The Passion of Andy Kaufman – 2.5 hour tribute film

andyslap

I created this “fan tribute film” in 2006 to counter what I saw as an idiotic, leering, overacted, overly cutesy, irritatingly overbearing performance in “Man on the Moon” (1999) by Jim Carrey, attempting to “act” like Andy Kaufman and failing miserably, in my opinion, and critics who said he was great in the part obviously didnt remember a lot about the actual man. The real Andy was much funnier and much more subtle in his pranks than the eye-rolling infant that Carrey showed him as. I think “MotM” was an embarrassingly bad film (though Carrey and Giamati’s dual portraits of Tony Clifton were excellent, and actually the only really Good thing in it).

“The Passion of Andy Kaufman” has achieved something of a “cult” reputation on the internet in the subsequent years. I would subtitle it, “Andy’s Greatest Hits”. Now, I bring it back to the internet, because I think it is fun to watch too. I am very proud of how it turned out, and I thank everyone who has watched it over the years and given me positive feedback.

Produced by Alan Graham and Roman Wilderness Productions, here is “The Passion of Andy Kaufman”, free for all. Hope you like it! ūüôā

The Passion of Andy Kaufman – Veoh

The Passion of Andy Kaufman – 4Shared

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Sorcerer – the “lost” soundtrack theme

sorcerer11.jpg

Hymns/Spheres¬†is an album by American pianist¬†Keith Jarrett¬†released in 1976 by the¬†ECM¬†record label, recorded at the¬†Benedictine Abbey¬†in Ottobeuren, Germany. This solo album consists of improvisations on the massive Karl Joseph Riepp “Trinity” Baroque pipe organ.

The original double vinyl album was not reissued on compact disc until 2013. There is also a CD (Spheres, ECM 1302) with a selection of tracks: Spheres (1st, 4th, 7th, 9th Movement).

The 3rd movement was used in the movie Sorcerer.[2] 

It was NOT included on the film’s official soundtrack, which was made up exclusively of Tangerine Dream tracks. However, it was probably the most memorable piece of music in the film. Here it is, in a set of two mp3s. The first is an edit consisting of just the segment used in the film. The second is the complete track.

Sorcerospheres

 Keith Jarrett РSpheres 3rd

 As a special bonus, here is a scan of the original Walon Green screenplay, with MANY scenes and dialogue passages that didnt make it to the final print.

Sorcerer [Walon Green] (8-1-1975)

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Noble Rot – John Belushi – screenplay

belushi

For the first time ever presented in a public forum, you can now read the infamous final screenplay of Don Novello and John Belushi, “Noble Rot”.

If you have ever read “Wired”, Bob Woodward’s compelling (and very controversial) biography of John Belushi, then you are no doubt aware of the final screenplay that Belushi was attempting to write with Don Novello (most famous for his Saturday Night Live portrayal of “Father Guido Sarducci”). I am a fan of that book, I have read it many times over the years and decades, and I have always wondered about the screenplay.

By early 1982, Belushi‚Äôs notorious drug habits had worsened significantly ‚Äď to the point where, even in the era of carefree recreational usage, there was no denying he was out of control. Feeling his career had already peaked and there was nowhere to go but down, Belushi decided to take the creation of his next film into his own hands. Despite the fact that he was not a writer, he teamed up with Novello to reconfigure an existing movie script called “Sweet Deception” (written by Jay Sandrich) into “Noble Rot”, a comedy about winemaking. Together with Novello, Belushi spent nearly a year tweaking the plot and reduxing the entire script to fit him.

It was a romantic comedy/adventure about a young, unsophisticated guy named Johnny Glorioso, who takes an elite new California wine to a New York wine tasting contest (the wine has a much desired and very rare fungus named Botrytis or “noble rot” of the film’s title, that can either destroy an entire crop or turn it into a legendary smooth and sweet wine), falls in love with a very untrustworthy but sexually desirable young woman named Christine (who is responsible for the multiple thefts of his beloved few wine samples for the competition), becomes involved with a diamond smuggling ring, and maybe grows up a little and loses his naivete in the process, while getting the last laugh in the kind of final scene that audiences loved seeing Belushi have. Belushi considered it the role he was born to play, and he became obsessed with getting it produced.

However, Paramount Pictures (the studio behind producing a potential film of “Noble Rot”, headed at that time Michael Eisner) was very unimpressed with the script, and was instead pushing Belushi to star in a sophomoric comedy based on the popular book, “The Joy of Sex”, to be directed by Penny Marshall of “Laverne and Shirley” fame (a completely different version was created a few years after Belushi’s death by director Martha Coolidge). Meanwhile, Aykroyd had also intended for Belushi to star in the supernatural comedy, “Ghostbusters”, which he was co-scripting with Harold Ramis. By this time, Belushi was heavily into punk rock (especially the raw L.A. punk band FEAR, who’s members he was hanging around with at the time, and who had an infamously subversive Saturday Night Live appearance at Belushi’s belligerent insistence) ‚Ästto the point of alienating friends who would not listen to it and didn’t appreciate his overbearing insistence that it was brilliant. Belushi moved out to Hollywood to continue writing the film with Novello, feeling it would restore his waning cinematic mojo.

Holed up in a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont hotel (located on the Sunset Strip), Belushi hit the L.A. party scene more intensely than ever before ‚Äď which, not surprisingly, resulted in a frustrated Novello usually having to write and revise the script alone while John was MIA on a drug binge. At the same time, Paramount made it known that the “Noble Rot” drafts they were seeing were unacceptable to them. Feeling the pinch, Belushi put himself into overdrive and let go of the controls, diving into unrestrained excesses. During the nights spent scoring drugs and partying till dawn on the Sunset Strip at such clubs as the Roxy and the Rainbow, Belushi met a former backup singer (and girlfriend of Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot) named Cathy Smith. Smith, a sleazy junkie, introduced Belushi to the next step on the chemical ladder: heroin. Always afraid of needles and knowing that heroin was the point-of-no-return, Belushi still began experimenting with the dangerous opiate, combining it with cocaine into the ultra-rush “speedball”. With Aykroyd secretly planning a flight to the West Coast to bring his troubled friend back home, Belushi began a non-stop three-day binge.

On March 5, 1982, after Hollywood pals Robin Williams and Robert De Niro left his bungalow in the early morning hours, Smith administered the umpteenth speedball to Belushi. In the morning, allegedly seeing him still snoring and alive, she took his car and left to run errands. Later in the morning while she was gone, Belushi’s personal trainer, Bill Wallace, showed up to rouse his friend to do a work out; instead, he discovered that Belushi was not breathing. After frantically applying CPR and summoning medical help, Wallace knew it was too late for Aykroyd to help his doomed friend. John Belushi was dead, and Johnny Glorioso would never live on the screen.

Though it was definitely not finished by any means (and some parts of it are obviously rushed and confused), this is not nearly as bad as the reputation that has dogged this final project of Belushi for decades. Sure, Christine is completely unlikeably and unsympathetic, but she gets her just desserts in the end, along with her compatriots, and Johnny gets the last laugh. With some more re-writing, (this draft is dated two months before Belushi’s death and the team’s frantic last minute re-write attempts in the days leading up to Belushi’s death), this could have ended up as a rather witty and sophisticated light comedy, and Belushi’s improvisations during alot of the scenes would have surely made it much more than appears on the page (as is often the case with rough draft screenplays). Once again, this is a case of a script and a concept that never really got a fair shake from the producers, and this is largely what frustrated Belushi into doing that final, fatal binge. So now, I will give “Noble Rot” a fair day in court.

Download the complete screenplay here in two pdf files.

Noble Rot – Part One

Noble Rot – Part Two

WOULD “NOBLE ROT” HAVE BEEN A¬†COMEDY CLASSIC, OR JUST ANOTHER BELUSHI FLOP?

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The Tony Clifton Story – Andy Kaufman – screenplay

tony-clifton-and-andy-kaufman-at-carnegie-hall

A screenplay by Andy Kaufman and Bob Zmuda, about the venemous conflict between Andy and his brash alter ego, the uncouth Tony Clifton.

The screenplay also contains many of Andy’s classic stand-up routines, and several moments that will cause you to literally laugh out loud, which I did while transcribing the “Hunchback” premiere, the Jerry Lewis-inspired White House visit, and the mention of a statue of Tony pouring a glass of water on the head of …

There are also touching moments (Tony’s deep love for a hooker with a heart of gold, and Andy’s yearning for the little girl he had a crush on as a boy) … and then there is that chilling moment when film “reality” breaks and the camera pulls back to reveal Andy telling the audience that Clifton died of lung cancer at Cedar Sinai Hospital … exactly the scenario that would befall Andy a few short years later.

What a tragedy that this film wasn’t made (and that Heartbeeps was instead). It would be a true cult classic today.

Read the comic vision of Kaufman and Zmuda at last.

The Tony Clifton Story – Andy Kaufman

WOULD ANDY KAUFMAN’S FILM HAVE BEEN GOOD?

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The Stand – Stephen King – screenplay

stand

This is the “lost” Rospo Pallenberg screenplay adaption of the greatest work of horror fiction ever created, Stephen King’s “The Stand”.

At one time, George Romero was slated to direct an R-rated theatrical version based on this screenplay. Unfortunately, it ended up as a watered-down and rather silly network miniseries, instead of the graphic,hard-hitting, surrealistic horror film it deserved to be.

This is the fabled screenplay by the brilliant writer of the “Excalibur” screenplay. It is in many ways a masterpiece unto itself, and it is a true tragedy that this version was set aside for the weak miniseries.

Apparently, a new 3 hour theatrical version is being planned by Warner Brothers. I really hope that they get it right this time! Here is the screenplay of what would have been the Romero/King production of the late 80s.

The Stand – Rospo Pallenberg

This is a link to an archived article that I wrote several years ago, with the full story behind this sadly unrealized production.

The Rise and Fall of “The Stand”

walkindude

“Boots, the Cowboy of the Dream. The one who stomps on useless truths.”

WOULD GEORGE ROMERO’S “THE STAND” HAVE BEEN A GOOD FILM?

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The Day the Clown Cried – Jerry Lewis – two screenplays

clowncried1

“When you rule by fear, laughter is the most frightening sound in the world.”

In 2002, I bought an ORIGINAL script of “The Day the Clown Cried” on Ebay, which had belonged to Fred Skidmore, Jerry Lewis’ publicist at the time.

“In February 1972 he and his new publicist, Fred Skidmore, flew to Stockholm to see to¬† pre-productions chores. They went to Germany and Poland to visit the sites of concentration camps. And they went to Paris, where Jerry shot some material for the film while performing with the Bouglione Cirque d’Hiver and saw to his theatre business. (France’s first Jerry Lewis Cinema opened in March 1972).” (from “King of Comedy” by Shawn Levy)

The script was dated MARCH 1972, was signed by Skidmore, and contained his notations of the actors playing the various roles and other production details. It was his personal script as he travelled with Lewis! Not only that, it was the FINAL DRAFT !!!!

Many of the scenes were seriously modified or even eliminated, and the poorly written elements of the earlier rough draft were now gone. In addition (believe it or not), the ending was MUCH more horrific and blunt!! No clowning this time, just the truth … and told not through image, but SOUND. The final draft is brilliant.

I had bought the screenplay for about $25.00 (postage and merchant services fees included). The Ebay seller didnt realize what a historic find he had, and his auction blended in with other sellers who were offering copies of the more common First Draft (that was available on this site for free). So fortunately, I was the only person that noticed it’s true value.

I transcribed the screenplay to publish here along with the other one, then I resold it on Ebay several months later for over $250.00 to a classic stand-up comedian (who shall remain nameless here). The original script possibly still resides in his personal collection, but I have also heard from reliable sources that it has made the rounds of various well-known celebrities there, including Joe Piscopo. I am very proud of the fact that I was the one who made this incredibly rare item available to them.

Here are both drafts of the screenplay:

The Day the Clown Cried РFirst Draft 

The Day the Clown Cried – Final Draft

ARE THE “CLOWN CRIED” SCREENPLAYS GOOD OR BAD?

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