Here are some behind-the -scenes shots of the terrific model work for The Poseidon Adventure (1972).
Getting ready for the wave to tip over the model ship.
What it looks like in the finished film.
A diver works on the model, post-wave.
It’d been years since I’d seen it, and my entire family watched it the other night. It holds up well — the movie, not the ship. One of the things that really makes the movie work, aside from performances that help us get past the soap-opera first couple reels, are the incredible upside-down sets. They sent me looking for some making-of images immediately, but about all I found were these model images.
I’ve always loved Bonnie And Clyde (1967) — and always been fascinated by how it all came about.
Here’s Arthur Penn, Gene Hackman and Warren Beatty — obviously shooting the scene where Buck Barrow gets shot.
This one spares me the trouble of writing anything.
This is the scene where Bonnie and Clyde meet C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard).
The real Bonnie and Clyde robbed the bank in Ponder, Texas. The Ranchman Cafe ran this ad after the movie people came to town. The cafe is still there — and they claim John Wayne ate there, too.
One of the great achievements of Bonnie And Clyde, as I see it, is how well it captures the rural Texas way of life. My grandparents lived in Strawn — not far from the National Guard Armory in Ranger, robbed by Bonnie and Clyde. Aside from all the shooting, the movie feels a lot like my summer visits to towns like Strawn, Breckenridge and Albany.
It (and The Beverly Hillbillies) also introduced me to bluegrass.
I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of A Bridge Too Far (1977) here in Raleigh, North Carolina, when it first opened. I was 13. The guy James Caan played, Staff Sergeant Dohun, was there — and he was not happy that Caan dropped an F Bomb in one scene.
Plastic commandoes ready to litter the bridge.
Watching and waiting — something that happened in both 1944 and 1977.
(Sir) Michael Caine (as John Ormsby Evelyn ‘JOE’ Vandeleur) and director (Sir) Richard Attenborough.
Shooting the harrowing sequence where Robert Redford (as Major Julian Cook) and his men cross the river in flimsy assault boats. “Hail Mary, full of grace…”
I’ve always had a soft spot for A Bridge Too Far. It’s one of the last truly epic war movies, with a few jaw-dropping scenes here and there. And it was a huge moviegoing experience for me. Cornelius Ryan’s book is terrific, too.
Clint Eastwood has always been very good about giving credit to Don Siegel for mentoring him. Coogan’s Bluff (1968) was their first film together. They made four more: Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970), The Beguiled (1971), Dirty Harry (1971) and Escape From Alcatraz (1979).
Obviously, Eastwood got some hands-on training along the way. Here he’s operating the camera during the fight in the pool hall.
That’s Don Stroud on the right. As always, he’s the bad guy.
It all ends with a great motorcycle chase, with Eastwood riding a Triumph Bonneville.
Getting an insert shot over Stroud’s shoulder.
I have a real soft spot for Coogan’s Bluff. There’s something about Siegel’s films from the 60s and into the 70s that I love.
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.
Here’s Welles with cinematographer Russell Metty and Charlton Heston.
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).
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.
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.
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.