Archive for Lewis Gilbert. Robert Evans


Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by dcairns

Isn’t that GREAT? And quite advanced for 1969 — UV lighting and all that.

From THE ADVENTURERS, directed under protest by Lewis Gilbert, who wanted to do OLIVER! instead. Even late in his career, Carol Reed was a better director, but Gilbert would have brought passion to it, so who knows?

I’m posting the only three good bits of this awful film so you don’t have to sit through it.

Nobody except Charlie Bluhdorn at Paramount wanted to make this. His head of production Robert Evans thought it was a terrible, old-fashioned idea. Gilbert said it was “a bullshit story.” If he could have rattled through it in ninety minutes it might have passed, but it’s, I think, approximately one hundred and eighty-seven hours long.

Here is Charles Aznavour’s sex dungeon, which might have made the whole film worthwhile were it not four hundred and eighty-seven hours long. I posted some stills from this before but it’s worth seeing it in motion, which I was unable to arrange previously due to technical troubles.

Delia Boccardo has wild sex with Bekim Fehmiu, some statues and a zoom lens. This is quite bold, and nearly brilliant — filled with contempt for the material, Gilbert tries to bring it to life with desperate measures, and the result is very possibly the most interesting scene he ever made. The statue cutaways, though cheesy, WORK, I think — it’s like porno Minnelli, or sexed-up Eisenstein. And then he starts giving Delia a good seeing-to with the zoom lens and it becomes just silly. But still better than the rest of the film, and probably better than most of Paramount’s output that year.

The film is edited by Anne V. Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE ELEPHANT MAN, OUT OF SIGHT) and the cutting is intense and has real SNAP. I just wish she’d forgotten to include all the bits in between these clips.