When great literature meets a movie, the result is not always pleasing to author, readers, movie fans, or critics. When the cult writer Carson McCullers finally agreed that movie legend John Huston ought to tackle her novella called Reflections in a Golden Eye, she was thrilled. She met with the director, wanted script approval, cast approval, and fell in love with Huston. She died before the film was released, and some think it killed her. When the story hit the screen, no one was happy.
My long-time writing collaborator, film star, actor, and Renaissance Man, Jan Merlin, jumped aboard with me to do an in-depth examination of movie making in the wild 1960s. As a star of two television series including Rough Riders and Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, Jan also did two dozen movies and had worked with Huston, knew Brando, and had some extraordinary insights to add. We dove in, and the result recently made it to Kindle where fans of stars, grotesque movie making tales, and lovers of disasters can find our book under the title Troubles in a Golden Eye. It also seems an appropriate blog title too, a takeoff of the McCullers book, Reflections in a Golden Eye.
After writing this movie book with Jan Merlin, I realized it was not your typical PR story or one of those fan-styled books. As writers, we know intimately the details of some of the stars and have inside information on the actual filming of this dog of a movie. This does not always sit well with friends of the people involved, which is why this is unauthorized book angered the hangers-on and toadies of the principals. The famous dropped by during the filming process: Truman Capote, Richard Burton, and all the names of old Hollywood. If you love your gossip, there was plenty to be found in this tale.
Some people involved with this film wanted to spill the dirt, and let me tell you the dirt is here by the shovels-full. The usual jealous types can’t say much except try to stop you from learning about egomaniacs like Brando, Taylor, Huston, and the cult writer McCullers. If it makes you want to see the movie again to understand what went wrong in the production, we have done our jobs. As for me, I love the movie and enjoy sharing how it must have felt to be on the set while it was made on Long Island and Rome in 1966. This was a goal with which we succeeded.
Apologies to any whose feelings were hurt during the making of this book. You can now read it on Kindle or Nook as an e-book, which is convenient and easy to read.