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Million Dollar Movie

Posted By Alex Belth On June 9, 2011 @ 11:06 am In 1: Featured,Actors,Arts and Culture,Bronx Banter,Million Dollar Movie | Comments Disabled


I remember being fascinated by this movie poster when I was a kid. It was cool and sinister. Wasn’t until years later that I saw the movie, which remains overlooked, but is now available on Blue Ray DVD [2]. Dig this Q&A with Peter O’Toole in the New York Times [3]:

Q: How is it that “The Stunt Man” was as well-reviewed and widely nominated as it was, and yet played in so few theaters?

A.Don’t forget this is a long time ago, and I wasn’t very au fait with everything that was going on in any way. But apparently the guy who put up the bread, the money, I think he was a supermarket builder or something. [Melvin Simon, the producer, was a shopping mall developer.] He had bought the script and the entire idea on the fact that it was an art film, and it made sense on his balance books to lose money. I think eventually it crept into 11 cinemas, which is a bit shameful. [After a successful test run for "The Stunt Man" in Seattle, 20th Century Fox picked up distribution rights for the film but ordered only about 300 prints.]

Q.Was it disappointing to have put in so much effort into something that was not seen by a large number of viewers, or is that just the way it goes sometimes?

A.It’s almost the nature of my line of work. [chuckles] I began in the theater, don’t forget. I was with the Classical Repertory Company, the Bristol Old Vic, and we did 12 plays a year. Over a period of four years you can imagine the number of times one had the highest hopes [laughs] and you find you’re playing to – as the old actors used to say – Mr. and Mrs. Wood. Which meant nobody was in the audience but the seats. I’m used to it, but it was a disappointment.


For more on O’Toole check out Gay Talese’s 1963 Esquire profile, “Peter O’Toole on the Ould Sod.” [5]

Article printed from Bronx Banter: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com

URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2011/06/09/million-dollar-movie-142/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://bronxbanter.arneson.name/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1980-the-stunt-man-poster1.jpg

[2] now available on Blue Ray DVD: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/movies/blog/2011/06/_in_the_performance_that.html

[3] Q&A with Peter O’Toole in the New York Times: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/peter-otoole-has-a-few-words-for-directors/?emc=eta1

[4] Image: http://bronxbanter.arneson.name/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/stunsz.jpg

[5] “Peter O’Toole on the Ould Sod.”: http://www.realitymouse.com/otoole/articles/talese.html

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