Wednesday, September 9, 2020

They Worked on That?- 51 Days to Halloween

Francis Ford Coppola

Dementia 13

Francis Ford Coppola's first directorial project, yet working under producer Roger Croman, director Coppola was expected to make a cheap Psycho knockoff. Instead, he made a gothic thriller that, despite being rushed, was a sign of Coppola's potential. Coppola would go onto direct The Godfather 1 and 2 a few years later.

William Castle

Rosemary's Baby (Producer)

William Castle has a reputation for making inexpensive low budget movies that often used a gimmick to get people into the seats. William Castle was excited about the forthcoming book that the film was based on and convinced Paramount executive Robert Evans to purchase it. The studio agreed it was a great project but felt Castles' reputation for low budget schlock would make the film less appealing. Castle agreed to be the producer of the film and even had a cameo role. 

Mel Brooks

The Elephant Man (Producer)

Mel Brooks was shown the script for The Elephant Man by coproducer Jonathan Sanger who had worked with Brooks on High Anxiety. Brooks has his new company Brooksfilms work on the film, but Brooks decided to leave his name off the movie as not to confuse audiences into thinking it was one of his comedies. Director David Lynch was brought in due to a recommendation from Brooks's personal assistant Stuart Cornfeld. 

John Carpenter

Memoirs of an Invisible Man

Chevy Chase was given Memoirs and was very much interested in the concept as he wanted a project that was less comedy and more action. John Carpenter was brought on board after he had some projects fall through. Chase suggested the movie be made more like a Hitchcock thriller. Carpenter worked with screenwriters Robert Collector, ana Olsen, and Wiliam Goldman to add a love story and focus more on the loneliness of being invisible. 

George Romero

Tales From the Darkside

Although more known for his Living Dead movies, Geroge A Romero would creat this television anthology series that would include tales of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, often with a twist ending. Similar in concept to Creepshow, the show took a slightly different name from the EC comic-inspired comic book and kept Romero as Executive Producer.


Wes Craven

Music of the Heart

Known for making horror movies, Wes Craven seems like an unlikely director for the musical drama based on violinist Roberta Guaspari. Craven watched the 1995 documentary Small Wonders and was inspired to make a movie about Ms. Guaspari as a music teacher working in Harlem. The film would star Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, and Gloria Estefan.  

David Cronenberg

A History of Violence

This action crime thriller starred Viggo Mortensen and was directed by Canadian director David Cronenberg, best known for his body horror films. The film would win praise for the role violence tends to play in society and the conflict that may arise from someone who is no stranger to it but wishes to stray away.  

David Lynch

The Straight Story

David Lynch tends to direct movies that are cryptic and dark, but this 1999 road film is such a departure in so many ways. The film is based on the true-life story of Alvin Straight, who drove a riding lawn mower 240 miles to visit his ailing brother. The film was released by Walt Disney Pictures and won praise for David Lynch, whose films tend to be more cult art-house fare.  

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