B.C. movie time capsule: 3

Outside Vancouver (1937-75)

Published: Dec 28 2013, 01:01:am

Prepared for Chuck Davis and The Vancouver Book — August,  1975

[PART 3: 1937-1975]

(Features produced in whole or in part on B. C. locations other than Vancouver)

SILENT BARRIERS (western, 1937): p. Geoffrey Barkas; w. Michael Barringer, Ian Dalrymple, based on the 1935 novel The Great Divide by Alan Sullivan. d. Milton Rosmer, Geoffrey Barkas; l.p. Richard Arlen, Barry MacKay, Roy Emerton, Antoinette Cellier, Lilli Palmer. During the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, a pair of adventurers (Arlen, MacKay) avoid jail by signing on with a construction crew. They find companionship, one with a good woman (Cellier), the other with a bad girl (Palmer). Complications ensue.
    Filmed on locations around Alberta's Lake Louise and Revelstoke in B.C., this was a U.K. production, released overseas by Gaumont British Pictures. Alternate title: THE GREAT BARRIER.

THE 49TH PARALLEL (war-drama, 1942): p/d. Michael Powell; w. Robert Acklund, Emeric Pressburger; m. Ralph Vaughan Williams; l.p. Eric Portman, Raymond Lovell, Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey, Laurence Olivier, Anton Walbrook, Glynis Johns. After a German submarine is sunk off Canada, the survivors (Portman, Lovell) encounter various locals, including a French-Canadian trapper (Olivier), an intellectual recluse (Howard) and a farm girl (Johns) as they attempt to reach safety by escaping into the still-neutral U.S.
    Designed to encourage the U.S. to come into the Second Word War on the Allied side, this British production was filmed on locations across Canada, including Lake O'Hara, B.C. Released by Columbia. Alternate title is THE INVADERS.

COMMANDOS STRIKE AT DAWN (war-drama, 1942): w. Irwin Shaw; d. John Farrow; l.p. Paul Muni, Anna Lee, Cedric Hardwicke, Robert Coote, Ray Collins, Lillian Gish, Rosemary de Camp, Rod Cameron, Lloyd Bridges. During the Nazi occupation of Norway, a fisherman (Muni) resists the invaders and paves the way for a British commando raid on a secret German air base.
    Based on a Cosmopolitan magazine story by C. S. Forester, this was a U.S. feature shot on location near Victoria for release by Columbia.

SON OF LASSIE (war-drama,1945): w. Jeanne Bartlett; d. Sylvan Simon; l.p. Peter Lawford, Lassie, Donald Crisp, June Lockhart, Nigel Bruce, Leon Ames. A Royal Air Force pilot (Lawford) and his dog (Lassie) are shot down over Norway but manage to escape to safety.
    A U.S feature shot on location near Victoria, this time for release by M-G-M.

TIMBERJACK (western, 1954): w. Allen Rivkin, based on a novel by Dan Cushman; d. Joseph Kane; l.p. Sterling Hayden, Vera Ralston, David Brian, Adolphe Menjou, Hoagy Carmichael. A young man (Hayden) fights his father's killers, a gang intent on taking over the family lumber mill.
    Probably the first colour feature shot in B.C., this was a U.S. production filmed in Duncan and on Cowichan Lake. The location crew moved on to Montana for additional scenes and no mention would be made of filming in Canada when the movie was released by Republic Pictures.

WILD HEART (adventure,  colour,  1966): p./d. Jack Couffer; l.p. Kitty Porteous, Andrew Penn, Stanley Bowles, Margaret Martin, Leslie Nielsen. A pair of prairie children (Porteous, Penn) spend the summer with their aunt and uncle (Martin, Bowles) on the B.C. coast. They learn to love nature, get lost in the woods and are found by searchers.
    A U.S. made-for-TV feature, premiered in March 1968 on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.

THE MAD ROOM (horror-drama, colour, 1968): w./d. Bernard Glrard; w. A.Z. Martin;  l.p. Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Skip Ward, Carol Cole, Beverly Garland, Michael Burns, Barbara Sammeth. A teen-aged brother and sister (Burns, Sammeth), institutionalized since childhood for the supposed murder of their parents, are released into the care of their aunt (Stevens), companion to a wealthy widow (Winters), who is subsequently murdered.
    A remake of 1941's Ladies In Retirement, this gory thriller was made primarily in Victoria, but includes scenes shot in North Vancouver's Capilano Canyon.

FIVE EASY PIECES (drama,  colour,  1969): p. Bert Schneider; w. Adrien Joyce; ph. Laszlo Kovacs; d. Bob Rafelson;  l.p. Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Lois Smith, Susan Anspach, Billie Green Bush, Fannie Flagg, Sally Struthers. A musician's son (Nicholson), who works as a day labourer and lives with a waitress girlfriend (Black), returns home to visit his dying father, and begins an affair with his brother's fiancee (Anspach).
    Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, this U.S. production, made on location on Vancouver Island (and many U.S. locations), was part of a new creative wave in American motion pictures that would last through the 1970s.

THE MAN WHO WANTED TO LIVE FOREVER (science-fiction, colour,  1970): w. Henry Denker; d. John Trent; l.p. Sandy Dennis, Stuart Whitman, Burl Ives. A multi-millionaire (Ives) lures top medical talent (Whitman, Dennis) to his mountain-top medical research laboratories to perform organ transplants designed to keep him alive.
    Directed by Canadian-born John Trent, this U.S. made-for-TV feature was shot in the Bugaboo Mountains near Radium Hot Springs. Released theatrically as THE HEART FARM; also known as THE ONLY WAY OUT IS DEAD.

OLD HACKSAW (western,  colour, 1970): p. Larry Lansburgh; l.p. Tab Hunter, Sue Bracken. A pretty young woman (Bracken) competes with a thoroughbred horse for the affections of a handsome rancher (Hunter).
    With its title shortened to HACKSAW, this U.S. made-for-TV feature, filmed near Radium Hot Springs, was shown in two parts on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1971.

HARRY IN YOUR POCKET (comedy-drama, colour, 1973): p./d. Bruce Geller; w. Ron Austin, James Buchanan;  l.p. James Coburn, Michael Sarrazin, Trish Van Devere, Walter Pidgeon. A young pocket-picking team (Sarrazin, Van Devere) apprentice themselves to a pair of old pros (Coburn, Pidgeon) to form a "wire gang," an arrangement that becomes strained when romantic entanglements ensue.
    This U.S. production was shot in Seattle and Salt Lake City, as well as in Victoria and aboard B.C. Ferries' Queen of Victoria, for release by United Artists.

THE RAINBOW BOYS (comedy-drama, colour, 1973): w./d. Gerald Potterton; l.p. Donald Pleasence, Kate Reld, Don Calfa. Three eccentrics (Pleasence, Reid, Calfa) search for a lost gold mine in the B.C. Rockies.
     Financed by the Canadian Film Development Corporation, this was British actor Donald Pleasence's second involvement with a Canadian film-maker. (His first: William Fruet's 1972 feature, Wedding In White.) Shot on location near Lytton.

THE INBREAKER (adventure-drama, colour, 1974): w. Jacob Zilberg, W. J. Sigurgeirson; d. George McCowan; l.p. Christopher George, Johnny Crawford, Johnny Yesno, Al Kozllk, Wendy Sparrow. A prairie boy (Crawford) travels to the B.C. coast to work with his brother (George) on his fishing boat, but ends up working for his brother's arch rival (Yesno), an embittered Indian.
    Produced by former Vancouver movie-house manager Bob Elliott, The Inbreaker was a Vancouver-financed feature shot in and around the coastal fishing communities of Alert Bay and Port Hardy.

THE NAKED MAN (western, colour, 1974):  w./d. Rogelio Gonzales; w. Salvador Macias Perez; l.p. Barry Coe, Jose Alonso, Irma Lozano, Celine La Freniere, Terrence Kelly, Barney O'Sullivan, Ivor Harris, Helen Shaver.  A stranger (Alonso) arrives in a frontier town terrorized by violent men, and survives by being the meanest of them all.
    Director Gonzales, responsible a year earlier for the Vancouver-made films One Minute Before Death and The Oval Portrait (noted in Part 6), shot this bloody epic in the restored Western town of Barkerville, now an historic site and a provincial park. A Mexican production, inspired by Italy's "spaghetti" westerns,  it was theatrically released in that country as EL HOMBRE DESNUDO (1976).

SHANKS (horror-fantasy, 1974) p. Steven North; w. Ranald Graham; d. William Castle; l.p. Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philippe Clay, Cindy Eilbacher. The secret of reanimating dead bodies and putting them under remote control is passed from an eccentric old scientist (Marceau) to his assistant (also Marceau), a deaf-mute puppeteer, who then uses it to avenge himself on those who have treated him cruelly.
    Though developed by Vancouver interests, control of this project ultimately passed to a U.S. company, Paramount Pictures, and became a U.S. location film, with exteriors shot near Deroche, B.C.

THE BEARS AND I (adventure-drama, colour, 1974): p. Winston Hibler; w. John Whedon; d. Bernard McEveety; l.p. Patrick Wayne, Chief Dan George, Andrew Duggan, Michael Ansara. A Vietnam veteran (Wayne) takes the last effects of a dead army buddy to his Indian chief father (George) and stays on in the mountains to find himself while caring for a pair of abandoned bear cubs.
    This U.S. feature was shot on location in and around Chilko Lake, for theatrical release by Disney.

HEY, I'M ALIVE (adventure-drama, colour, 1975): d. Larry Schiller; w. Rita Lakin, from the book by Helen Klaben Kahn. l.p. Ed Asner, Sally Struthers. A bush pilot (Asner) and his passenger (Struthers), a nurse, crash in the Yukon wilderness and survive, despite 49 days without food or needed medical attention.
    The seemingly miraculous survival of Ralph Flores and Helen Klaben was a major news story in 1963, and the basis for this U.S.made-for-TV feature filmed in the Cypress Bowl park above West Vancouver.

SALLY FIELDGOOD AND COMPANY (western-comedy, colour, 1975): p. Werner Aellen; w./d. Boon Collins: w. Barry Pearson; l.p. Hagen Beggs, Lisa Creighton, Lee Broker, Valerie Ambrose, Brian Brown, Lloyd Berry, Keith Pepper. An ambitious madam, braving the uncertainties of the frontier, takes a mobile brothel into the Interior to service the men of the mining camps.
    Vancouver's Image Flow Centre developed this project with "low-budget feature" backing from the CFDC. Filming took place in and around Cache Creek. Also known as SALLY FIELDGOOD & CO.

The above is Part 3 of a seven-part restoration of a Vancouver Book article by Michael Walsh originally published in 1976. For additional information on this archived material, please visit my FAQ.

B.C. Feature Films — Part 1 [Introduction; the Silents]; Part 2 [Outside Vancouver, 1932-38]; Part 3 [Outside Vancouver, 1942-75]; Part 4 [Vancouver, 1932-68]; Part 5 [Vancouver, 1969-71]; Part 6 [Vancouver, 1972-75]; Part 7, [Miscellany & Sources].