Since today's aisle seat is about director Sidney J. Furie, I had to think of THE LAWYER (a movie I saw once as a kid, but still remember its catchy up-beat title theme). I would absolutely love for Malcolm Dodds' score to be released, alas, I guess it's way too obscure to be of any interest for any specialty label.
Likewise, I would love the music Lalo Schifrin composed for the TV series PETROCELLI (which was based on the film, but musically not related) to be released. Barry Newman reprised his role, and Susan Howard replaced Diana Muldaur for the series.
We used to watch this show when I was a kid, and I very much remember the formula. I found the TV opening on YouTube.
In VANISHING POINT, “Kowalski” (Barry Newman) is a Vietnam vet, a former professional driver, and a police officer forced out of his job for disobedience. Now, Kowalski works as a professional driver and has been hired to get a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco in three nights. When Kowalski makes a bet that he can get it to San Francisco in fifteen hours, a race across the country occurs, drawing the attention of the authorities. Kowalski’s name begins to grow as a folk hero with the help of a DJ named “Super Soul” (Cleavon Little), and for as many people who want to stop Kowalski, a large group desires him to succeed.
Barry Newman in VANISHING POINT
Richard C. Sarafian directed the 1971 release, which had location shooting done from Colorado to California. Sarafian turned down an offer to make Robert Redford's DOWNHILL RACER in order to direct VANISHING POINT. He was drawn to the counterculture themes in Guillermo Cain's script. Initially, Sarafian wanted Gene Hackman to play Kowalski, but 20th Century-Fox studio executive Richard Zanuck insisted on casting Barry Newman in the lead role.
The film had no background score. Sarafian wanted to score the majority of the film from an album called “Motel Shot” by Delaney, Bonnie & Friends. Lionel Newman, head of Fox's music department at the time, denied Sarafian's request because the studio did not want to spend a substantial amount of money obtaining rights to the tracks. The director then suggested that musician Randy Newman score the film, but Fox refused this request as well. After watching the film, musical supervisor Jimmy Bowen wrote three original songs. Other songs from lesser-known artists were licensed, and Delaney, Bonnie & Friends also ended up with one track in the film. The pop songs were released on an Amos Records LP in the U.S. and London Records in Europe. The LP has been reissued on CD by various “gray market” labels.
The film was shortened by eight minutes following a preview screening for the press and public. About seven minutes of the scenes that were edited involved a character played by Charlotte Rampling, who was cut from the released film, but originally given third billing as a hitchhiker with whom “Kowalski” spends the night. Rampling’s scenes were retained for the film’s UK release. The DVD and Blu-ray releases include both the US and UK versions. The $1.6 million production was a hit, grossing $12.4 million.
A list of agents and collaborators, hidden by the Nazis in an Austrian lake in 1945, is sought after by various interested parties during the Cold War, in THE SALZBURG CONNECTION. Among those involved in the search are American attorney “William Mathison” (Barry Newman) and “Anna Bryant” (Anna Karina), the widow of an Austrian photographer who was found dead soon after watching a man pull a heavy chest from the waters of Fintersee Lake.
Karen Jensen and Barry Newman in THE SALZBURG CONNECTION
Lee H. Katzin directed the 1972 thriller. The picture was the second and final film as a producer for Ingo Preminger, brother of Otto Preminger (the first was M*A*S*H). At the time of the film’s release, Variety reported that although Jerry Goldsmith and Bronislau Kaper initially appeared in Twentieth-Century Fox's credit sheets as composers, only Lionel Newman received screen credit with "Musical Supervision." However, some prints credit Kaper for music with Newman as conductor. Modern sources state that Kaper's score was discarded and replaced by Newman's. The film was the last scored by Kaper, who wrote more than 150 film scores. Some posters of the film had stickers pasted over Kaper's name in the credits.
In October 1969, Gina Productions, Eliott Kastner's company with Jerry Gershwin, purchased the film rights to Alastair MacLean’s 1961 novel FEAR IS THE KEY. Gina Productions folded some time in 1970 or 1971, and it is likely that Kastner brought the property along when he formed K.L.K. with Alan Ladd, Jr. and Jay Kanter.
In the film, Barry Newman stars as “John Talbot.” He runs an airline, and the film opens with him talking down his plane, which happens to be carrying his wife, brother, and son. Suddenly, everything changes - the plane is being shadowed, and as John listens in, the plane is shot down, crashing into the sea.
Jump forward three years, and Talbot drives the open road of Louisiana in an old car, stopping to fuel up and to get himself in a spot of bother with the local law. Yes, John has turned bad. And if that's not enough, he manages to shoot an officer in the courtroom during his trial, taking a hostage (“Sarah Ruthven” played by Suzy Kendall) to make good his escape.
Barry Newman and Suzy Kendall in FEAR IS THE KEY
Newman said he enjoyed making the movie: "I thought the character that I played was a lovely character for the kind of film it was, an Alistair MacLean story." Michael Tuchner directed the film, which was shot on location in Louisiana, with interiors filmed in London. England's Binfield Manor doubled as a Southern mansion in the film, and interiors, including an underwater sequence, were shot at Bray Studios, London.
The film was released in Britain in the last week of 1972 and opened in the U.S. in March 1973. It was a box office disappointment in the U.S. but performed better in Europe. It was one of the most popular movies of 1973 at the British box office. Roy Budd’s score was released on LP in Britain by Pye Records. The first CD came from Japan’s Soundtrack Listeners Communications in 1993, followed by CDs from Cinephile (1999) and Silva Screen (2011).
In NIGHT GAMES, Barry Newman reprised his character of “Tony Petrocelli” from 1970’s THE LAWYER. An unorthodox Harvard-educated lawyer trying to carve out a practice in a small Arizona town with his young bride “Patsy” (Susan Howard), Petrocelli defends pretty socialite “Pauline Hannigen” (Stefanie Powers), who is accused of murdering her husband “Dale” (Jon Cypher). With the help of investigator pal “Pete Toley” (Albert Salmi), Petrocelli might be able to beat sharp operator “Jaimie Martinez” (Henry Darrow), the D.A. who thinks he has an airtight case against Pauline.
Susan Howard and Barry Newman in NIGHT GAMES
Don Taylor directed this made-for-television film, which was the pilot for the series “Petrocelli.” The film aired on NBC on 16 March 1974, with the series beginning in the Fall of 1974. Lalo Schifrin provided the unreleased score.
The television series “Petrocelli” was the continuing story of Tony Petrocelli, an Italian-American, Harvard-educated lawyer, who grew up in South Boston and gave up the big money and frenetic pace of major-metropolitan life to practice in a sleepy city in Arizona named San Remo (filmed in Tucson, Arizona). His wife “Maggie” (Susan Howard again) and he live in a house trailer in the country while waiting for their new home to be built (it never was completed over the course of the series). Tony drives an old pickup truck, always a little too fast. Petrocelli hired “Pete Ritter” (Albert Salmi again), a local cowboy and ex-cop, as his investigator.
Susan Howard, Barry Newman, and Albert Salmi in “Petrocelli”
NBC premiered the series on Wednesday, 11 September 1974 at 10 PM. The show went up against two new crime dramas, on ABC (“Get Christie Love!) and CBS (“The Manhunter”). “Petrocelli” was the only one of the three to survive to a second season.
In its second season (1975-76), “Petrocelli” faced a new competing legal drama on CBS (“Kate McShane”) and one of the breakout new shows of the season on ABC—“Starsky and Hutch.” With “Starsky and Hutch” coming in as the #16-rated series of the season, “Petrocelli” argued his last case on 3 March 1976, and the series was cancelled, after a late attempt to make the stories more varied failed to save the show. Lalo Schifrin provided the scores for many of the 44 episodes.
CITY ON FIRE begins with a written prologue: "What you are about to see could happen to any city, anywhere." In this late-entry ‘70s disaster film, “Diana Brockhurst-Lautrec” (Susan Clark), having inherited a fortune after the death of her rich and influential husband, returns to her hometown to help open a hospital ward she donated money for, though one built with inferior materials, disturbing “Dr. Frank Whitman” (Barry Newman). The man behind such dangerous frugality is corrupt “Mayor Dudley” (Leslie Nielsen), who's carrying on an affair with Diana, with predatory photographers trying to snap a picture of the couple together. Mayor Dudley also approved the construction of an oil refinery in the middle of the city, exposing locals to pollution in his hunt for an easy buck.
Newly fired from his job, refinery worker “Herman Stover” (Jonathan Welsh), decides on payback, sneaking around the facility before he leaves, sabotaging the system to a point where it explodes, leaking oil into water supplies and commencing an unstoppable fire that tears through the area. With the inferno raging out of control, television coverage proves important, hosted by local anchor “Maggie Grayson” (Ava Gardner), a drunk struggling with her professional duties. While Diana and Dr. Frank work diligently to help patients in need, facing an overwhelming number of injured people, Mayor Dudley figures out a way to slip out of blame, positioning himself as a hero as the fire engulfs the metropolis.
Leslie Nielsen and Barry Newman in CITY ON FIRE
Requiring several urban blocks that could be set on fire, the filmmakers scouted Atlanta, GA; Edmonton, Canada; St. Louis, MO; and Cincinnati, OH, as suitable sites. Montreal, Canada, was eventually selected to represent a fictional American city engulfed in flames. Director Alvin Rakoff shot the entire film in Montreal. Principal photography began 10 August 1978. One of the largest film sets in Canada to that date, costing approximately $400,000, was constructed in the east end of the city. Forty-five thousand gallons of fuel were required to set it ablaze during shooting.
Executive producer Sandy Howard stated that because the script depicted the dangers of locating oil refineries near cities, he was not anticipating cooperation from Shell Oil, who owned a $600 million refinery that the filmmakers were interesting in shooting. However, the company granted permission to the production as a gesture of raising awareness about safety issues.
The film’s stunt coordinator, Grant Page, performed “human torch” tricks as part of a national tour in August 1979 to promote the film’s U.S. release. Page’s fire stunts were considered particularly daring since he wore only a gel material for protection rather than safety clothing.
The $5.6 million production was a dud at the U.S. box office, grossing just $1.2 million. Fortunately, the producers recovered some of their loss by pre-selling the film to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) for just over $2.6 million. The 1979 film’s score, by Matthew and William McCauley, has not had a release.
AMY takes place in the early 1900s, in Boston, Massachusetts, where, after the death of her deaf child, "Amy Medford" (Jenny Agutter) runs away from her wealthy husband, "Elliot" (Chris Robinson), to teach speech to deaf children at a rural school for the blind and deaf. At the school, Amy is surprised to learn that there is no doctor on staff. Superintendent “Lyle Ferguson” (Lou Fant) informs Amy that funds are too limited, but Amy asks handyman “Clyde Pruett” (Jonathan Daly) to help and he returns with a slightly inebriated “Dr. Ben Corcoran” (Barry Newman).
Barry Newman and Jenny Agutter in AMY
AMY was originally filmed as a television movie, and it was the first television movie that Disney Studios made for an adult audience. The more adult-oriented scenes included an affair between the characters “Amy Medford” and “Dr. Ben Corcoran,” played by Jenny Agutter and Barry Newman. Both characters were married to others in the original script, but Dr. Corcoran’s character was single in the version ultimately filmed. Walt Disney Productions felt the film was “so powerful” it warranted a theatrical release.
The 1981 film was directed by Vincent McEveety and scored by Robert F. Brunner. Walt Disney was the first major studio to introduce a plan to caption the film for hearing-impaired audiences. Screenings of AMY were captioned in ten major U.S. cities. The film had meager U.S. grosses of $1.7 million.
FANTASIES was a made-for-television film spun around the mysterious murders of a soap opera cast, whose creator, “Carla Webber” (Susanne Pleshette), falls for the detective (Barry Newman) who is investigating the case.
Barry Newman and Susan Pleshette in FANTASIES
William Wiard directed the film, which aired on ABC on 18 January 1982. The film’s gimmick was that five current ABC soap opera stars had roles in the film (all playing new characters). James Di Pasquale provided the unreleased score.
Barry Newman and Susan Pleshette re-teamed for “Nightingales”, a medical drama television series that followed the stories of “Christine Broderick” (Pleshette), a supervisor of student nurses, and her five nursing students: “Sam” (Chelsea Field), “Bridget” (Susan Walters), “Yolanda” (Roxann Biggs), “Becky” (Kristy Swanson), and “Allyson” (Kim Johnston Ulrich). Other hospital personnel included Christine's love interest, “Dr. Paul Petrillo” (Gil Gerard); the head nurse, “Lenore Ritt” (Fran Bennett); and the chief of staff, “Dr. Garrett Braden” (Barry Newman).
NBC premiered the one-hour show on Wednesday, 25 January 1989 at 10 PM, as a mid-season replacement for the failed comedy-drama “Tattingers,” about a divorced couple who ran a Manhattan restaurant. Like “Tattingers,” “Nightingales” went up against two established, but not highly-rated series: the Vietnam War drama “China Beach” on ABC and the crime drama “Wiseguy” on CBS. “Nightingales” didn’t move the needle for NBC and was cancelled after 13 episodes, to be replaced by a series with more staying power—“Quantum Leap.” John E. Davis composed the series' theme.
Kenny Rogers brought his “Gambler” character into modern times with MacSHAYNE: WINNER TAKES ALL. This 1994 made-for-television film was a Kenny Rogers Production that finds the bearded one playing “Jack MacShayne,” an ex-convict who was busted and subsequently incarcerated for gambling when he shouldn’t have been. But MacShayne is no “Brady Hawkes.” He’s a hustler and small time con-man who isn’t afraid to break the rules.
After serving a short stretch in jail, he goes to Las Vegas to see his son. But when he gets there, his ex-wife is no longer where she used to live or work, and she left no forwarding address. “Danny Leggett” (Terry O'Quinn), a recently retired cop, approaches him and tells him that he will help him find his son, if he does something for him. It seems that Leggett is planning to rob a hotel casino, and he needs three guys to pull it off. Barry Newman had a supporting role as “Andy Capasso.”
Veteran television director E.W. Swackhamer helmed the film, which aired on NBC on 11 February 1994. Music was provided by Larry Brown and Edgar Struble.
Barry Newman returned to the big screen in 1996, co-starring in the disaster film DAYLIGHT. A gang of carjackers speeding away from the police slams into a caravan of trucks carrying illegal toxic waste in the Lincoln Tunnel. This causes an explosion that kills scores of people driving through the underwater tube during the late afternoon rush hour and traps some dozen others as well as one of the trapped New Yorker’s pet dog.
“Kit Latura” (Sylvester Stallone), a limo driver and former EMS chief, is on the scene of the disaster and takes charge when no one else in authority will, including tunnel supervisor “Norman Bassett” (Barry Newman). Kit goes underground and into that flaming and suffocating hell to save the survivors still alive and trapped inside the tunnel.
Barry Newman and Vanessa Bell Calloway in DAYLIGHT
Rob Cohen directed the $80 million action-adventure, which flopped in the U.S., grossing just $33 million, but had sufficient overseas revenues to push its worldwide gross to $159 million. Randy Edelman’s score was released on a Universal CD.
In the 1998 comedy-crime film GOODBYE LOVER, Ellen DeGeneres plays a homicide detective who aims most of her comedy barbs at her partner, a religious Mormon played by Alex Rocco. Barry Newman played “Sen. Lassetter” in the picture. The film was directed by Roland Joffe (THE KILLING FIELDS; THE MISSION). John Ottman’s score was released by Milan. The $20 million film sank at the box office, with a $2 million domestic gross.
In Steven Soderbergh's THE LIMEY, Terence Stamp plays “Wilson,” a brutal British thug, just out of prison, who flies to Los Angeles. Wilson's looking to serve payback to the party responsible for the death of his estranged daughter, and all the signs point to his daughter's last lover, a record producer named “Terry Valentine” (Peter Fonda). He's someone who "took the whole '60s Zeitgeist thing and ran with it," as he's described to Wilson.
Living in a multimillion-dollar house that offers a prime view of the smog, Valentine is a guy who exploited a decade and hasn't stopped his manipulations since, only looking forward to the next deal and the next younger girlfriend. Valentine is understandably upset that someone is trying to kill him. He delegates his security consultant “Avery” (Barry Newman) to take Wilson out. Avery in turn subcontracts the job out to hitman “Stacy” (Nicky Katt).
Barry Newman in THE LIMEY
Early in the production, Steven Soderbergh told Barry Newman that his character is sort of an ex-wife to Valentine who still hangs around. This brings out a sense of jealousy from the Avery character and explains why he picks at Valentine off and on.
The 1999 crime thriller’s score by Cliff Martinez and Danny Saber shared the Flash Cut Records CD release with a number of songs. Despite good reviews, the $9 million production was a flop at the U.S. box office, grossing just $3.2 million.
Film director Bobby BOWFINGER (Steve Martin) is in desperate need of a hit. When he gets the script for “Chubby Rain,” he knows he has a blockbuster on his hands…if he can get the superstar “Kit Ramsey” (Eddie Murphy) to star. Bowfinger assembles a crew and formulates a plan. Bowfinger will make “Chubby Rain” with Kit Ramsey…even if Ramsey doesn’t know it. Barry Newman plays Kit’s agent in the film.
Frank Oz directed this 1999 comedy. David Newman’s score split the Varese Sarabande CD release with 6 songs. The $55 million production received good reviews, but was only a modest earner, with a worldwide gross of $98.6 million.
“Matt” (Josh Hartnett) has had a bad breakup, and he gets the idea that swearing off sex for Lent, i.e., 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS, will give him the perspective he needs. That includes all forms of sexual activity, even kissing or masturbation, just to be clear. Naturally, his old flame “Nicole” (Vinessa Shaw), who broke up with him months ago and is now engaged to someone else, and a brand-new true love “Erica” (Shannyn Sossamon) then turn up like bad pennies to torment the poor boy. Though he’s still obsessed with getting Nicole back, only a few days after swearing off sex he’s met Erica, and they fall in love. But he won’t tell her about his secret vow. Griffin Dunne and Barry Newman play Matt’s boss and dad, respectively. Paolo Costanzo is Matt’s roomie, “Ryan.”
Barry Newman in 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS
Michael Lehmann directed this 2002 romantic comedy. The $17 million production received mixed reviews, but was a hit, with a worldwide gross of $95 million. Rolfe Kent’s score has not had a release.
In WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?, “Amanda” (Marlee Matlin), a divorced photographer, finds herself in a fantastic Alice in Wonderland experience when her daily, uninspired life literally begins to unravel, revealing the cellular, molecular and even quantum worlds which lie beneath. Guided by a Greek Chorus of leading scientists and mystics, she finds that if reality itself is not questionable, her notion of it certainly is. Stunning special effects plunge us into a world where quantum uncertainty is demonstrated - where Amanda's neurological processes, and perceptual shifts are engaged and lived - where everything is alive, and reality is changed by every thought. Barry Newman has a supporting role as “Frank.”
William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, and Mark Vicente co-directed this 2004, 109-minute semi-documentary. Christopher Franke’s score shared a two-CD set on 321 Records with various songs. The soundtrack didn’t appear until 2006, when a 156-minute director’s cut of the film was released. The original film had a worldwide gross of $21 million. The 2006 expansion added a miniscule $139,000 to that total.
Over the next decade, Barry Newman made only a few minor film and television appearances. In 2019, Newman filmed FINDING HANNAH with Diana Muldaur (who had not made a film appearance in 29 years). The film concerned “Isaac Dorfman” (Newman), who was the boyfriend of 14-year-old Hannah, who had been sent to a concentration camp in 1942, and Isaac’s search for what happened to Hannah. The film costarred Juliet Mills, Christina Pickles, and Judy Geeson, and was directed by Sidney J. Furie. The film has never been released.
Barry Newman was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1975 and a Golen Globe Award in 1976 for his role in the television series “Petrocelli.” He lost both awards to Robert Blake for “Baretta.” Newman’s career did not produce superstardom or widespread critical acclaim, but he was always a solid presence on the screen. Farewell, Barry.