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Voices of Tulsa October 9, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Movies, Towns.
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“Route 66: The Mother Road” author and Route 66 Alliance co-founder alerted me to this new video made for the Tulsa Historical Society.

Voices of History from Kirkpatrick&Kinslow Productions on Vimeo.

An explanation of the video by its creator, Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions:

“Voices of History” is a branding film from Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions, developed for the Tulsa Historical Society. The film showcases a 3rd grade curriculum created & implemented by the organization. The film also profiles pivotal points in Tulsa’s history, set against the backdrop of Tulsa’s historic Council Oak Tree.

To help tell the story, Producer Russ Kirkpatrick worked closely with THS Executive Director Michelle Place and writers Bond Love and Michael Wallis to create messaging that was beautifully put to film by Director Bunee Tomlinson & Director of Photography Sam Calvin.

The branding project is the first of two films being produced by Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions with the Tulsa Historical Society. The second is an untitled feature length documentary, produced for a national TV audience, that will answer the important question of why history is important.

The feature-length film is a good idea. I was thinking for some time — especially while reading a new book about Cyrus Avery — that Tulsa’s history especially would make for a very good Ken Burns-type documentary.

Trailer for “Route 66 Revisited” September 26, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motorcycles, Movies, Road trips, Route 66 Associations.

In recent days, the Czech Route 66 Association posted this trailer for its upcoming “Route 66 Revisited” documentary.

The film premieres in the Czech Republic on Oct. 22 2014 in Zlin and on Oct. 24 in Prague.

“Easy Rider” motorcycle will be auctioned September 23, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motorcycles, Movies.
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It’s certain that many dream of driving the “Captain America” Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the “Easy Rider” film on a Route 66 journey.

Now you have the chance to do it, if you have a million bucks or so.

Several media outlets reported a few days ago the now-iconic motorcycle from the 1969 film starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson will be auctioned next month by California-based Profiles in History. The estimated sale price will be $1 million to $1.2 million.

A few details about the legendary chopper emerged:

  • Four such “Captain America” bikes were used in the film, in case one broke down during filming. However, three were stolen before the movie’s release, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
  • The motorcycle was featured in the film’s final scene. It was damaged during that climax, but repaired.
  • The film’s motorcycle mechanic was Dan Haggerty, best-known as the star in the “Grizzly Adams” movie and TV show. Haggerty kept the motorcycle for years after “Easy Rider’s” release.
  • The bike is owned by businessman Michael Eisenberg, who once owned a motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and Dennis Hopper. The bike once was owned by the National Motorcycle Museum in Iowa.
  • It has letters of authenticity from the museum, Fonda and Haggerty.
  • A “significant portion” of the auction’s proceeds will go to the American Humane Association.
  • Yes, it runs.

More photos and details of the motorcycle can be found with the auction house’s book here (you’ll find it on page 382).

A really good website about all the filming locations in “Easy Rider,” including those on Route 66, is here. And you can’t have an “Easy Rider” post without this:

A look at Route 66 in 1985 August 28, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Movies, Music.
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This 1-hour, 42-minute documentary film from 1985, “Route 66,” has been making the rounds on the Internet since it was uploaded it on YouTube a few days ago and Route 66 yahoogroup creator Greg Laxton posted it on Facebook.

Roadies praise it because it provides the Mother Road’s most comprehensive look just before U.S. 66 was federally decomissioned. You’ll see things that have long since disappeared, including the Will Rogers Court in Tulsa (pictured above). You also will find footage of the abandoned John’s Modern Cabins near Arlington, Missouri, before its deterioration became severe.

Route 66 was in a sorry state. Many of the small towns had long since been bypassed, and the renaissance that came with Michael Wallis’ bestselling “Route 66: The Mother Road” was years away.

I also like the film because it offers an unflinching and unsentimental look of the time. You’ll see a few things that some may find disturbing, including cattle being killed at a meat-processing factory in Amarillo and scenes of inebriated American Indians in Gallup, New Mexico, back when public drunkenness in that town was epidemic. You’ll encounter great folks, and you’ll encounter people you’d never want to see again.

A bit of Internet sleuthing reveals “Route 66″ — subtitled “A Nostalgic Ride Down America’s Mother Road from Chicago to L.A.” — was produced for the United Kingdom’s United Central Television, now known as ITV Central. The film was skillfully directed by Belfast native John T. Davis, whose credits include other documentaries and television work.

The film also proves notable for using snippets of A.M. radio of that time and a lot of original music, including Johnnie Lee Wills, Lone Justice and a very young George Strait.

Don’t look to easily buy this film on the Internet. It’s apparently long out of print, and an eBay search proved fruitless. At the risk of a product plug, I found the best way to view it is on my television using a Google Chromecast device. It beats watching it on the PC, for sure.

Run Route 66 with Forrest Gump August 11, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Computer games, Movies.
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Marking the 20th anniversary of the Oscar-winning film “Forrest Gump,” Paramount Pictures and Genera Mobile have developed a “Run Forrest Run” game app you can download for free for iPhones and iPads.

And, yes, the app includes a section of Route 66, just like the film.

Here’s description of the game from the developer:

Recreating the famous scene in the film, Forrest Gump, sets off across the country collecting a band of followers. But the road isn’t as easy as he expected, and Forrest encounters unpredictable obstacles through different scenarios.

Guide Forrest on his trip and take control as he sets off from the humble countryside of Alabama, along the famous Route 66 and beyond.

Remember the world will never be the same once you’ve seen it through the eyes of Forrest Gump.

Here’s a trailer for the game:

And, for good measure, here’s the key scene from the film, with a brief appearance of Twin Arrows in Arizona and the Santa Monica Pier:

(Hat tip: AppAdvice)

“Route 66″ casting director will receive posthumous Emmy August 10, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Television.
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Marion Dougherty, who assembled casts for the acclaimed “Route 66″ and other television shows and movies, will receive a posthumous 2014 Governors Award at the Aug. 24 Emmy Awards, reported The Wrap and other media outlets.

The news site said:

Dougherty’s pioneering work in the casting industry made her the subject of the 2012 Emmy-nominated documentary “Casting By,” which premiered on HBO. She began serving as a casting director in 1949 with the NBC series “Kraft Television Theatre” and worked on shows that included “Naked City,” “Route 66” and “All in the Family.”

Dougherty, who was among the early champions for such actors as Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty and Jack Lemmon, died in 2011 at the age of 88.

Here’s the trailer for “Casting By”:

She also cast actors for more than 100 films, including “Midnight Cowboy,” “The Sting,” “Pretty Baby,” “The World According to Garp,” “Batman,” “The Killing Fields,” “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Full Metal Jacket.”

Dougherty got her start in casting for live television in New York City. That experience became valuable when Hollywood came calling, reported the New York Times.

Drawing on her experience in New York, Ms. Dougherty had a strong hand in reshaping the way Hollywood casts films as it moved away from the old studio system and its “cattle calls” in the 1960s. When she arrived in Hollywood she brought her index-card file filled with the names of promising actors she had spotted Off Broadway, in regional theaters and in summer stock. [...]

After spotting a glimmer of stardom, she could be insistent. Juliet Taylor, a protégée of Ms. Dougherty’s perhaps best known as the casting director for more than 30 Woody Allen movies, recalled how her mentor had once struggled with the director John Schlesinger. Mr. Schlesinger wanted someone other than Jon Voight to play the Texan would-be hustler on the streets of New York in “Midnight Cowboy.”

“She adamantly disagreed,” Ms. Taylor said, “and kept badgering Schlesinger and bringing Voight back again and again until Schlesinger agreed that Voight was the better choice.”

For “Route 66,” Dougherty cast what turned out to be a veritable who’s who in Hollywood during the 1970s and ’80s: James Caan, Robert Duvall, George Kennedy, Ben Johnson, E.G. Marshall, Walter Matthau, Ed Asner, Lee Marvin, Tina Louise, Darren McGavin, Jack Lord, Kent McCord, Suzanne Pleshette, Anne Francis, Tuesday Weld, Susan Oliver, Robert Redford, Leslie Nielsen, Martin Sheen, Rod Steiger, Barbara Eden, Julie Newmar, William Shatner, Gene Hackman and Burt Reynolds.

“Route 66″ ran only four seasons and rarely filmed on the Mother Road, despite its title. However, the cultural and tourism impact of the show endures even a half-century later. Go here to read my 2007 interview with “Route 66″ co-star George Maharis.

(Image of an Emmy Award by NASA HQ Photo via Flickr)

A message from our sponsor … August 6, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Motorcycles, Movies, Road trips.
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A few years ago, Julian Audic of France took a Route 66 trip to produce a documentary for French television.

His efforts to get the film broadcast are ongoing. If television doesn’t work out, Audic says he’ll make the documentary available via video-on-demand on the Internet.

In the meantime, Audic was able to use a bit of the footage for a commercial for a travel agency, All Ways on Wheels. Audic also received help from Nicolas Grendena with visual effects, plus a drone — which are becoming increasingly common in such usage — for aerial footage.

ALL WAYS ON WHEELS from Julian Audic on Vimeo.

Disclosure: I was interviewed by Audic for his documentary. It didn’t make the cut for the commercial.

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