Mirage (1965)

108 mins | Melodrama | 26 May 1965

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writer:

Peter Stone

Producer:

Harry Keller

Cinematographer:

Joseph MacDonald

Editor:

Ted J. Kent

Production Designers:

Alexander Golitzen, Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

On 9 May 1961, DV announced that director Harry Keller had acquired motion picture rights to Fallen Angel, a 1952 novel written by Howard Fast under the pseudonym “Walter Ericson.” However, an 11 Jun 1965 DV article suggested that Fast did not officially sign the rights over to Keller until 1963, and although originally planned as an independent project, a 28 Mar 1963 NYT item reported the involvement of Universal Pictures. Later that year, the 13 Oct 1963 NYT stated that the title had been changed to Mirage, as DV noted another film called Falling Angel had been released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. in 1945 (see entry).
       According to a 17 Dec 1963 DV brief, Keller initially sought Rock Hudson for the leading role, but Keller eventually withdrew from directing duties on Mirage to direct Hudson in Universal’s romantic comedy Send Me No Flowers (1964, see entry). The following year, the 21 Sep 1964 DV named Edward Dmytryk as the new director, with Gregory Peck already signed to star. Items in the 3 Nov 1964 DV stated that Glenn Corbett had been cast as Peck’s onscreen son, while the 15 Dec 1964 edition claimed Alvin Wise also appeared in a role. A 31 Mar 1965 Var brief stated that Mirage marked the motion picture debut of actor Luis Espinosa, Jr.
       Pre-production began in the fall of 1964, as indicated by a 21 Sep 1964 LAT article reporting Keller’s departure for the East Coast. A 30 ... More Less

On 9 May 1961, DV announced that director Harry Keller had acquired motion picture rights to Fallen Angel, a 1952 novel written by Howard Fast under the pseudonym “Walter Ericson.” However, an 11 Jun 1965 DV article suggested that Fast did not officially sign the rights over to Keller until 1963, and although originally planned as an independent project, a 28 Mar 1963 NYT item reported the involvement of Universal Pictures. Later that year, the 13 Oct 1963 NYT stated that the title had been changed to Mirage, as DV noted another film called Falling Angel had been released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. in 1945 (see entry).
       According to a 17 Dec 1963 DV brief, Keller initially sought Rock Hudson for the leading role, but Keller eventually withdrew from directing duties on Mirage to direct Hudson in Universal’s romantic comedy Send Me No Flowers (1964, see entry). The following year, the 21 Sep 1964 DV named Edward Dmytryk as the new director, with Gregory Peck already signed to star. Items in the 3 Nov 1964 DV stated that Glenn Corbett had been cast as Peck’s onscreen son, while the 15 Dec 1964 edition claimed Alvin Wise also appeared in a role. A 31 Mar 1965 Var brief stated that Mirage marked the motion picture debut of actor Luis Espinosa, Jr.
       Pre-production began in the fall of 1964, as indicated by a 21 Sep 1964 LAT article reporting Keller’s departure for the East Coast. A 30 Oct 1964 DV production chart listed a start date of 24 Oct 1964 in New York City. According to the 4 Nov 1964 Var, the unit was scheduled to spend approximately two weeks filming in and around the city, including Battery Park and Central Park. An LAT article published eight days later also named Columbus Circle and the Central Park Zoo among the featured locations, and detailed the process by which Peck was repeatedly filmed riding alone on a 5th Avenue bus between 34th and 72nd Streets. Subway scenes were shot at midnight between the 125th Street and Bowling Green stations. Additional measures were taken to detract onlookers by disguising the production vans and actors’ trailers.
       On 12 Nov 1964, DV announced that the production had relocated to California and resumed filming at the studio’s Universal City sound stages. A DV news story one week later reported that the basement equipment room of Universal’s newly built fourteen-story MCA Tower served as the background for a fight scene between Peck, Walter Matthau, and George Kennedy. After another month on the studio backlot, the 23 Dec 1964 DV reported that principal photography was scheduled to conclude 23 or 24 Dec 1964.
       Mirage opened in 300 theaters across the U.S. on 26 May 1965, including twenty-eight venues in the New York City area. According to articles in the 5 May and 12 May 1965 Var, the New York showcase launched Universal’s new “Premiere Theatre” exhibition pattern, and paired the film with a featurette titled “Casey at the Met(s).” The 22 May 1965 LAT noted that the Los Angeles, CA, engagement was scheduled to begin the following week, on 2 Jun 1965.
       According to the 11 Jun 1965 DV article, Howard Fast filed a lawsuit against Universal for breaking their agreement to credit the source material to his real name onscreen, seeking $25,000 in damages and an injunction against the film’s release.
       Offscreen cast names come from a Call Bureau Cast Service list dated 1 Feb 1965. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 May 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1963
p. 1.
Daily Variety
21 Sep 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Nov 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
15 Dec 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1965
p. 1, 3.
Los Angeles Times
6 May 1963
Section D, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
21 Sep 1964
Section C, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
12 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
27 Dec 1964
Section D, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1965
Section B, p. 6.
New York Times
28 Mar 1963
p. 8.
New York Times
13 Oct 1963
p. 127.
New York Times
4 May 1965
p. 48.
New York Times
27 May 1965
p. 28.
Variety
4 Nov 1964
p. 68.
Variety
31 Mar 1965
p. 17.
Variety
7 Apr 1965
p. 24.
Variety
5 May 1965
p. 7.
Variety
12 May 1965
p. 4.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and
as Ted Caselle
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns des by
Jewels by
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Matte supv
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
In charge of production
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Fallen Angel by Walter Ericson (Boston, 1952).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Fallen Angel
Release Date:
26 May 1965
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 26 May 1965
Los Angeles opening: 2 June 1965
Production Date:
24 October--23 or 24 December 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures
Copyright Date:
5 June 1965
Copyright Number:
LP33026
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
108
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As New York City's Unidyne Building is thrown into darkness, peace worker Charles Calvin falls from his 27th-floor window. David Stillwell descends the long stairway that leads to street level, but he soon realizes that he cannot remember people he meets, among them Shela, who apparently know him. When he returns to the building, he finds that there are no stairs and that offices he has remembered do not exist. Going to his own apartment, he meets Lester, a gunman who wants to take him to "the Major." David knocks Lester unconscious, then goes to the police, but his story is not believed because he cannot remember where or when he was born. He goes to psychiatrist Dr. Broden, who refuses to help him for fear of becoming involved with the police. Detective Ted Caselle takes on the challenge but is quickly murdered in his office. Threatened now by two gunmen, David returns to Dr. Broden, and together they deduce that he is a physiochemist and that he lost his memory when he saw his best friend, Calvin, fall to his death. Now it is recalled that David had discovered the secret of neutralizing radioactivity at its source, that he had taken his discovery to Calvin, and that then he had attempted to destroy the formula when it became apparent that Calvin, for mercenary gain, wanted to pass it on to his business associate, Major Crawford. Trying to prevent the burning of the formula, Calvin fell to his death. Now recalling everything, David returns to the Unidyne Building and comes face to face with Crawford. Intent on obtaining the formula, Crawford threatens David, but Shela comes to his rescue. ... +


As New York City's Unidyne Building is thrown into darkness, peace worker Charles Calvin falls from his 27th-floor window. David Stillwell descends the long stairway that leads to street level, but he soon realizes that he cannot remember people he meets, among them Shela, who apparently know him. When he returns to the building, he finds that there are no stairs and that offices he has remembered do not exist. Going to his own apartment, he meets Lester, a gunman who wants to take him to "the Major." David knocks Lester unconscious, then goes to the police, but his story is not believed because he cannot remember where or when he was born. He goes to psychiatrist Dr. Broden, who refuses to help him for fear of becoming involved with the police. Detective Ted Caselle takes on the challenge but is quickly murdered in his office. Threatened now by two gunmen, David returns to Dr. Broden, and together they deduce that he is a physiochemist and that he lost his memory when he saw his best friend, Calvin, fall to his death. Now it is recalled that David had discovered the secret of neutralizing radioactivity at its source, that he had taken his discovery to Calvin, and that then he had attempted to destroy the formula when it became apparent that Calvin, for mercenary gain, wanted to pass it on to his business associate, Major Crawford. Trying to prevent the burning of the formula, Calvin fell to his death. Now recalling everything, David returns to the Unidyne Building and comes face to face with Crawford. Intent on obtaining the formula, Crawford threatens David, but Shela comes to his rescue. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.