Tag Archives: memorable

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to director John Sturges‘ 1963 war-era classic, The Great Escape. Set in a POW camp in Nazi Germany, the film follows the true story of a group of Allied prisoners who sought to accomplish the biggest jail break ever conceived, scattering more than 200 Allied troops across the country in an effort to divert Nazi war efforts on finding and re-capturing the escaped soldiers. The Great Escape is famous for a number of reasons. It featured an all-star cast including Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles), James Garner (The Rockford Files, The Notebook), Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, Elizabeth), Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West, Death Wish), Donald Pleasance (Halloween, Escape From New York), and James Coburn (The Muppet Movie, In Like Flint), several of which were actual POWs with the Allied Forces during World War II. It also set and broke a number of on-screen records, ranging from the scale of the production (an entire replica of a real-life German POW camp was built in which to shoot the film) to the impressive array of stunts. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to Steven Spielberg‘s shark-attack nightmare: 1975’s Jaws. This movie is the reason why all of our parents are afraid to go into the water. Jaws was Steven Spielberg’s breakout movie. It won 3 Oscars for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, and was also nominated for Best Picture. All that, however, came with an extremely stressful production and a brutal film schedule that ended up expanding from 55 to 155 days. Needless to say some recognition from the Academy was definitely warranted.

One of the biggest problems was actor Robert Shaw (From Russia with Love, The Sting). Though he was respected as an actor, he was in a heavy battle with alcoholism. This caused high tensions on the set, especially with fellow actor Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland’s Opus). Shaw would have a drink between takes, but according to lead actor Roy Scheider (The French Connection, All That Jazz) it only took one before he was already off the wall. This caused him to totally flop the initial take of the USS Indianapolis scene, which is today’s Memorable Movie Moment.

During the scene, Quint (Shaw) describes the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in 1945, which carried the first operational atomic bomb for the invasion of Japan. In the initial take, Shaw decided that, since the scene was at night and the men were supposed to be drunk anyway, he would drink and do the scene. Unfortunately he was so drunk that nothing in the performance could be used. The story goes that Shaw was so ashamed he went to Spielberg to ask for another take, and the next day he delivered this stunning performance sober, and all in one take. Continue reading