“The Go-Go-Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films”
Menaham Golan and Yoram Globus
Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus’ Cannon Films was known for booking hundreds of pages a day in trade papers and hoping to win acclaim for his films at the Cannes Film Festival market. The company produced an eclectic mix of action/exploitation films and art films. “The company has always been cheerfully schizo, announcing its art films with the same gusto it uses for its exploitation product,” wrote Roger Ebert.
Cannon Films distributed the first two “Happy Hooker” films and produced the last installment in 1980.
The Charles Bronson pic “Death Wish II” cost $15 million and grossed more than $40 million for Cannon Films.
With a budget reportedly of $25 million, “Sahara” was a box office bomb and earned star Brooke Shields a Razzie Award.
Menahem Golan made two films with John Cassavetes: “Love Streams” and ” I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes – The Man and His Work.”
Menahem Golan directed “Enter the Ninja,” which spawned two sequels including 1984’s “Ninja III: The Domination.”
Menahem Golan also directed “Under the Brooklyn Bridge,” starring Elliott Gould and Margaux Hemingway.
Chuck Norris and Menahem Golan made eight films together including “Invasion U.S.A.”
Director and co-writer Menahem Golan launched “The Delta Foce” in 1986 with Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin. Two sequels followed.
After working together on “Cobra,” Sylvester Stallone and Cannon Films also teamed for 1987’s “Over the Top.”
Cannon Films partnered with director Tobe Hooper on the sequel.
Faye Dunaway was nominated for a Golden Globe in the Barbet Schroeder drama.
Cannon Films got involved with the “Superman” franchise to disastrous results. Star Christopher Reeve was quoted as saying, ” ‘Superman IV’ was a catastrophe from start to finish. That failure was a huge blow to my career.”
Menahem Golan’s Cannon Films was known for its mix of action and art films, including Jean-Luc Godard’s “King Lear.”
Dolph Lundgren landed his first starring role in “Masters of the Universe.”
“Bloodsport” was Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first starring role. Cannon also produced Van Damme’s 1988 pic “Cyborg.”
Documentary “The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films” debuted at Cannes in May. In 1984, with several films in the Cannes fest competition and dozens more in the market, Golan said with pride that it’s “not Cannes but the Cannon Film Festival,” and that “if Taiwan wants Bronson, then they also have to take Cassavetes.”
Menaham Golan and his cousin Yoram Globus bought Cannon Films in 1979. The documentary “Electric Bugaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” will play at the Toronto Film Festival in September.