Pasatiempo - - Damned if You do... -

time it was done in a main­stream movie. It was very pri­vate; we shot it out on a raft. I’m very proud I did it.”

In the di­rec­tor’s com­men­tary for the film’s 2001 DVD re­lease, Ni­chols re­veals a lot of fun tid­bits. Cin­e­matog­ra­pher David Watkin wanted the light to look the same in ev­ery shot, so most of the film was pho­tographed be­tween 2 and 3 p.m., which meant peo­ple sat around wait­ing for a long time. The er­rant B-25 that swung out of for­ma­tion headed for the con­trol tower, where Ni­chols was seated. Olimpia Carlisi, the Ital­ian ac­tress play­ing Yos­sar­ian’s girl­friend, couldn’t speak a word of English, so she de­liv­ered her lines pho­net­i­cally.

Ni­chols also re­called with glee how he and Watkin de­cided to bomb the build­ings sur­round­ing Arkin and Sheen in a scene in which Ger­man planes strafe the Amer­i­can air base. “It scared the hell out of me,” Arkin said. “They blew up the whole airfield.”

Ben­jamin re­calls an­other odd sched­ul­ing sys­tem on the set. “You worked in terms of weather. We got up when it was dark and went to this place where they posted who worked in what kind of weather. It would be: Paula Pren­tiss works when it’s cloudy-bright, Ben­jamin works when it’s cloudy-dull, and Arkin works when it’s bright-bright. It was so dark out when we read this that no­body knew what kind of day it was, so we would all be stand­ing there ar­gu­ing, ‘I don’t work to­day; this is cloudy-bright!’ Or ‘No, it’s cloudy-dull. You work; I’m go­ing back to sleep.’ And even when the sun came up, no­body knew what kind of day it was!”

John Wayne asked for per­mis­sion to land his plane on the set’s land­ing strip. He was mak­ing a Western in Mex­ico. Ac­counts dif­fer as to why Wayne felt snubbed. “We didn’t know if he wanted to be both­ered or not, so we stayed away un­til we got word he was at this bar and that he was un­happy that no­body went out to see him, so we all went,” Ben­jamin said. “He was great. Paula had made a movie with Wayne, In Harm’s Way [1965], and she had got­ten along very well with him.” Arkin re­calls that story dif­fer­ently. “It was a po­lit­i­cally dif­fi­cult time in this coun­try, so no­body went out to say hello. I went out to greet him. He was big.”

“He is in­tim­i­dat­ing,” Pren­tiss re­called of Wayne. “Maybe the other peo­ple thought they would be in­tim­i­dated by such a good-look­ing,

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