Sunday, February 19, 2017

RIP Gerald Hirschfeld

American cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld died February 13th in Ashland, Oregon. He was 95. Born on April 25, 1921, in New York City, Hirschfeld was self-taught in his craft — mostly by watching movies. He filmed such classics as “Young Frankenstein”, “Two-Minute Warning”, “Fail-Safe” and several other films including one Euro-western, 1970’s “Doc” starring Stacy Keach and Faye Dunaway.

Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone – English title

A 1999 British production [Crea TVty, Westbrook Films Ltd./NBD TV (London)]
Producer: Jane Schack
Director: Howard Hill
Screenplay: Howard Hill
Photography: Robin Barrett, Michael Fardy, Paul Fitzgerald, Ken Preston [color]
Music: various
Running time: 60 minutes

Narrator – Howard Hill
With: Sergio Leone [archive footage], Quentin Tarantino, Rod Steiger (Rodney Steiger), James Coburn, James Woods, Claudia Cardinale (Claude Cardinale), Carla Leone (Carla Ranalli), Raffaella Leone, Francesca Leone, Piero De Bernardi, Enrico Medioli, Arnon Milchan, Stuart Kennedy, Scott Tiler (Scot Scutzman), Leonardo Benvenuti, Stuart Kaminsky, Eli Wallach

British documentary on Sergio Leone’s directorial career. This documentary is featured on the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD for “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984), released in 2003.

Special Birthdays

Barbara Schnitzler (actress) is 65 today.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

RIP Pasquale Squitieri

Italian director and screenwriter Pasquale Squitieri died today February 18th in Rome. He was 78. Born in Naples, Italy on November 27, 1938, he began his film career in 1969 with “lo e Dio”, produced by Vittorio De Sica, and under the pseudonym William Redford which he also used in two spaghetti western films: “Django Defies Sartana” and “Vengeance Trail”. His career ended very early when Squitieri dedicated his life to current issues and reality in Italian society: Contacts between the Mafia and politics, drugs, terrorism, the "white deaths" and immigration. But his fame is mainly due to his historical and political films, some of which have earned him much criticism. This is the case of " Li chiamarono... briganti!", In 1999 he withdrew immediately from the industry under mysterious circumstances.

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue to our search for filming locations for the 1966 film “Navajo Joe”. Back in Esperanza the townsfolk have gathered at the saloon and are fretting over their predicament. They don’t trust the Indian and want to send for the Rangers. Just then Joe enters and tells them the Rangers won’t be coming. When questioned as to why? He says Dr. Lynne went the wrong way and they’ll soon see. He demands a dollar a head from every citizen in town for every outlaw he kills in defending them and the money. Dr. Lynn’s wife agrees to the deal and Joe says he wants one more thing… the sheriff’s badge. After a brief argument is agreed he gets the badge. He asks once again for some dynamite and tells them to go to their homes and stay out of his way.

The scene was filmed in the saloon set.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: and Captain Douglas Film Locations

Who Are Those Guys? ~ James Caan

James Edmund Caan was born in The Bronx, New York on  March 26, 1940. The son of a New York butcher, James was athletically gifted, and played football at Michigan State University. Acting intrigued him, and after gaining acceptance into Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse, Caan won a scholarship to study at Wynn Handman Studio. He began to appear in off-Broadway productions, including I Roam & Mandingo. He made his screen debut in Irma la Douce, and went on to impressive roles in El Dorado and Journey to Shiloh. It was the heart-rending television movie Brian's Song that really put him on the map. After this, he cemented his screen status as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather II. Throughout the 70's he was hit-and-miss with films like Freebie and the Bean, Funny Lady, Rollerball, Harry and Walter Go to New York, Comes a Horseman, and Chapter Two. He rang in the 1980's with Michael Mann's cult-fave, Thief. He has continued working in varied films like Honeymoon in Vegas, For the Boys, Dick Tracy, Alien Nation, and Misery. He returned to television in Sin City and the NBC's drama series, Las Vegas. Caan holds a black belt in karate. He was even a regular on the rodeo circuit, and he earned the nickname The Jewish Cowboy.

CAAN, James (aka Jimmy Caan) (James Edmund Caan) [3/26/1940, The Bronx, New York, U.S.A. -     ] – rodeo performer, director, singer, theater, film, TV actor, brother of producer Ronnie Caan [1945-    ], married to actress Dee Jay Mattis (1961-1966) father of Tara A. Caan [1964-    ] , married to actress Sheila Marie Ryan [1952-2012] (1976-1976) father of producer, director writer, actor Scott Andrew Caan [1976-    ], married to pastry chef Ingrid Hajek [1961-    ] (1990-1995) father of Alexander James Caan [1991-    ], married to actress Linda Stokes (1995-2015) father of  James Arthur Caan [1995-    ], Jacob Nicholas Caan [1998-    ].
Another Man, Another Chance – 1977 (David Williams)
The North Star – 1996 (Sean McLennon)