The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on December 16, 1979 · 245
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 245

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 16, 1979
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I-.. -:ri- : " - DAR & GRILL OF PUERTO VALLARTA Fabulous Saturday & Sunday Brunches from $3 A GIANT SPACE STATION ORBITS THE BLACK HOLE MOVIES Joseph Bottoms in a lead role 'The Black Hole First Disney Movie Without a G Rating By John Stanley "Do I know what a black hole b? Sure, I know what a black bole is. It's the graveyard of a star. See, a star burns up and implodes. Then crazy things happen inside, but what crazy things I dont know. The reason I know all this, I read it in Omni magazine" Joseph Bottoms, star of Walt Disney's The Black Hole." f fHEN RON MILLER, Walt Disney's son-in-law, was V if appointed the studio's executive vice president in charge of production in 1976, he realized that Disney pictures had limited appeal. Sure, the moppets were flocking to see "Escape from Witch Mountain" and "The Apple Dumpling Gang," but there was a vast audience of movie-goers 13 to 30 who were not Yet these were the faithful cinema lovers who were rushing to see "Star Wars" over and over again. Maybe, Miller decided, it was time to expand the Disney horizons. What Miller had in mind was to encompass the Universe. His dream was a science-fiction extravaganza that would blend the episodic action and stunning visual splendors of "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." (During his pre-production, "Star Trek The Motion Picture" was still in a state of uncertain flux.) Miller hired Peter Ellenshaw to handle the elaborate special effects and matte work; he chose Gary Nelson (fresh from his TV success "Washington: Behind Closed Doors") to direct; he picked Maximilian Schell to portray Dr. Hans Reinhardt, an eccentric scientist lost in space aboard the research vessel Cyg-nus. Other space adventurers ultimately sucked into a hole in space were Anthony Perkins as astro-physicist Dr. Alex Durant; Robert Forster as Captain Dan Holland, pilot and commander of the search craft Palomino; Joseph Bottoms as Lieutenant Charles Pizer, first officer of the Palomino; Yvette Mimieux as astro-geophysicist Dr. Kate McCrae; and Ernest Borgnine as space newshound Harry Booth. Miller's central theme was the Black Hole of Space, a theory among astronomers that when a star dies it becomes a compressed mass, where possibly the laws of physics cease to exist as we know them. Anything might be possible, including time and space phenomena. Miller, who wound up as producer of the project, insisted that the screenplay by Jeb Rosebrook and Gerry Day deal with some of these wild premises. Twenty million dollars and several years later the result is "The Black Hole," which opens Friday at the Stonestown and other Bay Area theaters. Historically, it is the first Disney film not to carry a G rating. Because of violence between man and robot during a laser Dotebook, Sunday, Dec. 6, 1979 battle, and because of a few well-seasoned "hells" and "damns" sprinkled throughout the soundtrack, the MPAA ruled that "Black Hole" could be seen by the world under a PG rating. Thus, Miller hopes to reach that audience of 13 to 30 movie-goers. OSEPH BOTTOMS was having dinner in the Carnelli-an Room on the top floor of the Bank of America building. He appeared fidgety when I first saw him because he wanted to sit at the far end of the table for a better view of the city, but several Buena Vista executives had already claimed those chairs. So, Bottoms contented himself with a view of his bride, Del, whom he married In October. Bottoms, who was obviously very much in love at the moment, displayed a boyish quality as well He had no inhibitions about clowing to break the ice. When he later signed his photograph, he penned pointed horns atop his head, drew an arrow through his brain, painted on bushy eyebrows and added fangs to his mouth. "Look," he explained proudly, placing his finger tips on the tablecloth. "I finally stopped biting my nails. Del helped me to overcome myself after years of nibbling." Del, an attractive woman at least a decade Joseph's senior, looked wistfully across the table. "Not only is it bad for your fingers," she remarked, "but it's bad for your teeth." "Yes," added Bottoms, "it breaks down the porcelain. I dont know why I didn't stop sooner. I've always been embarrassed about it When I was making 'Black Hole' there was a close-up of my hand and I kept curling my fingers inward so the camera wouldn't pick up the ugly-looking nails." I asked Bottoms if making a film at the Disney Studio differed from any other film. He nodded emphatically. "No doubt about it. It's a family enterprise. I couldnt believe that I was standing on Stage 3 where they'd made 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' 25 years ago. You see, I've always loved Disney pictures. I saw them all as a kid. After reading in Variety that Disney was planning a big science-fiction picture, my agent and I approached Disney's casting director, Bill Shepard. At that time the project was called 'Space Probe One.' I did everything I could to convince Shepard, because damn it, I wanted to be in a .Disney movie. I even did some talk shows to let him see different sides to my personality. It was the first time I See Page 2d ROOM FOR GREAT HOLIDAY PARTIES ON THE WATER In Tiburon . . Desde 1130 5 MAIN ST. 435-3101 Lfl w w m w b WJ li, M U W M J SUNDAY JAN. 6 7:30 PM plus specks) guest THE COW PALACE Tickets: 58.50 odvancM0.00 day of show (4 1S 134-4452) outotl: alto MQCVI JOM tKM Office (4t 246-1 W. r, EC-; FoREiqNER ly I 'Khi l hhn. ft RlckDERRKIVqER . ApRlLWlNE j ' V 1 -t ( f" "1 p FRIDAY JANUARY 11-8 PM Oakland Coliseum Tickets: $9.50 odvonceSIO.OO day of show At BASS and CoSseum outlets (416636-7600) I tHr"H'il "If" h-A W4tLMf.f fct-feWnyfc, t f I tpy tfr ?' jferA w eVfj'fJ fcy.w'f PAGI2S

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