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27th August

Posted by Rob Brady on

Massacre in Rome (1973)

Lt Col Herbert Kappler's second in command was Erich Priepke. He was arrested in South America and extradited to Italy where he was released from trial, due to his age. After public outcry, he was placed under house arrest in Italy until his death. Kappler was imprisoned after the war and, in old age, contracted cancer. He was refused release under medical grounds. His second wife, a nurse, smuggled him out of prison in a suitcase, yet due to his health was very frail. She got him to East Germany where he lived out his remaining days. During his imprisonment in Italy, Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty visited Kappler regularly.


Reunion in France (1942)

Look quickly for Ava Gardner's one-line bit as a fashion salon assistant.


Raintree County (1957)

On the evening of May 12, 1956, during the shooting of this movie, Montgomery Clift was involved in a serious car accident on his way back home from a party at the house of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his car while driving and smashed his car into a telephone pole. His friend Kevin McCarthy witnessed the accident from his car, drove back and informed Taylor and her then husband Michael Wilding, who immediately drove to the location together with Rock Hudson. Taylor entered the car through the back door, crawled to the front seat and removed the two front teeth from Clift's throat that threatened to choke him. Hudson finally managed to pull him out of the wreck and together they protected him from being photographed until the ambulance arrived. This was necessary because soon after the emergency call had come in to the local Police station, reporters were already on their way and arrived at the scene when Clift was still in the car. The accident was well publicized. After nine weeks of recovery and with plastic surgery, Clift returned to the movie set and finished this movie, but with considerable difficulties. His dashing looks, though, were gone forever. In some scenes throughout the movie, despite the cinematographer's skill, Clift's nose and chin look different, and the entire left side of his face is nearly immobile.

After his car accident during shooting, there was some consideration given to re-casting of Montgomery Clift's role. Production insurance would have covered the costs of re-shooting, but Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson insisted that Clift be allowed to continue once he recovered from his injuries.


Master of the World (1961)

The destruction of the British fleet is footage of the Battle of Trafalgar from That Hamilton Woman (1941).


Mosquito Squadron (1969)

The Bouncing Bomb used in the film was a real weapon. Known as Highball (a smaller version of the Dambusting Upkeep bomb), it was originally designed by Dr. Barnes Wallis to be utilized against battleships, such as the Tirpitz. The Highball bomb weighed 1,280lb (580kg), carried 600lb (272kg) of explosive, and was small enough to be carried in tandem by a Mosquito fighter-bomber. Prior to release the bomb was imparted with a backward spin of 700-900 revolutions per minute, and dropped at high speed (360 mph (580km/h)) and low altitude (60 ft (18.2m)).


Conspiracy of Hearts (1960)

The credit 'Original Material' for the story is fronted by Dale Pitt, as the actual author Adrian Scott was blacklisted as one of the original Hollywood Ten imprisoned for refusing to testify before the House Unamerican Activities Committee.


The Stranger (1946)

Orson's freedom as a director had been diminishing ever since 'Citizen Kane' and his disagreements with studio head Goetz began at the casting stage with the character of the 'Wilson' role. Welles wanted Agnes Moorehead, believing that it would be much more interesting to have a spinster lady at the heels of the 'Nazi'. Goetz didn't like the idea and Robinson got the part. Welles worked on the rewrites with original writer Anthony Veiller and an uncredited John Huston, who was in the army at the time. He wrote and shot scenes at the begining of the film, which he described as a 'whole series of very wild dream like events. These 'wild events' worried both Goetz and producer Sam Spiegel, who at that time was using the pseudonym S.P. Eagle, so out they came. The final edit was not of Welles' choosing but despite everything it remains a uniquely Welles film.


The Tamarind Seed (1974)

One of two consecutive espionage movies that Dame Julie Andrews made with her husband, Writer and Director Blake Edwards. The other being Darling Lili (1970). Earlier, Andrews had starred in Sir Alfred Hitchcock's spy movie Torn Curtain (1966).


Strangers on a Train (1951)

The stunt where the man crawled under the carousel was not done with trick photography. Sir Alfred Hitchcock claimed that this was the most dangerous stunt ever performed under his direction, and he would never allow it to be done again.