Today I Watched...

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    There are 32 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by DCtheQuietMan.

    • "Khartoum" (1966) starring Charlton Heston and Lawrence Olivier. Based on a true historical event from Sudan in 1884. Olivier plays The Mahdi who leads an islamist uprisning against the Egyptians backed by the Brittish and Heston plays the Brittish Gen. Charles Gordon.

      It is the story of war and politics. It is also the story of two men with very strong religious convictions on different sides of the conflict.

      Hadn't heard about this before I saw it on sale on an online shop a while back. Highly reccomended (8/10).
    • Hi

      Charlton Heston was a great admirer of Laurence Olivier and had appeared with him on Broadway in a disasterous play called the Tumbler which opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on February 24th 1960 and closed three days later after just five performances.

      Given the chance to play General Gordon opposite Oliviers Mahdi he jumped at the chance. He also apeared with Ralph Richardson who played prime minister Gladstone in the picture. Another knight, Rchardson he had appeared in the original 1930s version of the Four Feathers which also dealt with the same period of history.

      The battle scenes were directed by Yakima Canutt assisted by his son Joe. They had both worked with Heston before on Ben Hur and it had been Joe who had stood in for Heston in the chariot race.

      An item of interest is that in the film in one scene Heston is sitting in the palace of the Khedive of Egypt watching a belly dancer, he has no dialogue but in his book Heston explains that the point of the scene was to demonstrate the magnificent tunic he was wearing which was covered entirely with gold bullion which apparently added an extra six pounds to the weight.

      When it came to making the costume the studio went to a london tailor called Berman's who were the oldest costume and uniform house in the world. When the uniform had been completed Heston complimented an old tailor on the authentic look of the uniform and was told that it was no problem as the firm had made the original uniform for General Gordon and still had the original patterns.

      At one point Heston wondered looking at the age of the tailor, if he had made the original but dismissed that idea

      Regards

      Arthur
      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Arthur;

      Years ago I had a friend that had gone to school with Yakima Canutt's son Joe in the L.A. area, and when they came to Phoenix I took him on a tour by Aircraft of the Salt River Valley where Phoenix is located, and had a lot of time to talk to him about Chariot Race and the Film Ben Hur, and when he jumped the one Chariot while doubling for Heston and almost was thrown over the front of the Chariot and into the horses. He said that it was mighty close but they pulled it off! :fear2: He also said that Heston did most of driving of the Chariot in the race, but did not do any of the things that were too dangerous. That was one Great Chariot Race!!!

      Bill :cowboy:
    • Hi Bill

      Your right it was brilliant.

      In Heston's book it seems that Yak was aware of the dangers of the stunt and suggested that Joe wear a restraining harness but at the last minute his son didn't opt for it for fear that if anythng went wrong he might get dragged under the wheels of the chariot. I have a piece of newspaper clipping which deails Yaks work in Stagecoach and also in Ben Hur:-

      Cannutt was co-ordinator of the chariot race, but in the stunt I've choosen, it was his son, Joe who was performing. I'ts a prime example of how spontaneous stunts can be. It was never planned for Joe to go over the top of the chariot. The jump was rehearsed, but the adrenalin was up, the horses were running a bit hard, they hit the ramp and Joe was literally fired over the front. Poor Yak must have been distraught: he was photographing this stunt in which it appears that his son has been killed. And then, lo and behold, Joe climbs back in. That's courage: to maintain that level of compousre and to carry on acting even though your face has just been ripped open.


      I take the spirit in which the piece was written although I cannot believe that spontinaity came into any gag tha Yakima Canutt planned as he was too meticulous.
      I believe that all Joe got from the encounter was a bloody nose. Truly a spectaular piece of work from a spectacular family.

      By the way do you know what happened to Joe and his brother Tap. the records are very vague. I had an address of the stuntmans association but when I wrote it came back not known.


      My Best Regards

      Arthur
      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Arthur, thanks for pointing out information on Yakima Canutt's two sons. I hadn't realized that there was a family "tradition" there. In looking on IMDb, it seems both brothers worked on several of John Wayne's movies in the area of stunts -

      Tap was in The Cowboys, Rio Lobo, The Undefeated, McLintock, The Comancheros, and The Alamo (all uncredited stuntwork).

      Joe worked in Rio Lobo, Chisum, McLintock, The Comancheros, and The Alamo (again, all uncredited stuntwork).

      Assuming these guys were in their early twenties in the early 1950's they must be in their seventies by now. I wonder if they had children who followed in their (and their grandfather's) footsteps.

      Chester :newyear:
    • Hi Bill and Chester,

      It would be great to find out what happened to them.

      Tap Cannutt, His real name was Edward, got hs nickname on the day of his birth when he was called Tapadero the Spanish name for a stirrup cover and held the name ever after. Just why I don't know but to follow Yak's story and it is very interesting, read Yak's book Stuntman.

      I seem to recall their is a female stuntperson possibly a third generation about but can't be sure.

      Regards

      Arthur


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Arthur,

      Like a couple of sleuths in a mystery story, the Mrs. and I found a phone number listing for a Tap Canutt in southern California. We'll try it tomorrow, when it isn't so late. If it's really him, we'll report back here. Are there any questions you would like us to ask, if it is the "real" Tap Canutt (how many could there be :o ??)?

      Chester :newyear: and the Mrs. :angel1:
    • Hi Chester

      Your probably right. Its very forwad but I'd like a personal pen picture similar to the sort of thing the stunt men did for Tim Lilley in the Big Trail and possibly an autographed photograph to go with Rudy Robbins Dean Smith and Neil Summers.

      If that is impossible a address that I could write to him.


      Regards

      Arthur
      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • Apparently, before Chester left for his little vacation down in Mexico, he tried to call Tap Canutt, but didn't get an answer. However, with that new-fangled technology of caller ID, they had our number, and Mrs. Canutt called back (I guess she was curious . . . ).

      Anyway, I am happy to report that Tap Canutt is alive and well, having retired just a few years ago, and his brother Joe is, too. Since the call came unexpectedly, I couldn't remember what your request was, Arthur, so I will PM you with contact info, so you can follow up. I feel confident you will be well received.

      I told Mrs. Canutt about the message board, so maybe they might visit us one of these days.

      Mrs. C :angel1:
    • Since most of my JW movies are in VHS format, I have slowly started replacing with DVDs wherever possible or prudent (I won't touch the Goodtimes DVD of "McLintock" - that is inferior and only in full screen format). This weekend, I purchased three DVDs of some of the Duke's later films - "El Dorado," "Rio Lobo" and "Big Jake," in widescreen format, of course. My wife and I watched all three over the Memorial Day weekend and I must say that I am greatly pleased by the quality of the pictures - sharp, with true color and, in widescreen, the outdoor vistas are magnificent. Watching Duke made for a very enjoyable holiday weekend.
      Cheers - Jay :D
      Cheers - Jay:beer:
      "Not hardly!!!"

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