I'm a Director. I tell stories on screens.This is what caught my interest today.You can see what I'm up to at www.chrisgaffey.com Twitter @chrisgaffey

22nd October 2014

Photo

Summer 1944. Frenchmen transport painted Allied flags for use in a parade.  Unpublished colour photos by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Summer 1944. Frenchmen transport painted Allied flags for use in a parade.  Unpublished colour photos by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Tagged: WW2 in colourFrank Scherschelphotography1944world war IIliberationfrance

22nd October 2014

Photoset with 1 note

August 1944. American Army trucks on the Champs-Elysées. Tanks under the Arc de Triomphe. Paris during liberation celebrations.
Unpublished color photos by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Tagged: WW2 in colourFrank Scherschelphotographyworld war II1944Tank

22nd October 2014

Photoset with 30 notes

Summer 1944.
The bombed remains of Saint-Lô, the last rites, prisoners of war, abandoned German machine guns:  Unpublished colour photos taken by LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel capture the GI experience after the D-Day invasion, en route to the liberation of Paris.

Tagged: WW2 in colourFrank Scherschelphotographyworld war IIUS ArmyD-Day 70th Anniversaryd-dayfrancenormandy1944

21st October 2014

Photo with 1 note

Coast of France, June 1944.

Unpublished WW2 color photograph by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Coast of France, June 1944.

Unpublished WW2 color photograph by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Tagged: WW2 in colournormandyd-dayD-Day 70th Anniversary1944world war IIphotographyFrank Scherschel

21st October 2014

Photo with 5 notes






France 1944. 







American pilot arrives to P-38 lightening fighter (with D-Day invasion stripes) in what looks like a captured German Schwimmwagen.

The 4x4 amphibious vehicle was built for the Wehrmacht by Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and Porsche in Stuttgart using the adapted engine and mechanicals of the Kübelwagen. 




Unpublished colour photograph by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.
France 1944. 
American pilot arrives to P-38 lightening fighter (with D-Day invasion stripes) in what looks like a captured German Schwimmwagen.
The 4x4 amphibious vehicle was built for the Wehrmacht by Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and Porsche in Stuttgart using the adapted engine and mechanicals of the Kübelwagen. 
Unpublished colour photograph by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Tagged: WW2 in colourUSAAFnormandyd-dayworld war IIp-38 lightningschwimmwagenkubelwagenvolkswagen1944WW2pilotairfieldFrank Scherschel

21st October 2014

Photo


France 1944. American P-47 Thunderbolt in a makeshift airfield.
Unpublished color photo by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.
France 1944. American P-47 Thunderbolt in a makeshift airfield.
Unpublished color photo by Frank Scherschel, LIFE magazine.

Tagged: WW2 in colourworld war IIphotographyUSAAFd-daynormandyFrank Scherschelp-47 thunderboltairfield

21st October 2014

Photoset with 2 notes

England 1944.

Unpublished color photos taken by LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel capturing GIs in preparation for D-Day. 

Tagged: WW2 in colourUS Armybritaind-dayworld war IIFrank ScherschelWW21944D-Day 70th Anniversary

19th October 2014

Photo with 1 note

'Pegasus' bridge, Caen Canal, Normandy, June 1944.
Photo taken not long after it’s D-Day capture by British airborne forces. The crashed gliders in the background show how close they landed to their objective. 

'Pegasus' bridge, Caen Canal, Normandy, June 1944.

Photo taken not long after it’s D-Day capture by British airborne forces. The crashed gliders in the background show how close they landed to their objective. 

Tagged: WW2world war IIbritish armyParachute Regimentd-dayd-day landingspegasusbridge

19th October 2014

Photoset with 14 notes

On the screen, actor Richard Todd played hero Major John Howard in The Longest Day. 

In real life he was a hero who fought alongside him.

On the 6th June 1944, Todd distinguished himself participating in the airborne assault of Normandy and was actually one of the first British officers to land in Nazi-occupied France on D-Day. 

Richard Palenthorpe-Todd was born in Dublin, the son of a British Army doctor and Irish rugby International. Todd’s aristocratic family moved to Devon and he trained for a potential military career at Sandhurst before studying acting at the Italia Conti drama school. He volunteered for the army the day after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. 

He received a commission in 1941 and was later assigned to the 7th (light Infantry) Parachute Battalion as part of the British 6th Airborne Division.  

As part of Operation Tonga, at 0040 hours on D-Day, his battalion parachuted in behind enemy lines to support glider forces of the 2nd Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry that had landed earlier. Their mission was to seize Pegasus Bridge over the Caen canal and hold until relieved.

The bridge was vitally important to the protection of the left flank of the Allied invasion force and it was here that Capt. Richard Todd met Major John Howard who led the glider assault -  the man he would later play in the 1962 film The Longest Day.  

Released at 8,000 feet, three gliders, carrying in total 90 heavily armed men, had clipped the tops of trees and avoided dangerous water to bounce and halt only a few yards from each other, in a small field at precisely 0016 hours, almost on top of the objectives. The assault force engaged the enemy the moment they stepped from the aircraft wreckage. The German defenders were taken completely by surprise and had no time to react, some were caught asleep in their gun pits.

The men of Ox & Bucks LI and 7th Para repelled several fierce German counter-attacks from a Panzer Division. They were bolstered by the arrival of a detachment of commandos led by Brigadier Lord Lovat, commander of the 1st Special Service Brigade, who famously marched to the bridge to the tune of Bill Millin’s bagpipes.

The Longest Day employed several military consultants who had been participants on D-Day. Many had their roles re-enacted in the film. Todd himself was played by another actor. 

Bottom image shows Peter Lawford, Lord Lovat DSO MC, Richard Todd and Maj. John Howard DSO,

Richard Todd served with The Parachute Regiment until 1946. After D-Day, John Howard commanded his company until September 1944 when they were withdrawn from the line. Following a car accident in November 1944, he took no further part in the war.

 

Tagged: WW2cinemafilmthe longest dayrichard toddpeter lawfordactorwarworld war IIpegasusbridge6th airborneParachute RegimentParasLord LovatCommandosd-dayd-day landingsLovatcommandonormandy

16th October 2014

Video

Slate like a Pro:
Geraldine Brezca, 2nd Assistant Camera, take a bow.

Tagged: filmcinemaclappertarentinoww2cameracinematography

Source: youtube.com

15th October 2014

Photo with 2 notes

John Sturges directs Steve McQueen, The Great Escape, 1962.
James Coburn later said of Sturges’s approach: “He had great faith in the actor. He would storyboard everything. He never talked to me about character. What was in the script was what was shot; what was on the storyboard was the way it was shot.”

This was not the case with McQueen who infamously stormed off the film and refused to shoot any more of his scenes until the script was reworked to give him more action - leading to the brilliant, but fictional, motorbike chase, which had not figured in the original screenplay.

John Sturges directs Steve McQueen, The Great Escape, 1962.

James Coburn later said of Sturges’s approach: “He had great faith in the actor. He would storyboard everything. He never talked to me about character. What was in the script was what was shot; what was on the storyboard was the way it was shot.”

This was not the case with McQueen who infamously stormed off the film and refused to shoot any more of his scenes until the script was reworked to give him more action - leading to the brilliant, but fictional, motorbike chase, which had not figured in the original screenplay.

Tagged: SteveMcQueenJohn Sturgesthe great escapescriptscreenplayfilm

14th October 2014

Photo with 5 notes

Steve McQueen, on set of The Great Escape, Bavaria 1962
According to Director John Sturges, the screenplay went through six writers and eleven versions, and was still a work in progress during the actual shooting.
 When Sturges showed the rushes of the first six weeks shooting, McQueen decided his part was minor and undeveloped. He was particularly upset that his character virtually disappeared from the film for about 30 minutes in the middle so he walked out demanding rewrites. With the production already behind schedule due to the heavy rain, Sturges couldn’t afford the delay.
Co-star James Garner said he and James Coburn got together with McQueen to determine what his gripes were. Garner later said it was apparent McQueen wanted to be the hero but didn’t want to be seen doing anything overtly heroic that contradicted his character’s cool detachment and sardonic demeanor. United Artists considered McQueen indispensable to the picture’s success and funded the hiring of another writer, Ivan Moffit, to deal with the star’s demands. McQueen returned to work.
“McQueen was an impossible bastard,” screenwriter WR Burnett said. “Oh, he drove you crazy.”

Steve McQueen, on set of The Great Escape, Bavaria 1962

According to Director John Sturges, the screenplay went through six writers and eleven versions, and was still a work in progress during the actual shooting.

When Sturges showed the rushes of the first six weeks shooting, McQueen decided his part was minor and undeveloped. He was particularly upset that his character virtually disappeared from the film for about 30 minutes in the middle so he walked out demanding rewrites. With the production already behind schedule due to the heavy rain, Sturges couldn’t afford the delay.

Co-star James Garner said he and James Coburn got together with McQueen to determine what his gripes were. Garner later said it was apparent McQueen wanted to be the hero but didn’t want to be seen doing anything overtly heroic that contradicted his character’s cool detachment and sardonic demeanor. United Artists considered McQueen indispensable to the picture’s success and funded the hiring of another writer, Ivan Moffit, to deal with the star’s demands. McQueen returned to work.

“McQueen was an impossible bastard,” screenwriter WR Burnett said. “Oh, he drove you crazy.”

Tagged: SteveMcQueenthe great escapefilmcinemaactorflying jacketbomberww2prisonerPOWdirectorJohn Sturges

14th October 2014

Photoset with 2 notes

Steve McQueen (with wife Neile Adams and make up artist, probably Emile LaVigne) during filming of The Great Escape, shot on location at Geisel Gasteig Studios in rural Bavaria in 1962.

Art director Fernando Carrere designed the tunnel sets on the studio’s sound stages - constructed of wood and skins filled with plaster and dirt they were accurate to the original dimensions, but were open on one side with a dolly track running the entire length of the set.

Tagged: SteveMcQueenthe great escapetunnelcinemafilmArt Directormake up artist

14th October 2014

Photoset with 1 note

Manufacturer, Cooler King, Tunnel King, Manufacturer, Scrounger, Director and advisor on set of The Great Escape.

Sturges and his crew arrived at Geisel Gasteig Studios in rural Bavaria in April 1962. Sturges found a perfect spot for the recreation of the camp - a clearing in the countryside surrounded by dense forests which was only a few hundred yards from the sound stages. However, he was informed there were tiny saplings under the snow, planted as part of the German National Forest. Sturges had his assistant Relyea contact the Minister of the Interior and secure permission to film there, which was granted provided twice as many saplings be replanted elsewhere at the production’s expense. The filming began in June 1962 but because of heavy rains, the schedule was changed to shoot interiors from the middle of the story first.

Wally Floody (bottom image, on right) an RCAF pilot and mining engineer who was the real-life ”Tunnel King” on whom Charles Bronson’s character was based, was hired as technical adviser to the film. Exploring and assessing the accuracy of the tunnel sets kept him busy as much as twelve hours a day. Floody told Robert Relyea that he knew the production was close to reality when he began to get nightmares about his prison camp experiences.

Tagged: SteveMcQueenjames coburnJohn Sturgescharles bronsonthe great escapecinemafilmproductionart directiondesignjames garner1962

14th October 2014

Photo with 6 notes

Off to Lunch: ”Manufacturer” Coburn, “Scrounger” Garner, “Cooler King” McQueen and Director John Sturges on the set of The Great Escape. 1963
McQueen’s motorcycle skills meant he did many of Hilts’ own stunts, as well those of the persuing Nazis when it was discovered that the hired german stunt riders couldn’t keep up with him.

Off to Lunch: ”Manufacturer” Coburn, “Scrounger” Garner, “Cooler King” McQueen and Director John Sturges on the set of The Great Escape. 1963

McQueen’s motorcycle skills meant he did many of Hilts’ own stunts, as well those of the persuing Nazis when it was discovered that the hired german stunt riders couldn’t keep up with him.

Tagged: mcqueenjames coburnjames garnerJohn Sturgesthe great escapecinemafilm