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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Metro Says --- Keep Britain Busy


Action Of The Tiger (1957) Shoots On Fresh Sites

Action was keynote for Metro in summer 1957, trade ads trumpeting this, Tip On A Dead Jockey, House Of Numbers, and Gun Glory for fast-move laurels. Claridge Productions and Van Johnson Enterprises were collapsible corporations set up to produce, with England as home base, giving them access to Eady funds and Metro's Elstree shop for interiors. The lion had lately partial- financed indie projects, given right story with name performers. Seven million was spread among eleven such ventures, Action Of The Tiger thought a safe bet for international biz thanks to pairing of Van Johnson and Euro hotsy Martine Carole. It was a good way to keep distribution pipelines filled and MGM-British facilities busy. The Elstree lot was large, overhead rivaling back home Culver, so the company needed tenants to fill/use space.


Exteriors for Action Of The Tiger were shot becomingly on Spain and Greece location in Cinemascope and color, giving director Terence Young chance to bone up on violence and mass attacks before James Bond assignment clinched a future along similar line. To that topic, there is Sean Connery early in his career as first mate to Van Johnson, playing drunk scenes, attempting rape of Martine Carole, and emptying a saloon, Johnson a less credible tough guy selling his boat and gun skills to high bidder Carole. Lead men of aging category were 50's persistent at crossing into Commie strongholds on rescue mission. Gable had done it twice, though by 1957 and Johnson's venture, there'd be diminishing returns. For being made so cheap (negative cost: $863K), Action Of The Tiger did return welcome profit ($204K).

3 Comments:

Blogger MikeD said...

From your description of the movie, I'm guessing that's Sean Connery mauling Martine Carol on that foreign lobby card. It appears that she isn't wearing much of her shirt, pretty risqué for 1957. How did much of Martine actually showed up on screen in that scene?

8:18 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

As I recall, not much. I'm afraid that Belgium poster is something of a tease.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Donald Benson said...

I know Disney started making live action films in England to use blocked funds as well, but didn't have its own facilities there. Did other American studios have a presence like MGM, or did they use blocked funds to bankroll individual productions?

Also: Recalling a Masterpiece Theatre import from the 1980s titled "Pictures", a comedy about a British movie studio in the 1920s. A key component of the plot was that the studio was owned by an American outfit, who sent an American executive to run the place. Was there a lot of American money or ownership between the wars?

4:04 PM  

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