Sunday, March 11, 2007

The man who wrote for kings

Edward Anhalt was one of the great screenwriters of all-time. A multi-Oscar winner he amassed a tremendous body of impressive work.

In the early 60’s he learned that producer Hal B. Wallis was planning to make a movie of the play BECKET. That subject matter was Anhalt’s absolute passion. He considered himself an expert on the era. No one knew the period as well. He went to Wallis with an impassioned plea that he and he alone was right for this assignment. Wallis made him a deal. Anhalt could write BECKET but he had another project that also needed a writer. If Anhalt would do that first he could have his coveted assignment. Anhalt happily agreed.

So in the same year Mr. Edward Anhalt wrote BECKET and GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS starring Elvis Presley and Stella Stevens.

Moral of this story: If you’re lucky enough to get an assignment on some horrible cheesy Disney Channel show about kids in leprechaun jr. high take heart. Next year you could be on THE WIRE.

8 comments:

Ian said...

Hmmm, Leprechaun Junior High... have you discussed this with anyone else?

TCinLA said...

Unfortunately, he probably made more money from "Girls Girls Girls." But even if you're writing the pilot to "Emmanuelle in Time", you can always be working on "Walpurgisnacht" on your "down time." And Emmanuelle is paying the bills - an important point artists must keep in focus.

Tom Quigley said...

BECKET is one of my all-time favorite classic films, and unfortunately one that is often sadly overlooked. If Mr. Anhalt had to write a cheesy Presley movie in order to give the world BECKET, so be it. I'll enjoy a jelly donut and thank Elvis in my prayers tonight.

(BTW, BECKET will finally be released on DVD in May, in case anyone wants to own it)

Paul Duca said...

Actually, BECKET has just been re-released in the big cities. The reviewer for the Boston GLOBE described the script (which was one of Anhalt's Oscar-winners) as "leaden"...that it was the performances of Burton and O'Toole which gave it its life.

Tom said...

Wow. Does Elvis look purely miserable in that picture or what?

Anonymous said...

"Wow. Does Elvis look purely miserable in that picture or what?"

He wanted the movie to be titled, "GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS", but Col. Tom got his way.

CJ

Murph said...

What's an Elvis?

Plan B said...

When we went to see The Queen, one of the previews was for BECKET. It was an original preview in all its cheesy glory. Quite possibly one of the most unintentionally funny things I've ever seen.