The Man of Bronze
George had read an early
manuscript of Logan's Run in 1966 and proposed it to
M.G.M.. M.G.M. was in favor of doing the film and made George an offer.
Rather than George optioning the property, the studio would and assign
Richard Maibaum to do the screenplay and would provide a sizable budget
as well. For two years, George was involved in pre-production for the
film. Michael Anderson was signed for the director and a starting date
M.G.M. went under management
changes, the production schedules were changed and Logan's Run
was cancelled. George persisted and the project was rescheduled two
more times and both times cancelled.
Pal left M.G.M. and went
independent. Pal continued however to press Saul David, M.G.M.'s story
editor about doing the film. To Pal's disappointment, Saul David was
assigned to be the producer and Logan's Run was filmed,
but with out George's involvement, in 1975.
Once again I missed a chance
at seeing George Pal in action. A friend of mine was one of the stunt
players and submitted names of friends to be brought in as extras for
the Carousel scenes to be filmed at the studio in Culver City. I was
called and fit the description of what they were looking for so I became
one of the 'reds' in the crowd cheering on the people who were trying
to renew their lives.
1974 George signed a deal with Warner Brothers to produce Doc
Savage. Pal had great expectations for this feature production.
There were 181 Doc Savage stories and Pal hoped to create a series similar
to the James Bond films. The last issue Doc Savage Magazine was published
in 1947. but with an increase in comics in the late sixties, Bantam
Books began to publish the stories in paperback editions. The novels
caught Pal's attention and he began to inquire about the popularity.
By 1972, 11 million copies had been sold in reprinted editions alone.
Pal negotiated the film rights
and he and Joseph Morheim produced a script which was a composite of
several novels. Pal realized that the script had not provided information
as to who Doc was or what he was about. A second script was produced
based on the first novel to better introduce the character. The new
title would be Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze.
Michael Anderson, Ron
Ely, George Pal
The search for the actor
to play Doc Savage was a herculean effort. Hundreds of actors were interviewed
and finally narrowed to about twenty. Screen tests were done and when
George saw the test of Ron Ely he was convinced that Ron was right for
the part. Ron had all that George was looking for, he was tall, 6' 5",
weighed 235, an excellent physique, strength, good looks and a great
The film was shot in a campy
style which was unappreciated by the audiences and the film did badly
at the box office.
would prove to be George's last film. George was having cardiac trouble
during the filming but refused to seek treatment. He was in pre-production
for Voyage of the Berg when he died of a heart attack
in his home on May 2, 1980.
Savage is currently available on vhs at Amazon.com