1969: ‘Shadows’ gets Israel’s aid

From the Army Archerd Archive

Jan. 31, 1969

GOOD MORNING: The Israeli Ministry of Commerce (Light Industries Division) gave Steve Shagan word the government will guarantee and bond any film company against war interruption. Shagan’s back from Tel Aviv, setting up a May start for Universal’s “Shadows on The Bridge,” a two-hour world premiere for NBC. It’s a yarn of British and Italians set in Libya, 1940 … Steve got assurance of complete cooperation from General Ezer Wiseman, second in command of Israeli armed forces … Shagan reports the country is jammed with tourists from all over the world … 2009 Update: Shagan tells us that the film was never made despite the fact Shagan was instrumental in helping director-producer Mel Shavelson make the successful “Cast a Giant Shadow”in Israel three years earlier. And through his friendship with Michael Wayne, was able to get Duke to not only co-star in the film, but to assemble superstars Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra. Walter Mirisch today says, “The film took courage to make and took an important stand in the support of the liberation of Israel.” … Shagan later taught a six-week writing course in a new Israeli studio He received an Oscar nomination for his script of “Voyage Of The Damned,” the story of the German-Jewish refugees seeking asylum in Havana — only to be refused permission by an international assemblage including the U.S. … Shagan also powerfully demonstrated his pro-Israel feelings — with one word — “Eternal”–printed over a blue and white Star of David in a full page ad he’d bought in Daily Variety during the controversy surrounding the bow of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion Of The Christ” in 2004. … Shagan has also taken on another movie subject in his novel, “Cast of Thousands” about a movie company making a film they wanted to be a loser — but which was — a smash hit. He also wrote “The Formula” starring Marlon Brando and George C. Scott and has tackled the subject of the mob(s) in several of his eight novels plus his HBO’er, “Gotti.” He was also Oscar-nominated for his script of “Save The Tiger” in which Jack Lemmon won his Oscar. Today Shagan, 81, is finalizing his 11-year-old script of “Scarpa,” about a U.S. agent/killer — a true story. Shagan says J. Edgar Hoover once told him about this killer, “There’s fiction — and there’s real life — Scarpa is real life.”

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