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 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

https://variety.com/2019/film/news/peter-fonda-dead-star-of-easy-rider-ulees-gold-dies-at-79-1203305078/

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Condolences to his daughter Bridget and her husband Danny Elfman.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 5:29 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've always loved this scene with Fonda from THE LIMEY (1999):



"Did you ever dream about a place you never really recall being to before? A place that maybe only exists in your imagination? Some place far away, half remembered when you wake up. When you were there, though, you knew the language. You knew your way around. *That* was the sixties. [pause] No. It wasn't that either. It was just '66 and early '67. That's all there was."

~Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda) in The Limey

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 5:43 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

My big Peter Fonda title is DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY. That's a really good B-movie. And one of these days I have to see FUTUREWORLD, because I'm a Silver Age and sci-fi man.

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 6:22 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I've.been meaning to see HIRED HAND forever!
Maybe now...

Rip Capt. America

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

He was right about 66- 67.
Sigh frown

Btw Fonda inspired the John Lennon " She said, she said" line from The Beatles.song.
He and John were on LSD and Fonda kept talking about a near death experience.
66 man!

 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 10:56 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Shame. For a while late 60s early 70s he was on lads bedroom-wall posters as much as Bruce Lee, Clint and Steve mcQueen. That easy rider poster will always be iconic. This was the one i remember being everywhere.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 11:42 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1963 romantic comedy TAMMY AND THE DOCTOR, Sandra Dee played "Tammy" for the second time. As a nurse's assistant, Tammy attracts the interest of "Dr. Mark Cheswick" (Peter Fonda), but their romance comes to a premature end when Mark is warned by his superior, "Dr. Bentley" (MacDonald Carey), that a romantic entanglement might jeopardize his career.

Peter Fonda made his theatrical film debut in this picture. Producer Ross Hunter spent every night of one week visiting small theaters around the Los Angeles area, from which he cast twenty-three aspiring actors with no previous screen experience. Also featured was Dale Hogan, a former Universal Studios nurse who was type-cast in the picture.

Universal-International Pictures constructed a hospital set for the film, modeled after a recently-built wing of Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles. The set, which “visiting doctors” deemed suitable for emergency surgery, included operating rooms, an admissions office, and patients’ quarters, along with a “wash-up room,” doctors’ offices, and a maternity ward. A separate set was built for nurses’ quarters.

In March 1963, Sandra Dee and Peter Fonda appeared at the United Theater Owners Show-a-Rama convention. In addition to a pre-release screening of TAMMY AND THE DOCTOR, Dee was cited as “Star of the Year,” and Fonda was recognized as “most promising young actor.”

Peter Fonda, Sandra Dee, and MacDonald Carey in TAMMY AND THE DOCTOR



Reviews of the film were lukewarm to negative, with the 6 May 1963 Daily Variety describing the picture as “flimsy.” Nevertheless, it was awarded the Parents magazine Family Medal for June 1963. The $730,000 film grossed $5.7 million at the box office, doubling the take of Dee's first "Tammy" film (TAMMY TELL ME TRUE, 1961). Nevertheless, the film marked Sandra Dee’s final appearance as “Tammy.”

The film was directed by Harry Keller. Composer Percy Faith was assigned to write the score, but he was later replaced by Universal staff composer and arranger Frank Skinner. Skinner's score has not had a release.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 16, 2019 - 11:57 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE VICTORS was a sprawling saga of a squad of American soldiers, following them through Europe during World War II, from the D-Day landing through the end of the war in post-war Berlin. The episodic film glimpsed them in both combat and romance. The film was written, produced, and directed by Carl Foreman, coming off his success at producing 1961's THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.

Foreman had sought Steve McQueen for the lead role of "Pvt. George Baker," but was turned down. McQueen did not wish to become typecast in war films, having previously played in NEVER SO FEW (1959), HELL IS FOR HEROES (1962), THE WAR LOVER (1962), and the yet-to-be-released THE GREAT ESCAPE. Vince Edwards got the role instead. Foreman lined up a stellar supporting cast, with more than a dozen name stars, including Albert Finney as a Russian soldier in Berlin, George Hamilton, Melina Mercouri, and Jeanne Moreau. Peter Fonda is “Weaver,” a recent replacement in the squad who has a small dog as a pet.

The 175-minute epic (later edited down to 156 minutes) was filmed in Italy, France, England, and Sweden. Sol Kaplan scored the film, one of his best works. The soundtrack LP was released on Colpix Records and reissued on CD by Film Score Monthly in 2005. As they had with NAVARONE, Columbia Pictures distributed THE VICTORS, which was released as their big holiday picture for 1963. Although the film grossed $6.7 million in the U.S., the expensive picture was neither a critical nor a financial success, and it would prove to be the only film that Foreman ever directed.


 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Lots of interesting films that would never emerge from EASY RIDER's shadow, but Peter Fonda's filmography up to the late 1970s was quite interesting. I suspect his popularity was considerable, or at least greater than it's currently remembered.

Always liked him, or "rooted" for him. Fonda should have won the Oscar over Jack. I watched ULEE'S GOLD whenever it was on TV. A magnificent performance from Peter Fonda that was as much a tribute to Henry Fonda as it was a wonderful role for him.

It was classy of Nicholson to namedrop Fonda as his old "road buddy" in his Best Actor speech even IIRC there was a lawsuit over money--not very "counterculture" of them. We're all so petty.

Looking forward to your summary of THE LIMEY, Mr. DiMucci. It's a favorite film of mine.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Peter Fonda co-starred with Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg in 1964’s LILITH. In the drama, “Vincent Bruce” (Beatty), a young Korean War veteran, returns to his Maryland hometown and begins working as an occupational therapist at a nearby mental institution for the wealthy. There he meets the beautiful “Lilith Arthur” (Seberg), who lives in a secret world of her own creation, and he falls in love with her. “Stephen Evshevsky” (Fonda) is another inmate, who also is in love with Lilith.

Because of her early work in Britain and France, particularly her lead role in Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS (1960), Jean Seberg is often thought of as a French actress. But she was born in Iowa of Swedish, English, and German ancestry. She regarded LILTH as her favorite film.

Robert Rossen directed the film, his last. Kenyon Hopkins’ score was released on a Colpix LP, but has not been re-issued on CD.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Peter Fonda's first lead role in a feature film was in 1964's THE YOUNG LOVERS. He played young art student "Eddie Slocum," who wants to live a life without troubles or responsibilities. He meets "Pam Burns" (Sharon Hugueny) and they fall in love. But happy-go-lucky Eddie declares that he won't marry her. Soon Pam is pregnant, and Eddie must face up to the problem.

Sharon Hugueny's feature film career only spanned four films, of which this was her last. In his autobiography, Peter Fonda says he wanted Katharine Ross for the role of Pam.

THE YOUNG LOVERS was also the only film directed by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., the son of the famous producer, and a producer in his own right. Sol Kaplan's score was released on a Columbia LP, but has not been re-issued on CD. THE YOUNG LOVERS has never been made available on any home video format.

This is possibly the first countercultural mainstream studio release, which presented “new” Hollywood's take on “old” Hollywood, heightened by the fact that its star (Fonda) and director (Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.) were descended from movieland royalty. Despite the bold anti-Establishment tone, there is an uneasy, fascinating merging of the two eras, evidenced by a dance sequence in which Fonda and Hugueny anachronistically dance, of all things, the tango.

Peter Fonda and Sharon Hugueny in THE YOUNG LOVERS


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A news item in the 8 June 1966 issue of Variety reported that American International Pictures (AIP) was abandoning its series of youth-oriented fare, which began with BEACH PARTY (1963), in favor of “protest” films. The first of these, THE WILD ANGELS, formerly “The Fallen Angels” and “All the Fallen Angels,” was scheduled for media and exhibitor screenings the following week. An “invitational preview” was also planned for the New York Studio Theatre, hosted by AIP chief executives James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, and stars Nancy Sinatra and Peter Fonda, with a dinner reception at the Lincoln Center Philharmonic Hall.

THE WILD ANGELS focuses on “Heavenly Blues” (Fonda), the leader of the Hell's Angels, a group of California motorcyclists intent on living lives free of all social responsibility. Trouble begins when the motorcycle of one member, “Loser” (Bruce Dern), is stolen by another gang. Loser then loses his construction job because of the Nazi emblems he wears. His group retaliates by raiding a rival Mexican club, inciting a rumble, and stealing one of the rivals' motorcycles.

Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra in THE WILD ANGELS



George Chakiris was originally hired by producer-director Roger Corman to play "Black Jack" (later changed to "Heavenly Blues" by Peter Fonda), but he insisted that a stunt double do his motorcycle riding. So Corman replaced him with Fonda, who was willing to do his own riding. (Fonda was originally cast as "Loser".)

Tower Records released a soundtrack LP, which featured music by Davie Allan and the Arrows. A “Vol. II” LP was released in 1967. The original LP was re-issued on CD by Curb Records in 1996.

According to the 2 August 1967 Daily Variety, AIP planned to capitalize on the success of THE WILD ANGELS soundtrack albums by creating a band of the same name. While selection of band members was still underway, AIP had already arranged a recording contract with Tower Records, a management contract with broadcast personality Casey Kasem, and public appearances through Associated Booking Corporation. There were also plans for a sequel to the 1966 film, and a television series, both starring the band. Although the project was ultimately aborted, a rockabilly band called “The Wild Angels” was formed in England that same year, and continued to perform into the early twenty-first century.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

The most astonishing trivia I know about Peter Fonda must be that he actually one time replaced Richard "Jaws" Kiel for a movie called Mercenary Fighters.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 11:29 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In order to prepare for the filming of THE TRIP, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson all engaged in a group LSD trip. Director Roger Corman also took LSD before starting the film, figuring he couldn't make a film about LSD without trying it himself. He had a good experience, and had to ask others what a "bad trip" was like in order to incorporate it into the film.

Roger Corman was hoping to re-team Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, who had co-starred in his recent box-office success THE WILD ANGELS, in the film. But Susan Strasberg was eventually hired as the female lead.

Peter Fonda stars in the film as TV commercial director “Paul Groves.” While filming on location at a California beach, Groves is chided by his estranged wife, “Sally” (Strasberg), for failing to appear to sign their separation papers. Cracking under the pressures of his personal and professional life, Paul asks his friend “John” (Bruce Dern), a guru, to guide him through his first LSD trip.

Peter Fonda and Susan Strasberg in THE TRIP



The film’s budget was cited as $1.5 million in the 31 August 1966 Variety. However, Peter Fonda stated in Esquire that, although he was not supposed to reveal it, the production only cost $450,000. With Corman’s blessing, he and co-star Dennis Hopper used their own funds to shoot additional acid trip sequences in the desert, a collaboration which marked the precursor to EASY RIDER, Hopper’s directorial debut in which he and Fonda co-starred along with Jack Nicholson, who had written the final screenplay for THE TRIP.

Also in the Esquire article, Fonda asserted that Corman had abandoned THE TRIP before editing and scoring were completed, in order to film a racing picture overseas (THE WILD RACERS, 1968), leading Fonda to spend an additional $7,500 of his own money to have the score produced. Corman got wind of Fonda’s claims before the article was published and wrote to its author, Rex Reed, to clarify that Hopper and Fonda’s additional footage took up only one minute of the final film. He also disputed the sum Fonda said he had paid to musicians, and the actor’s assertion that he had found the musicians in the first place. Reed approached others who had worked on the picture and determined that Fonda’s version of events was generally agreed upon, but he compromised by inserting Corman’s reactions parenthetically within the Esquire article.

Special effects used to depict hallucinations were facilitated by independent filmmaker Peter Gardiner, whose short film, “Voyage Omega,” caught the attention of Peter Fonda just days before filming was set to begin. Fonda introduced Gardiner to Corman, who hired him and his partner, Tom Rounds, to advise on “psychedelic effects.” Gardiner claimed he and Rounds were paid $13,000 for their services, which included a process that reportedly worked “like a four-track audio recorder.” Gardiner stated, “We can feed any kind of visual information into any of the four channels and vary the intensity and flicker rate between them. This is then projected onto a surface to be photographed.”

Salli Sachse played the seductive “Glenn,” a blonde Paul met at the home of his drug dealer, “Max” (Dennis Hopper). According to Peter Fonda, he got visibly aroused while filming his nude scene with Sachse. "Salli just clamped her legs together to keep it out of sight," Fonda said, and director Roger Corman continued to film regardless.

The film's score was written and played by "The Electric Flag, An American Music Band," which was fronted by Mike Bloomfeld. Sidewalk Records released a 41-minute LP of the score. But when Curb Records released it on CD in 1996, the album was inexplicably cut down to 26 minutes. A 2013 re-issue of the CD restored the 6 missing tracks.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 11:56 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1968 film SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe were adapted for the screen, each under the helm of a different filmmaker: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim. In "Metzengerstein", Roger Vadim’s segment, the “Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein” (Jane Fonda) is a wealthy, depraved and cruel young woman, whose actions are for her own amusement regardless of the effect they have on other people. Her cousin, “Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing” (Peter Fonda), is her closest neighbor, although the two do not really know each other. Unlike Frederique, Wilhelm is a content and happy person. Upon first sighting, Frederique becomes obsessed with her cousin. An incident initiated by Frederique that affects Wilhelm directly has a profound effect on her psyche, which is only strengthened with the arrival of a wild black stallion into her life.

Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda in the "Metzengerstein" segment of SPIRITS OF THE DEAD



This was the only film to feature siblings Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda. Director Roger Vadim was married to Jane Fonda at the time. While filming with his sister and brother-in-law in Roscoff, Brittany, Peter Fonda would spend up to 4 hours a day working on the script that would become EASY RIDER. Terry Southern, who had worked on BARBARELLA (1968) with Vadim, visited the set and would help Fonda with his script, ultimately getting a co-writer credit on EASY RIDER.

Jean Prodromidès’ score for the "Metzengerstein" segment has not had a release.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In an interview published in the 20 July 1969 New York Times, Dennis Hopper recalled his first experience directing a scene in the 1967 picture, THE TRIP, in which he and Peter Fonda co-starred. Since director Roger Corman had been unwilling to “take the time or spend the money” to shoot acid-trip sequences in the desert, Hopper and Fonda went by themselves to film the scenes with their own money. Inspired to direct more, Hopper teamed with Fonda, but the two were unable to raise money for their own project. After Hopper’s THE GLORY STOMPERS (1967) was released, he and Fonda realized they both had recently appeared in commercially successful motorcycle pictures – Hopper in THE GLORY STOMPERS and Fonda in THE WILD ANGELS (1966) – and decided that financing would be easier to come by if they made a motorcycle film. Hopper claimed that Fonda was struck by the idea for EASY RIDER while smoking marijuana and playing guitar late one night, and the two pitched it to executive producer Bert Schneider and his Raybert Productions co-founder, Bob Rafelson. Schneider and Rafelson agreed to fund EASY RIDER with an estimated $340,000, privately financed by Schneider, and Hopper and Fonda were allowed complete creative control.

There are numerous stories as to how the screenplay was written. Some say that Fonda and Hopper merely wrote a twelve-page outline, and just ad-libbed the rest of the film from there. In an interview with The Guardian, Dennis Hopper claimed that Terry Southern wrote nothing in the film besides contributing the title, as he broke his hip in a fall. After that, said Hopper, he personally dictated the entire thing into a tape recorder. Fonda says they all went to a basement in Southern's home and they all smoked marijuana while they talked into the tape recorder.

In an interview with Creative Screenwriting, Southern claimed, "Peter was to be the actor and producer, Dennis the actor and director, and a certain yours truly, the writer. After they had seen a couple of screenings of it on the coast, I got a call from Peter. He said that he and Dennis liked the film so much, they wanted to be in on the screenplay credits. Well, one of them was the producer and other was the director, so there was no way the Writers Guild was going to allow them to take a screenplay credit unless I insisted." Not listening to the WGA, Southern allowed them to have their credits on the film, which was largely improvised. Peter Fonda said of Southern's contributions, "He gave us dark humor and a literary panache that Dennis and I did not have. Having him with us as a writer on the script put it above periscope depth. People would say, 'Wow, Terry Southern co-wrote that. I wonder what that's about?'"

Hopper stated that the project drove a wedge between him and his then wife, Brooke Hayward, who did not support the venture and told Hopper he was “going after ‘fool’s gold.’” Hopper was quoted as saying, “Brooke is groovy, we even have a beautiful little girl, but you don’t say that to me, man, about something I’ve waited 15 years – no, all my life – to do.” The two were officially divorced in 1969. In the settlement, Hopper gave Hayward their house, car, and his art collection in order to keep his share of EASY RIDER, which he believed would be successful, but had not yet been released.

Hopper felt it was important that Fonda be the star of the film; thus, Fonda was cast as “Wyatt,” a.k.a. “Captain America,” and Hopper played his sidekick, “Billy.” Hopper described the production as scripted but “flexible,” stating, “Except for the Mardi Gras scenes, we just started out on our bikes across the West and shot entirely in sequence, as things happened to us.” He also revealed that the marijuana smoked in the film was real. While the actors smoked real marijuana, the cocaine seen at the start of the film is fake. According to Peter Fonda, this is because they couldn't afford the real thing. LSD was not actually used during the acid scene either. According to Jack Nicholson, he, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda went through one hundred fifty-five joints while filming the campfire scene.

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in EASY RIDER



To “launch” the filming of the picture, a 16mm shoot took place on 27 February 1968 at the actual Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Principal photography began months later, sometime in May or early June 1968.

Fonda claimed that a “great deal” of the picture was improvised, and Jack Nicholson was quoted as saying, “We’d get up in the morning and not know where we were going to be the next night.” Some scripted scenes Hopper felt adamant about keeping as is, including the nude swimming scene, which Hopper believed would “show the over-40 crowd that it is possible to play like innocent children in the nude without getting into sex.”

That swimming scene, where “Billy” (Hopper) and “Wyatt” (Fonda) go swimming with two commune girls, was shot at two different times. When they first shot the scene, Fonda was in the hospital. You can't see him together with Hopper, or either of the girls in the entire scene. The legs you see are from a stand-in. The images of Fonda were shot separately, several weeks later.

For the famous soliloquy that Peter Fonda does in the cemetery while tripping on acid, director Hopper asked Peter to talk to the statue as if he were talking to his mother, who had committed suicide when Peter was ten years old. Peter didn't want to do it, as he had never confronted his feelings about his mother. But Hopper insisted, which is why you hear Peter call the statue "Mother", and he states that he both loves her and hates her, which expresses his conflicted emotions. This scene persuaded Bob Dylan to allow the use of his song "It's Alright Ma" in one of the final scenes, which contains lyrics referencing suicide. Peter told Dylan, "I need to hear those words", and he agreed to its use.

Rip Torn was initially cast in the role of “George Hanson,” but Nicholson stated that “something happened” and he was asked to replace him. According to Torn, Dennis Hopper pulled a knife on him during a pre-production meeting. On “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, Hopper claimed it was Torn who pulled the knife. Torn sued Hopper for defamation, and won. When Nicholson was recruited to replace Torn, he went immediately to meet Fonda and Hopper in Taos, New Mexico, and later regretted that he did not have more time to work on his Texan accent.

In scenes depicting rural and small-town America, two real-life farmers and other local, non-professional actors were used. One such scene took place at a café near Baton Rouge, LA, where Hopper prepared the diners for their roles as bigots by asking them to assume Wyatt, Billy, and George Hanson were arriving at the café after having raped some “Southern maidens.” In depicting the hostility that these small-town denizens showed the main characters, Hopper and Fonda drew from their own experiences as “longhairs” travelling across rural America.

Peter Fonda wore the Captain America jacket and rode his chopper a week around Los Angeles before shooting began, to give them a broken-in look, and to get used to riding the radically designed bike. The American flag on the back of the jacket, and on the gas tank of the bike, caused him to be pulled over several times by the police. The Captain America jacket was designed by Fonda, and made by "two little old ladies" in Los Angeles. It was later sold at a charity auction.

Peter Fonda in EASY RIDER



Fonda was an experienced motorcycle rider, and the chopper he rides in the movie is seriously stretched and raked, and has tall "apehanger" style handlebars. Dennis Hopper was not as experienced a rider, therefore his bike is less radically chopped. Even so, Fonda’s chopper was so "squirrely" to ride that at one point, Jack Nicholson (who was on the back) squeezed his knees on Fonda's side to balance himself and broke one of Fonda's ribs.

After filming was completed, Columbia Pictures purchased worldwide distribution rights for $350,000. The picture debuted on 13 May 1969 at the Cannes Film Festival, where it played in competition. Other festival appearances followed at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy, and the Edinburg Film Festival in Scotland. Following the Cannes screening, the 14 May 1969 Variety review called EASY RIDER a “perceptive film” with a “literate and incisive” script. Hopper received the Cannes award for a director’s first film, although only one other picture was in competition in that category.

Despite mostly positive reception at the festival, EASY RIDER was initially banned from theatrical release by French censors. However, edits were quickly made and the decision was reversed. Meanwhile, the film received an “X” certificate from the British Film Censors, whereas Fonda and Hopper’s previous film, THE TRIP, had been banned altogether in England due to its depiction of drug use.

Reviews were generally positive, although Vincent Canby’s critique in the New York Times lambasted the script and performances, with the exception of Jack Nicholson, whom Canby deemed “so good, in fact, that EASY RIDER never recovers from his loss. Variety stated that the picture had received some backlash at Cannes, from people who believed it “gave a distorted view of the U.S. and could be used as anti-American propaganda.” Fonda maintained that EASY RIDER had no political slant, having previously described it as “a story about today, about today – and America.” High praise for the film was expressed in the Vogue review, and the Los Angeles Times, which called Hopper’s directorial debut “an astonishing work of art” and stated, “If there is an American New Wave, film historians may well one day cite EASY RIDER as early evidence of it.”

The movie became an overwhelming box-office success, taking in $7.2 million in film rentals in its first year of release. As of mid-September 1970, Bert Schneider claimed that gross earnings had reached $20 million. Total grosses to date have exceeded $54 million.




Stephen Stills wrote the song "Find the Cost of Freedom" at Dennis Hopper's request, for use with the final scene (when the camera pans up into the sky). Hopper ended up not using it, and the song was eventually released as the B-side to Crosby Stills Nash & Young's single "Ohio". Peter Fonda wanted Crosby Stills & Nash to do the entire soundtrack. Hopper refused, telling the band that anyone who drove around in limos as they did had no comprehension of the film, saying, "If you guys try to get into the studio again, I may have to cause you some bodily harm." Instead, EASY RIDER was one of the first films to make extensive use of previously released musical tracks, rather than a specially written film score. This is common with films now, but was quite unusual at the time (the exception being The Beatles films and films featuring on-screen musical performances). The soundtrack album, released by Dunhill Records, also sold well, still appearing in twelfth position on the best-selling albums chart after thirty weeks in release.

In an interview with Daily Camera, Peter Fonda described his father Henry's reaction to the film: "I had him come down and look at an early cut. We had to get Dennis out of the room to get it below four hours. My dad watched it, and then I went over the next day to his house. He was very serious. He said, 'Look son, I know you have all your eggs in this basket, and I'm worried about it, because the film is inaccessible. We don't see where you're going and why. I just don't think many people will get it.' Even after (it was successful), he thought I was just a loose cannon, until he worked for me for one day."

Academy Award nominations went to Jack Nicholson for Actor in a Supporting Role, and to Fonda, Hopper, and Southern for Writing (Story and Screenplay—based on material not previously published or produced). The screenplay Oscar that year went to William Goldman for BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. Nicholson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture, and the film was chosen as “picture of the year” by the Show-A-Rama XII exhibitors’ convention, held in Kansas City, MO, in March 1970. At the event, Fonda and Schneider received “producers of the year” honors, while Nicholson was named “new male discovery of the year.”

On 18 November 1970, a news brief in Daily Variety announced that Peter Fonda had been sued by his talent agent at Creative Management Associates (CMA), who accused the actor of breaking his three-year contract with CMA by diverting funds and would-be commission to his production entity, The Pando Company. CMA demanded ten percent of Fonda’s earnings on EASY RIDER and requested a full accounting of the film. The result of the suit is not known.

EASY RIDER was ranked 84th on AFI's 2007 100 Years...100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, up from the 88th position on AFI's 1997 list.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Alan Sharp’s screenplay for THE HIRED HAND was originally submitted to Peter Fonda as an acting vehicle only, to be shot in Italy. Fonda decided to make his directorial debut with the picture rather than only act in it. After long and complicated negotiations, Fonda and his producing partner, William Hayward, acquired the property for Fonda’s company, The Pando Company, which had produced EASY RIDER. Universal Pictures executive Ned Tanen was responsible for greenlighting THE HIRED HAND, as well as several other low-budget, largely independent pictures by young directors such as Milos Forman, Monte Hellman, George Lucas, and Dennis Hopper.

Set in 1881, the film follows itinerant cowboys “Harry Collings” (Fonda), “Arch Harris” (Warren Oates) and “Dan Griffin” (Robert Pratt). Collings has a wife, “Hannah” (Verna Bloom) and a daughter, whom he deserted many years earlier.

At the suggestion of his sister Jane, Fonda initially considered casting Lee Grant as “Hannah Collings,” and wanted Laszlo Kovacs, with whom he had worked on EASY RIDER, to serve as the cinematographer. Kovacs was committed to other projects, however, and recommended Vilmos Zsigmond, who had primarily worked on exploitation pictures up to that point. (McCABE AND MRS. MILLER had not yet been released.)

Fonda initially wanted to shoot in Mexico, but after he was refused a shooting permit by the Mexican government, he began scouting location sites in New Mexico. The picture was shot mainly on location in and around Cabezon, NM. Fonda produced the picture for $820,000 and took nothing up front except for SAG minimum. Fonda reported that he and Hayward gave up their producing salaries so that they could afford to hire Warren Oates.

Peter Fonda in THE HIRED HAND



Despite its popularity in Europe (the film was voted Best Film of 1971 by the magazine Films and Filming), the picture was released in just 52 theaters in the United States for only 2 weeks, after which it was pulled by its distributor, Universal, and shelved. The film grossed $2.2 million.

The film was scored by Bruce Langhorne, who had worked extensively as a studio musician with artists such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the 1960s. Langhorne played all the instruments for the film’s score himself. The score was finally released on the Blast First Petite label in 2004, following a restoration of the film in 2001.


 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 2:27 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1971’s THE LAST MOVIE, Dennis Hopper stars as an idealistic, melancholy movie stuntman named “Kansas,” who falls in love with the Peruvian region where he has been working on a film, and decides to stay after the filmmakers leave. Don Gordon plays his American friend, “Neville Robey,” who also worked on the movie. One afternoon, Kansas hangs out at a hotel bar with Neville, who discusses his need for $500, with which he intends to prospect for gold. The two men flirt with "Mrs. Anderson" (Julie Adams) and her daughter "Cress" (Donna Baccala), rich, bored American tourists who invite them to dinner. Peter Fonda had a small role in the film as a “young sheriff.”

Dennis Hopper also directed the film, and co-wrote the story. MCA vice-president Ned Tanen, organized the production of the film, as he had done with Fonda’s THE HIRED HAND. The score was provided by a team of musicians led by Kris Kristofferson.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 17, 2019 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

TWO PEOPLE is a romantic drama, produced and directed by Robert Wise, that was released by Universal in 1973. In the film, an Army deserter (Peter Fonda) decides to return home to face the consequences of his actions, but on the way meets a fashion model (Lindsay Wagner) with whom he falls in love. The film predates some historical realities. Although within the plot of TWO PEOPLE there are references to an amnesty program for Vietnam War draft violators, it was not until 1974 that President Gerald R. Ford implemented a clemency program that would apply to draft violators, military personnel considered AWOL, and convicted military deserters. That program was generally considered a failure, with exile groups endorsing a boycott of the program. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter established a program for both draft evaders and deserters. Although the program had several restrictions and limitations, it was considered more successful than the Ford program.

In September 1971, Columbia Pictures announced that TWO PEOPLE would be their second release of a Filmakers Group production, the first being HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE (1971). But the following December, Varietyreported that “irreconcilable differences” between producer-director Robert Wise and the studio resulted in the picture being shifted to Universal, which also distributed LIMBO, another Filmakers Group production.

The film’s original screenplay was by Richard De Roy, who had been writing almost exclusively for television since 1952. De Roy had scripted episodes of “Checkmate,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Name of the Game,” among many others. He had co-written a British comedy feature in 1956 (THE BATTLESHIP AND THE BABY), but TWO PEOPLE was De Roy’s first sole feature film writing credit.

TWO PEOPLE marked the feature film debut of television actress Lindsay Wagner, who later was perhaps best known as the star of the late 1970s ABC-Television series “The Bionic Woman.” The supporting cast included Estelle Parsons and Alan Fudge.

Peter Fonda and Lindsay Wagner in TWO PEOPLE



TWO PEOPLE went before the cameras on 18 February 1972. Filming was done in Marrakesh, Casablanca, Paris, and New York, and concluded in mid-May 1972. The film’s score was by David Shire, and aside from a reported Japanese 45, has never had a release. The R-rated film opened in New York on 18 March 1973, whereupon the critics lambasted the film. While none of her critical colleagues quite agreed with New York’s Judith Crist that TWO PEOPLE “really has it made as the worst movie of the year,” only the Los Angeles Times’ Kevin Thomas was able to muster any enthusiasm for what Roger Ebert called “an awfully awkward journey into banality.” “This glob of protest chic,” wrote Cue’s William Wolf “proves that even serious films about guys who refused to fight in Vietnam can be pure soap opera.”

Although nearly every aspect of the film was scorned by the majority of reviewers, it was Richard De Roy’s screenplay that received the lion’s share of derision. The dialogue was variously described as “soapy” (Newsweek’s Arthur Cooper), “insipid” (the San Francisco Chronicle’s Anitra Earle), “eminently forgettable” (the Washington Post’s Tom Zito, and “both so obvious and so self-consciously ‘real’ that the characters don’t seem to be talking to each other, they seem to be taking positions on the issues” (Ebert).

Other critics, like the New York Times’ Roger Greenspun, found TWO PEOPLE to be “equally bad in all departments.” Those other departments included Robert Wise’s direction, which Pauline Kael called “obsolete” and “stifling;” the performance of Peter Fonda, who “speaks infrequently, but seems to hide behind silence rather than use it to amplify character, as for example, Brando does” (Cooper); the screen debut of Lindsay Wagner, who “remains throughout a stranger to conviction (Time’s Jay Cocks); and the supporting performance of Estelle Parsons, who is “not quite the human or comic relief she ought to be, perhaps because her part has been overdrawn” (the Village Voice’s Molly Haskell). And while the aforementioned Kevin Thomas praised the film as “a quite affecting contemporary love story” with a “literate, well-developed script,” the overwhelming majority of critics sided with Kathleen Carroll of the New York Daily News that TWO PEOPLE was a “pallid romance” “that is all empty words and very little feeling.”

TWO PEOPLE grossed only $1.7 million and has never been issued on home video. When the American Film Institute went looking for a copy to view for its cataloging project, the only print that could be found was incomplete, missing the second reel of the film.


 
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