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Peckinpah DVDs (Read 12149 times)
Gashade
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #18 - 08/02/11 at 11:37pm
 
I'm lazy, and the interview with Assonitis is actually very long. But here is the passage about Peckinpah:

"I met him at a party, through a collaborator of mine who was working on the casting [of Stridulum]. He was there with his manager, I don't remember who that was... Peckinpah came to me, completely drunk and stone, and told me: "Are you Italian?"; "Yes"; "Then I want you to give me 10 000 dollars"; "I'll give you 10 000 dollars, if you take a part in my film!". He accepted, but then, on set, it became a tragic situation. He was to shoot for two days and act the small part of a doctor, a gynecologist... he had an extraordinary face, was a very interesting man. As soon as he got there to film, he asked for two things: for one, the costume lady was to take him to buy shoes for the film, and so the costume lady showed him around the city. He had the part of a doctor and the only wardrobe he had was that white shirt and shoes that doctors wear. Instead, he wanted to buy twelve pairs of boots, which absolutely wasn't planned. So the costume lady called me: "Look, this guy wants to buy twelve pairs of boots. What am I supposed to do?"; "Buy him one pair!"; she bought him one and he got upset because he really wanted twelve of them. He said that for all the films that he went to make, he had twelve pairs of boots bought for him. Because he was a cowboy... After that, he called someone from the production and asked for some cocaine. The guy told it to my right-hand man who told it to me: "He wants some cocaine!" "Not only you don't give it to him, but if anyone of you gives him anything, you're fired on the spot!" And so Peckinpah came to me: "Look, in all my contracts, I have this..." and he showed me an old contract of his where it was set that for each working day - it was a directing contract - he would get doses of cocaine. It wasn't called cocaine, another word was used, a conventional word, but that's what it said. I answered him: "We don't do that here..." He started to get a little angry, and then he told me he wanted to change the dialogue in his scene a little. "Bring me your suggestions and we'll talk about it..." Those conversations occured between me and him, without Paradisi, also because Paradisi couldn't speak well in english. As the day we were supposed to be shooting his scene was drawing closer and closer, I would ask him if he had made those changes, so that I could read them, and he would answer: "Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow..." When I understood I was dealing with a dangerous madman, I told myself: "Now, I have to invite him to dinner, with three or four people from the crew, and most of all with John Huston..." I had warned John: "Look, you have to help me here, because he's making me crazy..." Peckinpah had great respect for John Huston... We went to have dinner, I was inviting everybody, we were five or six people, and towards the end of dinner, I see the waiters coming to us with twelve bottles of champagne, of those at 200 dollars each. "But who ordered those?" I asked; "Oh, mister Sam Peckinpah..."; "Well, we're five people, we'll take one or two of them..." And he was behaving as a kid who just got caught doing some dirty trick... He drank almost all the champagne himself and left with another bottle that had stayed untouched. The day he was supposed to shoot, I had a meeting with Arkoff from AIP who was the American distributor of the film and who had come especially from Los Angeles to watch the material we had shot until that with me. The head of production calls me... the scene was supposed to be shot in a real hospital which, by the way, we had at our disposal only that day... and tells me: "Listen, Peckinpah has closed himself up in his room, he's not coming out... And it' already noon..." In the meantime, two other guys had come from Los Angeles: one was his bodyguard and the other some country singer with his guitar. And they were locked up in that room and you could hear they were singing country songs. He wasn't coming out and would answer to those calling him: "Just one more minute, one more minute!" After which I went to the hotel and I met him as he was coming out of the room, completely wasted. We went to shoot the scene, with the main actress and him. I couldn't hear the lines, but suddenly, I see the American actress burst into tears. What happened there...? Actually, he went out and started telling her very heavy insults, things like: "Give me your cunt, I'll rip it apart, spit on it, stick it in my ear...", he was swearing like that, things that had nothing to do with the lines of the film. And he had offended the actress who was now crying. I told her: "Listen, pretend nothing is happening, say your lines..." The cameraman of the film was Guarnieri, and with him, I decided to frame Peckinpah, as I had to dub him anyway. We had a strong light directed towards him so that the movement of his lips couldn't be seen. At the end of the scene... by the way, his part was initially supposed to be much bigger, I cut it drastically... I looked him straight in the eyes and told him: "I don't think you are the Sam Peckinpah I saw and loved in so many films... You can't be the same person." He looked at me... he was a very tall cowboy... and told me: "Come with me..." I followed him in his dressing room: there was his bodyguard, a guy with a gun laying on the table, and the country singer. He closed the door and told me: "Sit down!"; he sat down in a swinging chair and ordered the singer to sing... That was the end of my relationship with Sam Peckinpah."

I'll try to translate Bozzachi's text some other time.
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« Last Edit: 08/02/11 at 11:50pm by Gashade »  
 
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JEFF1950
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #19 - 08/09/11 at 11:57am
 
As a great Peckinpah admirer it was hard to read that, it was such a shame that he became a shadow of what he once was. I would have liked to have met him in his prime when it was only the drink you had to deal with.
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Gashade
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #20 - 08/09/11 at 11:26pm
 
And here is what Gianni Bozzacchi writes about the time when he was producing Monte Hellman's China 9, Liberty 37 (taken from Sam Peckinpah - Il ritmo della violenza, edited by Franco La Polla):
"We had to shoot a scene in the hall of a far West hotel: we built it in the studio. I had the idea of calling up famous directors instead of charactor actors: I thought about Sam Peckinpah for the part of the journalist, Sergio Leone for that of the hotel doorman and Federico Fellini for that of a blindman.
After various negociations, Peckinpah accepted to come to Rome with two first class tickets, 2000 dollars daily allowance and accomodation at the Hassler Hotel of the Villa Medici. We were almost out of budget: I made a last attempt, I talked to Fellini who accepted on the condition that Leone would accept too. I called Leone and convinced him with a little stratagem: I told him that Peckinpah's condition was that Leone would be present too.
Peckinpah arrived to Rome. I had met him during the shooting of The Wild Bunch. What a character! I went to meet him in the hotel. The first thing he asked me was if I had some coke: I answered that it was impossible for me to get some, which sent him into a crase of fury. As I was trying to calm him down, he raised my pants asking me where I had bought the boots I was wearing: he wanted a pair. I took him to a shoeshop and bought him two pairs.
I set up a breakfast at the terrace of the Hassler Hotel with Sergio Leone, Monte Hellman, Federico Fellini, Jerry Harvey and the journalist from the Messaggero Costanzo Costantini. We were all sitting around the table waiting for mister Peckinpah to grace us with his presence. He came with a good half-hour delay: he was drunk. He kneeled down in front of Fellini exclaiming: "Maestro! Maestro!" Then he turned to Leone: "Sergio, you are the best!" To which Leone answered: "No, you are the very best!" After having sat down, Peckinpah asked me to translate what he would say and, turning to Leone and Fellini, he asked them what they were thinging of that lousy, cheap producer who made him come to Rome without giving him a penny. I translated word for word. The Californian director went on insisting on the term cheap; I looked him in the eyes, got closer to his ear and, in english, I reminded him that there was a matter with boots going on between us. Suddenly he moved his chair, took off a boot and slammed it in the middle of the table, breaking plates and glasses, and then ran away limping. Everyone looked at me in shock, no one understood what had happened. I made a bitter half smile and, excusing myself, I ran after him and cought up with him in the elevator. I faced up to him, pushing him against the wall, and, in an english more perfect than ever, I reminded him that the reason he was there was that we needed a publicity launch. And so I ordered him to go back and excuse himself, otherwise I would have kicked his behind in front of a dozen paparazzis and send him back to the United States. Peckinpah came back to the table murmuring some half excuses and then went back to his room. Fellini and Leone decided not to play in the scene. The breakfast had cost me a awful lot of money and remained indigestible. The day after, I arrived on the set very angry and ready for everything. Peckinpah was already in his dressing room: he let us wait for four hours before he came down to the set. With great diplomacy from all of us, we succeeded in stealing the scene from him."

But it seems that Leone came on set that day, as there is this photograph of him with Hellman, Peckinpah and cameraman Giuseppe Rotunno (who was a Fellini regular, and also worked with the likes of Visconti, Bob Fosse, Terry Gilliam, Dario Argento...):
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« Last Edit: 08/09/11 at 11:28pm by Gashade »  
 
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #21 - 09/01/11 at 6:27am
 
Sad indeed to read further evidence of a great artist's inexorable decline.

I wonder how much impact Peckinpah's behaviour at that breakfast had on the decision by Leone and Fellini not to appear in China 9?
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Stanton
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #22 - 02/06/16 at 5:05am
 
There is a Spanish DVD of Junior Bonner:
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Of course with English audio and maybe/most likely in anamorphic 2,35:1
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« Last Edit: 02/06/16 at 5:06am by Stanton »  
 
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mike bishop
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Re: Peckinpah DVDs
Reply #23 - 02/06/16 at 6:39am
 
Forget about the BONNER DVD from Spain, guys. I made the mistake wasting my money. It IS anamorphic, but much worse than the 4:3 US DVD!
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