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Love Is Forever (1982 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Love Is Forever
Combacpos.jpg
Original film poster
Directed byHall Bartlett
Produced byHall Bartlett
Michael Landon
Screenplay byHall Bartlett
Story byJohn Everingham
StarringMichael Landon
Laura Gemser
Jürgen Prochnow
Edward Woodward
Priscilla Presley
Music byKlaus Doldinger
Lee Holdridge
Laura Branigan (singer)
Carol Connors (song)
CinematographyAndrew Laszlo
Production
company
Release date
  • 1982 (1982)
  • 1983 (1983) (U.S. television)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Love Is Forever (also known as Comeback) is a 1982 adventure drama film based on the experiences of Australian journalist John Everingham in Laos and Thailand. It was written, directed and co-produced by Hall Bartlett and co-produced by Michael Landon, who played the lead role in the film. Filmed in Thailand, it was released outside the United States in cinemas under the titles Comeback and Passion and Valor and shown first in America on television.

Plot

Following the Pathet Lao takeover of Laos, Australian journalist John Everingham is originally sympathetic but then feels the nation is turning into a police state. General Siegfried Kaplan, an East German advisor to the Pathet Lao secret police, has noticed that Western news agencies are receiving revealing news stories that could only have been provided by insiders in the government. Kaplan vows to plug the security leaks and identify and eliminate the sources of the stories.

According to the film, Everingham is the last Western journalist remaining in Laos. To gather information the General assigns the attractive Keo Sirisomphone to befriend and spy on Everingham. The two fall in love. Everingham is arrested but rather than executed or imprisoned he is exiled to Thailand.

Evernigham vows to return to Laos to rescue Keo by learning how to scuba dive in the Mekong River and bring her to Thailand. In the end, he succeeds.

Cast

Production

Development

John Everingham's account of his exploits[1] was originally published in Newsweek. Producer Hall Bartlett purchased the rights. "I'd wanted to make a love story for a long time," said Bartlett, "but I wanted one that was true. When I read this one in Newsweek I knew that I'd found it." He spent months researching the story.[2]

Casting

Upon the recommendation of his daughters, who enjoyed Little House on the Prairie, Bartlett cast Michael Landon as Everingham.[3]

Landon said "there are a lot of anti heroes around but this is a true life hero who did something extraordinary for the woman he loved."[4]

Landon later claimed his casting enabled Bartlett to raise $5 million from NBC.[5] The movie was intended to be shown on NBC in the US but released theatrically by 20th Century Fox elsewhere in the world.[6]

It was Landon's first lead in a feature since I Was a Teenage Werewolf.[7]

For the role of Everingham's Laotian girlfriend and later wife, Bartlett cast Eurasian actress Laura Gemser. As she had previously been known to appear in erotic films, Bartlett insisted she be credited under the name of Moira Chen.

Hall Bartlett cast Priscilla Presley after being struck by her unusual wariness at their first meeting. Says Bartlett of his discovery, "She and Moira have the same kind of extreme vulnerability I was looking for. That's their defense mechanism. Both would crumble at the slightest criticism, and they don't speak unless they feel safe. They need protection and love."[8]

Bartlett cast Jürgen Prochnow in his American film debut after the international success of Das Boot.[2] He played an East German general wearing a variety of uniforms and carrying a riding crop. The screenplay had him and Landon square off in a kickboxing bout.

Shooting

The film was shot in Thailand with underwater sequences filmed in the Bahamas.[4] Filming started in July 1982.[2]

Everingham acted as an advisor on the film. Landon said "we glossed over the fact that Everingham is Australian since it really isn't important for the basic love story."[4]

Landon and Bartlett clashed often during the production over a variety of issues[9] with Bartlett eventually editing the film in secret to avoid Landon's interference.[10]

"He just can't stand not being in charge," said Bartlett.[4]

Later, in reference to Landon's work on Highway to Heaven and previously on Little House on the Prairie, Bartlett said, "If Landon is trying to get by with another Jesus Christ painting of himself, then let me say that Landon is the biggest liar I’ve ever met in the picture business."[11]

Landon later replied, "Hassles are part of movie making. All I know is I got NBC to invest $5 million in the production. Without it, Bartlett never would have gotten the project together. And I never expected things to end up like this... For the record [I] never had a harsh word with any of the actors. Or the crew."[5]

Release

Two versions of the film were released - a theatrical version cut by Bartlett called Comeback. This was released in Canada and Bartlett said it made $1 million. The other version was a compromise cut between Bartlett and NBC which screened on NBC as Love is Forever.[4]

Landon canceled an appearance on an NBC "Tonight Show" because he couldn't go on "in a good humor" after its producer said a film clip from the film was too depressing. "I sent them a clip in which I talk to the girl about what the Pathet Lao is doing to her country," he said. "It contained actual photographs. But [producer] Fred de Cordova said it was too depressing . . . I wanted to plug my movie, but at that point it was not worth it." [12]

Reception

The Globe and Mail film critic wrote "The fault here is doubly Bartlett's, for his lumpish direction and hopeless screenplay. For a script that is based on a true story, it's an amazing hodge-podge of misused fictional film cliches: Apocalypse Now dictates the style for the bombing of a boatload of refugees; Rocky determines the style of the boxing match between Everingham and Kapler; Chariots Of Fire donated Everingham's crusty British physical fitness trainer (played by Edward Woodward) and even the shark from Jaws has a brief cameo. Why not call it Close Encounters of The Third World Kind and have done with it?"[13]

The Chicago Tribune wrote "as adventures go it's a real good one."[14]

References

  1. ^ pp. 164-166 Hopkins, Jerry Bangkok Babylon Tuttle Publishing, 2006
  2. ^ a b c AMERICAN ACTOR AS NEXT 007? Los Angeles Times 29 June 1982: g1.
  3. ^ p.134 Joyce, Aileen Michael Landon: His Triumph and Tragedy Kensington Publishing Corporation, 1991
  4. ^ a b c d e MICHAEL LANDON: A LOVE STORY WITH DRAMA BEHIND THE CAMERA BY DOROTHY MacKINNON. The Washington Post 3 Apr 1983: TV7.
  5. ^ a b Michael Landon glad 'Comeback' is over Beck, Marilyn. Chicago Tribune 1 Nov 1982: b4.
  6. ^ LANDON IN THAILAND FOR 'COMEBACK' ROLE Los Angeles Times 5 Aug 1982: k8.
  7. ^ YOU ASKED FOR IT': LITTLE OUT, SMITH IN: [FIRST Edition] George Maksian New York News. Boston Globe 19 July 1982: 1.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Lois Priscilla Presley Finds a Vocation—and Michael Landon Some Frustration—on Location People November 08, 1982 Vol. 18 No. 19
  9. ^ Armstrong
  10. ^ p.26 Wheeler, Jill C. Michael Landon Abdo & Daughters, 01/09/1992
  11. ^ http://people.com/archive/family-is-michael-landons-real-highway-to-heaven-but-hes-had-a-devil-of-a-time-along-the-way-vol-23-no-21/
  12. ^ NAMES AND FACES / BY MAUREEN TAYLOR: [1] Taylor, Maureen. Boston Globe 3 Apr 1983: 1.
  13. ^ A shameless Comeback attempt Lacey, Liam. The Globe and Mail 18 Jan 1983: P.17.
  14. ^ Television: Devotion bridges Mekong River in NBC's 'Love Is Forever' film Preston, Marilynn. Chicago Tribune 1 Apr 1983: c16.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 October 2019, at 16:30
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