4/6/16

DAD TRIBUTE PT. 3: 'JENNIE LOGAN'



Above is a rather perfunctory trailer for an MOW my father adapted and directed in 1979 called "The Two Worlds Of Jennie Logan" (the whole movie is posted below). It starred Lindsey Wagner as a woman who goes back in time and...well, watch the goddam trailer and you'll figure it out. I remember being on the set a few times and meeting the DP whose name was Al Francis. This was significant to me since I was already a movie geek and had learned that when Francis was a young man he'd been a camera assistant on 'Casablanca'.

I've often thought of which movie sets--given the possibility of time travel--would be the ones I'd want to go back and visit. Obviously 'Citizen Kane'. Possibly 'Shane'--specifically for the fight scene, just to see exactly how long George Stevens spent shooting all that stuff (has to have been a week, probably two?). One of the Von Sternberg/Dietrichs would make an interesting visit and who could resist a visit to a Laurel and Hardy set? (Stan was quite the man in charge of those shorts so it would be interesting to see the contrast of the on-camera comic artist with the behind the scenes ass-kicker that he apparently was). The 'Casablanca' set ranks way up there as well. The film was famously chaotic in its making, with alternate versions of scenes being filmed due to nobody being sure how the story would end and neither Bogart nor Bergman having any confidence whatsoever in what was going on. Anyway, the fourteen year old Raymond De Felitta went up to the crusty old cameraman who'd actually been there and here was our exchange:

Raymond: Hi Mr. Francis. My father said you worked on 'Casablanca'.
Al Francis: Yep.
(pause)
Raymond: What was that like?
Al Francis: Wasn't anything special.
(pause)
Raymond: What was the director Michael Curtiz like?
(pause--Francis scowls)
Al Francis: He was a son of a bitch.
(he walks away).





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7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Raymond,

    I'm so sad to learn of your father's passing. I remember him busting up over Bimbo Franklin's love of lasagna in our first Jack Barton Show. I think he was making spaghetti.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

    Brian

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  3. It's nice to hear from you Brian. Thanks so much for the condolences. You'll have to remind me of 'Bimbo' though of course I remember the show.

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  4. This is definitely a directors movie, I thought i enjoyed the other one.
    This was spectacular What a treat to not see tons of hand held camera work bouncing all over the place. The filming was exciting The acting superb. Lindsay Wagner I fell in love with her just watching this film. Your dad probably did also. Seeing her through a lens bello,bello, This is a must see if anyone is on this blog. If you have the dailys of this film you would be lucky. You probably do not. I found this story and film very exciting and the ending . Oh boy I can not say enough,

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  5. I had a classmate named Ben whom we all called Bimbo--nice guy. No idea why. So when we did the show we called Ben Franklin Bimbo. We were just getting into Python. Perfect for me--I am a natural with non sequiturs.

    Speaking of which, I finally saw Rob the Mob. Great movie. I didn't know the story, so every scene was surprise. Every character had a lot of warmth and charm.

    I'm so glad you and Andy Garcia work together. City Island was good, too.

    I hope your mom and sister are okay, too. It was a long time ago, but it feels like yesterday. Good times.

    Take good care,

    Brian

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  6. Gotta say: Loved your Hitchcockesque (plus dialogue) cameo in Rob the Mob.

    Hehehe.

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  7. Hi, Raymond.

    Sad to hear of your mom's passing last November, too.

    I hope you're well.

    Brian

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