Re: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest- abandoned by Bertolucci

From: rikke & hanne kesten (
Date: 05 Apr 2000

Okay. Time for a reality check. In the late Seventies, early Eighties maybe, Bertolucci did two major versions of RH, co-written with Marilyn Golden, for Grimaldi who worked for years to get the picture made. Bertolucci wanted Jack Nicholson for The Op and Dominique Sanda (who was in The Confirmist) for Dinah Brand, if I remember correctly. They went so far as to scout for locations for shooting the film and Bertolucci came up with a wonderful visual framework for the picture. No studio would finance the package.

  Grimaldi kept at it, engaged any number of other directors and writers to move the picture forward to get studio financing but couldn't. It was an expensive film, a large part had to be shot on location at a time when studios were not oriented to that level of expense.

   The project was never "abandoned" by Grialdi, who as producer, owned rights. Bertolucci and Grimaldi had a falling out. Bertolucci left the project. Tht was early Eighties.

cooper wrote:
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest- abandoned by Bertolucci
> > Film maker Bernardo Bertolucci, able to do first class
> > films (and lower ones...) declared, during an
> > interview I red in a French magazine, that he now
> > definitely has abandoned the project of filming
> > Hammet's "Red Harvest".

As for Jane's comments, Grimaldi is anything but "dodgy." He's a standup guy with terrific credentials and an awesome string of "Produced by..." credits. Try these on: Fellini's 1900, Last Tango in Paris, Satyricon, Fred and Ginger, Casanova; Sergio Leone's For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; films he produced with great directors -- Pasolini, Monicelli, Pontecorvo.

What's more, I know he worked with such terrific directors as Neil Jordan, Volker Schlondorff and many others to get Red Harvest made. He paid for OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET I don't know how many screenplay versions
(even including one by Donald Westlake) and numerous trips to find locations, including one I went on to Butte, Montana -- the original Poisonville. If that's "dodgy" behavior I don't know what you'd call the behavior of all those Hollywood studio executives who keep everyone in limbo and don't put up a cent of their own dough.

> Edited from my post of 17.01.00
> Re;RED HARVEST... in the GUARDIAN ... there was a
> snippet re; ALBERTO GRIMALDI, as they put it a"dodgy old Italian producer"
> who is currently trying to kibosh Scorsese's latest film (GANGS OF NEW
> YORK)...he also holds the rights to RH, and is therefore blocking
> BERTOLUCCI'S adaptation. ....
> Jane

As for GANGS OF NEW YORK, Grimaldi spoke to me about that project and actually financed a very long treatment for a screenplay back in the late Eighties. It's another project which he worked at for years to get going. Finally, he made a DEAL with Scorcese to direct the film. Their contract called for Grimaldi to get producer credit -- first position. Period. That's the contract.

Then as they came closer to filming Grimaldi's name disappeared from the releases and pre-release ads and publicity, replaced by Scorcese and his people. But he contract apparently read: The rights to the literary property revert to Grimaldi if there is a breach of and of the terms... etc. All of a sudden Grimaldi's name is on the picture.
   Now, I ask you. Is that "dodgy," or what?

Sounds like a hard-boiled ending to me.

If there were more producers like Grimaldi who kept at it, backing tasteful projects they really loved, there would be a lot of better films out there.

--steve kesten

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