For all Topangans & film lovers:
By the director of Towering Inferno, King Kong & Death on the Nile
Large screen and bar ~ Suggested donation $5
Sunday, November 8, 8 pm at Froggie's, Topanga
(R.S.V.P details below)
“Rapture was the one film that John was really proud of, that he felt showed the depth of his talent as a director,” - Mrs. Guillermin
TOPANGA MESSENGER: On Sunday, November 8, at 8 p.m., Froggy’s will host a showing of Rapture as a memorial to John Guillermin, the film director, who died last month at his Topanga home.
“John disliked the usual memorials with people ‘spouting’ things,’” his widow, Mary Guillermin, said. “I think he would have approved of his best and least known film being shown in his memory.”
Mrs. Guillermin believes that Topangans will appreciate the poetry of the film and extends a welcome to residents of Topanga, as well as family and friends and anyone from the film industry who remembers being entertained or influenced by the director’s large body of work.
Guillermin’s films include blockbuster hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as The Blue Max, Death on the Nile, (the second) King Kong and Towering Inferno.
The bar will be open for purchasing drinks and Lance Roberts, owner of Froggy’s who agreed to host this community showing, says the room comfortably holds about 80 people. An optional donation of $5 is requested to cover the cost of the room.
The Memorial Showing is organized by Mary Guillermin and the Topanga Film Institute (TFI).Guillermin recalled that her husband was delighted when Nick Redman, founder of “Twilight Time,” decided to re-release Raptureon BluRay in 2011. Rapture was originally released in 1965, when most films were being made in color. Guillermin argued with the producer, Daryl Zanuck, who wanted to follow the color trend, and insisted the film be made in black and white.
This decision may have contributed to the film receiving a limited release and small audience at the time it was made. However, Guillermin was proud of Rapture's’s artistic integrity and never regretted his veto of filming in color.
“Rapture was the one film that John was really proud of, that he felt showed the depth of his talent as a director,” said Mrs. Guillermin. “He would say, Rapture is my best film and only about half a dozen people have seen it. He was very gratified by the good reviews it received after its re-release.”
The story involves an actress of fifteen, Patricia Gozzi, who hated acting and only made three films, this being the only film where she spoke English. Guillermin said of her that she was “the greatest natural talent I ever worked with” and spoke of her with great affection. Rapture co-stars Melvyn Douglas in one of his last roles and Dean Stockwell. Starting in January at their home in Topanga, Mrs. Guillermin is also planning to hold monthly viewings of her husband’s films.
“I want to show some of those early films, starting with his first film, Paper Gallows, made when John was 24, written by him and shot in just six weeks to fit a set from another film. Some of the obituaries in British papers spoke of the power of his early films and talked of him as an underrated director.
“I hope people can become more aware of his work that was not in the action movie/blockbuster mode, those being the kind of films that got him a reputation as a workmanlike director. There was so much more to him than that, both as a director and as a man,” said Mrs. Guillermin.
To R.S.V.P. or for further details, contact Mrs. Guillermin at (310) 422-6497 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org