Burl Ives at the end of Nick Ray’s WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES. I remember trawling through Gypsy Rose Lee’s biography, Gypsy and Me, (written by her son by Otto Preminger) in search of movie anecdotes, and the account of WATE was very entertaining. According to the book, after completing the first shot of the first day’s filming, Ray called for champagne, and the set turned into a party. “Gypsy” didn’t approve of drinking at work, so she went in search of the producer (Budd Schulberg). She found him at the bar. There was no point complaining, so she went to her dressing room and lay down and waited to be called. No call came. No more shooting was done that day.
As the shoot went on, the Everglades took their toll — crewmembers were hospitalized with snakebites, fungus grew inside the film magazines, and Ray’s drinking became more of a problem. Reputedly, the film’s ending, from which the above image comes, was shot by “whoever was around” — Schulberg certainly did some of it.
In spite of all this, I find the film pretty enjoyable and interesting. Ray probably did not have it in him to make an uninteresting film, and Ives and his cronies (including Peter Falk and a variety of other gurning plug-uglies) successfully turn it from an eco-parable into a pirate movie.