Getting a movie made in 1973 was largely dependent upon luck, connections, luck, a good script, luck, more good connections and a lot more luck. Talent was said to make up only a small portion of the bigger picture. Sheer good fortune and a series of lucky breaks appear to be the prevailing formula for getting any movie off the ground. No one sets out to make a bad film – and some great films, important films, either get no notice at the time, or languish on a shelf, waiting to be discovered by a persistent film buff.
Ironically, one of those films which wound up getting very little notice at the time, and spent a goodly amount of the following years on a shelf was the one being discussed in this 1973 interview between Critic and film professor Arthur Knight – the writer/director James B. Harris, the executive Producer Louis Blau, Associate producer Ramsey Thomas and the films publicist Peter Benoit. It all took place on October 4, 1973 at a class conducted by Knight who also held a preview screening of the film.
Some Call It Loving had an interesting premise – originally titled Sleeping Beauty, it tells the story of a young woman who has been asleep for years, and has become a carnival attraction where a chance to kiss the sleeping beauty is had for a dollar. A lonely Jazz Musician is enchanted by her and, in lieu of paying a dollar to kiss her, offers to buy her from the carnival and take her home. And the drama starts from there.
The cast boasted Zalman King, Tisa Farrow and Richard Pryor. But initial reviews weren’t particularly kind and, like many films from this period (the 70s), it was most likely a little more esoteric than many American audiences were up for.
But for all that, it’s an instructive and fascinating look at the nuts-and-bolts of how films get made. No doubt, the atmosphere of film making has changed dramatically over the years. But the bottom line is still the same; it was a movie that got made, and like most movies then and now, it’s a miracle anything wound up on the screen.
Here is that interview prior to the screening – I purposely left the Q&A out after the screening because it wouldn’t make a lot of sense without seeing the film first.
But if you were ever curious about the process of film making; all the hassle that goes with it and how unglamorous the whole thing is – give this one a listen.
And lest we all forget . . .