Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Last of the Secret Agents starring Allen and Rossi (1966)

Steve Rossi: Marty Allen and I had a motion picture with Paramount where Sinatra was doing a movie at the time. He asked if I could get Nancy Sinatra into our movie called Last of the Secret Agents.  It was Allen & Rossi and Nancy Sinatra.

Marty Allen: The movie was very funny.

Steve Rossi: I don't know. It seemed like everything that we did that I didn't write... didn't make it. I knew what was funny for us. Then you get involved with movies and all of a sudden they think they know more than you do. The proof of what I'm saying is The Last of the Secret Agents.

Marty Allen: People say they love the movie! We got a tremendous reaction. 

Steve Rossi: We already knew what would work and they wouldn't even take our advice.  So, consequently the movie was bad. 

Marty Allen: They think if they showed it today it would be considered a comedy classic.

Steve Rossi: I felt like if that was going to be the first movie for Allen and Rossi - and we were hot at the time - I felt that if we were going to do a movie, let's do some stuff out of our act that adapts to it.  We got the top writers from The Carol Burnett Show and The Garry Moore Show, but they didn't know shit about writing a movie.

Marty Allen: It's an excellent movie. Very funny.

Steve Rossi: It was made for under a million dollars, although it grossed, over the years, thirty or forty million dollars. By rights we should have been kept under contract at Paramount, but a new regime came in [with] Bob Evans. Howard Koch left and that was the end of our deal.

Marty Allen: Every time I have watched it I thought it was funny and not only that, but it was done very well. Very tasteful.

Steve Rossi: If we had gotten a contract, I never would have allowed other comedy writers to go in there and say, "This is what you have to do." We weren't in the driver's seat.

Marty Allen: Everybody that ever saw it thought it was a classic comedy! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Funnyman starring Peter Bonerz (1967)

Peter Bonerz: This guy John Korty did two 16mm independent films in San Francisco that were highly acclaimed. Small films, almost European. He started as a documentarian and did Civil Rights stuff in Washington. He saw the [Committee] show and said, “I’m interested in the possibility of maybe working with you to write a movie about an actor in improvisational theater. A person who considers himself a little more than an actor.” 

So we sat down. It was going to be improvised. We wrote the scenes out on 3x5 cards. We had a scene by scene map and went out and shot it. We raised the money locally, two hundred thousand dollars. 16mm, black and white and color. It really didn’t go anywhere. It received pretty good notices. We showed it at the New York Film Festival and it got me an agent. It got me William Morris. That, in turn, got me notice in Hollywood. 

I was young and hot – or thought I was. The film was finally released, I think, by New Yorker Films. Dan Talbot ran a great movie house off-Broadway called the New Yorker during the sixties and seventies. He formed a releasing company and they released it. I think it played in art houses and university cities. And that was it.


Monday, August 5, 2013