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To Kill a Clown: Working in the Bahamas


Twinkie: Richard Donner and the Copacabana Club
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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Richard Donner, as I said, had only made one other film and that was with Sammy Davis Junior, and Sammy Davis Junior was appearing at the Copacabana Club at that time. So there came a moment when we were all invited to the Copacabana Club where the customers sit in an extraordinary... they're extraordinarily squeezed. You sit having your little meal, you know, like this. The neighbour's next to you. You're, sort of, fitted in like that. Anyway, we all fitted in there. At one point Sammy Davis said, 'And tonight we have a special guest with us, Mr. Richard Donner, who directed me in Salt and Pepper'. And the spotlight went over to Richard and Richard got up and took a bow, and then Sammy Davis Junior started his song, which was You're Nobody, long pause, Till Somebody Loves You. That was wonderful.

Born in Germany, cinematographer Walter Lassally (1926-2017) was best known for his Oscar-winning work on 'Zorba the Greek'. He was greatly respected in the film industry for his ability to take the best of his work in one area and apply it to another, from mainstream to international art films to documentary. He was associated with the Free Cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. In 1987 he published his autobiography called 'Itinerant Cameraman'.

Listeners: Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is a Canadian who came to Europe to study and never got round to heading back home. He did his undergraduate work at Carleton University (in Biology) in Ottawa, and then did graduate work at the University of Western Ontario (in Zoology). After completing his doctorate at Oxford (in the Department of Zoology), followed with a year of postdoc at the University of London, he moved to the University's newly-established Audio-Visual Centre (under the direction of Michael Clarke) where he spent four years in production (of primarily science programs) and began to teach film. In 1974 Bowden became Director of the new Audio-Visual Centre at the University of Warwick, which was then in the process of introducing film studies into the curriculum and where his interest in the academic study of film was promoted and encouraged by scholars such as Victor Perkins, Robin Wood, and Richard Dyer. In 1983, his partner and he moved to Greece, and the following year he began to teach for the University of Maryland (European Division), for which he has taught (and continues to teach) biology and film courses in Crete, Bosnia, and the Middle East.

Tags: Salt and Pepper, Twinkie, Richard Donner, Sammy Davis Junior

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008