Friday, September 25, 2009

The Endangered List (Case File #46)


Directed by
Carl Monson

Written by
Earl E. Smith and
P.A. Hedberg

Produced by
Gordon Eastman and
Wesley Marks

Cinematography by
Gordon Eastman and
Wesley Marks

David Young
Pam Buckland
Eric Norden
Patty Kane
Elaine Cole
Ann King
Art Scholl
world champion stunt pilot

MPAA rating: G
Running time: 88 minutes
Released by American Cinema


Small-craft pilot David Young likes to stunt-fly in air shows with his UCLA aeronautics professor Art Scholl. During summer months he works a Wyoming jade claim with his uncle Eric Norden. When a pack horse loses his footing on a glacier, tumbling several hundred feet, taking Young with him, Norden says he is too weary for another trip next year. Young, remembering a snowmobile accident the previous winter in which fiancee Ann King was killed, doubts he will continue Wyoming mountain life. Then Young finds a rich vein of jade and proposes to convert an old Piper Cub into a short take-off and landing craft. Scholl helps him. Young falls in love with college student Pam Buckland, who is shocked to see Young in action in an air-show; Norden is killed in a flaming crash. Young returns to Wyoming and his plan to take the jade out by air. His mother, Patty Kane, is aghast. The idea works after exhaustive preparations. Young and Pam decide to get married.


World champion stunt pilot Art Scholl and the awesome beauty of Wyoming's Grand Teton mountains easily relegate this out of the ho-hum, young adventure yarn category and bracket it with some of the most engrossing entertainment geared and generated for family trade in quite a spell. Gordon Eastman, one of the best cinematographers in the business, was responsible for the photography (in association with Wesley Marks), and, for good measure, wrote the original story and served as co-executive producer (also with Marks). Carl Monson directed in an obviously firm grasp of the adventure motif in remote American surroundings. David Young, the leading man, is credible and convincing as a UCLA student bent on using a converted old Piper Cub in the dangerous job of taking his jade vein "find" out of the mountains. He is helped by Scholl and, in the process, finds romance with fellow collegian Pam Buckland. Eric Norden has some good moments as Young's uncle, who crashes to his death in an air show. Footage was shot in southern California and Jackson Hole, Wyo. The screenplay is credited to Earl E. Smith and P.A. Hedberg. In Technicolor and Techniscope.


Pennzoil has a national cooperative radio spot announcement plan in effect with American Cinema. Tie in with an area flying service on a co-op promotion, anyone holding a private license elegible for admission.

[Above: Boxoffice BookinGuide, January 28, 1974, 4660]

Gordon Eastman in Denver To Plug 'Never Look Back'

DENVER -- Gordon Eastman, conservationist and nature filmmaker, was in Denver talking about his new film "Never Look Back," booked at the time in 14 Colorado theatres. While here he was interviewed by William Gallo, Rocky Mountain News film critic. Portions of the resulting column follow:

"Gordon Eastman is a ruddy, rawboned Westerner. The wind and sun have dug deep furrows next to his mouth and he speaks with the confidence of the old self-reliant America. He dislikes the six months a year he must spend in Hollywood and would rather be at home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., or in the vast icy reaches of the Northland.

"Gordon Eastman makes movies, outdoor nature and adventure films, with titles such as 'The Savage Wild' and 'High, Wide and Free.' He has traveled all over the world as a director and cinematographer -- in his early years as a cameraman for Walt Disney. And now he has combined two of his loves, flying and the outdoors, in a new film titled 'Never Look Back,' which deals with the trials and tribulations of a young stunt pilot.

"Eastman also built two airplanes for the film just so they could be wrecked and he designed another which could land at 9,000 feet on a postage-stamp field. 'It had slotted wings and dropped wing tips and it could fly at 25 miles an hour without stalling.'

"The film features much fancy acrobatic flying and Eastman enlisted eight stunt pilots for the movie. Eastman himself has been flying since he was 16 years old and that passion is just one among many. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hunting and fishing and he has passed on these interests to his wife and four children. His 11-year-old daughter just made the National Junior Ski Team and one of his sons is an elk hunting guide near Yellowstone Park.

"After 'Never Look Back' he plans the release of two more action-adventure films this year. The first will be 'A Matter of Winning' and deals with snowmobile racing. The second will be an Arctic Eskimo film, a 90-minute documentary. According to Eastman, people are really going for truth in documentaries. Eastman makes them good and entertaining. He does not make message films.
"Eastman moved from the state of Washington to Jackson Hole in 1962 because of the abundance of wildlife he could use in future films. 'You know,' Eastman says, 'I have flown over this country and there are great areas where you see no one. I don't think we've begun to settle this country.' Before it is settled, Gordon Eastman probably will photograph most of it."

[Above: Boxoffice, March 26, 1973, p. W-7]

1 comment:

Keith said...

Great writeup. You've got a really cool blog. I like it a lot.