Shot Behind the Shot: The Princess Bride (1987)

(Above) The Man in Black reveals his ambidextrous swordsmanship in 1987’s The Princess Bride. (Pic on the left via Behind the Clapperboard)

Here’s Mandy Patinkin on preparing for the scene, from an Entertainment Weekly oral history:

I knew that my job was to become the world’s greatest swordfighter. I trained for about two months in New York and then we went to London and Cary and I trained every day that we weren’t shooting for four months. There were no stunt men involved in any of the sword fights, except for one flip in the air.

A few more nuggets from that same oral history….

ROB REINER, director: I read the book when I was in my 20s, because I was a huge William Goldman fan. Then, after I had made a couple of pictures, Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing, I started thinking of The Princess Bride. I very naively thought I could make a movie, then I discovered that Francois Truffaut had tried and Norman Jewison had tried and Robert Redford had been involved — one after the other. No [studio] wanted to make a movie of The Princess Bride; nobody was interested in it. We kept tearing the budget down, I had to try to sell foreign rights and video rights, I had to cut my salary, I had to cut the cast’s salaries. It was crazy. I think we had, like, $16 million dollars, which even at the time wasn’t very much. In the script it said “the army of Florin” — I had seven people in the army of Florin.

WILLIAM GOLDMAN, writer of The Princess Bride novel (published in 1973) and screenplay: I had two little daughters, I think they were 7 and 4 at the time, and I said, “I’ll write you a story. What do you want it to be about?” One of them said “a princess” and the other one said “a bride.” I said, “That’ll be the title.”

The Shot Behind the Shot: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

(Above) The wooden crane and 16mm Bolex used for the opening shot of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). The film’s director, Tobe Hooper, passed away a few days ago and as a tribute American Cinematographer Magazine posted this set pic and shared a few videos about the making of the original Chain Saw, which you can find here.

The Shot Behind the Shot: Get Carter (1971)

In Get Carter, a London gangster (Michael Caine) travels to the industrial berg of Newcastle to investigate the death of his brother. Here’s director Mike Hodges on how he settled on Newcastle:

“As soon as I saw those huge rust-coloured bridges stretching across the Tyne I knew this was (Jack Carter’s) manor. Tough, ruthless and uncompromising. I moved into the city for a week or more and walked its streets looking for locations to use. They came in an abundance. Gentrification was a word unknown in 1969. That said, I had happened upon a city in violent transition. It was a place that somehow captured the cataclysmic rupture slowly happening to British society but not yet visible to most of its inhabitants.”

Shot Behind the Shot: Key Largo (1948)

Behind the scenes of Key Largo

A set-up on John Huston’s 1948 noir Key Largo for a scene in which a centenarian Native American woman bums a cigarette off Humphrey Bogart’s vagabond ex-army captain. The film marked the final of four pairings of Bogart and wife Lauren Bacall.

Released the same year as Huston and Bogart’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo finds Bogart and gangster Edward G. Robinson squaring off in a Florida hotel besieged by a hurricane.

On the set of HBO’s Westworld (2016)

Behind the scenes of the making of Westworld

A gallery of behind the scenes images from the first season of HBO’s Westworld, which was shot on Super 35mm with Arri film cameras, Cooke prime lenses, and Fujinon zooms.

To read more about the making of the sci/western hybrid, check out these features from Filmmaker Magazine, American Cinematographer Magazine, ICG Magazine, and Kodak. All the images are courtesy of these sources. Continue Reading ›

Shot Behind the Shot: Enter the Dragon (1973)

behind-the-scenes-on-the-set-of-enter-the-dragon-bruce-lee

(Above, top – photo by David Friedman) On the set of Enter the Dragon (1973), cinematographer Gilbert Hubbs frames a handheld shot with the metallic claw of villain Shih Kien in the foreground during the climactic final showdown with Bruce Lee. Lee completed only four starring roles before his death at the age of 32 – with the posthumously released Enter the Dragon being the last.

The behind the scenes pic above comes from a photo spread on the website of American Cinematographer Magazine. You can also buy the 2013 issue of the magazine featuring an Enter the Dragon retrospective on the publication’s website for just $1.

For more in the Shot Behind the Shot series, click here.