A.D. Flowers

Oscar-winning special-effects wizard A.D. Flowers, who brought realism to such epics as “Tora! Tora! Tora!” “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now,” died July 5 from complications of emphysema and pneumonia in Fullerton, Calif. He was 84.

Also Oscar-nommed for his work in Steven Spielberg’s “1941,” Flowers won Academy Awards for his effects in the 1970 Pearl Harbor epic “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and the 1972 film “The Poseidon Adventure.”

A master of construction and subsequent destruction, he blew up bridges and villages in “Apocalypse Now.” He rigged a two-story house to fall over a cliff in one take for Spielberg’s “1941.” For “Tora! Tora! Tora!” he and his crew set up more than 100 smoke pots around the filmed harbor and set off each manually to recreate the Japanese attack.

A technical innovator, Flowers created his own formula for movie blood for “The Godfather” and then enhanced how it was used by creating a jacket that pumped out blood from a wound in diminishing spurts, as it would in real life. Along with fellow effects specialist Logan R. Frazee, he received a technical achievement Oscar in 1979 for the “guillotine,” a device that made miniature planes bank and roll realistically for “1941.”

The Texas-born/Oklahoma-reared Flowers also worked on such television series as “Combat!” and “Gunsmoke.” He was later the chief of mechanical special effects for 20th Century Fox for many years.

Flowers is survived by his wife, Vivian, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety