Nicholson by Marc Eliot

Nicholson by Marc Eliot

Author:Marc Eliot [Eliot, Marc]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
ISBN: 978-0-307-88839-6
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Published: 2013-10-28T16:00:00+00:00


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1 Following the enormous success of Spartacus, Douglas made a series of less-than-blockbuster films, including Gottfried Reinhardt’s 1961 Town Without Pity (shot in West Germany for United Artists); Robert Aldrich’s 1961 The Last Sunset; David Miller’s 1962 Lonely Are the Brave, made at Universal; and Vincente Minnelli’s 1962 Two Weeks in Another Town, made at MGM. It was then that he discovered Kesey’s novel and decided to acquire the rights.

2 Anjelica Huston later claimed that she had talked to Michael about Cuckoo’s Nest before Ashby: “I don’t know if I was the instrumental fact in that, but I mentioned to Jack that Michael wanted to see him about it.”—Dennis McDougal, Five Easy Decades, p. 167.

3 The latest estimate of Jack’s earnings from Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the film’s gross, exceeds $20 million.

4 The tradition dates back to 1927 when Norma Talmadge was the first to participate in what was, for Sid Grauman, the theater’s original owner, a way to bring his Hollywood Boulevard Chinese-themed theater additional publicity. The venue changed hands frequently, and for a time it was called Mann’s Chinese Theater. It has since been fully restored, complete to the original name. The handprint tradition then became a tourist attraction, paid for by the recipient or whatever film he or she was promoting. The last to place handprints in the cement as of this writing was Jane Fonda, in May 2013.

5 Hal Ashby, having been cut out of Cuckoo’s Nest, offered Jack the role of Woody Guthrie in the biopic Bound for Glory, but he turned it down, as did Bob Dylan. The role eventually went to David Carradine. Bernardo Bertolucci wanted Jack to play Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op in a film version of Red Harvest. Jack was interested, but the film was never made. Tony Richardson offered him the lead in The Bodyguard, and after Jack turned it down it was reconceived for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross. It eventually was made in 1992 with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.

6 Here, because of cost overruns, advertising, and other costs, the agreed-upon break-even number was $12.5 million. According to court records, before the film opened, Jack filed a breach-of-contract suit against Proteus Films and Kastner’s EK Corporation. He had exercised an option to sell back to Kastner 5 percent of his share of the movie’s gross for $1 million. When Kastner failed to pay up, Jack sued. Eventually the case was settled out of court.

7 Victor Fleming’s Gone with the Wind (1939) is number one; and number eighty-five is Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H (1970).

8 The January before the awards were due to be given out, according to Alan Warren, there was another reason Jack couldn’t win. The Academy thought Jack was too young. “Industry wags say Nicholson won’t receive one until he passes forty, at which time he’ll become eligible because of his age, just as Gig Young, Jack Lemmon and Art Carney did, all of whom beat out Nicholson in the past.”—Alan Warren, Film Buff, January 1976.

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