes, 16mm prints, or television screenings. And of course, being Aldrich, and worse, being Aldrich making a naughty boys film, the first thing that called attention to the sophisitication of Claude Hitchcock and Franklin Milton’s sound work was an ensemble dialogue scene in which, behind the principle dialogue, one could just hear, if one tried hard, John Cassavetes’ Franko character muttering obscenities.
Robert Aldrich came to Oregon to make Emperor of the North Pole in 1973.
Tags: Claude Hitchcock·Emperor of the North Pole·Franklin Milton·John Cassavetes·Robert Aldrich
Boxcar madness! Like all of Robert Aldrich’s films (The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane), the Emperor of the North Pole comes at you with a knife.
Shot in Southern Oregon, Emperor of the North Pole features a fight to the finish between Dirty Dozen alumni Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. Add Keith Carradine, an uncredited Jack London short story and several steam powered locomotives, and what you’ve got is Hell In The Pacific on wheels, with a much larger cast, and lots of gore.
Marvin wants to get to Portland. Borgnine wants to stop him. For some viewers, Borgnine steals the show, (one IMDB comment crows, He’s like a violent gorilla in a conductor suit!) Anyone who has seen Lee Marvin in action knows the size of that achievement.
I hereby accept without challenge the traditional classification of Emperor of the North Pole, shot in Cottage Grove, as an Oregon film.
Tags: Emperor of the North Pole·Ernest Borgnine·Jack London·Keith Carradine·Lee Marvin·Robert Aldrich
The 1956 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC. Sharp eyes will notice the Astor Hotel, built by the same family who named Astoria, Oregon.
Bend Of the River 1952 (Anthony Mann, Jimmy Stewart)
The Lusty Men 1952 (Nicholas Ray, Robert Mitchum)
Indian Fighter 1955 (Michael Douglas)
Tonka 1958 (Sal Mineo)
There’s No Business Like Show Business 1954 (Johnnie Ray)
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 1954 (Jane Powell)
The Incredible Shrinking Man 1957 (Ellis Carter)
What’s Opera, Doc? 1957 (Mel Blanc)
Perri 1957 (Ralph Wright)
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad 1958 (Ken Kolb)
Sleeping Beauty 1959 (George Bruns)
Tags: Astor Hotel·Bend Of The River·Doc·Indian Fighter·Perri·Seven Brides For Seven Brothers·Sleeping Beauty·The Incredible Shrinking Man·The Lusty Men·The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad·There's No Business Like show Business·Tonka·What's Opera