(1975)

Doc Savage
The Man of Bronze
(1975)

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 was set.

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.

In 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 voice.

The film was shot in a campy style which was unappreciated by the audiences and the film did badly at the box office.

Doc Savage 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.

 

 

 

Doc Savage is currently available on vhs at Amazon.com

 

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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
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