Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2009 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Good Gawd, Someone Thankfully Beat Us To It Department:



And it turns out tis a collegiate comrade of ours (so we hardily hand it our highest recommendation –
not from any forced connection with us but ‘cause he’s a damn good writer on his unique own).























We’ll save future comments for Then but, Now, pick up a copy of Glenn’s biography, willya?



Mr. Sturges remains in a Master Class of his own (as to that, the only one working today who even remotely comes richly close could also be rightfully regarded as almost his cinematic son:



There’s no one else even remotely like him.



About damn time someone gave him his totally distinctive due wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2009 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   Pete Apruzzese   (Member)

Thanks for this heads-up, Neo. I always thought Sturges was an underrated director and look forward to reading this account. Putting it on my birthday list this second. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2009 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

TRANSCENDENT THANK U Department:



“John Sturges is the most under-rated director in the history of Hollywood.
— producer Robert E. Relyea.



“John Sturges was one of cinema’s greatest action directors. His pioneering mastery of the wide screen process is unparalleled. For my money, he's also a candidate for one of last century’s most underrated directors, period. Glenn Lovell's examination of Sturges’s life and films finally corrects this error.” — John Carpenter.



“We don’t need more books on Bette Davis or Joan Crawford, but we do need more books like Glenn Lovell’s reasoned, insightful biography of John Sturges, one of American movies’ best directors of character-driven action movies. Sturges was the successor to accomplished directorial pros like Victor Fleming and Henry Hathaway, and films like "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" were his best testament . . . until Lovell’s book.”— Scott Eyman, author of Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer.



Glenn Lovell takes us onto the movie sets and into the life of John Sturges, one of the outstanding directors of Twentieth Century films. Sturges’s major works "Bad Day At Black Rock", "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral", "The Magnificent Seven", and "The Great Escape" are covered in great detail. His many other films are also discussed providing a fascinating fabric of movie making in the Golden Age for both film students and movie lovers.” —



“I have to admit that I've never considered mid-century tough guy director John Sturges quite up there artistically with contemporaries such as Budd Boetticher and Anthony Mann, let alone such brighter, Western-making luminaries as Ford, Hawks and Peckinpah.

But a reassessment is in order, I think, for the guy whose "Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" number among the most iconic and fondly referenced blockbusters of the early 1960s.

… The other thing you can do is pick up a copy of film critic and scholar Glenn Lovell's terrific new Sturges biography."

Bob Strauss, The Reel Deal.



Speaking of the Indispensably Connected Mr. Relyea Department:

If there’s one pivotal production exec we’ve always hankered for an honest appraisal of his years on the crème de la crème of Hollywood projects (assisting Robert Wise on West Side Story, horror stories of the brutal power-mad egomania of William Wyler, working with Elvis, being fired from his perch as McQueen’s top man at Solar Productions on "Le Mans" and Mr. Sturges’ right-hand man throughout the 60s), twas Mr. Relyea.



And it turns out he’s obliged with his own candid assessment of the honorable highs and lethal lows of the Hollywood macho food chain with



We’d definitely suggest you make it a marvelous two-pack of BOTH these absolutely Must-Read tomes wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2009 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Happy to give this thread a bump, as I just picked this one up on and wolfed it down in two evenings, since Neo, et al were nice enough to alert us to this book. Lovell does a fine job.

Fascinating reading and a long overdue assessment of Sturges' work and career. Looking forward to
my copy of Relyea's book, which I also ordered.

Unlike many biographers, Lovell mentions scores and composers (although he misses the boat when describing "Jerry Goldsmith's nerve-jangling
score" as using "modular synthesizer.")

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2009 - 10:29 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Howdy, Vin:



Glad Glenn's tome met with your approval (and his inclusive examination of scores and their composers as part of his overall appreciative tapestry is a nifty trait dating back to his college days).



As you said, it's lonnnnnggggg-overdue and mayhap some enterprising soul will also add to this library by focusing solely on Mr. Sturges' films in time, too.



"Wow!" ... wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2009 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

The Measure of a Man Department:



Two of our all-tyme favorite quotes are attributed to the sterling Mr. Sturges. Evidently he and no less than



were once considering collaborating on a teevee version of



As was his anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian wont, the always combative Mr. Peckinpah supposedly saw the project as a comment on the eternal conflict between clean-as-undriven snow artists and the habitually “corrupt” businessmen. This fixation caused no end of paramount (not the studio) confusion for Mr. Sturges. To paraphrase, he commented “Gee, all I thought we wanted to do was make some Westerns”. Wuv it! big grin



Then, some years later, when



terminal insecurity and epic paranoia – combined with his outta control megalomania – erupted into outright contempt on the set of “Le Mans” towards the man most responsible for harnessing and unleashing his unique gifts, Mr. Sturges eventually got fed up and told McQueen to go sit on a rock and rotate with this fabulous farewell before walking off the set and catching the next plane back to America: “I’m too old and too rich to put up with this shit.”



Nope, they sure as shootin' don’t carve out characters like



that much any more wink

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2009 - 1:07 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Still



in



an exemplary



consummate class



all



its



admirable own:







... big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2009 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

It’s Not Often a Film-Maker Revisits Territory Previously Explored Department:



But that’s precisely the unorthordox pattern John Sturges retackled



in this 1967 follow-up exploration



of Wyatt Earp’s psychological piccadillos culminating in the un-okay O.K. debacle.



Blessed, first and foremost, with one of the Gold-Standard’s most thrilling and robust scores,





along with a devilishly shrewd and sardonically deadly Jason Robards



(stealing the show as Doc Holliday) , Edward Anhalt’s investigative script is more concerned with the vengeful demons dysfunctionally fueling Earp’s homicidal agenda (and not the alleged idealistic notions about “justice” and upholding the “law” he automatically - and none too convincingly considering his actions - parrots).



The flick also boasts an early appearance by Jon Voight as Curly Bill Brocious (whose comeuppance is particularly memorable - and don't try it at home! big grin)



and, above all, a standout turn by the late, wonderful Steve Ihnat (who gets handed a Peckinpah-ish swan song that’s brutally shocking in its unexpected effect – bereft of any nitwit notions of making the reality of violence at all artistically “beautiful”).





Mind you, the film’s box-office performance was a considerable disappointment for Mr. Sturges, who later commented the overall downbeat demeanor infusing the movie may have been especially lethal towards attracting audiences. Be that as it may, don’t pass up



on that account. It still has more thoughtful fibre as a “failure” than the majority of Rice Krispies emptier-than-air “brainbusters”



so perversely prevalent nowadays roll eyes

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2009 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Next is a really taut Howdunit that’s received remarkably little appreciatory lift-off since its inaugural
release. Mr. Sturges wasn’t originally part of the project but once he beamed aboard his trademark
intelligence and resourcefulness in front of (no less than behind) the screen asserted itself.



We say it’s a Howdunit ‘cause the tension and interest isn’t so much the Why and Wherefore of
the three astronauts stranded in space but How their situation is gonna be rectified – or even if such will be so.



What’s unusual in this particular case is there’s a fairly involving subplot revolving around the astronauts’ wives
played by Lee Grant (in, not surprisingly, the most pivotal performance), Nancy Kovack and Mariette Hartley,



As a sorta impressive companion piece to her celebrated scene from “In the Heat of the Night”,
Ms. Grant has another quietly moving vignette alone in the space command center after having to say a
wrenching farewell to her doomed husband – and the muffles of subtle sadness and helpless despair is
depicted with painful delicacy (evidence, if any ever doubted, Mr. Sturges’s seamless skills with actors
had no gender barrier).



This film also was one of the first post-Buck Barrow stints Gene Hackman appeared in after “Bonnie and Clyde”
(but before his breakout a few years later as that well-known poster guy for safe driving, Popeye Doyle).



If you can track the flick down, by all means look it up and do so.



Tho not exactly enthralling, it is highly effective enuff if you wanna absorb an intelligently made,
skillfully rendered and ultimately satisfying scenario. From start to finish, that’s

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2009 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

I watched ICE STATION ZEBRA on dvd 2 nights ago---the first time I've seen the movie in almost 40 years. I had no idea that Sturges was the director until the credits appeared.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2009 - 12:22 AM   
 By:   mulan98   (Member)

Great heads-up about the book. Many thanks Neo. Rather expensive to obtain in the UK but I'll definately go for it. BTW, I'm struggling with the picture, below the 'Magnificent 7' poster in your first post below. What's it from?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 27, 2009 - 5:17 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Appreciate the kind kudos, Mu, tho forgive us our general assumption that photo would be
immediately recognizable since we specifically alluded to its director in the preceeding 'graph.

Howsomever, in the sunny spirit of mellow Mea Culpas everywhere, we'll endeavor to
make visual amends thusly. Tis from



Have a great beginning weekend ... smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2009 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)





One of Mr. Sturges’ earlier triumphs was this involving investigation into a small town’s racism
that resulted in a Best Screenplay nomination for Millard Kaufman,



who passed away last March.



(Mr. Kaufman was also one of the creators of this famous lil’ fellow, also).





What made John Sturges such a distinctive director of both thrilling action and consummate character
delineation is his foundational craftsmanship allowed for formidable artistry due to his allowing the drama
to increase in confident increments, exploding into memorable catharsis as natural as nature (human or
otherwise) itself. Check out this sequence and you’ll see a pristine example of that excellence:



And you wonder why REAL tough guys ala Messrs. Tracy, Marvin, Brynner, McQueen and later even
Eastwood and The Duke of Wayne himself couldn’t wait to respectfully work with him? wink


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2010 - 11:43 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Coming Up in Conclusion – His Two Fabulous Classics Department:







[ Perhaps due to the blue-collar workmanship of his films, no director ever made as many enduringly
popular movies as John Sturges while being largely forgotten himself. Rarely has an artist ever made
such a popular body of work while making himself as anonymous as possible. No "look at me,
I'm a director" touches.









The movies occur. Stories of beauty and substance are told well. Just for that accomplishment alone,
JOHN STURGES deserves to be remembered as one of America's greatest filmmakers. ]
Steve Badger.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2010 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

TRANSCENDENT THANK U Department:



“John Sturges is the most under-rated director in the history of Hollywood.
— producer Robert E. Relyea.



“John Sturges was one of cinema’s greatest action directors. His pioneering mastery of the wide screen process is unparalleled. For my money, he's also a candidate for one of last century’s most underrated directors, period. Glenn Lovell's examination of Sturges’s life and films finally corrects this error.” — John Carpenter.



“We don’t need more books on Bette Davis or Joan Crawford, but we do need more books like Glenn Lovell’s reasoned, insightful biography of John Sturges, one of American movies’ best directors of character-driven action movies. Sturges was the successor to accomplished directorial pros like Victor Fleming and Henry Hathaway, and films like "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" were his best testament . . . until Lovell’s book.”— Scott Eyman, author of Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer.



Glenn Lovell takes us onto the movie sets and into the life of John Sturges, one of the outstanding directors of Twentieth Century films. Sturges’s major works "Bad Day At Black Rock", "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral", "The Magnificent Seven", and "The Great Escape" are covered in great detail. His many other films are also discussed providing a fascinating fabric of movie making in the Golden Age for both film students and movie lovers.” —



“I have to admit that I've never considered mid-century tough guy director John Sturges quite up there artistically with contemporaries such as Budd Boetticher and Anthony Mann, let alone such brighter, Western-making luminaries as Ford, Hawks and Peckinpah.

But a reassessment is in order, I think, for the guy whose "Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" number among the most iconic and fondly referenced blockbusters of the early 1960s.

… The other thing you can do is pick up a copy of film critic and scholar Glenn Lovell's terrific new Sturges biography."

Bob Strauss, The Reel Deal.



Speaking of the Indispensably Connected Mr. Relyea Department:

If there’s one pivotal production exec we’ve always hankered for an honest appraisal of his years on the crème de la crème of Hollywood projects (assisting Robert Wise on West Side Story, horror stories of the brutal power-mad egomania of William Wyler, working with Elvis, being fired from his perch as McQueen’s top man at Solar Productions on "Le Mans" and Mr. Sturges’ right-hand man throughout the 60s), twas Mr. Relyea.



And it turns out he’s obliged with his own candid assessment of the honorable highs and lethal lows of the Hollywood macho food chain with



We’d definitely suggest you make it a marvelous two-pack of BOTH these absolutely Must-Read tomes wink


I totally agree with you, Mr. Relyea!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2010 - 11:18 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Happy to give this thread a bump, as I just picked this one up on and wolfed it down in two evenings, since Neo, et al were nice enough to alert us to this book. Lovell does a fine job.

Fascinating reading and a long overdue assessment of Sturges' work and career. Looking forward to
my copy of Relyea's book, which I also ordered.

Unlike many biographers, Lovell mentions scores and composers (although he misses the boat when describing "Jerry Goldsmith's nerve-jangling
score" as using "modular synthesizer.")


Goldsmith's score for "The Satan Bug" used a Hammond Novachord, NOT a syntheizer!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2010 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Other Stars Within the Sturges Galaxy Department:















































 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2010 - 12:44 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Been reading a lot lately -- as usual -- on H'wood film makers and can personally recommend all three books mentioned above, the Lovell, the Relyea and the Mirisch. AND the Victor Fleming AND the Henry Hathaway! And one which nobody mentioned, the autobiography of Vincent Sherman, STUDIO AFFAIRS.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2010 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   sturges47   (Member)

Glad to see this one come back to top of consciousness here as Mr. Lovell's book is one of the best director bios since Patrick MacGilligan's ROBERT ALTMAN: JUMPING OFF THE CLIFF.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2010 - 6:48 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)





A Trinity of Royal Recommendations for Your Still Unstuffed Christmas Stockings Department:











 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.