What Did You Say?
Various quotes from people who
worked with Golan-Globus and Cannon.
...and a few pearls of wisdom from Golan-Globus, amongst others.
Link to this page: www.cannon.org.uk/quotes.htm
"Brooke is the most beautiful creature on earth,
she is the genie of the desert and Lambert is a wildman, but educated. He
wants to rape her, but he controls himself. We are not afraid here of
clichés. I want a beautiful romantic blockbuster where all American kids will
identify." -Menahem Golan, talking about
Brooke Shields (as pictured) in
"They supported me well over the years, staying around even after my star declined. They offered me a rare and loyal affection and gratitude over a long period of time."
-Sylvia Kristel on Golan-Globus.
"Cannon has aquired a
two storey house on Sunset Boulevard and will take up residence there next
-Yoram Globus, on Cannon's move to
"No, it wasn't a shotgun, it was a chainsaw. He said he was going to cut off his finger if I didn't make his film." -Menahem Golan talking about Barbet Schroeder and Barfly.
"No other production organization in the world today has taken more chances with serious, marginal films." -Roger Ebert
"Superman IV killed the franchise." -Ilya Salkind, executive producer, Superman III
"When I was in Cannon I was wealthy, but that was not important, what is important is to be able to make any movie you want". -Menahem Golan
"When someone like Goddard comes to you -nothing works." -Menahem Golan
"The last time I saw
Menahem Golan, he was waving a large dinner napkin in the air. That was last
year at the
"I don't think I signed a contract. Cannon (or Golan-Globus, can't recall) just picked up black market labourers as extras. It was either construction that week or film set with good food and $200 a day. Not bad for 15 years ago. They put the outfit and paraphernalia on and within a day I was sitting in the front row in the court room, yelling at some poor actress an insult I still don't understand." -unknown extra, unknown film.
"Naturally, when we came
in the beginning, the door was closed. But Menahem and me, if the door is
closed, we come in through the window. And if the window is closed, we come
in through the air-conditioning." -Yoram Globus, 1986,
it's an obligation of Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris to pay for Franco
Zeffirelli." -Menahem Golan, 1986,
Golan rings me up from
"For what I spent in
"This is not a picture about what it looks like -it's a picture about who's in it" -Menahem Golan talking about Number One With a Bullet
"What do you consider your greatest
A) "Receiving champagne on the
"I had my nose pressed against the glass for 20 years. It took Cannon Pictures to say they believed in me to the tune of $5 million. There were nights when Menahem Golan woke up and said, 'I'm giving $5 million to a crazy man who's never directed a movie? I must be crazy myself." -Norman Mailer, talking about Tough Guys Don't Dance
"The last scene in the film will be a neighborhood war, like a Second World War battle." -Menahem Golan on Death Wish 3
"People do not copy the movies, movies copy the people." -Menahem Golan
"He's only a simple architect and a simple man who does not deal with large-scale arms." -Bronson's thoughts on Cannon's idea of Paul Kersey in the planned Death Wish 3.
"It had to be done here,
because of the environment, the look of the places" -Menahem Golan on his film Hanna [in
"I'm ready to pay him, he's worth all the money in the world." -Menahem Golan talking about Dustin Hoffman and the Cannon project La Brava.
"Nobody believed anymore in features based on comic books." -Menahem Golan on Spider-Man
"Now that's a Cannon movie!" -Menahem Golan on the re-edit of Robotech: The Movie
"If you make an American film with a beginning, a middle and an end, with a budget of less than five million dollars, you must be an idiot to lose money." -Menahem Golan
"The film business is the only business where a negative is a positive." -Menahem Golan
"The one positive I did get out of it was to meet Menahem Golan. Menahem was heading for the big time. He told me so over lunch at a restaurant on the sea front. -Ingrid Pitt
"I make films, love them, sometimes I also do an excellent job. I don't consider myself an Ingmar Bergman, I don't make 'message' films. I make them for the audience in the theater who doesn't get bored, laughs at a comedy, cries at a tragedy, with a lot of emotion." -Menahem Golan
"For me a director is a director, he dictates the piece, creates it and I need to help him. The producer brings together all the elements that make it possible for the director to make the film - develop the script, hire the actors, hire the director and then work together with him. The director is the architect and the producer is the engineer." -Menahem Golan on being a producer
Nik Powell -on Golan-Globus
Nik Powell, founder of Palace Productions.
sold it to
the film". And I thought 'Fuck me, they're going to hate the film'. I thought I was going to get away without having to show it to them. So they asked me when the screening was and I said there's one tomorrow at 9am. I came in at and I went off to get coffee. When I came back and it was about and I looked in the hall and there was no Menahem. I just assumed he'd hated it and walked out, and that was the end of it -my first fairly major international deal. I was about to say 'Did you hate it?', but fortunately I didn't. He said, "Ah Nik, we can close the deal now". I said "What do you mean? You've only seen ten minutes of it". -he said "Nik, my own films I only see ten frames, I seen ten minutes of your films, it's fine". And the first ten minutes is just a Volvo driving, it's got nothing to with the rest of the film.
Bruce Dern -on Golan-Globus
That Championship Season (1982)
click for larger
That Championship Season came out, and it didn't do well and I put it to bed.
In February 1983 I'm in my beddy about eleven thirty in the morning and my phone rings. I pick it up and get a drunk Jason Miller, which is not unusual, on the phone with Jason Patric, and they're laughing. They said "Dernster.."
I said, "Where the hell are you guys?"
"You're Kidding. I thought nobody went to see it."
"You wouldn't believe
it. You won Best Actor, Besten Darstellar. Jason went up and accepted it for
you. It was given by Jeanne Moreau, and it's called a Silver Bear, Best Actor
Two days later, I picked up a trade paper, and my press agent called and said, "Why'd you spend all that money putting that ad in the trade about your Silver Bear? We didn't know you won the award you're supposed to tell us this."
I said "I didn't take out the ad."
It was Yoram and Menachem who took out the ad congratulating me on winning the best actor at the Berlin Film Festival. That afternoon Jason and his son got home and they brought the mail in, there was a paper sack with this silver thing in it -no note. The next morning, I pick up a trade paper and it says, "MENAHEM GOLAN AND YORAM GLOBUS FLEE AMERICA TO ISRAEL. CANNON FILMS GOES UNDER".
I never heard a word from them since. They're in
-Bruce Dern talking in his memoirs.
Just Jaeckin on Golan-Globus
Interview by Nathaniel Thompson
click for larger image
How involved was Cannon Films with the actual making of Lady Chatterly's Lover?
Oh, those two men - I called them the "Boom Brothers," Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. They came to me at the Cannes Film Festival and said, "Why don't we do a film together? Why don't we reteam with Sylvia Kristel? We have a book for you, Lady Chatterly's Lover." They said they'd co-produce the film in England. But they were awful, absolutely awful! They tried to take out the best parts of the film - they tried to cut scenes and move things around, and they wanted to remove the scene near the beginning, with the handsome man riding the white horse. I told them I wouldn't do it, that I wouldn't do any kind of erotic scenes at all unless I could make the film my way. So finally they let me do what I wanted, and when they saw the finished result in the screening room they said, "Yes, of course, it's beautiful!"
Just Jaeckin at the IMDb here
Golan: “How did you do with that little picture of yours?”
click for larger image
Interview by Marty McKee
Q: What kind of budget and schedule did you have on HOLLYWOOD HARRY?
A: I did everything one step at a time. First of all, I picked an arbitrary number: $500,000. I said, “For $500,000, I can make this picture.” And, of course, you can. But I didn’t know where to get $500,000. I kept trying to sell the idea to prospective producers, and, finally, a couple of exhibitors--these guys had exhibited ALLIGATOR (in which Forster starred for director Lewis Teague) and made money with it in Europe--said, “Yeah, we’ll work with you. What’s the budget?” “$500,000,” I told ‘em. They said, “You come up with 1/3. We’ll come up with 2/3.” And we made a deal.
I sold the only investment I had--the only thing I owned--which was some investment I had made some years before. I got $150,000 for it. I called these guys up in England, and I said, “OK, guys, I got my money, it’s in the bank,” and they didn’t return my phone call. Ohhhhhh, one of those absolutely, typical stories. You think you got a deal and you trust somebody and they did not come through with it. So I made HOLLYWOOD HARRY with $125,000 of that $150,000--I had to have some money to live on. I borrowed another $10,000 from my cousin and another $25,000 from a friend, and we finished up a rough cut for approximately $160,000. Later, I had to borrow even more money to post-produce.
Each step of the way, I said,
“OK, what do you do now?” By the time we got to a finished picture, I knew
that I had to get it to a salesman. We got it to Cannes the following year.
We sold to about five small territories. That was 1985. Later that summer, I
went to work for Menahem Golan in THE DELTA FORCE (Forster played an Arab
terrorist in this Chuck Norris/Lee Marvin action flick for Cannon). While we
were working on DELTA FORCE, Menahem, who I had run into in
Q: How much did you sell it for?
A: Wait, I’ll tell ya. They
originally offered me $400,000. I figured, OK, that’s about $75,000 profit.
When I first started making this picture, I thought it was going to get me a
house on the beach in
I was heartbroken. I was devastated. I’m signing the paperwork, I have no choice, I gotta get the $25,000 they’re giving me as an advance, I had no Christmas money, I was dead broke. I’m signing the thing, I think, “Oh, God, this is what happens when you make a little movie.” Later on, I discovered that Cannon had sold a package of about twenty movies, one of which was titled HARRY’S MACHINE, but they had never made it. So they bought my picture to substitute for a picture they had already sold called HARRY’S MACHINE! Wow!
Q: I’m sure it’s out of print now, but the videocassette I have is HOLLYWOOD HARRY. I think Media Home Entertainment put it out.
A: Yes, yes, you never saw HARRY’S MACHINE. It’s HARRY’S MACHINE only in a descriptive list of the pictures that they sold. They never touched it.
Q: Who owns HOLLYWOOD HARRY now?
A: I don’t know who owns it now. All I know is it sold 26,000 units (videocassettes) its first quarter. That’s a lot of units for a little, tiny picture.
Q: It really is a lot of fun.
A: I agree.
From Mobius Home Video Forum http://z8.invisionfree.com/MHVF/index.php?act=ST&f=10&t=102
Robert Forster at the IMDb here
Alexander Walker on Golan-Globus
"The producers are Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, names I'm glad to say I haven't seen on any respectable screen for ages. But those with long memories will recall they are the Israeli interlopers who formed Cannon Films and were allowed by the asinine decision of the Rt Hon Paul Channon, then Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry, to buy Thorn-EMI in 1986, and thus acquire virtually half the British film industry: Elstree studios, the ABC cinema chain, the Pathé newsreel collection and a 2,000-film library including the Ealing comedies.
Barely two years later, a cash-strapped Cannon stripped its assets to the bone and sold them to another bunch of entrepreneurs, some of whom finished up in prison.
From that unforgivable act of folly by our own government bureaucrats, as ignorant then as they are now of how the film industry really functions, comes a great deal of our present cinema stagnation."
Not a particulaly nice man from what I saw (he used to be on British TV quite a bit) of him and the above diatribe
is from a film ‘review’. Imagine what we’d
have to indure if he were to write a book on The
[bemoaning Cannon again regarding their Screen Entertainment back catalogue which is more secure now than anyone could have dreamt as it’s with Vivendi Universal via Canal+ Image. However, he does have a point as I believe a film’s ownership should be analysed if it’s part of that country’s culture. Saying that, it’s show business and it’s only about business]
Well, the place for judicious Government intervention is very much the place where British Screen Finance was at and where I hope the Film Council, unless it is consumed by megalomania, will realise it should be the sticking place. That is to say you should have adequate funds but you should not have a superfluity of funds because that means an over-abundance of production. That simply cannot be placed in results, as it did some years ago, in something between 40 and 60 per cent of the films that were made not being shown within 18 months to two years. Grey Gowrie, when he was Chairman of the Arts Council, took me out to lunch one day and said "Well, you are so smart, what would you do?" I said "Grey, I would buy a circuit of cinemas". The Cannon Cinemas had just come on the market. That in itself is a story of disaster, that two people who had no roots in the British film industry were given the go ahead by the former Conservative administration to buy up half the British film industry - Associated British Picture Corporation, the Elstree Studios, the Pathe Newsroom Collection and the wonderful 1,500 film library - and then to strip it of its assets two years later when they ran short of cash. That was Mr Golan and Mr Globus of Cannon Films. I said "If you bought a circuit of cinemas, Grey, what you could do is go down on a Saturday night with a sack and empty the cash box. Then you would have the cinema screens in which you could show your own films, but you also have the screens to show the American films and you would be in the happy position of making money out of the American films that take up 90 per cent of the screen time in this country". Gray's reply to that was "That is very interesting, but unfortunately the Arts Council we are not permitted to run a business". I said "Well, then what are you doing in league with the film business?" Absurd.
Alexander Walker at Talking Pictures here
Robin Sherwood on Cannon
Robin Sherwood [Death Wish II]
Festival is like a candy store of entertainment. [Laughs] Golan and Globus, literally, had a booth that had a curtain and a chair and that was their production company.”
Robin Sherwood at the IMDb here
Charles B. Griffith on Menahem Golan
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Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype (1980)
An interview with
by Aaron W. Graham
CG: That could have been the best of the best. Menahem Golan hired me. I wrote 5 joke titles to show Francis Coppola at his Christmas party in 1979. I showed him the list and he chuckled a bit, but asked me what would I really like to do? I told him that I'd love to have an Ealing Studios situation where I could make little comedies. Francis just said, “Why little?”, and walked away to something else.
So I had these joke titles in my pocket
and Menahem hired me, after I showed him Little Shop, to write The
Happy Hooker Goes to
Oliver Reed used to get me drunk but I liked him. I didn't want him originally. I had wanted Dick Van Dyke, but he was out on the road doing a play. Menahem hired Oliver because he was there. I had to redo the entire picture in my head when he was cast, because it was a zany slapstick comedy and I got Oliver Reed – with that face and that voice! So I made it more lyrical.
Sonny Johnson, the lead actress, was cast in the middle of the night before shooting started the next day, but she turned in a stellar performance. A few weeks later, she died of a brain haemorrhage. She was beautiful and a great actress. She would have went on to greater stuff.
The picture was too long, with the script being about 200 pages. There was no time to cut it, except for Menahem's auto-cutting by tearing out pages, and that became a mess. I did it in four weeks again and, when I told him I was going to go over, I thought he'd kill me! I told him that I couldn't get all this elaborate stuff that I'd written that he didn't tell me to cut. It was just so much.
Mel Welles played Dr. Hinkle, a fat doctor with all these fat ladies as patients. He invented a new diet paste, “One drop you shed 56 pounds, two drops you kill a horse!”, and so Dr. Hype [Reed] takes this diet paste and that's what causes the changing. He turns into Heckyll with green make-up, brillo hair, a carrot nose, one red eye and one blue eye, claws and the whole works.
I asked Dick Miller and Jonathan Haze, from the old gang, to be the garbage men, but Jonathan refused. I just gave all the lines to Dick, who did both sets.
Original article here © 2007 Senses of Cinema & Aaron W. Graham
Shelley Winters on Golan
Many more quotes to be added when time permits.
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