Sunday, October 07, 2012

Bonanza, Keir Dullea and the Cuban Missle Crisis

The 4th Season of 'Bonanza' just came out on DVD. I was surprised to see that one of the commentaries is by Keir Dullea (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame). It's for his episode 'Elegy for a Hangman', broadcast in January 1963.

I was surprised, because even though Keir Dullea isn't a huge name in Hollywood, he's a big enough name to easily turn down such an obscure, low paying gig.

But I think the reason he did was because the episode was filmed during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis and it makes for a pretty interesting commentary. He probably thought it was important from a historical perspective. Whatever the reason, I'm glad he did it.

The October Crisis started a few days before shooting began and ended a few days after they wrapped. With World War Three looming, the cast and crew were obviously concerned. They even considered stopping production, but Michael Landon vetoed it.

Dullea talks about the surreal experience of being dressed in cowboy clothes and playing make-believe while the world was on the brink of nuclear war. Besides the Crisis, he also praises the acting chops of Pernell Roberts and fellow guest star Otto Kruger.

The 'extras' also includes an off-stage photo of Pernell listening intently for breaking news on a transistor radio.

The whole package is great and includes other extras and commentaries. But it's hard to beat this one.


Post a Comment

<< Home