Monday, June 17, 2024

Ice Station Zebra

 On this date in 1968, "Ice Station Zebra" was released.

The film rights to the 1963 novel were acquired the following year by producer Martin Ransohoff, who hoped to capitalize on the success of the 1961 blockbuster "The Guns of Navarone" by adapting another Alistair MacLean novel for the silver screen as a follow-up. He expected the film to cost around $5 million. "Navarone" stars Gregory Peck and David Niven were initially attached to this film, with Peck as the sub commander and Niven as the British spy, plus Edmond O'Brien and George Segal in the other key roles and John Sturges to direct.

Filming was set to begin in April 1965, but scheduling conflicts and United States Department of Defense objections over Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay, because they felt it showed "an unfair distortion of military life" that would "damage the reputation of the Navy and its personnel" delayed the start. A new script was commissioned.

Due to scheduling conflicts, the original cast was no longer available when filming began in the spring of 1967. Rock Hudson had replaced Gregory Peck by February. After making four flop comedies in a row, Hudson was keen to change his image; he had just made "Seconds" (1966) and "Tobruk" (1967), and "Ice Station Zebra" was an attempt to continue this. In June 1967, Laurence Harvey and Patrick McGoohan joined the cast as the Russian agent and British agent, respectively. In July, Ernest Borgnine joined the cast, replacing Harvey. Other key roles were played by Tony Bill, who signed a five-picture contract with Ransohoff, and Jim Brown.

At the world premiere several hecklers chanted derogatory terms upon Rock Hudson's arrival, given his long rumored sexual preferences. Apparently, the ordeal embarrassed Hudson so much he never again attended another premiere.

In the era before VCRs, Howard Hughes would call the Las Vegas TV station he owned and demand they run this particular movie. Hughes so loved this film that it aired on his Las Vegas station over 100 times during his lifetime. (Wikipedia/IMDb) See less

May be an image of 2 people and arctic
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