"MacKenna's Gold" at the Schauburg
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The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: in70mm.com/Schauburg Cinerama Press Release
Cinerama and in70mm.com are proud to announce a rare presentation of a Carl
Foreman production of a J. Lee Thomson film "MacKenna's Gold" from
1969 on Thursday 8. October, 2015, at 21:20. The film will presented in 35mm Technicolor and
4-track magnetic stereo - with a little surprise.
Projected with Schneider's Premiere ES Cinelux projection lens, with
integrated anamorphic elements.
"This is a very rare title for a 70mm festival. To my knowledge, "MacKenna's Gold"
has not been shown anywhere during the past 20+ years, maybe even longer. It is a
German dub, however, and I know many will reject the opportunity to come and
see it because of this. I really think they should come anyway and enjoy the
film in a cinema - German dub or not. What does it matter? You cannot see
this in a proper roadshow cinema anywhere but here". Thomas, editor
Egyptian actor Omar Sharif passed away some months ago and this is our
farewell tribute to the greatest film doctor of all time. From playing
Doctor Zhivago to a Mexican bandit, his talent was far reaching. "MacKenna's
Gold" was the pinnacle of his acting career in the '60s.
This presentation is the unofficial opening of the annual
at the Schauburg Cinerama in Karlsruhe, Germany which begins Friday morning
and continues for three days with a diverse program of no less than 11
(eleven) 70mm films on the big curved screen. Booking and tickets are
|More in 70mm reading:|
11. Todd-AO 70mm-Festival
pictures photographed in Super Panavision 70
Omar Sharif Passed Away
• On line ticket reservation
Hotel reservation link (coming soon)
Tel: +49 721 35 000 11
mobil: +49 151 1668 9172
Fax: +49 721 38 00 47
Film- und Ferhnsemuseum Hamburg
Seventeen men and four women seek a legendary cache of gold in the
territory of the rampaging Apaches. The colorful group includes MacKenna
(Gregory Peck), a Marshall who knows the way and who--at any cost--must
be kept alive by Colorado (Omar Sharif), the outlaw Chief. © 1968,
renewed 1996 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
title: Mackenna's Gold / USA 1969.
Filmed in Super Panavision 70 (2,21:1) & Panavision 2,35:1. Presented in
Anamorphic 35mm Technicolor 24 frames per second (2,35:1) /
4-track magnetic stereo. German version / 128 minutes. World premiere:
20.03.1969, City, Hamburg, Germany.
Directed by: J. Lee Thompson. Screenplay by: Carl Foreman, based
on a novel by Will Henry.
Produced by Carl Foreman & Dimitri Tiomkin. Music by Quincy
Jones. Cinematography by Joseph MacDonald. Film Editing by Bill
Lenny. Presented by Columbia Pictures.
Gregory Peck (Sheriff Mackenna), Omar Sharif (John Colorado),
Telly Savalas (Sergeant Tibbs), Camilla Sparv (Inga Bergerman),
Keenan Wynn (Sanchez), Ted Cassidy (Hachita), Julie Newmar (Hesh-Ke), Lee J. Cobb (The
Editor), Raymond Massey (The Preacher), Burgess Meredith (The
Storekeeper), Anthony Quayle (Older Englishman), Edward G.
Robinson (Old Adams), Eli Wallach (Ben Baker)
Vincent Canby in
New York Times 19. June, 1969:
"Derek Frye is credited as the movie's sound supervisor, and the one
thing the movie has in abundance is sound. It is sound so stereophonic —
so all-surrounding — that, at the State, anyway, it dwarfs the screen
and, at one point, gave me the distinct impression that a bunch of
steers were stampeding near the ladies' room."
However, the fate of Mackenna’s Gold outside the US was an entirely
different matter. In India it remained the top Hollywood grosser in
history until blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Titanic came along.
Even worldwide hits such as Jaws and Star Wars would not make as much
money in India as Mackenna’s did. The film went through countless
re-runs until well into the 1980s and could be seen in cinema halls
across India, including small venues in the medium-size towns of North
Actual filming entailed one of the most complex safaris in Hollywood
history. Statistics tell the least interesting aspect of the story, but,
for the record, just one of the scenes-and not the biggest-required 37
trucks, 8 horse trailers to carry 141 horses, 5 jet planes, a
helicopter, 1,7 jeeps, 8 buses, 11 limousines and 8 power wagons. Aside
from such run-of-the-mill hazards as the multiple contusions and
abrasions Peck and Sharif inflicted on each other in one of the most
bruising brawls ever filmed-on a narrow ledge a thousand feet above the
floor of the Canyon de Chelly-there were minor irritations, like flash
floods, quicksands and sand storms, not to mention the difficulties
faced by the small army of players and the 21 technicians, in sweltering
heat-Arizona 12°, Utah 11 8°,California 18°. But it wasn’t always hot.
One scene had Peck, Sharif, Camilla Sparv and Julie Newmar plunge into a
rock pool in an idyllic Utah setting 6, feet above sea level. Her teeth
chattering, Camilla emerged wanting to know the temperature of the
water. "Only 4°’ said a prop man, who couldn’t even swim.
The film had a large success in the Soviet Union. It was firstly shown
at the VIII Moscow International Film Festival in 1973, following by a
cinematic premiere in 1974. The film was viewed by 63 million people and
now stands fourth in the all-time rating of a foreign film distribution
in the Soviet Union.
What's the Story?
Film Institute: In
Arizona in 1874 there is a legend that the Apache gods store sacred gold in
a hidden canyon. Marshal Mackenna of Hadleyburg learns the location of the
canyon when he is ambushed in the desert and forced to shoot Prairie Dog, an
old Apache chief. Before dying, the Indian gives Mackenna a map of the
canyon but warns him that the Apache gods keep a vigil on the spot. After
memorizing and burning the map, Mackenna is captured by a band of outlaws
led by the ruthless Colorado, who has as his hostage Inga, a young Swedish
immigrant and the daughter of the town judge. Aware that the marshal has
seen the map, Colorado threatens to murder Inga unless Mackenna leads him to
the canyon; Mackenna reluctantly agrees. Before long the band is joined by a
group of Hadleyburg citizens who have also caught "gold fever."
This group is pursued by Apache warriors who want to use the gold to fight
the white man, and by a U. S. Cavalry troop tracking Colorado. The warring
factions clash, and the only survivors are Mackenna, Colorado, Inga, and two
renegade Apaches--the seductive Hesh-Ke and Hachita, a silent brave. They
are soon joined by Cavalry Sergeant Tibbs, who has murdered his own men in
order to search for the gold. As the fortune seekers make their way toward
the canyon, Hesh-Ke becomes enraged by Mackenna's attentions to Inga and is
killed trying to murder her rival; Hachita, believing the Apache gods are
angry, kills Tibbs but in turn is slain by Colorado; and Colorado, now that
he has found the treasure, engages Mackenna in a death struggle on a narrow
ledge. The battle is interrupted by Apaches; their stampeding horses start
an avalanche that obliterates the canyon and buries the gold. Only Mackenna,
Colorado, and Inga escape. Vowing someday to find and kill Colorado, the
unarmed Mackenna rides away on Sergeant Tibbs's horse, its saddlebags filled
Rick Mitchell, Film Historian, 2008:
location exteriors on MacKenna's were shot in 65mm. I used to have a 16mm
print, unfortunately adapted, that vinegared into oblivion, but I could tell
the difference. For instance, in the sequence where the townsmen meet up
with the outlaws in the canyon early in the film, the location angles toward
the townsmen are 65mm while the reverses on the outlaws are 35mm anamorphic.
And as it was originally conceived to be presented "in Cinerama", there are
some POV shots also done in 65mm.
Grover Crisp has restored it in 35mm; didn't think it worth doing a 70mm
Based on Grover's description of the negative reel configuration, only the
35mm footage would have been blown up, though, as both Technicolor London
and Technicolor Hollywood made 70mm prints on an optical printer, there's
always the possibility of some kind of optical manipulation. In the Sixties,
both Technicolor and MGM made special 70mm prints to conform to the varying
screen curvatures of old theatres originally set up for Cinerama's 146
degree curve, the 120 degree curve for single lens Cinerama, and various
curvatures in between.
substantial portion of "MacKenna's Gold" was shot in 65mm. The
original picture negative was formatted into 22 single reels. Of those, 14
were 65mm and 8 were 35mm. It was set-up for auto-select printing and all
were 'a' and 'b' rolls, except for reels 2 and 4, each of which had a 'c'
roll. They kept this format when they made the 35mm IP. The 35mm IN, of
course, is 10 double reels for printing.
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