Category Archives: Charlton Heston

Blu-ray News #57: Airport, The Complete Collection (1970-1979).

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Universal has always been big on “franchises,” from the Universal Monsters and Ma And Pa Kettle to Back To The Future and Tremors.

Certainly one of their biggest would have to be the Airport pictures. And while they’re a cases study in the Law Of Diminishing Returns, there’s still something about them, something we can all own on Blu-ray in June.

Airport (1970)
Directed by George Seaton
Starring Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy, Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, Maureen Stapleton, Barry Nelson

Van Heflin (in his last movie) blows a hole in Dean Martin’s plane. Shot in 70mm Todd-AO by Ernest Laszlo, it was a massive success — and kick-started the disaster movie craze of the 70s. Note the Easter ad for Radio City Music Hall.

Airport ’75 (1974)
Directed by Jack Smight
Starring Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Helen Reddy, Gloria Swanson, Linda Blair

A small plane runs into the cockpit of a 747, leaving no one to fly the plane. It seems to be the movie most parodied in Airplane! (1980).

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Airport ’77 (1977)
Directed by Jarry Jameson
Starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, James Stewart, George Kennedy, Brenda Vaccaro, Christopher Lee, Joseph Cotton

A hijacked 747 crashes and sinks in the Bermuda Triangle.

The Concorde: Airport ’79 (1979)
Directed by David Lowell Rich
Starring Alain Delon, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner, Sylvia Kristal, George Kennedy, Eddie Albert, Charo, John Davidson

Where the previous pictures had the likes of Helen Hayes, James Stewart, Gloria Swanson and Joseph Cotton in supporting roles, here we have Charo and Sybil Danning. It plays like a TV movie, and a bad one at that.

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Filed under 1970, 1974, 1977, 1979, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Dean Martin, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Lemmon, Universal (-International)

The Jack Webb Blogathon: Dispatch.

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Welcome to Dispatch for The Jack Webb Blogathon. Here, you’ll find links to all the posts going up over the weekend in celebration of Jack Webb’s huge, and hugely influential, body of work.

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Day Three. October 19.
It was warm in Los Angeles.

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Behind The Badge

The Hannibal 8

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The D.I.
(1957)

Rupert Pupkin Speaks

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Halls Of Montezuma
(1950)

The Pacific Edible Seaweed Co.

 

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Appointment With Danger
(1951)

Speakeasy

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Day Two. October 18.
It was cloudy in Los Angeles.

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Dragnet (1954, feature)

The Hannibal 8

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– 30 –
(1959)

Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot

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Dragnet
(1954, feature)

Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings

Wes Fix
Dragnet: “Frauds DR-36”
Everybody Nods: The Dragnet Style Files

 

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He Walked By Night (1949)
Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear

____________________
Day One. October 17.
It was sunny in Los Angeles.

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Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955, feature)
Caftan Woman

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Dragnet 1969
: “Narcotics DR-21”

The Hannibal 8 (Guest blogger: Presley Roan)

 

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Dragnet (1966 TV movie)

The Pacific Edible Seaweed Co.

 

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Pete Kelly’s Blues
(radio)

Once Upon A Screen

 

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Dark City
(1950)

Vienna’s Classic Hollywood

 

The DI HS
The D.I. (1957)
Crítica Retrô

 

Big Rod title from Hot Rod
Dragnet: “The Big Rod” (1954)
The Hannibal 8

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Filed under 1954, 1955, 1966, 1969, Blogathon, Charlton Heston, Harry Morgan, Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Lee Marvin, MeTV, Shout/Scream Factory, Television

Making Movies: Touch Of Evil (1958).

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Orson Welles’ Touch Of Evil (1958) is unlike any film I’ve ever seen. It’s highbrow and lowbrow at the same time, as Welles put his masterful cinematic stamp on a most lurid story. To me, it’s a true masterpiece, an incredible stylistic exercise, while a friend called it the skankiest movie they’d ever seen. Maybe we’re both right.

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Here’s Welles with cinematographer Russell Metty and Charlton Heston.

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Valentin De Vargas (back to camera) with Welles on the set. Though most of credits are in TV, De Vargas worked for three of my favorite directors: Welles, Howard Hawks (Hatari!, 1962) and William Friedkin (To Live And Die In L.A., 1985).

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Here’s Welles with Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh. Note the sling: Leigh broke her arm a week before rehearsals. In the finished film, her arm is obscured by sweaters and other things quite a bit.

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This shows us of what Welles looked like during production. It’s easy to imagine him being as big and slovenly as Hank Quinlan. This was just 17 years after Welles the wunderkind made Citizen Kane (1941). Wish I could’ve found a shot of Dennis Weaver between takes.

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How cool is this? Color! Welles is directing the opening single-shot bomb-in-the-car sequence. That crane’s about to get a real workout.

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Filed under Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Making Movies, Orson Welles