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tv   Through the Decades  CBS  April 16, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT

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this is "through the decades" a unique hour-long time capsule. today we look back at 1970's hollywood from the film that emodied the disco sound and look of the time. "i think the explosion of disco really happened with saturday night fever." to a blockbuster that made everyone scared to go back in the water. "the antagonist is a beast of nature. a natural enemy of man." and a film based on true life events which had audiences terrified, but lined up to watch. "they wait. for hours, sometimes, in lines that stretch around the block and back again." those stories and more in the next hour, part of a different kind of television experience, where we relive, remember and relate to the events that are cemented in history. i'm ellee pai hong. and i'm kerry sayers. and i'm your host, bill kurtis. it's 70's hollywood, "through
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the decades." in the 1970's the country went through a political crisis with watergate, a rising unemployment rate and an energy crisis fueled by gas shortages. to escape these pressures of reality, we turned to the movies and they gave us plenty to distract. here on "through the decades," we're going to spend the hour looking at some of our favorite offerings from hollywood in the '70s. from the uplifting tale of an unlikely boxing hero to the terrifying depiction of a young girl possessed by the devil. but we begin on the dance floor in the year 1977 . like "rebel without a cause" and "the graduate," "saturday night fever" captured a moment in 'young angst' and brought it to the big screen. john travolta's unforgettable dance moves combined with the bee gees soundtrack took disco
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mainstream along with a wave of platform shoes, wide lapels and neon lights. " it's new. it has a little bit of the new disco craze in it,and it has a guy named john travolta." at the time john travolta was alread a star on television, playing vinnie barbarino in "welcome back kotter." and this would serve him in his next role as another rebellious brooklyn-ite, tony manero directed by john badham. "badham was very attuned to 'welcome back kotter' and just the swagger and the attitude that he represented in that t-v show, i think he felt could be translated into tony manero." "because of barbarino, he still had a new york slug to him. so, being in brooklyn was terrific." in addition to john travolta, badham wanted his entire cast to have a "brooklyn edge."
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"and he had us all hang out together and kind of be those people and uh, really get a sense of what we were doing prior to going to camera which gave it the authenticity and the drive." "basically the minute we, tony and stephanie got on set together it was very real. and it was as if he and i - karen and john - were just sort of sitting back and watching these two people interact." adding to the film's commtment to portray genuine brooklyn was the fact it was shot in the borough itself. "using brooklyn, filming in brooklyn, being right there in the streets where this story took place, really brought an amazing authenticity to it because, if they had done this on a sound stage it just wouldn't have been as effective." "it was very authentic. it was very ethnic." filming on location also brought press coverage and legions of adoring travolta fans.
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"when i began to think that maybe john travolta was more than some kid was when the girls would come. i mean he was like, really - it was amazing. it was like the god dionysus or something and all these girls were screaming maenads celebrating the bacchant festival or something." but what really made "saturday night fever" stand out was its unabashed embrace of disco. the movie helped take disco out of the underground clubs in new york city and introducted middle amerca to a colorful embrace of sex, drugs and dancing. it stood in stark contrast to the counterculture of the '60s and the harsh reality of the vietnam war. "saturday night fever" also stood in contrast with what hollywood was used to seeing by putting dancing front and center. "the dancing is phenomenal and the choreography is phenomenal and it was unique to the time.
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i mean we hadn't really seen a film like this before that focused on dance and storytelling with a sexy male character as the lead." "he was an excellent dancer. i don't think he was ever concerned about being able to do the steps. i think it was more about looking like he owned what he was doing." "sensational guy. real hard worker. really wanted to do something extraordinary. he would work 12, 14, 15 hours a day just to get it. just to get the feeling of it. just to get the steps of it. just to be real about it. " although "saturday night fever" was a product of the 1970's, part of the inspiration for the choreography actually came from an earlier era of silent films and screen idol rudolph valentino. "it's interesting because i had seen valentino films at the library many times before but i never really ... i guess subliminally maybe it stuck in my mind." "and, he was always the real
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casanova that always didhe numbers in a wonderful nightclub of some sort." "so, when i did the duet with john and karen, i did a disco - musically a disco number - but dance-wise i did it as a tango." "and then through some more research again, i looked back at some old valentino movies and it was so similar. i mean the feeling of it. the feeling of the place. the excitement of the people. the moment he dipped her and all of a sudden then there was 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from other women." "so, we were able to do it in a kind of contemporary style which was very wonderful to see again. i mean it was ballroom and everythig else involved with it." further setting the film apart was the seamless marriage of dance and music. "unlike in previous musical films, the music was so integrated .. it was just so integrated with the storytelling. the soundtrack is
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so well done to match the mood of each scene." "the interesting thing here is, of course -- this was the first film where they really did this cross-promotion where the album came out and songs were released -- singles were released, like 'stayin' alive,' to promote the release of the film -- and then after the film came out they kind of used that to promote sales of the album." both the film and the album were breakout hits with the public, the album was number one for half a year and it won the grammy for album of the year in '79. it would all help ignite a nationwide wave of "disco fever." "this movie, not only revived disco but made it a very important part of contemporary popular culture. disco clubs exploded. of course, it had a huge impact on fashion in the late '70s." "and also there was a new look of it. new look of disco floors and lit floors. and new looks of crystals balls, which hadn't
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been used. and the use of lights for that particular thing, for that one moment when everyone can say, 'wow! did you see that guy dance?!'" "all of a sudden white suits, no matter what time of year it was, became very, very popular after this movie came out. also, things like collars - those long collars - the whole "look" of tony on saturday night. and even the way he dressed the rest of the week - in the movie - i think was captured - that sort of "street look" became very popular. and, i think a lot of the women - a lot of sexy female looks came out of this movie too because think of how a lot of the women were dressed in this film." "i think the explosion of disco really happened with saturday night fever. i mean it gave everybody an absolute clear view of what could happen." still to come as we continue our journey of 1970's hollywood, we're taking you back in time
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for the premiere of a classic horror film we remember the sci-fi saga that has transcended generations and left a legacy no other blockbuster has surpassed. the '70s also gave us a group of lovable surgeons based in a mobile army surgical hospital. plus, the story of how sylvester stallone made rocky come to life. then, we turn back the lens of time on when we first heard the ominous tones of the now-famous "jaws" theme song and the story behind the strained making of the epic american war film -- apocalypse now. stay tuned, you're watching "through the decades."
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for years, the creatures who haunted hollywood horror movies lurched up from graves or flew in through windows or burst through walls. then in 1973, a different kind of horror film debuted. one in which the menace came from within, an ancient evil, lurking inside an innocent young girl. audiences by the thousands were shaken to the core by "the exorcist." "in the cold of a new york winter ... at noon in los angeles ... they wait. for hours, sometimes, in lines that stretch around the block and back again -- for the chance to see 'the exorcist.' it's a tale that is said to be mostly true
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and that could be the key to its ability to fascinate and horrify people of all ages. it deals with a 12-year-old girl whose body and soul have been possessed by a demon and the age-old ceremony used to cast it out." "i didn't expect the reaction that the film got. i thought it was just a very good story that people would find interesting. i really didn't expect it would cause the kind of panic that ensued in many areas. and so my reaction was to retreat from it -- you know, get as far away from it as possible, because i realized that we were dealing with something that was very deep-seated in the culture, not only our culture but other countries. but i attribute this largely to the power of the story." william peter blatty's novel dominated the new york times
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bestseller list for more than a year and revived interest in one of the catholic church's rarest and most controversial rituals. "'the exorcist' is based on an actual case of demonic possession of a 14-year-old boy, which took place in 1949." director william friedkin studied the 1949 case before beginning the movie. "this gave me a realistic foundation for the story. it made me realize this was not a horror story. it was something that had actually happened that was inexplicable. there was just no -- no answers for it. "what i tried to do with the exorcist was do a story about an ordinary street, in an ordinary little town, with an ordinary house on the corner and everything about it is normal -- except upstairs there's a little girl
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who is possessed by the devil." for the critical role of regan, the possessed child, friedkin hired fourteen-year-old linda blair. "when my mother and i first read the book i think the most important thing to remember is children don't know a lot of things about religion. so for me, i asked questions like everybody else asks. how does she jump up and down on the bed and how do the special effects work -- well, i didn't call them special effects, i just said 'how does her head spin around'' and so billy friedkin, he really helped me understand what filmmaking was about and how we were going to do it. we never talked about the devil. we never talked about the religion. and i think that that was kind of a saving grace for him and for me. and i think he figured as long as i didn't bring it up, we wouldn't talk about it." the intensity of the film's story and the impact of its effects spilled over into the young actress's private life. "when the exorcist came out, it was a lot of people that it
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unnerved. and i think they felt some kind of connection to me. so out of respect, warner brothers was kind enough to make sure that i had constant protection. i mean i still lived a normal life, as people know, i mean i was at the barn all the time riding. you know; i was kind of findable, you could track me down. but i -- i'm appreciative that they were responsible to make sure that my safety was -- was in order." "and i think there still are some unanswered questions and that's why people keep trying to figure the film out. i think many people got caught up in the 'horror' of it instead of the spirituality." "it's the ultimate confrontation between good and evil and the idea that evil itself can get inside an innocent girl and take over, so that there -- everybody is powerless to do anything about it; except ultimately god. it's -- it's an ultimate story."
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"the film to me is more about the mystery of faith and faith and fate. the fact that fate takes a hand in people's destinies over which they have no real control. you can be walking down a street and turn a corner and suddenly die." still ahead, we look back on two major movie franchises that were born in the 1970's. first, the debut of the epic outerspace war saga that's been playing out for nearly four decades. then the british comedy troupe that made a career out of being silly and smart at the same time. this is "through the decades." time. this is "through the decades."
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a long time ago, in a hollywood far, far away, movies were all about anti-heroes. from "easy rider" to "taxi driver" there was no black and white just murky shades of grey. then in 1977, that changed dramatically as a visionary young director ushered in a bright new age of heroes with a movie called "star wars." "in the long lines in front of the big-city theaters across the country, the moviegoers wait for six hours or more. they are waiting to escape. at the box office, they are buying a few hours out of this world. the film is called "star wars." it and other recent hollywood offerings are obviously giving the public what it wants - total escape cinema. some fans just can't get enough of it." "really? i have a friend who's seen it four times already." thirty-three year old director george lucas, best known for the comedy "american
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graffiti," had a hunch that the public was ready for a return to swashbuckling movie heroes like flash gordon and robin hood. "in times of prosperity, we tend to be more self-critical and self-analytical and can accept it. in times of lesser prosperity, both economic and sociological, we tend to prefer more escapist entertainment and like to see a lot of -- like in the '30s, with the big busby berkley musicals. i think maybe we're getting back to wanting to see a little more soft entertainment and have a good time and really enjoy ourselves." lucas hired a trio of unknown actors to play his principal characters launching mark hamill, carrie fisher and harrison ford into the kind of iconic stature that made them famous not only across the country but across the globe. "the attendance at star wars has been almost astronomic." "queues are still forming. in america, more money was taken at box offices in one week, than for the prestigious 'jaws.' in london, after a month, almost six hundred thousand flocked to see the film. an all- time record.
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what is the attraction of star wars? who can say? there have been lavish spectaculars before. perhaps it's because this one takes the best from all the rest: color, breathless excitement, fantasy and because we on this planet are already touching space with a tentative finger more reality than we care to admit. the fact is, star wars is out of this world." the mixture of heroics, humor, and jaw-dropping special effects proved irresistible even overwhelming. "when i first saw star wars at a crew screening over here in england, i was amazed by the thing that came over head, the whatever it is called, the imperial destroyer; i was up in the circle of the theater and i kind of crouched down." "george called star wars the most expensive low-budget movie ever made. but that means all the money is up on the screen with the exception of alec
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guiness's salary." "star wars, this year, is attracting even larger audiences. but whether it's these or other escapist movies, when they emerge from the theaters, the audiences are happy. just ask." "sure, i love it! that's my favorite kind of entertainment. look at this. i'd love to escape from that." "i mean we've just had so many, kind of burned out on the social commentary movies we've had." "there's no doubt about it: the big moviemakers see the trend." that trend saw more and more heroes arrive on the big screen eventually, in 1980, bringing back the star wars crew themselves, and revealing george lucas'master plan. "what i'm making is, i'm making a twelve-hour, six-part movie and so i'm very conscious of trying to keep it consistent and tell one story. so i'm not going back and changing the story because oh, this happened or that happened or people like this or people don't like that. this is the story the way it was originally designed." lucas completed his six-film magnum opus
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in 2005. but the universe he created in 1977, continues to flourish both in the hearts of its fans and as a full blown mass media franchise. still to come, the 1970's television series that came at a time when the nation was divided over vietnam. plus, the film about a down and out boxer that became a storied franchsie and the movie that made everyone fearful of the beach. this is "through the decades" everyone fearful of the beach. this is "through the decades" in 1972, the u.s. was still
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mired in vietnam and for most americans, war was no laughing matter. but a new sitcom called "mash," proved that wartime satire was just what the country needed and its legacy would last longer than the 1970 feature film by the same name. "i got the phone call from my agent that gene reynolds, who was producing a t-v series called mash, from a movie that was made called mash, which i had never seen and there was a part in it for me and they were paying 250 dollars for the day. and i didn't have to read for it. all i had to do was come in." "i arrived at 20th century fox studio and gene was waiting for me and he ushered into a trailer which had a woman's army corps uniform dress and the most enormous high heels i had ever
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seen. i looked at the brand name and it was called el grande, which means 'the big one' (laughs). so, i thought i was dressing with an actress. and he said, 'no, no, no, no.those are yours, put them on.' and i went 'oh my goodness, what kind of a part is this?' so i put the wac's outfit on, the woman's army corps uniform on. and i put the big high heels on. he broke up laughing. i had the hairy bowed legs you know and he said 'come on out to the set.' i hadn't even seen the script!" "what was it like playing the corporal who liked to wear dresses?" "it was absolutely wonderful because you're there in korea everything is gray, green whatever it is and it brought color into the scenes." the series ended up taking a lot of people by surprise. "mash," short for "mobile army surgical hospital," was based on a bestselling novel and subsequent movie by robert
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altman about doctors on the frontline of the korean war. "the film is its own thing. we copied the visual style using the same locations, the same sets but we developed our own personality." that personality, often as bleak as it was comic, was entirely new to t.v. "m-a-s-h" went on for 11 seasons, and ended its run while still at the top of the ratings. "it's a wonderful cast. we're still all very close friends. we still get together and i'm proud of the work that we did, the writing, the directing and the impact that we made on a lot of people. people have come up to us at various times and said, 'you know, because of your show, we became doctors' or 'we became nurses.' . and i said, you know, the funny thing about it though, after all these neat years, nobody ever came up to us and said 'after watching your show, we became actors.' so, maybe we were so good, that they thought we were doctors and nurses."
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it was the story of a down on his luck on-screen character written by a down on his luck actor whose patience was tested as he refused to sell his movie script without being cast as the title character. it was worth the wait. the actor went on to one of the most successful careers in hollywood and his big-screen hero spent 30-years slugging it out the old-fashioned way and movie goers felt every punch he took along with him. we felt his hard-won victories too, in 1976, when sylvester stallone first appeared as "rocky." "hi everyone." "rocky!" "hi." "go anywhere in philly with sylvester stallone ..." "yo, how you doin'?" "... and you might as well be with rocky himself." "is that arnold schwarzenegger? no, it's sly. how you doin?" "like the statue at the foot of the philadelphia museum of
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art..." "look at these guys, they're unbelievable. keep goin'!" "... at 69, stallone is a fixture here." "what do you think when you look at it? "i tell ya', i don't go, 'hey, i look pretty good!' i swear to you, i swear to you. i swear to you. i go, i wish i was that noble." in the early '70s, sylvester stallone wasn't someone you'd ever have guessed had a statue in his future. "i've got failure down to a science. i'm living in a one-room, roach-infested. i used the curtains for a bath towel, we're talking we're down." desperate, he turned from acting to writing and came up with a script that the studios loved. but he had one condition - he wouldn't sell the rights unless he was cast in the lead. "i mean, you were, you had no money and people were offering you hundreds of thousands of dollars, right?" "yeahyeah." "and you were turning it down?" "everything, you know. it went up to about 360 thousand
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dollars, which is crazy!" but stallone was smart to hold out. "rocky," the story of a small-time philadelphia boxer who takes on the heavyweight champion of the world was a smash hit winning america's heart and the 1977 oscar for best picture. it also featured one of the most quoted lines of the year. "yo, adrian! it's me, rocky!" the role made stallone a superstar and three years later, he showed his gratitude by bringing it back. "i just call it a continuation. it's just another element. it's the next chapter, you know? it's like a book with one chapter. why not have two chapters?" perhaps inevitably, a third chapter was added in 1982 with an older, more settled hero. "the key line in the movie is 'eye of the tiger.' he has to go back and find the eye of the tiger. get hungry again. get back." with each new film in the franchise, the stakes got
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higher both on and off the screen. "on rocky i, we tried to avoid damage ... whatever. on rocky ii, we became a little bit more physical. and rocky iii, what i wanted to do -- because i don't know if this is the end -- probably ... most likely will be -- i don't know what else i can do except explode in the ring. we've done everything. i wanted to go for it this time and the other actor playing -- his name is mr. t -- playing clubber lang -- we just, i'd say 80 percent of the punches are real, especially the ones on the body and a few on the face. because there's just no way to duplicate the look of shock and dismay, not to mention pain when it's real." all the pain paid off in gain as "rocky iii" became the character's third hit. "if it wasn't for the inspiration and the people from philadelphia, i would have no
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basis for rocky iii. for a long time, i couldn't think of a story and then i thought about the spirit and the dedication of the people ... and that's the truth ... and i've come up with something i am very proud of and i hope you are too." audiences had other ideas. in fact, stallone went on to star in three more rocky films, through 2006 and in 2015 he appeared as the character in a spinoff movie, "creed." the long association has taken its toll over the years. "mr. t, dolph lundgren, carl weathers - "-- these are all behemoths. every one of them teed off at least once. oh, absolutely! you went home trying to figure out why am i listening to country western music backwards and i don't know my own zip code? it was -- oh my god!" but rocky's creator wouldn't have it any other way. "i'm really cognizant of the
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fact that rocky is -- you might say my alter ego -- or my symbiotic twin forever. i don't think they'll be able to really mention one without the other. and i think that perhaps if rocky has resolved anything in people's minds or has helped -- i've done my job and so has the character." "sylvester stallone knows he's as much rocky -- as rocky is sylvester stallone." "i get really emotional. you know, you go, 'damn, this--this has really been magical.'" "it's been quite a ride, hasn't it? "unbelievable ride. a lot has happened on these steps. keep punchin', philly! i owe ya!" still to come, we remember the steven speilberg thriller that would become hollywood's first major summer blockbuster and we turn back the lens of
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time on the comic genuis behind the success of the comedy troupe -- monty python.
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in the summer of 1975, people were afraid to go in the water at the the beach - very afraid. jaws opened in theaters nationwide in june that year and the movies would never be
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the same. directed by a then-relatively unknown, steven spielberg, jaws caused an international sensation and gave birth to the summer blockbuster. "merchant seamen yesterday harpooned a great white shark 10 miles off the southern california coast pulling it in after a three hour battle. the15 foot shark weighted 2,400 pounds. that's big but nothing like the man made 25 foot 6,000-pounder now scaring the daylights out of movie goers watching 'jaws' this summer." on june 20, 1975, moviegoers were introduced to a new kind of terror and its name was jaws. "everybody out of the water." "none of man's fantasies of evil can compare with the reality of jaws." "most historians would agree that jaws was the first summer blockbuster. other movies had been released in the summer but
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jaws was the first movie that really sort of caught the country's and the world's attention and it sort of forever changed the strategy about how to release big movies." jaws opened in 466 theaters across the country. - "just before that, there was a huge campaign in terms of publicity on television and print ads, the iconic poster, and rather then have a small number of theaters, they publicized the hell out of it and then released it wide and people started going in droves and most importantly people kept going back again and again and it really changed that paradigm that now outside of a few summer kind of christmas movies, movie season starts in may and ends in august and that really is because of jaws." jaws became the first film to surge past the 100-million dollar mark at the box office.
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perhaps part of the fascination for movie goers and critics alike is that jaws, the story of a great white shark terrorizng a small resort town, looked and felt like nothing they had never seen before. "it doesn't exactly fit into the horror category horror usually signifies in a film something of a supernatural." "first and foremost, i would say it's sort of a psychological thriller which is odd for a movie that is a huge action picture." "jaws is more ... more environmental that the antagonist is a beast of nature a natural enemy of man." "it was all these different genre pieces put together in a beautiful package obviously by an extraordinarily skilled filmmaker, beautiful soundtracks, all these things and it was really a movie that the 15 year old would go see by themselves but they didn't mind
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being dragged to the film with the adults." the director was a relative newcomer in hollywood. "i didn't know, no one knew, as george lucas will tell you he didn't know star wars would do what it did, i had no idea jaws would be as successful as it was." "well, steven is a great story teller you know? he likes to sit around the campfire at night and tell all the scouts, 'and then ... cropsy came through the woods' you know, he loves to do that." "you know you watch them like this (hands in front of eyes) you watch jaws and poltergeist like this that's a great way of watching movies i used to watch films all the time that way when i first saw 'thething' when i was a kid you know, i watched it like this. i think its fun people like to get on a downhill run and stay there until win or hit the wall." "he takes the patience to build characters so by the time the tension situations occur you have a pretty good idea how each guy is going to react." initially, response to the movie and the terror it illicited, took the cast by surprise.
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"i was astounded at the reaction. i mean, for instance, dreyfus didn't think the picture was going to make a dime, he thought it was rather silly." "i couldn't believe the screams and the carrying on and jumping out of their seats and people leaving the theater. i mean, a lot of people couldn't take it." "and the moment the music started i got scared. i went oh my god. oh my god and after that, i forgot i was in it completely. i was terrified, screaming." and almost no one could predict the effect it would have on people outside of the movie theater. "one thing we never realized when we were shooting the film is how much of a psychological impact the fear of water would have on people." "while tourism is booming in the north carolina mountains, it is slumping here and tourist officials are blaming it on jaws." "my biggest objection is to the fear campaign and my personal feeling it that we have an overplay of the fear and and
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overplay of the very remote possibility of shark attacks." "and this is a meeting in carolina beach..a meeting that's been called to fight jaws-o-mania. a meeting to figure out a way to counter the movie's effects." "my recommendation, of course, is that we mount an advertising campaign of our own" "i mean, you know, i don't know if its true or not but the way the movie say that sharks come up closer than i ever realized and i'm too young to die." "there is no way of knowing for sure if its really the movie that's keeping the tourists away from carolina beach but what the business people do know is that tourism is down and as one of them put it sharks aren't the problem, jaws is" in 2015, jaws celebrated its 40th anniversary and it is considered one of the most iconic films of our time. "it wasn't until much later that people realized what an
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impact that it had on our culture." "well everyone, you've just experienced jaws based on the major motion picture directed by steven spielberg." "when it first came out, it was actually a mixed bag. some critics got it and some critics didn't get it." "is it anything unsual no? is it extraordinarily well crafted editing and filmmaking? yes. he found a way to stimulate us and terrify us." how do you make a cult movie? you might start with a mystical quest, rooted in fantasy and adventure then throw in coconuts, a killer rabbit and of course, a shrubbery. at least, that's how they made "monty python and the holy grail," which premiered in los angeles in march 1975. "well, i think it's got some classic things. it's about king arthur. it's a quest. that's
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stuff everybody knows about, the knights, the quest and it sort of coincided i think with 'dungeons and dragons,' you know that lovely medieval games people love." but there's a lot more to the first film by the stars of t- v's "monty python's flying circus." there's magic, music, violence, spectacle, animation and of course, comedy. "what makes you think she's a witch?" "well, she turned me into a newt!" the success of "monty python and the holy grail" paved the way for the troupe's later moves but even the pythons themselves seem stunned by the continuing popularity of their film debut. "it was made on a very small budget. we had to have people like led zeppelin, genesis giving us money just to get the film made. we just wanted to
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get through the next year, so to have it 40-years later is quite remarkable, especially for a director like terry jones." in 1975, the pythons had just wrapped up the five-year run of their t-v show. movies were the next logical step but it wasn't quite the glamour job they'd expected. "the whole film cost 400 thousand dollars and the day before i drove up to scotland, the producer rang me up and said would you mind very much sharing a hotel room during the shooting of the movie, and i said, 'i'm a bleep film star. what do you mean share a hotel room?' that was how short we were. we had about four umbrellas for the entire cast and crew, and it was scotland. so it started raining at 7 o'clock. by the time they broke and we had to try and get back to the hotel because there wasn't much hot water there - by the time we broke, we were absolutely exhausted." today, the film's fans gleefully endure the same
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conditions just to reenact their favorite scenes. "halt! who goes there?" "it is i, arthur, son of uther pendragon from the castle of camelot, king of the britons, defeater of the saxons, sovereign of all england!" "pull the other one." "oh yeah, an african swallow maybe, he's not a european swallow, that's my point." "it's possibly one of the biggest cult films in british film history is 'monty python and the holy grail' and doune castle was the primary location for the film. it came up to the thirtieth anniversary of the film being made at doune and we decided to run an event to commemorate the anniversary and we've been running it ever since." "we've come as characters out of the holy grail. so we're the ladies of castle anthrax, who are desperate to have a spanking, really." but the fans aren't the only ones re-staging the film. in 2005, it was adapted into a tony-
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award winning broadway musical. it's clear that just like the movie's black knight "look you stupid bleep ,you've got no arms left!" "yes i have!" "look!" "it's just a flesh wound." there's no stopping "monty python and the holy grail." "all right. we'll call it a draw." despite a set filled with turmoil and budget woes, the 1970's would deliver a movie that changed war films forever. when we return, we look back on the making of "apocalypse now." you're watching "through the dedes." you're watching "through the dedes." it's now regarded as one of the
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great american war films. in fact, the late roger ebert once listed it as one of the all-time great films produced in this country. but there was a time when "apocalypse now" was thought to be a folly but by the time of it's premiere in 1979, the war movie had evolved into something more substantial. something more substantial. it features some of the most memorable scenes in american film history from the helicopter raid on a "viet cong" village scored to wagner's "ride of the valkyries" to this famous line uttered by robert duvall's character, lieutentant bill kilgore. "i love the smell of napalm in the morning."
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"apocalypse now" is an iconic film, one of the best movies ever made about the vietnam war brilliantly directed by francis ford coppola. it was adapted from the classic nineteenth century novel by joseph conrad, "heart of darkness." "well, the basic premise of the movie is that martin sheen plays captain willard, who has done some previous work for the c-i-a, some assassination missions that he cannot talk about. and he's hired by army intelligence to go down the river in vietnam and locate a colonel kurtz, played by marlon brando, who has gone rogue. they feel like they have no control over this man and they order martin sheen to terminate him." but the story behind the film is anything but simple. "apocalypse now" was fraught with problems during its production in the phillippines in the spring and summer of 1976. "a typhoon hit the
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phillippines, at one point, that completely destroyed sets" "at one point, martin sheen had a heart attack on the set. he had suffered severe chest pains. they found out he had a serious heart attack so he was sidelined for several weeks while they had to film stuff on the boat without him." "horror has a face and you must make a friend of horror." marlon brando meanwhile arrived to set much heavier than expected. so coppola primarily shot his scenes in close-ups and in shadows. on the set, coppola encouraged improvisation, but he couldn't come up with an ending for the film and the experience was was increasingly troubling to him. "he thought he was not only making a bad picture, but a pretentious picture and he felt that he was not going to come out of this alive. there were even times where he considered committing suicide." coppola was finally able to finish shooting by 1977, but
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post-production took another two years. "there was a number of different concerns with the post-production. one, obviously all the amount of footage that was shot and trying to get it down to a manageable length." by this time, the director noticed that the film had morphed into something more than just a conventional war epic. "it had become a broader, more philosophical, even surreal operatic film. and when we cut it together, we realized that we were already you know two hours and 15 minutes and we were right at the edge not only of length but also of, you know, what people expected an action war film would be." after winning the palm d'or at the cannes film festival, "apocalypse now" premiered in new york and los angeles on august 15, 1979 and the film was a hit with both audiences and critics alike. by the 2000s, it had become a masterpiece to many, ranked
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among the best films of all time. "the genius of 'apocalypse now' is that it does sort of really reflect the experience of the war. whether or not it answers all the questions about the war, it answers the ... our fears, what we feared vietnam was like for the people that were on the ground." those who participated in the filming of "apocalypse now" say that the film was a once in a lifetime experience. "it's a remarkable film. i'm just stunned by it. there's a lot of good memories. there are far more good memories than there are bad memories." "it could never be made today. the controls of the executives today, the way that movies are planned for a specific audience. this was a big risk and this whole movie was always a risk. and the reason it's good is because people with real vision believed in it and saw it through you know and that's the thing that's missing today,
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i think." the thing that's missing today, i think." you won't see these folks they have businesses to run. they have passions to pursue. how do they avoid trips to the post office? mail letters, ship packages, all the services of the post office right on your computer. get a 4 week trial, plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to
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and never go to the post office again. that'll do it for us today.
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i'm bill kurtis. as we leave, one last look back at 1970's hollywood.
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>> can you believe this? it is caught for the win! once and for all for sergio. jason day, major champion. >> touchdown, alabama! >> north carolina, they're not going to be denied this time. >> the cbs sports desk is presented by centurylink. jim: welcome to the "cbs sportsdesk" presented by centurylink. jim nantz with you in hilton head island, south carolina. coming up, final round coverage of the r.b.c. heritage but first, opening day of the nba playoffs and the best game of the bunch, the clippers and the jazz. that's chris paul tying it off the glass but at the buzzer, joe johnson with the winner and the jazz take game one.


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