Sahara is a 1983 British-American adventure drama film directed by Andrew McLaglen and starring Brooke Shields, Lambert Wilson, Horst Buchholz, John Rhys-Davies and John Mills. The original music score was composed by Ennio Morricone.
Intent on winning a competition in place of her distinguished late father, beautiful young heiress Dale (Shields) takes on the guise of a man and competes in his spot, embarking on a car race that crosses the unforgiving Sahara desert.
The film was supposedly inspired by the then British Prime Minister’s son, Mark Thatcher, who became lost in North Africa in 1982 during an auto rally. It also came about due to the box office success of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Menahem Golan’s fondness for the Rudolph Valentino film The Sheik (1921).
In May 1982 it was announced Guy Hamilton would direct Brooke Shields in Sahara with a $15 million budget. It was one of the biggest budgeted films from Cannon Films.
Finding the male lead took over a year. The film was meant to come out in December 1983. The release was delayed until February 1984. “We couldn’t get the theatres we wanted at Christmas so the decision was to wait,” said an MGM/UA spokesman. Other reports said the decision to push back a release were made after poor previews. It was released only in the West Coast states. “We decided to open it in half the country to see what we had,” said MGM. It made $550,848 on 344 theaters on the West Coast – a per screen average of only $1,601. The Chicago Tribune called the film “a dog.” It ended up making $1.2 million.
At the 1984 Razzies, Brooke Shields was nominated for Worst Actress and won Worst Supporting Actor as “Brooke Shields (with a moustache)”, making her the first and only actress to win this award.
Sahara is a 2005 action-adventure film directed by Breck Eisner based on the best-selling 1992 novel of the same name by Clive Cussler. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn and Penélope Cruz, and follows a treasure hunter who partners with a WHO doctor to find a lost American Civil War Ironclad warship in the Sahara Desert.
The film was shot in 2003 on-location in Morocco as well as in the United Kingdom. It became notable for its many production issues, including doubling its production budget from $80 million to $160 million, lawsuits among the crew, and being accused of several violations of international law. Sahara grossed $119 million worldwide at the box-office, ultimately failing to recoup all of its costs and is often listed among the biggest box-office failures of all-time.
Master explorer Dirk Pitt (McConaughey) goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the “Ship of Death” in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor (Cruz) being hounded by a ruthless dictator (Lennie James).
Principal photography began in November 2003, with the film being shot primarily on-location in Morocco, with portions in England (Hampshire and Shepperton Studios) and in Spain. One 46-second action sequence cost $2 million to film but ended up not making the final cut. McConaughey was paid $8 million, Penélope Cruz was paid $1.6 million, and Rainn Wilson was paid $45,000. A total of 10 screenwriters were used to polish the script, with four eventually receiving credit, which added $3.8 million to the film’s budget; David S. Ward made $500,000 for his uncredited work.
Initially green-lit with a production budget of $80 million, costs rose to $100 million by the time shooting started and had ballooned to $160 million by the time production wrapped, with a further $61 million in distribution expenses. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times listed the film as one of the most expensive flops of all time.
The Los Angeles Times presented an extensive special report on April 15, 2007, dissecting the budget of Sahara as an example of how Hollywood movies can cost so much to produce and fail. Many of the often closely held documents had been leaked after a lawsuit involving the film. Among some of the items in the budget were bribes to the Moroccan government, some of which may have been legally questionable under American law.
To promote the film, actor Matthew McConaughey drove his own Airstream trailer (painted with a large Sahara movie poster on each side) across America, stopping at military bases and many events such as the Daytona 500 (to Grand Marshal the race), premiering the movie to fans, signing autographs, and doing interviews at each stop. The trip’s highlights were shown on an E! channel special to coincide with the film’s release. McConaughey also kept a running blog of his trip on MTV’s entertainment website.
According to McConaughey, this film was intended to be the first in a franchise based on Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels (much like the James Bond one), but the poor box-office performance has stalled plans for a sequel.
The film opened at number one in the US box office, taking $18 million on its first weekend and ultimately grossed $69 million. It earned a further $50 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $119 million. The box-office take of the film amounted to barely half of its overall expenses. The film lost approximately $105 million, according to a financial executive assigned to the movie; however, Hollywood accounting methods assign losses at $78.3 million, taking into account projected revenue. According to Hollywood accounting, the film had a projected revenue of $202.9 million against expenses of $281.2 million.
For almost a decade, Cussler was involved in a lengthy legal action suit against the film’s producer, Philip Anschutz, and his film entertainment company, Crusader Entertainment LLC (now part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group). It began in February 2005 when Cussler sued Anschutz and Crusader for $100 million for failing to consult him on the script. The author also claimed breach of contract because Crusader had failed to take up the option of a second book; Anschutz counter-sued for “alleged blackmail and sabotage attempts against the film prior to its 2005 release.” Cussler claimed he had been assured “absolute control” over the book’s film adaptation, but when this did not happen, he believed this contributed to its failure at the box office. He said in a statement, “They deceived me right from the beginning. They kept lying to me… and I just got fed up with it.” However, Anschutz’s company counter-sued, claiming it had been the behavior of Cussler that contributed to the film’s problems. They claimed Cussler did have certain approval rights regarding the script and selection of actors and directors, but he had been an obstructive presence, rejecting many screenplay revisions and attacking the film in the media before it was even released. On May 15, 2007, a jury found in Anschutz’s favor and awarded him $5 million in damages. On January 8, 2008, Judge John Shook decided that Crusader Entertainment was not required to pay Cussler $8.5 million for rights to the second book. On March 10, 2009, the same judge ordered Cussler to pay $13.9 million in legal fees to the production company.
A year later, in March 2010, the California Court of Appeals overturned Judge Shook’s decision to award Anschutz and Crusader $5 million in damages and nearly $14 million in legal fees. Cussler then attempted to restart legal proceedings in July 2010 by filing a new lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming the appeals court gave him back the right to recover the $8.5 million he believed Crusader owed him on a second book.
In response, the production company’s lawyer said, “They’re trying to pretend this wasn’t already litigated. Cussler has never been able to accept the fact that he lost this case. He didn’t accept the jury verdict, then for a year they tried to get the trial court judge to say the jury determined (Cussler was) entitled to $8.5 million and the court said absolutely not. They then sought an appeal and it didn’t work. Then they appealed to the California Supreme Court and they didn’t take the case. So, despite having had multiple courts say no, they are trying all over again.”
There were no further developments in the case for almost three years until December 2012 when both parties were back in court to hear which side was responsible for paying the case’s $20 million legal bill. However, the Second Appellate District for California’s Appeals Court declared that “there was no prevailing party for purposes of attorney fees.” It concluded that “after years of litigation both sides recovered nothing — not one dime of damages and no declaratory relief.”
Rush is a 2013 biographical sports film centered on the Hunt–Lauda rivalry between two Formula One drivers, the British James Hunt and the Austrian Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula 1 motor-racing season. It was written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard and starred Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. The film premiered in London on September 2, 2013 and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival before its United Kingdom release on 13 September 2013.
Some things in the film are exaggerated (like the Hunt–Lauda rivalry; in reality they had shared a flat early in their careers and were good friends), others downplayed (like Lauda’s wife’s shock at his disfigurement), and others invented (like Hunt beating up a reporter or the Nürburgring nickname being “the graveyard;” in fact Jackie Stewart had nicknamed it “the Green Hell”). A further inaccuracy is that when Lauda’s car was in flames, another driver, Arturo Merzario, released his seatbelts and succeeded in pulling Lauda out of his car, not four as shown in the movie. Other inaccuracies include the British F3 battle at Crystal Palace, which in reality was between Hunt and Dave Morgan, and Hunt’s overtake on Regazzoni for 3rd place in the Japanese Grand Prix when in the actual race he passed Alan Jones. Another error in the Japanese Grand Prix is that Regazzoni and Laffite finished fourth and fifth, while in the actual race it was Jones and Regazzoni who finished fourth and fifth. In the end scene an incident is described where Hunt, while being a TV broadcaster, comes to a meet-up with Lauda on a bicycle with a flat tire. In reality this incident happened while Hunt ran out of money and fell into alcohol addiction. On this day Lauda gave him money to rebuild his life. Hunt, after Lauda gave him money a second time, fixed his life and got a job as a television broadcaster.
The culmination of the 1975 championship is depicted, 38 minutes into the picture, as occurring at the U.S. Grand Prix. Lauda is shown in a wheel-to-wheel dice with Hunt’s Hesketh 308B. In reality, the title was decided in Lauda’s favour at the previous race, in Italy, and the two drivers were never together on track at Watkins Glen. Lauda won that race from start to finish, whilst Hunt trailed in fourth, driving the new Hesketh 308C.
Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans ’66 in some European countries) is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by James Mangold and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller. It is produced by Chernin Entertainment and stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, with Jon Bernthal, Caitríona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon in supporting roles.
The plot follows a determined team of American and British engineers and designers, led by automotive designer Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Italian racing team Scuderia Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Ford v Ferrari had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 15, 2019 by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed $225 million worldwide and received acclaim from critics, who lauded the performances (particularly Bale and Damon), Mangold’s direction, the editing, and the racing sequences. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year, and at the 92nd Academy Awards received four nominations, including Best Picture, and won Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. It was the last film to win the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing before the award was combined with Best Sound Mixing as a single award for Best Sound. Bale also received nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. It is also the first 20th Century Fox release to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar since The Walt Disney Company acquired the assets of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019, and the last before the studio’s rebranding as 20th Century Studios in 2020.
A Lonely Place to Die (Carnaby Film Productions, 2011)
A Lonely Place to Die is a 2011 British action thriller film directed by Julian Gilbey and based on a screenplay from Julian and Will Gilbey. It stars Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Karel Roden, Eamonn Walker, Sean Harris and Kate Magowan.
A group of five mountaineers are hiking and climbing in the Scottish Highlands when they discover a young Serbian girl buried in a small chamber in the wilderness. They become caught up in a terrifying game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers as they try to get the girl to safety.
In April 2011, the film had its world premiere at the ActionFest film festival in Asheville, North Carolina USA, where it was awarded “Best Film” and “Best Director.”
After the Cannes film market in May 2011, Kaleidoscope Entertainment picked up the UK rights to release the film.
The film had its UK premiere on August 29, 2011, where it was the closing film of Frightfest. It was released in UK cinemas shortly thereafter on September 7. It was released in North America in November 2011, following a screening at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival on October 24, 2011.
The Messengers is a 2007 supernatural horror film directed by the Pang Brothers, and produced by Sam Raimi. It stars Kristen Stewart, John Corbett, William B. Davis, Dylan McDermott, Carter Kolbeck and Penelope Ann Miller. The film is about an ominous darkness that invades a seemingly serene sunflower farm in North Dakota, and the Solomon family—the owners of the farm—who are torn apart by suspicion, mayhem, and murder.
The film was released on February 2, 2007, and the DVD was released on June 5, 2007. Filming took place in the Qu’Appelle Valley near the small community of Abernethy, Saskatchewan, Canada. The graphic novel adaptation was published in January 2007 by Dark Horse Comics, written by Jason Hall, and illustrated by Kelley Jones. The prequel, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, was released in 2009.
It’s been six years since the Rollins family just up and left and now the troubled Solomon family has come from Chicago, to rebuild their lives following their sons hospitalization due to their daughter’s drunk driving accident. But as they start to settle in something odd and strange begins to occur to their son. Could something supernatural be at work, and did the previous family just leave…or are they still here? Trapped in the only place they’ve ever known? And what did cause their deaths? Most of all…is this ‘killer’ still very much alive?
The Messengers placed first in box office receipts for the weekend of February 2–4, 2007. In its first weekend of release, the film grossed $14.7 million. The film grossed $55 million overall.
Chopping Mall (originally released as Killbots) is a 1986 American science-fiction, horror comedy, slasher film co-written and directed by Jim Wynorski, produced by Julie Corman, and starring Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky, and Russell Todd. The story focuses on three security robots turning maniacal and killing teenage employees inside a shopping mall after dark.
Julie Corman had a deal with Vestron to make a horror film that took place in a mall. Jim Wynorski agreed to write one cheaply if he could direct.
Wynorski wrote the script with Steve Mitchell, whom he had known since the 1970s, when they met at conventions for EC Comics, and became friends. They decided to do a “phantom of the mall”-type movie and Mitchell says it was Wynorski’s idea to feature robots. Wynorski said he was inspired by the 1954 film Gog; he claims he never saw the 1973 TV film Trapped, which some believe inspired Chopping Mall.
Mitchell says they wrote up the story in 24 hours and sent it to Julie Corman. Vestron gave their approval within a week despite lack of a script. The script took around four or five weeks to write.
At least two different versions of the film exist. The TV cut has some extra footage, such as a small homage to Attack of the Crab Monsters, extended scenes of Ferdy and Allison watching TV, some aerial shots, and an extension of one of the Ferdy/Allison scenes. No official source offers this version.
Concorde Pictures released the film in limited theaters on March 21, 1986. It was known during production as Robots, then Killbots. Upon initial release as Killbots, the film did poorly at the box office. However, it fared better when it was re-released as Chopping Mall. The name Chopping Mall was a suggestion of a janitor.
The film was released on VHS in the United States by the Vestron sub label Lightning Video in 1987. Lionsgate released the film twice on DVD, once in 2004 (with special features including a featurette, commentary, still gallery, and trailer) and in 2012 as part of an 8-horror film DVD set. It was released for the first time on Blu-ray on September 27, 2016 as part of Lionsgate’s new Vestron Video Collector’s Series line.
Wynorski later said, the film “did okay when it was released in theaters. It got some okay reviews and did decent business, but it really found a life on VHS and cable. That’s when it really was embraced.”
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine is a 1965 American International Pictures comedy film, made in Pathécolor, directed by Norman Taurog. It stars Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Susan Hart and Jack Mullaney, and features Fred Clark. It is a parody of the then-popular spy film trend (the title is a spoof of two James Bond films: the 1962 film Dr. No and the 1964 hit Goldfinger), made using actors from AIP’s beach party and Edgar Allan Poe films.
Despite its low production values, the film has achieved a certain cult status for the appearance of horror legend Vincent Price and AIP’s beach party film alumni, its in-jokes and over-the-top sexuality, the claymation title sequence designed by Art Clokey, and a title song performed by The Supremes.
The movie was retitled Dr G. and the Bikini Machine in England: urban legend has it that this was because there were two doctors in the country called Doctor Goldfoot, but it was more likely due to a threatened lawsuit from Eon, holder of the rights to the James Bond movies.
The success of the film on its 1965 release led to a sequel, made the following year, entitled Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs.
Peggy Sue Got Married is a 1986 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Kathleen Turner as a woman on the verge of a divorce, who finds herself transported back to the days of her senior year in high school in 1960. The film was written by husband-and-wife team Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner.
The film was a box office success and received positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Actress (Turner), Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design. In addition, Turner was nominated for Best Foreign Actress at the Sant Jordi Awards.
The title of the movie, and the name of the main character, refers to the 1959 Buddy Holly song of the same name, which is played over the film’s opening credits.
The film opened with $6,942,408 and ended up grossing $41,382,841 in the U.S. It was the first box-office success for Coppola since The Outsiders.
In addition to the film’s three Academy Award nominations, and Turner’s nomination at the Sant Jordi Awards, Turner won the 1986 award for Best Actress from the U.S. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. This film appeared on Siskel and Ebert’s best of 1986 lists.
The film was adapted by Leichtling and Sarner into a full-length musical theater production which opened in London’s West End theatre district in 2001. Despite receiving solid reviews and a several million pound advance, 9/11 forced the show to close early.
It’s one of Hitchcock’s most experimental projects. Rope is a thriller based on a play of the same name. The film tells the story of two men who murder a friend, and then throw a party with the murdered man’s closest friends and family. The film breaks many rules of traditional cinema. First, Rope takes place in real time. Hitchcock also used editing techniques to make it seem as if the entire film was composed of a single continuous shot through the use of long takes. Not only that, but there are homosexual undertones in the film. As a highly controversial theme for the 1940s, the film was banned in many towns throughout the United States. In 1984, Roger Ebert wrote that “Alfred Hitchcock called Rope an ‘experiment that didn’t work out,’ and he was happy to see it kept out of release for most of three decades.” But still, “Rope remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names, and it’s worth seeing.” Bold and tension-filled, Rope is still acclaimed today as one of the most interesting works of the famed director. Rope starred James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger and is the first of Hitchcock’s Technicolor films.