Friday, April 01, 2011

The Endangered List (Case File #102)



STRANGER IN HOLLYWOOD
(1969)

Starring
Sue Bernard
Scott Every
Guy Mecoli
Grace Burnard
Phyllis Janus

Written and Directed
by
Rodion Slipyj

Produced by
Anne Slipyj

Photographed by
Steve Salamandro

Edited by
Norm Vizents

Sound
Gregory Valtierra

A
Roda Production

Released by
Emerson Film Enterprises (1969)

MPAA rating: GP (1970)

Re-released in 1971 by Roda Productions with
the short subject PRINCES TIME OF UKRAINE



1 comment:

Elizabeth Blackall said...

Hi there!

I'm a Library and Information Science student at Western University in London Ontario. I have been doing some research into the film, Stranger in Hollywood for school and also for my grandmother.

You see, she inherited the rights to this film (and the original film reels and negatives) from my Great Aunt Vera in the mid-nineties. There is quite the interesting tale behind this film...

You see, my Great Aunt was married to the director, Rodion Slipyj. They were from the same small town in Ukraine and recent immigrants to Canada. I believe it was an arranged marriage. My Aunt Vera was apparently quite wealthy from her family, and Rodion had very little. She claims that one day he left her, without so much as a note, taking a lot of her money with him.

He ended up marrying Anne (who was an aspiring actress) and striking it rich with oil! The movie is loosely based on their life story...

In the meantime, my Aunt Vera fell madly in love with a man who wanted to marry her. My Aunt was devoutly religious and could not remarry until she was divorced from Rodion. She finally tracked him down, but he refused to divorce her and defending himself against her claims that he was living in bigamy with his new wife.

My Aunt Vera had a strong personality, and was ENRAGED that her husband had illegally remarried and subsequently found his fortune. She took him to court for bigamy charges, but he died during the process. In the end, much of his wealth was left to an aristocrat somewhere in Ukraine, and really all that my Aunt got out of it was this film.

My aunt never did get married again, and for the rest of her life lived in California. She referred to Rodion as "My Bigamist One" with mock affection 'till the end of her days. She was a composer and a writer--all round lovely woman.

Nobody in my family has ever seen this film. I worked at a local cinema in London a few years ago, and we watched the first half of it after hours one night. It's definitely a funny piece of work. Anyways, I was scouring the internet for any information about this long-forgotten film, and your website has more details about it than I've been able to find anywhere else. I thought you might like to know the story behind this film and where it is now.

Elizabeth Blackall
eblackal@uwo.ca