Living In The Past: An Alternate 1970s

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Andrew T, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. MrHola Banned

    Feb 25, 2007
    I'm looking forward to this TL's take on the James Bond film series. Will Roger Moore still be cast as the Bond of the seventies?
  2. Kalvan Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Why do I suspect that the first American Steampunk act will be Steely Dan?
  3. Andrew T Kick 'em when they're up!

    Aug 14, 2011
    That's Some Catch

    Yossarian Is Alive And Well in the Mexican Desert
    The New York Times, May 25, 1969 [1]

    Somewhere south of the border and 70 miles west of Nowhere, a theory is being tested: that a good movie based on a modern classic can be made in an atmosphere of general hilarity.

    Guaymas, Mexico. A film is being shot here. Not at the moment, of course. At the moment, the director of the film is playing a memory game with one of the actors while the crew figures out how to work a broken water machine that is holding up the shooting. The name of the film is Catch-22. It is budgeted at $11 million, is on location in the Mexican desert, and is based on Joseph Heller's best-selling World War II novel. "I've tried, as they say, to preserve the integrity of the novel," says screenwriter Buck Henry. "Don't print that unless you put after it: 'He said this with a glint in his eye and a twitch in his cheek and a kick in the groin.' Because if that line so much as looks as if I said it seriously, I'll kill you."

    A film is being shot here -- between memory games, word games, repartee, kibitzing and general good cheer. Catch-22, the story of Capt. John Yossarian and his ultimate refusal to fly any more bombing missions. The movie of the year. A film actors signed up for before they knew what parts they were playing or how much money they would get for their work. With Alan Arkin starring as Yossarian, and Orson Welles (General Dreedle), George C. Scott (Colonel Cathcart) [2], Dick Benjamin (Major Danby), Norman Fell (Sergeant Towser), Jack Gilford (Doc Daneeka), Tony Perkins (Chaplain Tappman), newcomer Jon Voight (Milo Minderbender), [3] and Paula Prentiss (Nurse Duckett). Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel, will make his acting debut as Lieutenant Nately; Paul Simon makes his as the sycophantic Captain “Aarfy” Aardvark, who’s constantly sucking up to Nately. It’s an interesting reversal from what we’ve come to expect from the duo. [4]

    Whether Catch-22 will be a masterpiece, merely a very funny film, or even (however unlikely) the first failure for Mike Nichols after two smash hit movies (The Graduate and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and seven hit plays (among them "The Odd Couple," "Luv" and "Plaza Suite") is at this point almost an irrelevant question for the actors in it. What matters is that the film is a chance to work with Nichols, who, at 37, is the most successful director in America and probably the most popular actors' director in the world. Says Orson Welles: "Nobody's in his league with actors." What's more, he is the first American director since Welles made Citizen Kane in 1941 to have complete creative control over his final product--including the contractual right of final cut and the option of not showing his rushes to studio executives. Almost as an afterthought, he’s the first director to be paid $1 million in salary for his work. [5]

    It has taken eight years to bring Heller's book to the shooting stage. In the interim, the novel, after a slow beginning and mixed reviews, has become a modern classic, with a Modern Library edition and 2 million paperback copies in print. The film property has passed from Columbia to Paramount/Filmways, from Richard Brooks (who did little or nothing with it for three years) to Mike Nichols, from Jack Lemmon (who originally wanted to play Yossarian) to Arkin, and from one unsuccessful treatment by Richard Quine to four drafts by Buck Henry (whose previous film credits include "The Graduate" and "Candy"). Orson Welles – who desperately wanted to produce and direct Catch-22 for himself back in 1962 – appears here as the vicious General Dreedle. [6] Now, the end is finally in sight: Catch-22 is to shoot in Mexico until June, move to Los Angeles for four weeks of airplane interior shots, and then on to Rome until mid-September. After long months of editing and scoring, it will be ready for release in mid-1970. [7]

    Indeed, Nichols seems excited, almost giddy, to score the movie. Obviously, one might suspect that any film featuring both Simon and Garfunkel as actors is bound to feature Simon & Garfunkel’s music as well, and to that end, Nichols promises that Catch-22 will not disappoint; risking, I suppose, potentially unflattering comparisons to Nichols’s immediately prior hit, The Graduate. [8] “I showed Stanley Kubrick some of our early shots, walked him through our storyboards, and he asked me, ‘How are you scoring this?’ and I told him, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to score it.’ And he laughed, and said, ‘Not even I’m that arrogant.’ And I thought about it, and he was absolutely right. And so I’ve got some great pieces lined up, beyond Simon & Garfunkel, two really haunting pieces from a British group, Jethro Tull.” [9]

    The most critical problem Nichols and Henry faced in translating the book into cinematic terms was finding a style for Heller's macabre comedy. "The book and, as a result, the film, have to be somewhat dreamlike, not quite real -- either something remembered, or a nightmare," said Nichols. "That's very hard to do with living actors, with pores and noses, because they're so definitely there. If you're making a film in which an officer says, 'You mean the enlisted men pray to the same God that we do?' and in which the men bomb their own base, you have to find a style that makes it clear, from the beginning, that such things can happen."

    The solution according to David Watkin, the English cinematographer who shot Richard Lester’s Beatles films, was to light Catch-22 so that all the actors are in shadow and the background is burned out; the effect is of a subliminal limbo. In addition, the set – which itself has a ghostly quality – appears particularly empty throughout most of the film; Nichols employed and then sent home nearly 200 extras after the first week of shooting, leaving only Yossarian and his friends to fill out the huge air base. [10]

    Like the novel, the film hangs on the notion of Catch-22, a masterpiece of muddled military logic. “Let me get this straight,” says Yossarian. “In order to be grounded I have to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying.” "You got it," says Doc Daneeka. "That's Catch-22."

    As a multitude of reporters and critics have observed since the book was published in October, 1961, "Catch-22" has almost become a primer for the thinking that has seemed to be guiding the war in Vietnam. At the same time, the predicament of Yossarian has become more relevant in the context of the antiwar movement in this country. “The interesting thing about the book,” says Henry, who despite his disclaimer has been quite faithful to the novel, “is the enormous power of prophecy Heller had. He was writing about a man who had finally decided to opt out and who in the end ends up in Sweden. That was a total absurdity when he wrote it, a really far-out kind of insanity. Well, it's come true.”

    Sometimes Nichols will give an actor a short suggestion or line reading that will suddenly clarify the role. To Benjamin, who was playing a scene in which he was supposed to be terrified of Orson Welles's General Dreedle, Nichols -- who was himself terrified of Orson Welles -- said simply, "Watch me." To Austin Pendleton, who was confused as to how to play Welles's son-in-law, Colonel Moodus, Nichols gave a line reading that, said Pendleton, "gave me the key to the whole thing. I realized he wanted to me play the kind of person who says the most insulting things as if he's being terribly friendly."

    Any location -- outside of London, Paris and Rome -- is bound to breed complaint; but the actors, who seem to be playing a private game of Kvetch-22, have hardly been on a dull movie. Within the first two weeks of shooting, a case of hepatitis broke out, requiring that the entire company be inoculated. A B-25, caught in propwash, nearly crashed into the control tower while shooting was going on. Susanne Benton, a starlet who plays General Dreedle's WAC, complete with seven pairs of falsies and a rubber behind by Frederick's of Hollywood, was accidentally clobbered by a camera during a take and passed out cold. Two actors, mistakenly released for a short trip to New York, were headed off on the way to the airport by a hastily dispatched helicopter, which landed, a la James Bond, ahead of them on the highway. [11]

    The arrival of Orson Welles, for two weeks of shooting in February, was just the therapy the company needed: at the very least, it gave everyone something to talk about. The situation was almost melodramatically ironic: Welles, the great American director now unable to obtain big- money backing for his films, was being directed by 37-year-old Nichols; Welles, who had tried, unsuccessfully, to buy Catch-22 for himself in 1962, was appearing in it to pay for his new film, Dead Reckoning. The cast spent days preparing for his arrival. Touch of Evil was flown in and microscopically reviewed. Citizen Kane was discussed over dinner. Tony Perkins, who had appeared in Welles's film, The Trial, was repeatedly asked What Orson Welles Was Really Like. Bob Balaban, a young actor who plays Orr in the film, laid plans to retrieve one of Welles's cigar butts for an admiring friend. And Nichols began to combat his panic by imagining what it would be like to direct a man of Welles's stature.

    "Before he came," said Nichols, "I had two fantasies. The first was that he would say his first line, and I would say, 'NO, NO, NO, Orson !'" He laughed. "Then I thought, perhaps not. The second was that he would arrive on the set and I would say, 'Mr. Welles, now if you'd be so kind as to move over here. . .' And he'd look at me and raise that famous eyebrow and say, 'Over there?" And I'd say, 'What? Oh, uh, where do you think it should be?'"

    Welles landed in Guaymas with an entourage that included a cook and experimental film-maker Peter Bogdanovich, who was interviewing him for a Truffaut-Hitchcock-type memoir. For the eight days it took to shoot his two scenes, he dominated the set. He stood on the runway, his huge wet Havana cigar tilting just below his squinting eyes and sagging eye pouches, addressing Nichols and the assembled cast and crew. Day after day, he told fascinating stories of dubbing in Bavaria, looping in Italy and shooting in Yugoslavia. He also told Nichols how to direct the film, the crew how to move the camera, film editor Sam O'Steen how to cut a scene, and most of the actors how to deliver their lines. Welles even lectured George C. Scott for three minutes on how to deliver the line, "Yes, sir." [12]

    A few of the actors did not mind at all. Austin Pendleton got along with Welles simply by talking back to him. "Are you sure you wouldn't like to say that line more slowly?" Welles asked Pendleton one day. "Yes," Pendleton replied slowly. "I am sure."

    At the same time, Nichols carefully smoothed the ruffled feathers among his company. And he got a magnificent performance, from Welles as well as from the rest of the cast. "The Welles situation, which brought a lot of people down, was almost identical to the tension that was written in the script," said Peter Bonerz, a young West Coast actor who plays McWatt in the film. "We were all under the thumb of this huge, cigar-smoking general, as written, and at the same time, we were under the thumb of this huge, cigar-smoking director. The discomfort that we were feeling was real, and I'm sure it looks grand on film."

    From outside the trailer came a knock, and a voice said, "Mr. Nichols, we're ready for you now." The water machine was working. The actors were on the set. And Nichols hopped out of the air-conditioned vehicle into the heat and began to walk over to the stone building where the cameras were set up. A few feet away, Buck Henry was having difficulty with a crossword puzzle. "Are there any Hindus here?" he was shouting. "One of your festivals is bothering me."

    A film is being shot here.

    Nora Ephron is a freelance writer specializing in popular culture.

    Comedy, Drama
    Rated R
    124 minutes

    * * * * (Four stars) [13]
    Chicago Sun-Times
    Roger Ebert
    September 24, 1970

    Joseph Heller’s eccentric masterpiece, Catch-22, took seven years of rewriting to get all the pieces the air at the same time. For director Mike Nichols to do the same sort of juggling act with a movie – which has so many more pieces than a novel – seemed impossible. Yet somehow, Nichols managed to catch Heller’s tone, that delicate balance between insanity and ice cold logic.

    In the book, everything was crazy because it made sense, a paradox illustrated in the case of Yossarian, the hero. Yossarian didn't want to fly any more missions over Italy. Why? Because they were shooting at him and someday they would hit him and he would die. Now that seems like sound reasoning, but (understandably) it doesn't work with most armies. When Yossarian claimed insanity in hopes of being shipped home, Doc Daneeka explained his mistake. You'd have to be crazy to want to fly dangerous missions over Italy and maybe get killed, right? But Yossarian didn't want to fly those missions. Ergo, Yossarian was sane and had to fly them.

    This sort of Alice-in-Wonderland logic is at the heart of Heller's book, and somehow Nichols keeps it going. The movie doesn’t just recite speeches and passages from the novel; it makes them an integral part of its style. In the first half of the movie, Nichols doesn’t just tell us that officers are dumb and war doesn’t make sense; he rather, shows us all of the varieties of insanity that fit together like jigsaw pieces to explain how this implausible scenario comes to be.

    Nately’s conversation with the Italian veteran brings this stark reality into brilliant focus. “You see,” begins the cantankerous old coot, “Italy is really a very poor and weak country, and that's what makes us so strong. Italian soldiers are not dying any more. But American and German soldiers are. I call that doing extremely well. Yes, I am quite certain that Italy will survive this war and still be in existence long after your own country has been destroyed.” [14] Joseph Heller wrote that bit of dialogue in 1962; it seems eerily prescient today.

    In 1962, a film like Catch-22 would have fallen into that hoariest of genres, the “war movie.” It might even have been a well-executed war movie – not unlike Patton, still in theaters, and still enjoying some success. [15] War movies can tell us that that ‘war is hell,’ that it causes human suffering, and so on. But Catch-22 emphatically is not a war movie. Instead, it treats war as a symptom of a much larger disease: life.

    Yossarian is afraid of dying, yes. But we all are. He doesn't want to fly five more missions. That's his problem. We have our own. Yossarian wants out of the Air Corps; we want to escape from time, to become immortal. But to get out of the Air Corps, or stop time, you've got to be insane. And no one who wants out is insane. The truly horrifying truth at the center of Catch-22 is that we're all trapped in that airplane, in life, and there's no escaping it, not even in death. The movie's soundtrack -- alternating between the folksy songs of Simon & Garfunkel and the folksy-but-hard-edged offerings by British band Jethro Tull -- underscore the central message. A lesser reviewer watching a lesser film would be tempted to crack wise on the omission of "Sound of Silence," which plays three times during Nichols's previous hit, The Graduate. I am not that reviewer, and this is not that movie.

    Back to the plot. The movie's central character, of course, is Yossarian. He's played by Alan Arkin, a tremendously gifted actor who gives us Yossarian as a man of complex dualities: on the one hand, he’s tense, paranoid, on the edge of a crack-up. On the other hand, Arkin also shows us a Yossarian that may be the only sane man left in the Air Corps, or perhaps, the world. “The enemy,” Yossarian tells us, “is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live.” [16]

    Poor Yossarian, as is his lot, gets a real working-over in the second part of the movie, when Nichols is at his most poignant. There are scenes of increasing gloom and sobriety, and speeches about life and (especially) death, and the horrifying moment when Yossarian turns the bombardier over and his intestines spill out. During this period of perhaps 45 minutes, we begin to squirm uneasily. At first, one is tempted to say that Nichols isn't playing fair; that you can’t make someone laugh for an hour and then all of a sudden throw broken bodies at them. But Nichols recognizes this; he knows that it’s easy to spill those guts. As a result, he can’t just tell us; he has to show us.

    The movie’s ending matches the novel’s and is masterfully done, here. If for some reason you haven’t read it, I won’t spoil it for you: it is, of course, a Catch-22. [17] That’s some catch, that Catch-22. It’s the best there is.

    Top Grossing Films of 1970 (U.S.)
    Rank, Title (Studio), Actors, Gross
    1. Love Story (Paramount), Ryan O’Neal, Ali McGraw, $103,555,412
    2. Airport (Universal), Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, $99,588,942
    3. Catch-22 (Paramount), Alan Arkin, George C. Scott, $84,324,559 [18]
    4. M*A*S*H (20th Century Fox), Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Tom Skerritt, Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman, Michael Murphy, $80,532,784
    5. The Aristocats (Walt Disney), Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, $55,105,290
    6. Woodstock (Warner Bros.), Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jimi Hendricks, Joan Baez, $50,000,000 (est.)
    7. Ryan’s Daughter (MGM), Sarah Miles, Robert Mitchum, $30,955,243
    8. Little Big Man (Cinema Center), Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, $30,905,115
    9. Patton (20th Century Fox), John Wayne, Karl Malden, $26,375,500 [19]
    10. Tora! Tora! Tora! (20th Century Fox), Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, $25,678,925

    Academy Awards [20]
    Best Picture: Catch-22, Paramount
    Best Director: Mike Nichols, Catch-22
    Best Actor: Alan Arkin, Catch-22
    Best Actress: Ali McGraw, Love Story
    Best Supporting Actor: George C. Scott, Catch-22 (declined)
    Best Supporting Actress: Helen Hayes, Airport


    [1] Yes, there’s an OTL article by Ephron; it’s being penned two months later here because of the scriptwriting delays referenced in the article.

    [2] IOTL, Scott turned down the role of Col. Cathcart, ostensibly on the grounds that he had played a similar character in Dr. Strangelove; the part would eventually go to Martin Balsam. Here, he stays on board – meaning that he’s not available to play the lead in Patton, which goes to John Wayne instead. (See note 12 and accompanying text.)

    [3] As OTL.

    [4] – an invaluable resource – claims that Simon was offered a part in Catch-22 and ultimately cut from the script. Here, with the focus on the soundtrack, he’s kept on board.

    [5] This detail is true both IOTL and ITTL; however, Ephron (weirdly) omits it from her OTL essay.

    [6] As OTL.

    [7] See note 1. This has the side-effect of releasing Catch-22 in late 1970, rather than in June as OTL (where it was compared unfavorably with M*A*S*H, recently released to theaters). With a later release, Catch-22 is seen as complementary rather than in direct competition.

    [8] Memorably, The Graduate featured four terrific Simon & Garfunkel songs: “Sound of Silence,” “Scarborough Fair,” “April Come She Will,” and, of course, “Mrs. Robinson.”

    [9] IOTL, Nichols went the other way. He calls the decision not to score Catch-22 his “biggest” mistake and an act of arrogance.

    OTL’s Catch-22 is unscored but features a composition, “September Song,” from Django Reinhardt. Django Reinhardt is, of course, is the guitarist to whom Tony Iommi is most frequently compared; he also lost the use of two of his fingers in an accident. So here, looking for a longer score, Nichols sets his eyes on Iommi instead.

    [10] OTL’s decision to tell the whole story from Yossarian’s POV as he slides in and out of delirium has been (mercifully) cut here.

    [11] IOTL, there was also a strange visit by John Wayne, who was shooting a western in Durango at the time. (Apparently, the gung-ho, flag-waving Wayne was snubbed by the Catch-22 cast.) Here, Wayne is shooting Patton and does not appear.

    [12] IOTL, Welles lectured Martin Balsam’s Col. Cathcart for the same three minutes on the same line; it was such a characteristically Orson Welles move that I had to repeat it here. :)

    [13] IOTL, Ebert gave Catch-22 a strongly negative yet three-starred review. I interpret that as expecting greatness and dinging it for falling short; here, he decides that it hasn't fallen short after all.

    [14] This quote comes from the novel; I can’t remember if it’s in the movie. But it damn well ought to be.

    [15] Patton came out the same time IOTL, but starred the considerably more nuanced George C. Scott as opposed to the ultimate cowboy, John Wayne. Ebert’s liberal views cause him to essentially transpose OTL’s 3-starred-yet-negative review to Patton, which is just a bit inferior to OTL’s as a movie and therefore capable of being backhanded in this way.

    [16] This dialogue is also from the novel.

    [17] IOTL, Nichols screwed up the ending in order to facilitate the whole movie-is-told-from-Yossarian’s-POV-after-being-stabbed bit that doesn’t quite work. Having scrapped that concept ITTL, he reinstates the book’s original ending, in which Yossarian runs away from the deal offered to him by Col. Cathcart.

    [18] IOTL, Catch-22 grossed $24,911,670, and was the 11th-highest grossing film of 1970. It was viewed as somewhat of a flop given its high profile and budget.

    [19] Occupying a role analogous to OTL’s Catch-22, TTL’s Patton was viewed as a flop. IOTL, Patton was the fourth-highest grossing film of 1970,earning $61,749,765.

    [20] IOTL, Patton swept the Academy awards; George C. Scott won for Best Actor (and declined, as ITTL). M*A*S*H wound up being the anti-war movie of the year; it won best picture at Cannes, for example.

    I’ve also given Ali McGraw the Best Actress award; IOTL, Glenda Jackson won for Women in Love, a film so thinly forgettable that it makes Love Story seem like… well, Catch-22. (McGraw won the Golden Globe for Best Actress IOTL and ITTL.) And John Mills won “Best Supporting Actor” IOTL; here, he runs into the buzzsaw that is George C. Scott.
    Electric Monk likes this.
  4. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    And the butterflies just keep rolling and rolling...

    Keep it up! :)
  5. The Walkman Rowdy before Rowdy was cool

    Jan 1, 2013
    Parts Unknown, USA
    Now, I'm probably the biggest John Wayne fan on the planet, but I just have to get this off my chest:

  6. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    Also, does John Wayne get nominated for Best Actor here?
  7. neopeius Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Thank you! I had recently discussed the idea of going back and reliving the 70s.. but I was concerned that going back in time causes all the dice to be re-rolled. Thus, though you might be able to count on broad trends, specifics could get very different (so, watch out, investors!)

    I will consider your timeline to be the official one in case I ever go back. :)

    By the way--will you be covering wargaming and roleplaying games, two hobbies that hit their zeniths in this decade?
  8. Andrew T Kick 'em when they're up!

    Aug 14, 2011
    Me too! You will definitely see disco.

    If you like Sabbath, google "Tony Iommi Iron Man" and give Iommi's autobiography a read; you'll enjoy it. Chapter 13 (they're short chapters) covers Iommi's brief stay with the Tull. You might also want to check out some of the links in the footnotes to post 1.

    Second, you're absolutely right on the relationship dynamics. Here's how I resolve it: IOTL, Jethro Tull is Ian Anderson; bandmates come and go, and the ones who stay are the ones who march in lock-step behind Ian. ITTL, the credit gets spread around quite a bit: to Iommi, whose guitarwork gets Tull noticed for the Catch-22 soundtrack, and of course, to Ginger Baker.

    All of this happens when Anderson is just 21 years old. So it strikes me as plausible -- if not likely -- that these events could have a formative and moderating influence on his otherwise, ah, larger-than-life personality.

    Wouldn't it, though? :)

    You'll have to keep reading. :)

    Without spoiling the fun, I just want to say that you absolutely 'get' the idea of steampunk rock in this TL.

    On face, this seems sort of implausible -- Steely Dan are known today as AM-rock staples behind "Lite hits" such as "Peg" and "Reelin' in the Years"; are they really going to be influenced by Iommi's guitarwork??!? But then when you peer beneath the surface, you see that what Steely Dan was doing in the early 70s absolutely dovetailed with the emergent steampunk trend in terms of lyrics, instrumentation, and production.

    That's exactly the sort of seemingly-crazy direction I intend to take Living in the Past. :)

    Sorry. :eek: It always struck me as kind of odd that a straightforward war biopic was the critical and public success it was in 1970 given the crushing presence of Vietnam. I really do think it goes to show that good scriptwriting plus exceptional acting talent (Scott, IOTL) can have a wide impact on a film.

    Here, even as a huge John Wayne fan you can probably see that the tone of Patton is going to come out all wrong in subtle ways. Instead of being historical and engrossing, it's going to be just a little bit more cheerleading, and that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way without them realizing it.


    Pick me up a copy of Aqualung when you're there, okay? :)

    You'll have to keep reading, but (spoiler) there's a roleplaying game update due in Dirty Laundry Real Soon Now.
  9. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
    (Nixon no longer expands the war into Cambodia? It was his favorite movie and was the possible inspiration.)
  10. Kalvan Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    I thought that was just from a stand-up comedy routine.
  11. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
  12. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    What about baseball and football?
  13. Clorox23 Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Calling it now: the Beatles still break up ITTL. ...I just hope Lennon and Chapman don't meet...
  14. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    I agree that, given Nixon's obsession with Patton, I'd have a hard time believing that changing that film won't have some sort of political ramifications, even if they are subtle.
  15. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

    Oct 27, 2008
    New Netherland
    They shouldn't. I really don't like chronosharks in timelines where someone killed someone, and then despite all the changes they still kill that someone in the same year and day and in the same way. So I would oppose it happening. At least not at all in the same way even if they somehow do.

    It took Chapman a special thought process to actually arrive upon the idea to kill John Lennon. It's really no more than a few neurons and ideas firing off differently for him to just not do it, or to kill himself or shoot someone else locally or whatever the thing may be.

    If Andrew T wants any Beatles help, myself and the Ninth will be available.

    Here's something too: the movie could be a lesser film, but that may not mean it has a lesser effect or no effect on Nixon. It just wouldn't necessarily have that same effect on the public (wherever it may make people think the same gung-ho things or think that Patton is a nut and have that fresh in their minds when they see the horrors of the war). If it's a John Wayne picture and more gung-ho, two dimensional ala "The Green Berets" that could make Nixon go even worse. Maybe. I say that with a grain of salt because the element of Patton that Nixon picked up on was that gung-ho element anyway, disregarding the interpretation that Patton was just an asshole (both of which are in the movie, hence why it was so big since you could interpret it from your own viewpoint). It's just this Patton wouldn't have so much of the ability to interpret it as Patton being an ass.

    I will say this as well: this very well could affect Coppola's career, and what comes to mind is "The Godfather".

    I will point Andrew T to this if he has an interest:


    I called you Anthony T. That has been fixed in post-production. There has to be a user with a similar name somewhere that I'm mixing it up with.
  16. vultan Defying Gravity

    Dec 12, 2008
    Somewhere Only We Know
    Theoretically this would lead to a Coppola de-wank, but perhaps a more gung-ho Patton that leads to a more aggressive Nixon would have the knock-on effect of making THX 1138 more successful, meaning American Zoetrope has a much better financial situation early on.

    This, of course, would mean that George Lucas is granted the rights to Flash Gordon (if The Secret History of Star Wars is to be believed, he attempted to obtain the rights in 1971 on his way to Cannes, but finding them unavailable, he created "The Star Wars" as part of a deal with United Artists soon after so he could essentially make his own version). Of course, after numerous script revisions incorporating everything from Kurosawa to World War II dogfights, it'll probably be fairly close to OTL Star Wars anyway.
  17. ryu238 Active Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Hmmm... Catch-22 seems to be the M.A.S.H of this timeline (far better than the actual M.A.S.H of this timeline at least) Is that a tv series on the horizon I see?
  18. AltSptHst Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Yes, good point about sports. I have some questions:

    1. Do the Steelers still win the coin flip for Bradshaw? Or do they make a trade so they can get Archie Manning the next year?

    2. Does Kareem sign with the ABA Nets instead of the NBA like he almost did?

    And, what about Sanford and Son? You can't take away Fred Sanford. He is an American icon. Same with Dirty Harry.
  19. Clorox23 Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    So, is Woodstock going to be looked at here, or only mentioned?
    (And if it is, then you need to focus on the anti-Woodstock too...)
  20. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    One thing I would like to see different, Andrew T:

    Change the fate of Badfinger and prevent Pete Ham and Tom Evans's deaths.
    (Killing off their manager who took their money is a good start...)