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 Posted:   Apr 12, 2024 - 1:29 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

ROOTS was the dramatization of Alex Haley’s chronicle of his family history from his ancestors’ life in tribal Africa in the 18th century to their emancipation in the post-Civil War South. The 8-part, 12-hour series became an overnight phenomenon that attracted, as it progressed, the largest viewing audience ever for a dramatic television program up to that time.

Among its unprecedented 37 Emmy Award nominations (the show won nine) was one for Louis Gossett, Jr. for Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series. In the film, captured Africans are sold at auction as slaves. “John Reynolds” (Lorne Greene), a plantation owner from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, near Fredericksburg, buys “Kunta Kinte” (LeVar Burton) and gives him the Christian name Toby. Reynolds assigns an older slave, “Fiddler” (Louis Gossett, Jr.), to teach Kunta English and train him in the ways of servitude. Although Kunta gradually warms up to Fiddler, he wants to preserve his Mandinka (and Islamic) heritage, and he defiantly refuses to eat pork or accept his Christian name.

Louis Gossett, Jr. in ROOTS

Gossett appeared in three episodes of the series, and won the Emmy for his performance in one of those episodes. Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene, and Gilbert Moses all directed various episodes. Gerald Fried and Quincy Jones scored the film, with the pair winning an Emmy for their score of Part I. Fried also was nominated separately for Part VIII. The score was released on an A&M Records LP, which was re-issued on CD by Varese Sarabande in 2016.

When ABC programmed ROOTS to air on several consecutive nights in primetime (January 23-30, 1977), it was considered a revolutionary approach to programming a miniseries. Most were aired once or twice a week over several weeks. Several years later, the network revealed that it was aired that way to get the show "out of the way" in a hurry. The network felt that nobody would watch the story if it aired over a longer period of time.

 Posted:   Apr 13, 2024 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THE DEEP, a young couple, “David Sanders” (Nick Nolte) and “Gail Berke” (Jacqueline Bisset), are vacationing in Bermuda. On a scuba-diving expedition, they stray a bit off course and stumble upon the remains of a derelict World War II vessel, the Goliath, where they discover a few treasures that they see fit to collect and bring to the surface. Among them is a small vial of liquid that soon catches the attention of “Henri Cloche” (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who asks to purchase the seemingly valueless liquid, but is refused his request. David and Gail soon thereafter visit “Romer Treece” (Robert Shaw), a local expert in sunken treasures and vessels who clandestinely steals the vial while talking up a nice but mostly worthless 18th century medallion. When David and Gail are assaulted by Cloche and his thugs for the vial and cannot produce it, they return to Treece and form an alliance in the name of collecting the remaining vials, which have now been identified as morphine with a high-dollar street value as a narcotic.

Louis Gossett, Jr. in THE DEEP

Peter Yates directed this 1977 adventure film. Yates, as well as the four primary cast members, had to learn how to scuba dive for the movie. Yates utilized a unique talk-back system to communicate while filming underwater. He had a microphone in his face mask that allowed him to talk to the surface crew. They, in turn, relayed his directions over a speaker system to everyone in and out of the water. “It was lovely,” Yates said. “No one could answer me back.”

John Barry’s score was released on LP by Casablanca Records, as a ballet suite along with various versions of the main theme, “Down, Deep Inside,” some sung by Donna Summer. Intrada released the complete original score (in mono) in 2010. THE DEEP cost $9 million to produce, and Columbia Pictures spent an additional $5 million on a multimedia promotional campaign, which research data revealed had effectively reached possible movie-goers a minimum of 15 times. The campaign paid off—the film came in at #6 at the U.S. box office with a gross of $85 million.

 Posted:   Apr 14, 2024 - 10:54 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE CHOIRBOYS is about a group of Los Angeles police officers who decide to take off some of the pressures of their jobs by engaging in various forms of after-hours debauchery, including public drunkenness and consorting with prostitutes. Louis Gossett, Jr. played officer “Calvin Motts.” The 1977 film was based on a novel by Joseph Wambaugh, who successfully sued to have his name removed as the screenwriter, after his script was substantially altered.

Louis Gossett, Jr. (far left) in THE CHOIRBOYS

Director Robert Aldrich shot the $5.5-million film with two cameras to give him two viewpoints of every take. He was expecting to use 700,000 feet of film. The picture was a modest hit, with a $19.1 million domestic gross. Frank DeVol's score was released on an MCA LP, but has not been re-issued on CD.

 Posted:   Apr 15, 2024 - 12:01 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

BACKSTAIRS AT THE WHITE HOUSE was a four-part miniseries that went behind the scenes at the White House during eight administrations, as told by the people who worked there. The series was based on the book by Lillian Rogers (Leslie Uggams), the crippled seamstress-maid, who along with her mother Maggie (Olivia Cole) served for 52 years as a White House domestic. Other prominent black actors in the cast were Robert Hooks, Hari Rhodes, David Downing, and Louis Gossett, Jr., who played houseman Levi Mercer.

(clockwise from top) Louis Gossett, Jr, Leslie Uggams, and

First Ladies were played by Julie Harris (Mrs. Helen 'Nellie' Taft), Kim Hunter (Mrs. Ellen Wilson), Claire Bloom (Mrs. Edith Galt Wilson), Celeste Holm (Mrs. Florence Harding), Lee Grant (Mrs. Grace Coolidge), Jan Sterling (Mrs. Lou Hoover), Eileen Heckart (Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt), Estelle Parsons (Mrs. Bess Truman), and Barbara Barrie (Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower).

The Presidents were portrayed by Victor Buono (Taft), Robert Vaughn (Wilson) George Kennedy (Harding), Ed Flanders (Coolidge), Larry Gates (Hoover), John Anderson (Roosevelt), Harry Morgan (Truman), and Andrew Duggan (Eisenhower).

Michael O'Herlihy directed the film, which aired on January 29 and February 5, 12, and 19, 1979 on NBC. Morton Stevens' score is soon to be released in 2024. The series received 11 Emmy nominations, making it the most honored program of the 1978-79 television season. The only Emmy it won was for makeup. Gossett was nominated as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special, losing to Peter Strauss for THE JERICHO MILE.

 Posted:   Apr 15, 2024 - 12:42 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Louis Gossett, Jr. had his first recurring role in a television series with “The Lazarus Syndrome”. Gossett played “MacArthur St. Clair,” Chief of Cardiology at Webster Memorial Hospital. His life seemed to be a series of conflicts, both with his idealistic hospital administrator, “Joe Hamill” (Ronald Hunter), who had signed on to help him fight the bureaucracy, and with his wife “Gloria” (Sheila Frazier), who wanted him to have a little more home life.

The series started life as a 90-minute made-for-television film, which never aired separately, but was shown as the first episode of the series on 4 September 1979. ABC began the regular run of the hour-long series a week later on Tuesday, 11 September 1979 at 10 PM. The series competed against network movies on both CBS and NBC. Since both films started at 9 PM, viewers were loathe to switch out of them to “Lazarus,” and the series got little sampling from audiences. It was cancelled after airing just four regular episodes.

Billy Goldenberg provided a dynamic theme to the series—back when such themes could run a full minute and a half.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2024 - 10:32 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Louis Gossett, Jr. portrayed the famed Negro leagues baseball player Leroy “Satchel” Paige in the made-for-television film DON’T’ LOOK BACK. The film followed Paige from his barnstorming days in the 1920s, hoping to break into organized Negro baseball, to his emergence at age 42 in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians the year after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

The film, which aired on ABC on 31 May 1981, was based on Paige’s 1962 autobiography, Maybe I’ll Pitch Forever, which he wrote with David Lipman. Paige, who died the next year at age 75, appeared briefly as himself in the film’s epilogue.

Director Richard A. Colla replaced the originally hired George C. Scott after a week of shooting. Jack Elliot provided the unreleased score. The film’s title came from Paige’s famous quote: “Don’t look back—something might be gaining on you.”

 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 11:28 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, “Zack Mayo” (Richard Gere), a headstrong Naval Aviation Officer candidate with a troubled past, butts heads with his hard-nosed drill sergeant “Emil Foley” (Louis Gosset, Jr.) while engaging in a no-commitment romance with a local girl, “Paula Pokrifki” (Debra Winger).

The role of “Sgt. Emil Foley” was conceived as a white man, but the filmmakers had trouble filling the role with an actor who portrayed the character’s “bravura.” None of the A-list actors approached for the part (including Jack Nicholson) were interested. Mandy Patinkin gave an audition that the producers loved, but director Taylor Hackford nixed their plan to cast Patinkin because he felt the actor was "too ethnic" to play a drill instructor. Finally, the producers did research in Pensacola, Florida and learned that all the top drill instructors there were African-Americans.

Hackford noted that Louis Gossett Jr. impressed them because he “played the role as it was written” and no lines were rewritten “to make the character black.” To maintain the emotional distance from the cast, Hackford gave Gossett independent accommodations during the shoot, and Gossett refrained from socializing with his colleagues. Former Marine drill instructor turned actor R. Lee Ermey coached Gossett for his role.

According to David Keith, who played enlistee “Sid Worley,” he was annoyed one day at being so separated from Louis Gossett Jr., per wishes of director Hackford, when the cameras weren't rolling. Before shooting one scene, Keith approached Gossett and said "all right Lou. Let's cut the crap. I want to be friends." Gossett apparently replied with a smile, said "all right man, come here," gave Keith a hug and the two remained very close on set afterwards.

Richard Gere and Louis Gossett, Jr. in AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

In a 2013 interview, Richard Gere said that he and Louis Gossett, Jr. were specially trained for the karate scenes that are used in the basic training sequences in the film. Gere had apparently mastered his karate moves, while Gossett reportedly continued to struggle with them after being trained. Frustrated and not thinking clearly, Gere accidentally kicked Gossett in the groin during filming, to which Gossett responded by leaving the set very abruptly. He did not show up again to the set for another two days afterwards. To keep filming moving forward and not fall behind, Gere and director Taylor Hackford called upon another black karate expert who stood in as a double for Gossett, so the scene could wrap up filming. Gere said he took full responsibility for the incident, even all these years later, and that it did not ruin a mutual friendship between him and Gossett. Gere said that he and Gossett still saw each other on occasion and reminisced about how much they enjoyed making this film together.

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN received the following Academy Award nominations: Actress in a Leading Role (Debra Winger), Film Editing, Music - Original Score (Jack Nitzsche), and Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen). Louis Gossett Jr. won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Will Jennings won in the category of Music (Original Song) for “Up Where We Belong.”

Louis Gossett, Jr.'s Supporting Actor Academy Award win was the first Oscar in that category won by an African-American, and the first for an African-American in any acting category since Sidney Poitier's Best Actor Oscar for LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963). In his book An Actor and a Gentleman, Gossett said that although he was honored to win his Oscar for this film, especially being in competition with other veteran actors, he felt that his co-star Richard Gere should have been nominated for and won an Oscar for his role in the film.

After the film previewed successfully in Toronto and New Orleans, Paramount’s then-president of distribution and advertising, Frank Mancuso, decided to release the $7.5 million picture three months early, positioning it with summer blockbusters. Mancuso’s gamble was rewarded. Despite mixed reviews, the 1982 picture came in as the #3 film of the year at the U.S. box office, with a gross of $130 million.

 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 10:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Louis Gossett, Jr.’s second recurring television role was in “The Powers of Matthew Star”, a sci-fi television series that starred Peter Barton as the title character, the alien prince “Matthew ‘E'Hawke’ Star” of the planet Quadris, who used his powers to fight crime. Also starring were Amy Steel as “Pam Elliot,” Matthew’s girlfriend at Crestridge High; and Gossett as “Walt ‘D'Hai’ Shepherd,” Matthew’s guardian.

The program was originally slated to debut on 3 January 1982. But production on the show was delayed when on 12 November 1981, Peter Barton fell backward onto pyrotechnics and was badly burned. Co-star Louis Gossett, Jr., tied to a chair, had fallen on top of Barton, but still managed to rescue him, while being slightly injured himself. After a month in the hospital, Barton was released, recovering at home while the show's production was shut down for four months. The series resumed shooting in early March, 1982.

Louis Gossett, Jr. and Peter Barton in “The Powers of Matthew Star”

NBC premiered the hour-long adventure series on Friday, 17 September 1982 at 8 PM. There it went up against the sitcoms “Benson” and “The New Odd Couple” on ABC, and the more popular “The Dukes of Hazzard” on CBS, which was the #30 ranked show on television that season. Although “The Powers of Matthew Star” made a change in concept midway through the season—moving away from the high school and having Walt and Matthew taking on government assignments—the show never really caught on. It ended up #86 among all series in the ratings, and was cancelled after a single season of 22 episodes.

 Posted:   Apr 20, 2024 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In JAWS 3-D, Orlando's SeaWorld destination is getting a facelift and a fancy new attraction, but it has attracted an unwanted guest: a great white shark. The park's aquatic creatures are afraid to leave the safety of their cages. The humans are growing impatient. Several turn up dead. SeaWorld's manager, “Calvin Bouchard” (Louis Gossett, Jr.), isn't going to let anything get in the way of his grand opening. “Mike Brody” (Dennis Quaid), son of Police Chief Brody of the original JAWS, and “Dr. Kay Morgan” (Bess Armstrong) begin to piece together the truth, but can they convince the powers-that-be that SeaWorld isn't a safe family attraction but rather a sharp-toothed death trap just waiting to draw blood?

Louis Gossett, Jr., Dennis Quaid, and Bess Armstrong in JAWS 3-D

The $15 million production was directed by Joe Alves, production designer for the first two films in the series. The first nine days' worth of film were rejected due to inadequate results using the “Optomax” 3-D system. Subsequently, “ArriVision,” a new three-dimensional system that required only one camera with a split lens, as opposed to the traditional two-camera system, was developed for the picture. Even so, additional 3-D photography was done with yet a third system, “Stereovision.”

Alves later admitted that he had reservations about making such a conspicuous directorial debut. Originally intended as a television production with a modest budget, Alves saw it as an opportunity to direct, and convinced Sid Sheinberg and MCA chairman Lew Wasserman to make a 3-D theatrical film. Despite warnings from 3-D consultants, Alves discovered a considerable amount of flexibility with the process, and was able to complete photography in eighty-five days, thirty of which were dedicated to underwater scenes. He also discovered the limitations of the process, saying it was better suited to narrow objects, and believed the effects would have been more successful with a barracuda rather than a shark.

The picture’s general release on 22 July 1983 was preceded by the syndicated television special, “The Making of Jaws 3-D: Sharks Don’t Die.” Produced by Alan Landsburg Productions, the one-hour special was syndicated through MCA-TV and sold to 108 television stations throughout the U.S. Landsburg noted that the documentary would feature interviews with Armstrong, Quaid, producer Rupert Hitzig, and Alves, and narration by actor Louis Gossett, Jr.

Alan Parker’s score was released on an MCA LP, which was re-issued on CD by Intrada in 2007. In 2015, Intrada released a 2-CD set of the complete score. JAWS 3-D earned approximately $40 million within its first twenty-four days of release, after the most successful opening in the history of Universal Pictures, and the second biggest opening of the summer, superseded only by RETURN OF THE JEDI. Reviews were mixed, with several declaring it a failure as a horror film. Nevertheless, the film ended up as #17 at the domestic box office, with a total gross of $45.5 million.

 Posted:   Apr 20, 2024 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

JAWS 3D was a disappointing movie, but the things that worked were Louis Gosset Jr.'s convincing portrayal of the park manager and Alan Parker's score.

 Posted:   Apr 21, 2024 - 1:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Louis Gossett, Jr. starred in SADAT, a two-part, four-hour made-for-television biographical film based on the life and death of the third President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. Madolyn Smith co-starred as Sadat's wife, Jehan. The film begins by depicting Sadat's involvement with violent anti-British insurgents. Eventually, he becomes a follower of Gamal Abdel Nasser (John Rhys-Davies) as the latter begins his ascent to political supremacy in Egypt. As Egypt becomes more of a regional power led by Nasser, Sadat suffers the strain of being Nasser's yes man, while clashing with him. Nasser enjoys widespread popularity once he nationalizes the Suez Canal, but suffers a fatal downfall in the wake of Egypt's crushing defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Eventually succeeding Nasser, Sadat fights his own war with Israel when, in October 1973, Egypt and Syria launch a two-front attack on Israel. After fierce fighting, Egypt eventually must withdraw, and ultimately, Sadat realizes the futility of war. He seeks a peaceful dialog with Israel, leading up to his meetings with Menachem Begin (Barry Morse). While the resulting Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty normalizes relations between Egypt and the West, the Israeli occupation of Palestine greatly alienates Sadat from the rest of the Arab world, which eventually leads to his 1981 assassination.

Louis Gossett, Jr. in SADAT

The syndicated miniseries was written by Lionel Chetwynd and directed Richard Michaels. Its two parts aired on the evenings of 31 October and 7 November 1983. Charles Bernstein’s score appeared on an unlabeled promotional CD.

The movie brought the wrath of Egypt’s government against Columbia Pictures, the film's producers, and Louis Gossett, Jr., all of whose films were briefly banned in that country. Nevertheless, Gossett was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the film. He lost the Emmy to Laurence Olivier for his performance in the Granada Television production of KING LEAR and lost the Golden Globe to Richard Chamberlain for ABC’s THE THORN BIRDS.

 Posted:   Apr 22, 2024 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1984 comedy FINDERS KEEPERS, scam artist “Michael Rangeloff” (Michael O’Keefe), on the run from the police and a female roller derby team, steals a coffin containing the corpse of Vietnam War soldier “Lane Biddlecoff,” and boards a train, pretending to be a soldier bringing home a dead war buddy. On board, Michael becomes friendly with scatterbrained, unemployed actress “Standish Logan” (Beverly D'Angelo), and soon discovers the coffin contains millions. During a stop in Reno, Nevada, Michael telephones his friend “Century Milestone” (Louis Gossett, Jr.), an experienced conman, who later boards the train dressed as a “minister.”

Louis Gossett, Jr., Beverly D’Angelo, and Michael O’Keefe in FINDERS KEEPERS

Richard Lester directed this frenetic farce. Ken Thorne provided the unreleased score. The $7 million production received favorable reviews but bombed at the U.S. box office, grossing just $1.5 million.

 Posted:   Apr 22, 2024 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

Gossett was terrific in two of my favourite movies, An Officer & A Gentleman and Toy Soldiers, but I have to admit ai had no idea just how many movies he had done.

A very talented guy. RIP.

 Posted:   Apr 23, 2024 - 12:47 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In ENEMY MINE, “Willis Davidge” (Dennis Quaid) is an impetuous fighter pilot for Earth, which is engaged in an outer space war against an alien civilization called the Dracs. He manages to shoot down an enemy, only to crash himself on the same hostile planet. With his co-pilot dead, Davidge tries to survive on his own, but eventually links up with his opposite number, a leathery, lizard-like Drac fighter pilot (Louis Gossett, Jr.) whom he dubs 'Jerry.' An unexpected personal alliance forms, which only becomes more complicated when the pair tangle with renegade Earth miners, who use Drac slaves for labor.

Louis Gossett, Jr. in ENEMY MINE

Original director Richard Loncraine was fired after shooting for three weeks on the $18 million picture. Newly appointed 20th Century Fox production head and producer Lawrence Gordon hired Wolfgang Petersen, who agreed to direct the picture on condition that previous footage be discarded, and filming would be moved to Bavaria Studios in Munich, Germany. The delay caused by the change in directors was rumored to have cost filmmakers over $8 million, with an additional $3 million allocated to keep actor Dennis Quaid on retainer for the picture. The film’s new budget was $25 million.

Petersen also redesigned Louis Gossett, Jr.'s alien costume and make-up to look more like the character as it is described in Barry Longyear's source novel. It took three hours to apply the make-up to Gossett to transform him into Jerry.

Gossett said in a television interview that as a kid, he had talked while gargling saliva, as one of those “kid things.” He told Wolfgang Petersen that he thought that it would add a good touch to his character. Gossett performed the odd vocalizations all by himself (no mouth prosthetics or post-production effects), and often did "the Drac voice" at convention appearances. The Drac language was created from scratch. Much of it was Russian, pronounced in reverse.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that final costs were nearly $40 million when marketing figures for the picture were included. Other estimates put the amount as closer to $56 million. Whatever the total, the film was a big flop at the domestic box office, grossing just $12.3 million.

Maurice Jarre’s electronic score was released by Varese Sarabande, who issued an expanded version of the score in 2012.

 Posted:   Apr 23, 2024 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The wording on the film’s one-sheet poster laid out the premise of IRON EAGLE succinctly: “Doug is 18. Raised on an air base and born to fly. His father has been shot down 6000 miles away, and has been sentenced to death…for the crime of being an American. Everyone’s telling Doug to sit tight and wait. Everyone but Retired Air Force Colonel Chappy Sinclair. They know what they have to do. And they’ve ‘borrowed’ a pair of F-16s to do it. For them, waiting time is over.”

Louis Gossett, Jr. had his first lead role in a film as “Col. Charles ‘Chappy’ Sinclair.” Jason Gedrick played “Doug Masters,” with Tim Thomerson as his father “Col. Ted Masters.” The character of Chappy Sinclair was inspired by the real-life U.S. Air Force General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. General Chappie James was a member of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, and flew fighter jets in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He later became the first black four-star General in U.S. history.

Jason Gedrick and Louis Gossett, Jr. in IRON EAGLE

Sidney J. Furie directed the 1986 adventure film. None of Basil Poledouris’ score appeared on the soundtrack album issued by Capitol Records on LP and cassette, and later on compact disc. It only featured songs by the likes of Queen, King Kobra, Eric Martin, Dio, Adrenalin, George Clinton and others. In 2008, however, Varèse Sarabande released the original musical score by Poledouris.

Although the picture was not scheduled to open until 17 January 1986, a week prior it was reported that the filmmakers were already contemplating a sequel to the $10 million film. As it turned out, IRON EAGLE grossed a decent, but not spectacular, $24 million. However, later that year, when the film was released on video, it grossed an additional $11 million, and a sequel was given the green light.

 Posted:   Apr 24, 2024 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1986 adventure film FIREWALKER, “Patricia Goodwyn” (Melody Anderson) comes into a bar seeking two men of questionable character and undying loyalty, and the bartender directs her to "Leo Porter" (Lou Gossett, Jr.) and "Max Donigan" (Chuck Norris). Patricia claims to have a map that leads to a cache of gold on an Apache Indian reservation, and offers to split the proceeds fifty-fifty if Max and Leo help her recover the treasure.

Chuck Norris, Melody Anderson, and Louis Gossett, Jr. in FIREWALKER

J. Lee Thompson directed the film, his fiftieth feature film. Gary Chang's score was released on a Varese Sarabande LP, which was re-issued on CD in 2018.

The review of the film in Variety said, "Chuck Norris' latest outing for Cannon suffers from boilerplate scripting which sabotages what should have been a compelling buddy pic; not even the estimable Lou Gossett can save this one." The $8 million film managed to eke out just $14.5 million at the U.S. box office.

 Posted:   Apr 24, 2024 - 1:44 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Bob, I really love the stuff you dig up and post here. Just wanted to mention it.

 Posted:   Apr 25, 2024 - 1:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In A GATHERING OF OLD MEN, a regular day on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation changes course when a white man is found shot to death in a black man’s yard. The most likely suspect is “Mathu” (Louis Gossett, Jr.), but when the local lawman, “Sheriff Mapes” (Richard Widmark), arrives to arrest him, he finds his prospective prisoner surrounded by a group of old men and a young white plantation owner, “Candy Marshall” (Holly Hunter), all of whom act to protect Mathu by claiming credit for the crime.

Louis Gossett, Jr. and Woody Strode in A GATHERING OF OLD MEN

Louis Gossett, Jr. claimed to have seen ghosts at the hotel where the cast stayed while filming this picture in Louisiana. Volker Schlöndorff directed the made-for-television film, which aired on CBS on 10 May 1987. Ron Carter provided the unreleased score. Gossett was nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special. He lost the award to James Woods, who played a schizophrenic epileptic in PROMISE.

 Posted:   Apr 26, 2024 - 11:18 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

“Rick Latimer” (Jim Belushi) is a high school teacher who loves to drink more than he loves to teach. When his drinking gets him in trouble at a bar, his punishment isn't termination but rather promotion. He had previously applied for an administrative position, and he's getting his big break as THE PRINCIPAL at Brandel, a notoriously decrepit and dangerous inner-city school. Seeing a second chance for himself and an opportunity to actually better lives in desperate need of guidance, he decides to do what none have done in many years: work hard to make a difference. Against the better judgment of his faculty as well as the school's tough, but smart, security officer “Jake Phillips” (Louis Gossett Jr.), Latimer assembles the student body and declares there will be no more missed classes, gambling, extortion, drug use, gang intimidation, arson, robbery, or rape. That doesn't sit well with the student body.

Louis Gossett, Jr. and James Belushi in THE PRINCIPAL

This film provided Lou Gossett the opportunity to do what he enjoyed most those days: spend time around kids. On ABC's “Good Morning America,” he said: "One of my pet projects is working with misdirected children. I like the fact that we're using kids from this area [Oakland, CA] as extras. Many of them are misdirected, some are in gangs. They seem to have gotten some direction from this experience. For most of them it's the first time anyone has come up, patted them on the back and said, 'Hey, that was great.' It's not unlike the story in the film."

Christopher Cain directed the 1987 drama. Jay Gruska’s score has not had a release. The $11 million production managed to gross $19.7 million domestically.

 Posted:   Apr 26, 2024 - 11:47 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

IRON EAGLE II is set in the waning years of the Cold War, as now “Gen. Chappy Sinclair” (Louis Gossett, Jr.) is charged with assembling a joint U.S.-Soviet operation to take out a weapons plant in the Middle East. He has his old buddy “Matt Cooper” (Mark Humphrey) on hand, but is surprised to find himself also supervising a feisty Russian woman named “Valeri Zuyeniko” (Sharon H. Brandon). Sinclair whips his pilots into shape as they overcome their cultural and gender differences in preparation for their climactic mission.

Louis Gossett, Jr., Jesse Collins, and Mark Humphrey in IRON EAGLE II

Sidney J. Furie returned to direct this 1988 sequel. For composer this time, Basil Poledouris was replaced by Britisher Amin Bhatia, supplying just his second film score. None of Bhatia’s music appeared on the song-track CD released by Epic Records, which featured songs by Rick Springfield and Alice Cooper.

The film received poor reviews, although Gossett’s notices were mixed. Doug Shanaberger of The Pittsburgh Press gave the film one star and said "though a waste of celluloid and humiliation for Gossett, IRON EAGLE II at least contains a fleet of zooming, whooshing silver jets. They're fun to watch; the movie, schlock at the Grade Z level, isn't." On the other hand, Chuck David of The Daily Oklahoman gave the picture two stars and explained he "liked it most of the way," although it was an "unnecessary sequel." He thought it had funny moments and that Gossett was “a powerful screen presence.”

The $12 million production took in a disappointing $10.5 million at the U.S. box office. This time, video sales out-grossed theatrical revenue, pulling in another $12 million, thus keeping alive the prospects for a third film.

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