|HOLLYWOOD FLASHBACKSILENT NIGHTHOLLYWOOD|
The late Paramount chief screened 'The Adventurers' aboard TWA's new 747 aircraft during its maiden flight from New York to Los Angeles, where studio and airline execs, along with hundreds of journalists, mingled with the likes of Ernest Borgnine and other stars.
It was, in many respects, a perfectly ordinary premiere. There was a red carpet. There was champagne. There were movie stars. The only difference was that it took place at 35,000 feet.
On Feb. 23, 1970, Paramount Pictures, headed by publicity-loving Robert Evans who died in 2019 at age 89, held its premiere of The Adventurers aboard TWA's new 747 during its maiden flight from New York to L.A. Dozens of studio and airline execs joined hundreds of reporters to mingle midair with Ernest Borgnine, opera singer turned actress Anna Moffo, Yugoslavian heartthrob Bekim Fehmiu and a few other stars, as the film — a $14 million $92 million today, three-hour-plus Harold Robbins bodice-ripper about a Brazilian playboy — was projected on five screens throughout the jumbo jet. Dinner was duck à l'orange.
"The thing I most remember was that there was no way to walk out," recalls Leigh Taylor-Young, 75, who played one of Fehmiu's romantic conquests. "If you didn't like the movie, you were stuck."
Most of the other cast and crew are long dead, but thanks to the scores of journalists on board, details of the flight have been preserved.
"The carpet was so thick, it swallowed my loafers," wrote a young Gene Siskel in the Chicago Tribune of his walk down the red carpet of Flight Wing 1, the plane's exclusive loading gate at JFK.
The party in the sky cost Paramount $250,000 $1.6 million today, but many thought it was an aerial debacle. Takeoff was delayed 45 minutes because of a phoned-in bomb threat. Landing was delayed another hour as the jet circled, waiting for the movie to end.
At least one VIP passenger found the experience excruciating. "Seeing it on the plane was ghastly," Lewis Gilbert, the film's director, fretted to reporters.
"It's not meant to be shown on a plane." The movie ended up tanking, grossing just $7 million $46.5 million today.
This story first appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
A musical drama based on the life of Elvis Presley has signed Maggie Gyllenhaal to play the icon’s mother.
In the movie, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann “The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!” will explore the life and music of Presley through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker, played in the film by two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks “Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”.
The story will delve into their complex dynamic spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.
In other news, Lily-Rose Depp, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Davida McKenzie have joined the cast of the Christmas film “Silent Night.” They join previously announced Keira Knightley The Imitation, Griffin Davis and Matthew Goode.
Lily-Rose Depp is best known for her breakout performance in Kevin Smith's Yoga-Hosers, which world-premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, her credits include “The Summoning” aka “Planetarium” opposite Natalie Portman, Louis Garrel's “A Faithful Man,” and David Michod's “The King” with Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton on Netflix.
She has two films in post-production, including “Dreamland” with Armie Hammer, Luke Evans, Gary Oldman and Michelle Rodriguez, and “Voyagers” with Colin Farrell and Tye Sheridan.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste has appeared in several award-winning and critically acclaimed series, including BBC America's “Killing Eve,” HBO/Sky Atlantic's “Barry,” and NBC's “The Good Place.” She was last seen in CBS All Access' “Why Women Kill”opposite Lucy Liu and Ginnifer Goodwin from creator Marc Cherry, which has been renewed for a second season.
Lily Rose-Depp is repped by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin, CAA and Agence Adequat, Kirby Howell-Baptiste by CAA, Troika and Mosaic, Rufus Jones by Independent Talent Group and 3 Arts Entertainment, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù by Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and Davida McKenzie by Untitled Entertainment, Industry Entertainment and Gail Cowan Management.Lily-Rose Depp, left, Kirby Howell Baptiste Shutterstock
Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Show: The Secret History of Hollywood
Where You Can Stream It: The podcasting app of your choice.
The Pitch: The Secret History of Hollywood is the most compelling, immersive, and emotional podcast I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Each season consists of deep dives into a major Hollywood figure, tracing its subject’s rise to prominence and giving incredible insight into their home lives, painting a portrait so captivating and well-rounded that biographies or books on the subjects could only dream to achieve.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Listening: I’ve been thinking about this podcast a lot since I first stumbled across it several years ago, but I think it’s especially appropriate to recommend it right now because some of its episodes are incredibly lengthy – many clock in around an hour and a half, but some of them stretch to four, six, or even nine hours long. Yes, really. Some of you may scoff, but isn’t being in quarantine the perfect time to give a long-form podcast a chance?
Adam Roche, the voice behind the show, had no background in sound editing or sound production when he got started, but he could have fooled me: the series reminds me of an old-time radio show, complete with sound effects and Roche doing voices as he plays the people in a given scene. I realize that may sound cheesy, and it absolutely would be in less-capable hands. But trust me: Roche’s mellifluous voice and incredibly researched accounts are perfect for this type of storytelling.
The show has brought me to tears multiple times over the years, and I think a huge part of the reason for that is because of the long episode lengths. Like a great TV series you never want to end, you get to spend hours and hours with the subjects of these episodes and build emotional connections to them, so when they they experience hardships, a project goes wrong, or they lose a loved one, the results can be unexpectedly powerful.
The show has earned the attention of Hollywood vets like Peter Ramsey Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mark Gatiss Sherlock, Game of Thrones, the latter of whom lends his own terrific voice to introductions of the most recent season, which covers the prolific producer Val Lewton Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Ghost Ship. I knew nothing about Lewton or his work before I listened to the eleven episode season, but by the end, I feel like not only do I know all about him, but I feel I’ve experienced his highs and lows right alongside him. It’s truly spellbinding stuff, and it comes with my absolute highest recommendation.
I’ve talked about the show a couple...