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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 19, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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September 19, 2014
 

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From page 1 many others have been filmed ei- ther on the Island or in the nearby waters, one film stands out as per- haps the most famous movie pro- duction ever filmed here: Frank Lloyd's 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty," starring Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone. It was 225 years ago this year that the real H.M.S. Bounty was "mutinized" near Tahiti in the South Pacific's So- ciety Island chain and of the myriad films that have been produced on Catalina the filming of the 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" stands as perhaps the ze- nith of that era. The film, which had already been produced as a silent several years earlier, was based on the classic book of the same name written by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. But one thing that normally doesn't get related when we tell visitors about the production of this Hollywood classic is the fas- cinating and somewhat turbulent back story involved. In fact, few of us when telling this story realize that Catalina Is- land was originally not even sup- posed to be the location for the filming. It was only due to some epic mistakes on the part of the pro- duction company that we wound Jim Watson Columnist most ambitious filming projects ever undertaken on an Island that had already seen perhaps 200 movies filmed here on location. Initially, the film was supposed to be shot entirely on location in Tahiti and MGM sent an expedi- tionary crew there to build full scale 18th century villages. They also hired 2,500 locals to be used as extras and proceeded to film a number of scenes that would be used as background or "filler" shots. Unfortunately, when the film crew finally returned to Hollywood, they dis- covered to their horror that 50,000 feet of film was underexposed, unstable or otherwise useless to their en- deavor. A typical two-hour movie con- sists of about 12,000 feet of film. Whether or not the guilty party was forced into a long boat to face it out alone on the high seas is un- clear. As a result of this disaster, a second crew was dispatched at great expense to Tahiti to remake many of the shots while our own Catalina Island filled in on other shots. The Catalina unit consisted of But bad luck was not quite through with our movie produc- tion company. One day, while the production crew was very busy working off nearby San Miguel Island, a barge carrying $50,000 of camera equip- ment capsized, killing an assistant camera man and injuring several others. But that wasn't all. Later, one of the scale models of the Bounty used in the filming broke free from its tow vessel at one point with two men aboard and the film crew quickly lost sight of the wayward prop and her crew of two. Fearing negative publicity for the studio and the film itself, pro- ducer Irving Thalberg initially refused to call the Coast Guard in the hopes that he and his men could find the missing model. Eventually, however, he relent- ed. The Coast Guard was called and two days later the two men-- no doubt hungry, thirsty and an- gry-men were rescued. In the end, the film cost nearly $2 million (the same amount of money it took to build the Avalon Casino). But the film opened to critical acclaim, won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1935, and remains to this day one of the great Holly- wood classics of the sea. 600 cast and crew members a half dozen "native" v~Z~ were constructed in vaK6us coves around the Island with the Isthmus getting the lion's share of the ac- tion. The crew even built a reproduc- tion of England's Portsmouth Har- .upi~.~the-final print. :- '-: :-::, bar at the Isthmus, which appears The film, produced by Metro-in the some of the film's opening Goldwyn-Mayer, was one of the sequences. the throat, steadies and sweetens teeth This Wrigley Juicy Fruit ad appeared in a 1924 edition of the Catalina Islander. Crossword Puzzle Sponsored By: [r l inll 301 ond 11125 Creircent Ilvenue Tyler Engel Elizabelh Chovoyo Francesca HernondezTommy Gill Ann Honey Chdsly Smilh Jameson Sconlon Monday.. September 22- Alex V~llogm Uzette Cuevos Saturday. September 20 Somon ho Pool David Maxwell Dominic Rabies James Moody Brian Bombard Kelli Burr Fmncine Jones Donna Smilh Rkhorcl Hemondez Uliono Torres Tuesday. September 23 Hildo Gorcio Howen Fadey D eh0nt : Ad0m Hemondez Doniette Fdix Noi/eo Galen: Anroro Bmnno~ lessica Zumberge Ponce Fide. September 19 Gone g Erin Eubonk Tuesday. September 23 Josh & Nicky Flynn Cosey & Monique Moron . Monday. September 22 Thursday. September 25 Mike & Sally Moron Mike g Angola Bogard Steve g Judy Eliakedis ARTISTIC ELEGANCE NEW 2015 COLLECTION DEBUTS OCTOBER 1 , 2014 EXCLUSIVELY AT LITE RATUS DES I G N .COM 41th Annual Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair October 4 and 5, 2014 lO:OOam - 5:00pro Previous Collection SALE 50% to 75% Off Retail Price LITERATUS ! LITERATUSDIEStGN.COM .~TI~.!~.CATALINA, IS,..LA-NDER Friday September 19, 2014 15