The Robesonian from Lumberton, North Carolina on February 21, 1974 · Page 12
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The Robesonian from Lumberton, North Carolina · Page 12

Lumberton, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 21, 1974
Page 12
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Page 12--The Robesonian,JLumberton, N.C., Thursday, February 21.1974 Giant Squid, Undersea World Is Disney Saturday Night Flick HOLLYWOOD -- Jules Verne, first of the great, popular, science-fiction writers, startled readers around the world when, in 1870, he published his now famous novel, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." With only a few strokes of his pen, the author plunged his audience into a . strange new craft, the sub\ marine, and into the uncharted new world which lies beneath the surface of the sea: a world of infinite mystery and menace, unearthly beauty and uncounted wealth and treasures. In turn, Verne's most exciting and prophetic stroy was destined to become Walt Disney's greatest screen adventure. Now this outstanding Academy Award-winning film makes its television premiere as a first- run motion picture on "NBC-TVs Saturday Night at the Movies," February 23. It's part of a package of four motion pictures which Disney Studios has sold to NBC-TV for airing durinb the next two years. The classic adventure concerns a reported sea monster which is sinking ships on the high seas in the late 1860's. An expedition is mounted by the U.S. government to hunt the denizen of the deep. Instead of locating a vicious sea beast, a French scientist discovers a submarine, the "Nautilus," powered by an incredible source of energy. Starring in the film are Kirk Douglas as the indomitable harpooner Ned Land, James Mason as the mysterious Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as oceanographic expert Professor Aronnax and Peter Lorre as the professor's servant Conseil. Winner of two Oscars -- Best Achievement With Special Effects and Best Achievement in Art and Set Direction -- the picture is one of superb technical as well as dramatic accomplishments. CAROLINA [NOW Every clue is cold. Every lead is blind. Every suspect is dead. When will the killer strike again... and why are the cops so scared? When will the killer strike again? Fealurei: Wed.-Thur.-Fri. 7:00 9:00 Sat. Sun. 1-3-5-7-9 All Seals SI.50 A YEAR OF HEADACHES Long before the cameras rolled on "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," work began on the motion picture. The biggest single attraction of the film, and the biggest production headache, was the Nautilus itself, completely unlike any submarine -- or any vessel -ever seen anywhere. The problem was simple to state: to design a submarine that would look as if it had been built at a time when submarines were known to be impractical. When Verne wrote his book many men had died trying to perfect a successful underseas craft, and his creation ability preceded the first such vessel fay many years. Just to make things really difficult, Verne had tossed in another hurdle. Captain Nemo did not want his enemies to know they were being attacked by a man-made machine, so he disguised the Nautilus to Look like a monster of the deep. It had, according to Verne a battering ram snout, electric "eyes," a series of metallic ridges along its spine, and an enormous tail. Despite this oddity of overall design, Verne was clever enough to anticipate the diving chamber, double-hull construction, atomic power, electricity, self-contained diving suits -- everything, in fact, except torpedoes and the periscope. Faithful to the book, the main lounge of the Nautilus had to contain a pipe organ, a library, rare paintings, comfortable sofas and chairs, acquariums filled with unsusual fish, and soft carpets. Hundreds upon hundreds of sketches were submitted, rejected, and re-designed. Blueprints were drawn up and a half a dozen scale models, ranging from 18 inches to 22 feet, were constructed before Disney was satisfied that his Nautilus was as practical and identical to Verne's. Meanwhile, a solution had been found to another of the many productions problems. In his book, Verne had claimed that the men of the Nautilus could don diving suits and walk about on the ocean floor without any air hoses or air lines to the submarine or surface. Only one such self-contained suit had ever been tested. The British developed it as an emergency measure, using a chemical re- breathing process, but it was considered so hazardous that it was employed only during wartime on "suicide missions." After months of research Disney's diving and designing experts came up with a practical -suit which met all the requirements outlined by the A TRULY UNIQUE ADULT EXPERIENCE "HOT CONNECTION" (Special CaM) DUE TO THE SUBJECT- MATTER OF THIS MOVIE THERE WILL BE NO ADVERTISING OUTSIDE OF THE THEATRE. PoirtlY»hr N« OM Uriw U AdMfttri. LATE SHOW 11115 SAT. · All Seats $1.25 - NOW Meer SUGAR HILL and her ZOMBIE HIT MEN! "THE HOME OF BETTER PICTURES" SHOWS AT: 3--5 7--9 p.i Devil Woman with Voodoo Powers! , ,...... O,,,,,, i . , _ i » 'SUGAR HILL"*,..TM, MARK! BEY ROBERT QUARRY '-"DON PEDRO COLLEY - · · " · ' * " - " - « - « - · French novelist. Following an established Disney custom, story sketches were made during this pre- production period. These drawings helped all departments to "visualize" the narrative flow of the script. Not only were these pictures an invaluable aid to such obvious factors as costumes, sets, props and makeup, they were extremely useful in determining lighting, camera angles and the dramatic effectiveness of certain individual scenes. Once able to "see" what the finished film would be, it was easy to eliminate expensive experimentation during actual production. More than 1,000 black and white sketches, and nearly 300 full-color drawings were utilized on "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." THE TROUPE GOES UNDERWATER Actual production began on location 3,000 miles from Hollywood in 1953. Surveys had been made from California's Catalina Island to the Caribbean to find exactly the right kind of water. It had to be clear, warm, filled with interesting fish and coral formation, free of silt, mud 'and other haze-forming elements. That part of the Atlantic which washes the beaches around the famed resort town of Nassau, in the Bahamas and Jamaica's Montego Bay, was judged to be perfect. Visibility, even 30 feet down, frequently extended to 200 feet. Here, for eight weeks, a 54- man troupe lived and worked. Their spectacular achievements form many of the most memorable moments in the movie. They proved it was possible to stage intricate scenes underwater with the same care and precision that would be possible on a sound stage. And in one sequence -- where Captain Nemo and the crew of the Nautilus raise a coral cross at the underwater grave of a slain companion -- they set a record by filming the biggest subsurface scene ever attempted. For this one shot, there were 42 men working on the ocean floor: 20 actor-divers in front of the camera; 22 technicians behind it. In this latter group were director Fleischer, cameraman Till Gabbani, prop men, special effects men, camera assistants and water safety personnel. A slow, laborious process at best, making a movie on the floor of the ocean presents four special headaches: 1. You need a perfect combination of three factors before you begin. You must have bright sunlight, clear water and calm water. Two of the three are not sufficient. 2. You are literally "out of your depth." You must wear 'strange apparatus; breathe compressed air; and you suffer from exposure and fatigue. 3. It is virtually impossible to communicate once you are under-water. The troupe invented a series of 12 hand signals which covered such basic things as "Cut," "Action," "Repeat Scene" and "Emergency -- get me out of water," but major alterations were out of the question. 4. Your actual working time is limited. The unit could allow no more than 55 minutes from the time the first man "went on air" on the deck of the LCT until the last man was back aboard the boat. It took ten minutes to lower everyone to the ocean floor and another ten to bring them up. To make certain that the time underwater would be used to the fullest, every scene was first diagrammed on a blackboard! and then rehearsed "dry," either on the camera barge or on land, until cast and crew alike knew each gesture and each step that would be made. The burial sequence, requiring the 42 men in the water simultaneously, took two days to plan, three to shoot. There were plenty of fish in the water but, too often, none in front of the camera. They would become frightened by the commotion and swim away. To insure a supply of fish who would be ready to swim on cue, native fisherman netted thousands which were kept alive in pens. Prop men would transfer them to nets.and release them just out of camera range. The company used 3,000 groupers, 1,000 angel fish, 500 lobsters, !2 sting rays, 6 manta rays, 6 sharks and 15 400- pound turtles. All diving operations were supervised by a former French Olympic team swim star and ex- U.S. Navy master diver, Fred Zendar. TWO TONS OF GIANT SQUID · The action peak of the film comes when the Nautilus is savagely attacked by a giant squid, one of the most awesome and feared monsters of the deep. More than $200,000 and eight grueling shooting days were required to being this thrilling battle to the screen. Weeks of painstaking research and voluminous correspondence with oceanographers and scientists around the world revealed that squids have been known to possess tectacles 90 feet long and weigh in excess of 20 tons. The beast created for the Disney picture is properly malevolent, with eight tentacles measuring 40 feet and two "feelers" of 50 feet. Its sharp, tearing beak is a masterpiece of horror. Weighing two tons,, Disney's squid was an intricate and complex piece of machinery. Constructed of rubber, steel spring, flexible tubing, glass cloth, lucite and plastic, it operated with the precision of a fine watch. Starting fully submerged, it could rear up eight feet out of the water, its tentacles and feelers moving with frightening realism and its head bobbing in any direction while the beak snaps ferociously. It took a staff of 28 men to operate the intricate remote controls. Using hydraulics, electronics and compressed air, they succeeded in giving a lifelike appearance to the squid. Working as much as 50 feet from the set, the crew could whip a tentacle around a struggling Nautilus crewman as easily as a cowboy lassoing a steer. Another 100 backstage workers were on hand to bring this fantastic action sequence to its full' climax. They provided the lightning, rain, turbulent seas and hurricane winds which make the fight so difficult for the Nautilus crew -- and so vividly memorable for TV 1 audiences. "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" was scripted by Earl Felton. Paul Smith composed the movie score and Al Hoffman and Norman Gimbel wrote the song, "A Whale of a Tale," sung by Kirk Douglas. Actress Makes Offer For ABC Movie Of Week LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Actress Connie Stevens has offered to buy an American Broadcasting Corp. Movie of the Week, "The Sex Symbol," following the network's decision not to air it as scheduled on March 5. An ABC spokesman said Monday that the movie, depicting an actress who is driven to drugs and drink, was being withdrawn because it needed more work. Other reports, however, indicated that ABC's decision could have been influenced by Actor Cameron Mitchell Chose Bankruptcy Over Suicide Act By BOB THOMAS . Associated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "I had two choices -- I could swallow a handful of sleeping pills, or I could declare myself bankrupt. My father was a minister, and he didn't believe in suicide. Neither do I. I chose bankruptcy." Actor Cameron Mitchell, 55, was explaining why he was in bankruptcy court for the second time in nine years. This month he declared he had debts of $2.4 million and two bank accounts worth $26. How could it happen? Mitchell has been a well-known and working actor since 1945, when he landed a contract at MGM. He starred as Buck Cannon in "High Chaparral" on television at $6,500 a show; the series earned him an estimated $750,000 in residuals. "The reasons are the same as have happened to other actors over the years," said Mitchell. "Stupid, bad investments. Parasites who live off you. Too much trust in people who handle your money. Most actors are children, really; they have no sense when it comes to money." Left unspoken were major reasons for his money troubles: two costly divorces. Mitchell was here to face his financial crisis and to appear in a television movie for NBC, "The Girl on the Late, Late Show." He now makes his home in Darlington, S.C., with his third' wife, the former Margaret Mozingo. Mitchell said he fell in love with her and the Southern pace of living while making a film with Hurt Lancaster in Florence, S.C., last year. The actor said his current troubles stem from a dispute with an Italian producer over an unfinished film, "Massacre." Mitchell lived in Italy from 1959 to 1965 and made 40 films -- "Few of them have reached this country, thank God." "Iknow how Italian producers operate," he said. "They get an American actor in a nonunion picture and thentry to finish it without paying all of his salary. "With two weeks to go, the producer owed me $40,000. He kept putting me off, and my agent advised me to get the money or quit. Then I was in a minor car accident, and I decided to walk off the picture. political overtones raised by scenes in the film recounting a romance between the actress and a U.S. senator. Miss Stevens said: "I thought it (the movie) was ready and I waited a long time for this. It's the finest thing I have ever done." Interviewed by phone, Mise Stevens, who is currently appearing in Lake Tahoe, Nev., said she had heard the film would not be aired for at least a year. "If it's a year, I'd like to buy it myself," she commented. One reason for Miss Stevens' disappointment was said to be that if the film is not aired by March 16, she would not be eligible for an Emmy nomination. Now he's suing me for a million dollars. Faced with this and other possible law suits, Mitchell chose bankruptcy. "It was embarrassing to sit down and fill out the forms for four hours with a stub of a pencil, along with others who were doing the same thing," he said. "It's also embarrassing to meet people and wonder, 'Do they know?' And if they do, 'What are they thinking?' I would much rather have people make jokes about it than remain silent." Besides his bankruptcy, Mitchell said he has problems with the Internal Revenue Service. "They tell me I earned as much as $400,000 last year," he said. "I honestly don't know. I said, 'You tell me what I made and what I'm supposed to do about it.'" Just when his fortunes seemed at their lowest, Mitchell landed his best role in years. He will play the heavy in "The Klansman," a story of bigotry in a small Southern town. The stars are Lee Marvin and Richard Burton. "When I heard the news," said Mitchell, "I got down on my knees -- literally -- and thanked God. I never thought at my age I'd have another chance." He has had to change his lifestyle. He used to own Cadillac El Dorados and Lincoln Continentals; now he rents a Pinto. But he refuses to be discouraged. "I've got my health, and I'm not too senile yet," he remarked. "I may have lost a little virility, but not much. As long as you've got your health, you're rich." Remember: there are babes in the woods. FILM RATING GUIDE For Parents and Their Children . G PG Sw MthfW Ifcj M It R Nmtcnk · HO OM HUM H.AMMTIB advertising contributed for the public good PLUS CARTOON PRESENTS: WOODY ALLEN'S F E B R U A R Y 2 1 2 2 JOE R MOORE AUDITORIUM T I C K E T S A T DOOR [6:30-8:30 "R" "ASH WEDNESDAY" Last Times Toda )FGOD "R" .Z-9 "IF YOU HAVEN'T SLEN THIS KIND OF ACTION FILM AFFORD TO MISS THIS ONE! EVEN IF YOU'VE SEEN THE OTHERS, YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO SEE THE BEST!" Bill Browned. The Evening Port SUPER COOL SUPER QUICK SUPER DEADIY "ONE OF 'THE FIVE BEST PICTURES OF THE YEAR!" R Friday 7-9 Sat. ft Sun. S-7- IOOLER THAN BOND! _ QUICKER THAN FLY! - DEADLIER THAN SHAFT! HIS LETHAL BODY, A MASTERPIECE IN MOTION T~ J- Ryan Tatum O'Neal O'Neal! "PAPER MOON" PG WE'REjl ICrnmrv ~Frl. 6:30-8;30' . Sat. Sun. -J

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