Hi Kids, here’s today’s flashback: From 1978, a long and insightful review of Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the New York Times, as well as my ticket stub from the local Oakdale Mall Multiplex (it had three cinemas in it, imagine that!) I believe my ticket was (for the time) an exorbitant $1.75! The review points out a connection between director Philip Kaufman and Star Trek — apparently he was the first one tapped to make the Trek movie back in the early ’70’s, but was switched when the budget kept getting bigger. (A shame too, because I think the first movie would have been SO MUCH BETTER under Kaufman’s tutelage). Kaufman puts in a good word for Nimoy here, whom he sort of used as ‘revenge’ for not being the Trek director. Also here’s a few other little tidbits, including a listing for a repeat broadcast of ‘Baffled‘ on TV (I’m sure I watched it, still lamenting that it wasn’t made into a series)
Here’s today’s flashback: From December 1978, a local review of Invasion of the Body Snatchers by late, great local entertainment critic Gene Grey (Gee, I don’t think local critics even review new movies in the paper anymore; they’re all AP newsfeed). More boffo quotes for the movie are seen in the movie ad, including
“It may be the best movie of its kind ever made.” and also a sweet photo of Stephen Collins (Cmdr. Decker) and Persis Khambatta (Ilia) sharing birthday cakes with Nimoy. The two shared a birthday, and I wonder how often that happens on movie sets between co-stars? A little note here mentions that the spending for Trek is getting higher and higher…
Here’s today’s flashback: From December 1978, A full color ad for Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy as well as a boffo review from People magazine. A full page ad from The New York Times, and smaller ad from our local paper (but still pretty big when you compare it to modern local movie listings). There’s also a tidbit of info for ST:TMP with it’s ever growing budget and shaving headaches for Persis Khambatta as Ilia. The media couldn’t stop talking about her shocking baldness. If you look closely there’s also a teeny ad for a local showing of “The City on the Edge of Forever” at a Universalist Unitatrian chuch. I’ve also included a back shot of the NYT full page ad unfolded here so you can see how movies used to be advertised before the internet. (note Superman and Caravans). Now to my knowledge the NYT still advertises movies like this, at least on Sundays, but in my local paper, big movie poster ads ads, indeed even small movie ads have all but disappeared. Not too surprising in an era where newspapers themselves are vanishing faster than that chocolate sundae you ate last weekend! It was a different world, kids.
Here’s today’s flashback: From Starlog Magazine, May 1978, a look behind the scenes on location for the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with director Phillip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, Kevin McCarthy and Leonard Nimoy. Up to this point I had never seen the original Invasion… and would not see it until those things called VCR’s were more common, but once I saw the original it became one of my fave sci-fi films of all time. I thought this version was very well done too, (and definitely more terrifying) but I haven’t seen in in a ages. I’ll have to rent it sometime.
Hi Kids, here’s today’s flashback: From March 29, 1978, the news all Trekkies longed to hear: Star Trek was finally coming back, and now as a movie! Now in my lifetime, there had been many movies turned into TV series, but never vice-versa. The first Trek movie was a pioneer in this aspect. I was so happy that Nimoy was back as Spock, and recall being cautiously optimistic about the movie, which turned out to be with good reason. Despite all the bells and whistles, the first movie to me just wasn’t Star Trek; the uniforms were ugly dull polyester onesies, the Klingons were bumpy, Shatner’s toupee was all wrong! A tally of offenses abounded in first movie. There were intensely loving but terribly long and slo-o-o-o-ow close-ups of the Enterprise. The splendid music and special effects were loud, but the dialogue was annoyingly whispered. The plot meant well, but it was executed all wrong! But the worst offense was that there was hardly any humor in it, (save for McCoy) with the characters so sombre I wondered if Nimoy’s character from Invasion of the Body Snatchers had turned the whole Enterprise crew into pod people! I was so disappointed with it that I was ready to give up on my beloved series. Was there anything I liked about the first movie? Yes. Jerry Goldsmith’s “Illia’s Theme” was dreamily beautiful, and still gives me chills. Alas, even the love story between she and Decker wasn’t utilized as well as it could have been. I give Roddenberry and crew points for trying, but unfortunately, it would be three years until the second movie‘s glory made up for the first ones dearth of spirit (in spades!) By the way — this was the final article posted in my original scrapbook– a fitting end to five years of clippings up to this point. Volume II will start tomorrow (there are four volumes in all). Thanks for coming along for the ride so far!