Sam Westwood's Hollywood

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by markedward, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Forgotten Films: 1966-1971 by Nolan Hendricks, 1998

    "Sharon Tate's next film, a quickly made Italian production titled The Thirteen Chairs was released during spring, 1970 to capitalize on her Oscar Nomination for Best Supporting Actress as Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as well as press stemming from her recent marriage to actor Christopher Jones. The film, which also featured Orson Welles and Terry-Thomas, was only moderately successful, but Tate's comedic turn was noticed--"

    Also from Forgotten Films: 1966-1971 by Nolan Hendricks, 1998

    "Producers Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson realized that releasing Wuthering Heights as an AIP release could kill the film. Eventually, a division named International Classics would be established--" [1]

    "Julian Glover, who had just come off a lukewarm reception as James Bond already had Wuthering Heights in the can. Glover appeared in the smaller role of Hindley Earnshaw and received awards buzz--"

    From IMDB

    Jill Haworth, who played Catherine and Ian Ogilvy, who played Edgar Linton, had previously appeared together in The Dark (1969).

    007 Connection: Timothy Dalton, who played Heathcliff, was up for the role of James Bond in the early 1980s. Ogilvy wound up playing the coveted role. Julian Glover, who also played James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1969) was also in this film.

    As with the 1939 version, this version of Wuthering Heights depicts only the first sixteen chapters. A major bone of contention among critics, most notably Vincent Canby, was the fact that the film varied from the book in several ways regarding the character of Hindley Earnshaw (Played by Julian Glover in his first post-Bond film appearance). The character is portrayed in a more sympathetic light than in the novel.

    In this version, Nelly Dean, the narrator, is shown as being in love with Hindley and unable to express her feelings due to their class differences. After his wife's death, Hindley goes through a hedonistic stage but finally pulls himself out of it.

    What really frustrated critics, and perhaps the most controversial of all the differences, was the ending.
    Hindley succeeds in fatally shooting Heathcliff and remains the owner of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff and Cathy's ghosts are then reunited.

    Despite mixed critical reviews over how the source material was handled, Wuthering Heights performed well enough to convince AIP to make more plans with their newly minted International Classics subsidiary.

    [1] I won't be getting into this too much. In a nutshell, it's an early attempt at something like Fox Searchlight. Only run by AIP.
  2. Threadmarks: Harris talks about some of his 70's film roles and co stars

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Cult movie star and character actor Harris Walker being interviewed on tape by Nolan Hendricks, circa 1988/89. Interviews later released with full permission of Harris Walker for a project by Nolan called Conversations with Harris.

    Harris: I did a little bit of stage work off-Broadway. And I did television. I did one episode of 'Brackens World', which was sort of like that soap I was on later, 'Take One'.

    Nolan: You did work with Altman before that--

    Harris: Which was the one thing that kept me from being seen as a total joke. And even then, I was mostly half dressed. But yeah, having an Altman film on my resume gave me some credibility and it made it easier for Helen to get people interested.

    Sam: You talk down your credits, Harris. Appearing in an Altman movie was a huge deal in those days, and you did two of them.

    Nolan: Harris, as you know you are seen as a gay icon of sorts--

    Harris: Yeah for some of my horror films, and probably posing for photos. And uhh--'Rocky Horror'. Which, if I ever have to do that much waxing for a part again, I'm out (laughs)

    Nolan: My adoptive sister is a big fan of yours, as we've discussed--

    Harris: It made me happy to hear she dragged you to some of my films because in a way you were able to see me while you were growing up.

    Nolan: She told me you were appreciated because you played people who were struggling and trying to overcome obstacles.

    Harris: I'm not sure many of the characters I played were positive role models for anybody. I mean, yeah, most of them were struggling. (laughs)

    Nolan: In 'False Start', you played a strong character. And in 'Dreamer'--

    Harris: Dreamer lived on his girlfriend's couch and wanted to be a bowling champion. But, yeah, I get what you are saying. People who were clued in knew that the heterosexual interracial relationship in 'False Start' was a substitute for a gay one. Art couldn't get funding if it was about two men.

    'False Start' was the one movie I was proud of and it had great reviews, but it got buried. 'Dreamer' was corny but it was a nice change of pace. It sort of just played at multiplexes and dollar theatres. Alan Ladd Jr. liked Helen which is why I was in a few films over at 20th. When he left that stopped.

    Nolan: I want to talk about 'Timothy', the TV movie you did for NBC in 1970--

    Harris is heard laughing

    Harris: Sorry. I know a lot of people who grew up in that era loved it.

    Nolan: I vaguely remember seeing it on TV as a little kid. It was re-broadcast a few times. I've heard talk about a VHS release.

    Harris: If they give anything a release, it should be some of Sam's movies.

    Sam is heard in the background mumbling something about an already inflated ego

    Harris: The thing with 'Timothy' is at the time it aired, I didn't appreciate it. Thought it was corny as Hell. But I did enjoy filming it and was sober the entire time. Susan Oliver was really, really good to me and I loved working with Ed Asner and a really young Farrah Fawcett.

    Sam: Both of us got to play opposite Farrah in the '70s--

    Harris: This was before she was Farrah though. Again, I was too far ahead of the curb. I just knew her as someone who like myself did commericals and some television.

    Anyway, I'd followed Susan's air trip a couple of years earlier which shocked her.

    That was a big deal in those days, a female pilot. Not to mention someone who was in the acting field becoming a pilot. I admired her because she was kind of like-- Susan wasn't going to let anyone tell her what she could or couldn't do either as a woman or a person in show business and she wasn't--I feel like she wasn't appreciated, you know? She was a strong person and a really underrated performer.

    Nolan: I didn't know until recently that Susan Oliver had done some directing maybe ten years ago. I was really curious and wondered if either of you knew about this?

    Sam: Susan Oliver tried to direct TV later on and for whatever reason, she was screwed over which I felt was unfair--

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  3. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Huntsville Al
    Still Alive?
  4. markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Hey everyone!

    I just wanted to touch base and say that there is a post on the way in the next week or so. It's just taking me a little longer to update than usual. Sam will be back in The Grifters (1970).
  5. Threadmarks: The Grifters (1970) PART ONE

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Celluloid Magazine August 2010

    Article The Grifters (1970) by Will Spaulding

    After the massive failure of 1969's How Now Dow Jones, it seemed like director Andrew L. Stone's career in Hollywood was finished. The musical adaptation of a lesser Broadway show was a massive failure for MGM, one of several the studio would suffer over the next few years.

    While some sources say the film was still playing to empty cinemas at the time Universal came calling, others say the film had just been pulled. One thing is certain: Universal Pictures approached Stone with an offer.

    Universal was interested in a one film contract with a script and star in mind. The project would be an adaptation of Jim Thompson's 1963 novel The Grifters with a screenplay penned by the author himself. The star Universal had picked out was Sam Westwood who had a non-exclusive contract with the studio. The then 24-year old's star had been rising and this was to be the film that would cement his status as a box office draw.

    As Westwood recalls:

    "Andrew L. Stone had this big flop before 'The Grifters'. It was sort of his last chance. The studio gave him the script and told him not to go over budget"

    While Universal initially wanted Lauren Bacall to star opposite Westwood as Lily Dillon, the mother of Westwood's Roy, the Hollywood legend turned the part down. After Gena Rowlands also turned Universal producers and Stone down, other names such as Doris Day, who had previously worked with Stone in the 1956 proto air disaster film Julie were tossed around.

    According to Westwood:

    "I know Doris Day turned him down because of the content and it would have contrasted with her on-screen image"

    Eventually, the casting was narrowed down to two choices: Julie London and Lois Nettleton. After a successful screen test opposite Westwood, Nettleton would nab the role.

    Lois Nettleton was mostly known for her stage and television credits. She also had some sporadic film credits, among them 1969's The Good Guys And The Bad Guys opposite Robert Mitchum and Tina Louise.

    Next came what would prove the most difficult part of the production, the casting of Moira, Roy's love interest--
  6. Threadmarks: The Grifters (1970) PART TWO

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Celluloid Magazine August 2010

    Article The Grifters (1970) by Will Spaulding

    Next came what would prove the most difficult part of the production, the casting of Moira, Roy's love interest.

    Initially, Jean Seberg was considered. When Seberg proved unavailable, other names were tossed around. Among those were Kim Novak, Tina Louise, at the time best known as Ginger on Gilligan's Island, and future soap opera queen Beverlee McInsey.

    "I tested with Tina Louise" Westwood remembers "That was before the producers decided they wanted to go with somebody younger to play Moira"

    Both Jim Thompson and Andrew L. Stone were dead set against a younger starlet being cast but worried that the project would fall through, Thompson made some revisions to his script.

    "It was kind of like casting Scarlett O'Hara" Westwood recalls jokingly "I remember reading with Cybill Shepherd, Morgan Fairchild, Cassandra Peterson-- "

    As Westwood remembers, it was Andrew L. Stone himself who after seeing a television commercial found what he believed was the right actress to play Moira. However, due to Stone's spotty recent track record, Universal demanded yet another screen test.

    "I was starting to wonder if the film would even get made" Westwood remembers with a chuckle--
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  7. Threadmarks: The Grifters (1970) PART THREE

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada

    From Celluloid Magazine August 2010
    Article The Grifters (1970) by Will Spaulding

    "I was starting to wonder if this thing would even get made" Westwood remembers with a chuckle.

    As the actor recalls:

    "Andrew L. Stone saw this television ad for a home perming kit or something. He described it as a parade of models and thought maybe one of them might work for Moira--"

    The advertisement Westwood is describing, a promotional item for a product named Scatter Perm has recently resurfaced on YouTube. In it, a parade of future stars, notably Cheryl Tiegs and the ill-fated Ali McGraw model various hairstyles. Stone was interested in the second model shown in the advertisement, a 19-year-old from Honolulu named Erin Gray.

    "I was happy with modelling at the time and didn't really know if making movies was something I wanted to do but went in and read with Sam Westwood and Andrew L. Stone" Recalls Grey, who adds that she promptly returned New York to resume her modelling career.

    However, Gray's reading went well enough that she was called back in for a screen test.

    "Moira was intriguing but such a dark role and I didn't really know if I wanted to do it. But everyone was very encouraging and I couldn't have had a nicer co-star than Sam"

    Gray was put under a long-term contract with Universal. With the role of Moira finally cast, the film began production--

    The story of The Grifters will conclude in Part Four.
  8. Threadmarks: The Grifters (1970) PART FOUR

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Sam Westwood's Hollywod (2016)

    Sam is seen packing his bags

    Sam: I have an audition, so I have to, uh, leave for California. It's some sort of science fiction horror thing for Netflix. I'm up to play a really sadistic character.

    Harris is seen in the background as Sam is carrying his luggage out to a cab.

    Harris (to Sam): Text me when you land.

    Sam gives Harris a quick kiss

    Sam: I will. It's been easier since figuring out that whole Skype thing--

    Harris: He hates technology. I want to hate it, but arguing with people on the internet can be fun sometimes.

    Sam: I use social media because it's part of the job. But I also find it invasive and am selective about what I go on.

    Sam turns to Harris

    Sam: Just...while you are alone, for the love of God don't do anything you would have done in 1975--

    Both men laugh

    Harris: I won't. Nolan might visit. He wants to discuss a podcast with me--

    Sam: Well, if he does, send him my regards.

    We next see Sam arriving at an airport, followed by him driving around downtown L.A. while talking about The Grifters.

    Sam: I don't have a driver, no. To the airport, yeah, but I don't need handlers or chauffers.

    Sam quickly goes silent for a few seconds while surveying the area. There are several high rises within his view.

    Sam: A lot of the locations used in 'The Grifters' have been torn down for these...monstrosities. I get sad driving around here. It makes me realize I'm getting old.

    Sam pulls over to where a highrise now stands, gets out and looks around.

    Sam: You'd never know to look around now, but this is where some of the scenes at the beginning were shot. It makes me...misty-eyed.

    Sam turns around, gets back into his car and continues driving.

    Sam: I think they wanted to make me into you know, a Robert Redford type. A really pretty leading man who also does rough roles once in a while. Some executives at Universal were put off by that scene near the start where my character, Roy, he has been attacked by Scott Glenn and looks like Hell and he is vomiting into the street. Andrew L. Stone fought to have that left in. He did not want that scene trimmed. They also thought I should look more put together.

    My character had just been beaten up. I wasn't going to look sexy! (chuckles)

    I was proud of that film, but later on, when there was Oscar talk and I eventually got nominated, that scared me shitless.

    I knew it was going to leave me with even less privacy. But...if I'd stayed in Arizona and became a teacher or a newspaper reporter, I still would have had to hide in the closet. My life was going to be difficult no matter what path it took.

    Interviewer: The film was instrumental in reviving your career later on--

    Sam: Yeah. Martin Scorsese wanted to do a remake and he located a 35 millimetre negative of the film we did and he was horrified that it--I guess the negative he viewed was in rough shape. So instead of remaking the film, it turned into Martin restoring the original. And people re-evaluated the movie and I started getting some calls for interviews and it went from there.

    Some of my films had been put out on VHS but a few were just languishing. Because I wasn't particularly popular at that point, there was an assumption a lot of my work wouldn't sell on home video.

    And then after that, 'Traffic Jam' got restored as well. Which--it appears we are in an actual traffic jam right now (laughs)


    The Grifters
    (Universal, July 1970)

    Screenplay by Jim Thompson (Based on Thompson’s 1963 novel The Grifters)

    Directed by Andrew L. Stone


    Sam Westwood
    as Roy Dillon- A 25-year-old ambivalent con artist living in Los Angeles. After a simple con goes wrong and Roy is injured, he finds himself in the hospital recovering from an internal haemorrhage.

    Lois Nettleton as Lily Dillon- A veteran con artist. Works for Bobo Justus, a mob bookmaker. Lily was a teenager when she gave birth to Roy. Despite being an inattentive, cold mother, Lily still feels owed by her son. She is trying to pull off a long con at the race tracks.

    Introducing Erin Gray as Moira Langtry- Roy's girlfriend. A former photographer's model turned fellow con artist who sometimes turns to prostitution. Moira and Lily do not get along.

    Christopher George as Bobo Justus- The mobster who Lily works for

    Ina Balin as Carol Roberg- Roy's nurse with some secrets of her own.

    Rory Calhoun as Perk Kraggs- Business owner who offers Roy a job as a sales manager. Roy takes the job as it is a way out of grifting.

    Adam Williams as The Cop- Discovers Roy early on in the movie stumbling out of a dime store where he has been injured by a soda jerk.

    Scott Glenn as The Clerk- A young man working at a soda fountain who injures Roy early on in the film when he tries to rip him off.

    Warner Anderson as The Doctor- Treats Roy for his injuries.

    From IMDB

    When a planned adaptation of Mickey Spillane's The Delta Factor fell through, Christopher George, who was originally cast as the male lead Morgan, became available. That film was eventually produced as a vehicle for Sharon Tate.

    Richard Basehart was considered for the role of Bobo Justus
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  9. Threadmarks: Sam talks about Never Give An Inch (1970)

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Sam Westwood's Hollywood

    Sam opens up a door and enters a small townhouse

    Sam: This is our rental for when Harris or myself are in town. We let Nolan stay here too.

    Sam sits down on a small sofa and pulls out a photo album. A picture is shown of a 1970's style beachfront home.

    The interviewer is asking a question

    Sam: Yeah, the beach house was one of my few indulgences. Everyone needs a place to live. I used to host a lot of parties there for close friends only. When things went sour I had to sell it and--we don't need a bunch of homes. I don't understand people doing that.

    We only have this because we're in town a lot and it's more economical than getting a hotel room every single time.

    The interviewer asks about Never Give An Inch (1970)

    Sam: Dick told me that I owed Universal a movie and that the actor they hired had been killed in a motorcycle accident. At first, I kind of you know--

    Sam groans

    The interviewer asks about the original actor hired for the project

    Sam: Jon Voight? Yeah, that rings a bell. I don't know much other than it was a motorcycle accident. Michael Sarrazin had to bow out, so they used the contract thing on me.

    Sam: I don't want to complain. Being contractually obligated can be good because there's work, but there is also a chance that you might end up in a project that you aren't happy with. Dick told me it was a Paul Newman movie and I sort of froze--

    I mean, Paul Newman was my idol. And working with Henry Fonda was great. He was very quiet, but--

    Anyway, when I signed on, Richard Colla was still directing. And then I get a call that the set was going to be shut down for two weeks. Paul broke his ankle. Universal wanted the film out by the end of the year and I felt like, you know, it might be jinxed or something. (chuckles)

    I get back and I was told two things by Dick beforehand. Lee Remick had to drop out and she was being replaced with Debbie Reynolds. And Paul was now directing and starring.

    The interviewer is heard asking a question in the background

    Sam: From what I gather, Joanne Woodward was unavailable. Lee Remick had a scheduling issue. Debbie was getting divorced and needed the money. Everyone knows what happened and it's not my place to bring all that up. She was a lot of fun to work with, but her and Paul had a tendency to play pranks on each other.

    (Sam chuckles)

    Sam: I didn't pay much mind to that at the time because I was nervous about working with Paul Newman. He was one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and one of the hottest. Those eyes. Probably why I fell for Harris. (laughs)

    The first time I met Paul I could barely speak and I thought "Oh shit. How am I going to not going to screw up takes?"

    But he made me comfortable right away. Which is good because I didn't know he was going to be directing me!

    Paul was a great guy. And we became friends and worked together again. And we had some things in common. We'd both worked with Hitchcock, I was also interested in directing some day. So he took me under his wing. There was some actress he wanted to set me up with and I sort of had to tell Paul early on, which, you know I didn't know how he'd react. But he was fine with it.

    People sometimes ask me if I regret making 'The Front Runner' for him later. I don't. If I could go back and do things over, I would still make that movie.

    Outtake from Sam Westwood's Hollywood

    Picking up where Sam left off. The interviewer is asking a question in the background.

    Sam: There were rumours about Paul. When you're dead and can't defend yourself people try to say all sorts of crap about you. Sometimes they try to do it when you are still alive, too.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  10. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Huntsville Al
    Never give a inch (1970)
    The same story as Sometimes a Great Notion with a slightly different cast.
    Why did it get made at a earlier date then the Original movie? That did not happen in OTL till 1971.
  11. markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    For people commenting about the last post: There are quite a few release dates for Sometimes A Great Notion listed IOTL that rotate between 1970-1971. While doing my original research, I was under the impression that the film was released at the very end of 1970. Since it was being shot that summer and Sam mentioned the studio rushing it for awards season, then that was the case ITTL.

    As for the lack of updates and people asking if I am still alive: In a nutshell, I was going through some personal stuff. Unfortunately, that usually affects my output and you have to be super patient. Currently doing better now and am up to posting again. :)
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  12. Threadmarks: 43rd Academy Awards

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    The 43rd Academy Awards: Winners and Nominees (Main categories only)

    Best Actor

    Jack Nicholson- Five Easy Pieces

    Sam Westwood- The Grifters
    George C. Scott- Patton
    Melvyn Douglas- I Never Sang for My Father
    James Earl Jones- The Great White Hope

    Best Actress

    Glenda Jackson- Women in Love

    Lois Nettleton- The Grifters
    Jane Alexander- The Great White Hope
    Sarah Miles- Ryan's Daughter
    Carrie Snodgress- Diary of a Mad Housewife

    Best Supporting Actor

    Chief Dan George- Little Big Man

    Gene Hackman- I Never Sang For My Father
    Richard Jaeckel- Never Give An Inch
    Julian Glover- Wuthering Heights
    John Marley- Love Story

    Best Supporting Actress

    Lee Grant- The Landlord

    Helen Hayes- Airport
    Debbie Reynolds- Never Give An Inch
    Karen Black- Five Easy Pieces
    Sally Kellerman- M.A.S.H.

    Best Picture

    Five Easy Pieces

    The Grifters

    Best Director

    M*A*S*H- Robert Altman

    Patton- Franklin J. Schaffner
    The Grifters- Andrew L. Stone
    The Landlord- Hal Ashby
    Women in Love- Ken Russell

    Best Original Score

    Love Story- Francis Lai

    Airport- Alfred Newman
    Cromwell- Frank Cordell
    Patton- Jerry Goldsmith
    Sunflower- Henry Mancini

    Best Screenplay

    M*A*S*H- Ring Lardner, Jr.

    Airport- George Seaton
    I Never Sang for My Father- Robert Anderson
    The Grifters- Jim Thompson
    Women in Love- Larry Kramer

    Best Original Song

    'Miss Me In The Morning' in There’s A Girl In My Soup Music & Lyrics by Mike D’abo & Nicky Chinn

    'For All We Know' in Lovers and Other Strangers Music by Fred Karlin; Lyrics by Robb Royer (aka Robb Wilson) and James Griffin (aka Arthur James)
    'Pieces Of Dreams' in Pieces of Dreams Music by Michel Legrand; Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
    'Thank You Very Much' in Scrooge Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
    'Whistling Away The Dark' in Darling Lili Music by Henry Mancini; Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

    Best Original Song Score

    Let It Be- Music and lyrics by The Beatles

    The Baby Maker- Music by Fred Karlin; lyrics by Tylwyth Kymry
    A Boy Named Charlie Brown- Music by Rod McKuen and John Scott Trotter; lyrics by Rod McKuen, Bill Melendez and Al Shean; adaptation score by Vince Guaraldi
    Darling Lili- Music by Henry Mancini; lyrics by Johnny Mercer
    Scrooge- Music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse; adaptation score by Ian Fraser and Herbert W. Spencer
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  13. unclepatrick Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Huntsville Al
    I still not sure that Nicholson could win for Five Easy Pieces. It not a traditional role. He very good in the movie. But it does not seem like the type of role that the academy voters would vote for.
    I still say that even though Scott refuses the Oscar, he going to win it , unless some drastic changes happens to the movie Patton in this timeline.
    I remember a interview with Nicholson in which he said that He knew he was not going to win best actor when he saw the open scene of Patton. Nicholson said that Patton could be just that opening scene and Scott was going to win.

    If somehow, the whole of the voters of the Academy chose to honor Scott stand, it seems that James Earl Jones role in the Great White Hope would appeal more to the voters then Nicholson role.

    I still enjoy your timeline and I hope you keep up the good work.
  14. Threadmarks: Sam talks about losing the Oscar, rivalries and career ups and downs.

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Sam Westwood and Harris Walker being interviewed on cassette tape by Nolan Hendricks, circa 1988/89. Interviews later released with full permission of Harris Walker and Sam Westwood for a project by Nolan called Conversations with Harris.

    I wasn't bothered by not winning the Oscar. Look, I was up against Jack Nicholson, James Earl Jones, Melvyn Douglas--

    All of those guys are fantastic actors. It was a very tight race. Personally, I wanted James Earl Jones to win.

    Nolan: You've mentioned that there were a few people who were upset about you being nominated--

    Sam: There was one actor who was in a very big movie and he got snubbed and said some not-so-subtle stuff about carnival workers getting nominated for Oscars. Which, that bothered me. I had been a maintenance guy. (laughs)

    Harris: We'll call him Neal--

    Sam: We won't name names. He's just someone who wasn't fond of what he saw as a rival.

    Nolan: I talked to Michael Sarrazin for an assigned article on previous Oscar Nominees and he was really nice about you. He brought up being at Universal the same time as you. I didn't tell him that we knew each other.

    Sam: You left me out of that? (laughs)

    Michael Sarrazin, as with Harrison Ford, was a friendly rivalry. We all used to joke about it.

    Michael did feel horrible about taking 'Dune' after he found out I'd been let go. There was a whole period where my career could have died without me being outed and I could have just moved to a secluded island with Harris. Or something. (laughs)

    Harris: I was a mess, though. You would have tossed me off the island.

    Sam: There wouldn't have been any bad influences on the island for me to toss you out over.

    I was let go from 'Dune', I passed out from exhaustion on the 'Inferno' set, 'Devil Child' wasn't finished. But then I did 'Peter Proud' which ironically fell through when they were going to film it with Michael. That kept me going until 'The Front Runner'.

    Nolan: This is slightly off topic, but how did the idea come about for 'Traffic Jam'?

    Sam: The idea came about when Edward O'Malley and Roger Moore were both approached to do James Bond. Edward wound up neglecting the Nigel Turner movies. He was going to do a spin-off with Terrence Stamp, who was in the second film as a sort of sidekick.

    Nolan: 'All That Glitters'--

    Sam: Yeah, Jeffrey Hunter was in that too. He played the dashing bad guy. O'Malley took some elements and wrote what became 'Traffic Jam'. Edward wrote the antagonist role for Jeff.

    He didn't direct 'Traffic Jam'. It was given to J. Lee Thompson who I later did 'Peter Proud' with. The script had some revisions and Jeff and I also changed some of our dialogue. O'Malley was upset about that later on and said some things that were sort of...mean.

    Nolan: I never knew why his career stalled until researching him more and realized it was personal demons.

    Sam: Edward was a brilliant writer and director but couldn't keep it together and it killed him. Some people like your---like Harris, they are able to get things together and then others just can't. It happens and it's sad.

    Nolan: It's not an easy film to find right now, but I saw it on TV as a kid and liked it.

    Sam: It popped up on early cable a lot but there's no video release right now that I know of.

    Nolan: Do either of you--I've really never thought to ask this--Is it weird to act in a movie and watch yourself on screen later?

    Harris: Sometimes. Depends what the project was.

    Sam: There are some movies I like to go back and watch. Then there also a few that make me cringe--
  15. markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Hey everyone!

    There is going to be a lull in posts for a while. As some of you know, June tends to be rather crazy for me in regards to work. Currently writing more posts, updating my character bible and attempting a spin-off, but would rather post some really great updates rather than posting just to have something up for the week.

    Once again, thank you for being patient. :)
  16. vandevere vonhooligan

    Feb 14, 2005
    The Great state of Denial
    Do what you think best to make your story great. I'll be here to read it.
    markedward and unclepatrick like this.
  17. Threadmarks: Sam talks about films he shot during 1971

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Sam Westwood and Harris Walker being interviewed on cassette tape by Nolan Hendricks, circa 1988/89. Interviews later released with full permission of Harris Walker and Sam Westwood for a project by Nolan called Conversations with Harris

    Nolan: 1971 was a big year for you--

    Sam: I shot three films in a row. 'The Kill-Off' which was released later that year, and then 'Traffic Jam' and 'My Brother's Keeper'. The last two were released the following year.

    Nolan: All of those are good movies

    Sam: Honestly, I've been getting asked by people about 'Traffic Jam' and why isn't it on video--

    Harris: It used to play on cable a lot--

    Nolan: A lot of people my age saw it on cable back in the late '70s. Because your movies were usually R-Rated, a lot of us didn't see them until they played on television later on. I've had to track a few of your films down through different sources.

    Sam: So that's how you saw 'Changes'

    Harris: It's also how he saw 'Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips'. I thought MGM had burnt the negatives (laughs)

    Sam: It wasn't that bad--

    Harris: You are probably the only person who saw that movie, Sam!

    Nolan: I remember being snuck into 'Horror Show' as a kid, Sam. I liked the segment you did with Stephen King and George A. Romero--

    Sam: 'Sometimes They Come Back'--

    Harris: Is it too late to yell at you for sneaking into that? Isn't that what fathers are supposed to do? You would have been what? Ten?

    All three laugh

    Nolan: Because my birthday is so late, I would have been ten still.

    Sam: I enjoyed working on the segment with Romero. He had wanted to work with me previously and for whatever reason, it never panned out.

    Harris: That movie was gory! I was in one of the fake trailers and had makeup on to look like a decaying corpse--

    Nolan: The Douglas Trumbull segment scared the Hell out of me.

    Sam: The 'Bloody Mary' segment. That was scarier than Hell. I'd suggest yelling at him, Harris, but it's been over ten years. He appears to have turned out alright. (laughs)

    Nolan: Yeah! When Kimberly Beck jumps out of the mirror and drags the guy in and then the glass on the mirror falls back into place--

    Harris: That was intense. You must have had nightmares for a week, Nolan!

    Sam: That scene was very ahead of its time. It showed what a genius Doug is with special effects.

    Nolan: I also snuck into 'The Driver'

    Sam: That one made it onto video and a lot of people tell me it's their favourite.

    Harris: Hell, if all you did as a kid was sneak into R-Rated movies, I can't say much--
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  18. Threadmarks: Sam in the present, Flashback to Sam and Harris talking to Nolan, Sharon Tate during 1970-1971.

    markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    From Sam Westwood's Hollywood (2016)

    Sam is looking through an old photo album. Some photos are shown on screen.

    Sam: These are from the Oscar night.

    My date was Carrie Snodgress. Before she left acting for a while to be with Neil Young. My publicist was trying to give me some edge. Dick would have preferred me going with someone like Natalie I think.

    I: Who would you have preferred to go with?

    Who would I have preferred to go with? Someone tall, dark, handsome and a little unpredictable (laughs)

    I: Harris?

    Sam nods


    I'm supposed to be getting a callback today about the series I read for. Returning to Canada in a couple of days but told Ian Nobel I would visit him--

    Sam's cellphone goes off and he answers it. Cut to Sam ending the call. He looks a bit disappointed but not overly upset.

    Sam: Well, I didn't get it. I think it's going to be a big show but there are other roles.

    I'm not complaining, but there are some great TV shows right now away from the major networks and it would be nice to have a part in that. I still have a good twenty years left if I play my cards right.

    God, what a depressing thought--


    Sam Westwood and Harris Walker being interviewed on cassette tape by Nolan Hendricks, circa 1988/89. Interviews later released with full permission of Harris Walker and Sam Westwood for a project by Nolan called Conversations with Harris

    Nolan: Sharon Tate was in 'My Brother's Keeper'--

    Sam: I always feel like Sharon Tate should have been nominated for 'Puzzle Of A Downfall Child'. That was a damn good performance. It did well, it just wasn't--some films get completely snubbed, unfortunately.

    'Delta Factor' seemed like such a misfire after that, but everyone has a misfire on their resume. I had my fair share-- (laughs)

    Sam: She was going through a divorce and took that role to keep her mind off personal matters.

    Nolan: You both were younger performers who worked with a lot of old guard directors--

    Sam: I get lumped into New Hollywood, which I am flattered by. But the way I was discovered and being under a contract puts me into some sort of middle camp. Things were changing but a lot of the old guard was still around when Harris and I both started out.

    Harris: I started out at the top, a picture at MGM with Norman Taurog directing me. Which would have been great in, you know, 1940.

    Nolan: Did you know much about Norman Taurog?

    Harris: No. I didn't even know until talking to Elizabeth that Norman Taurog had been a big deal. I was a kid. It was a film for a major studio and I didn't have to eat out of the garbage or work as an usher.

    That was such a long time ago. You gotta remember I'm old.

    Sam laughs

    Sam: What does that make me, then?

    Harris: Sam never told you he did silent pictures?

    Sam: Anymore of that and you're sleeping on the couch tonight.

    Harris: Yeah, yeah--

    Sam: You aren't even 40 yet, Harris.

    Nolan: I still can't wrap my head around the fact that you were 17 when you shot a large portion of that and nobody knew--

    Harris: There is no doubt I'd have been fired and replaced had anyone found out. Everyone thought I was turning twenty. To be fair, I did look twenty. I developed early, which didn't really help me out much growing up.

    I can't fault you for sneaking into movies as a kid, Nolan. I was causing a lot more trouble--

    SHARON TATE: A Timeline (1970-1971)

    From the New York Times, mid-January, 1970

    "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid star Sharon Tate married actor Christopher Jones in a private ceremony in Los Angeles--"

    From Life Magazine, February 1970

    "Tate, who will be appearing opposite Orson Welles in the upcoming comedy film 12+1 is also set to star in Puzzle Of A Downfall Child, set for release at the end of the year.

    Tate says she would like to take a break after this to enjoy married life and start a family--

    From Forgotten Films 1966-1971 by Nolan Hendricks

    "Unfortunately, director David Lean's follow up to Doctor Zhivago, which also featured Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles disappointed both critics and moviegoers alike. It's star Christopher Jones became disillusioned with the film industry as a result--"

    Meanwhile, the career of his wife Sharon Tate had continued to pick up steam with Puzzle Of A Downfall Child. Tate received glowing reviews as the former model who goes into a downward spiral via drug addiction--"

    From a Vanity Fair piece on Sharon Tate in December 2017, fifty years after Mary Rose

    "Tate tried to hang onto the marriage, even trying to find projects for the couple to star in. Jones was reluctant to return to the screen, wanting to focus on an art career and turning down scripts. A miscarriage caused more distance in an already failing marriage. By the summer of 1971, the couple was officially divorced and Tate was back on a film set--"
  19. markedward Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in Canada
    Went through major keyboard issues yesterday and had to finish that post using my phone. Forgot to add notes about Norman Taurog, I realize he might be a more obscure name to some readers. You can view his IMDB credits here.

    Seems like my keyboard is back to normal, knock on wood. Still having issues with the shift button, however. And quotations. But the letter A is no longer followed by a semicolon that causes a large drop followed by some of my work to vanish, so that's good at least... :p
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  20. PNWKing There's Still Hope Out There!

    Oct 19, 2016
    Is he the namesake of the Norman character from A Star Is Born?