A Time for Dying (1982)

73 mins | Western, Romance | June 1982

Director:

Budd Boetticher

Writer:

Budd Boetticher

Producer:

Audie Murphy

Cinematographer:

Lucien Ballard

Editor:

Harry Knapp

Production Designer:

Les Thomas

Production Company:

Fipco Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although the onscreen credits include a copyright statement to Fipco Productions, Inc., the company did did not register the film until Jun 1982, when it received the registration number RE-754-012.
       According to the 1 Feb 1967 Var, writer-director Budd Boetticher planned to have A Time for Dying produced by Juan Filcer of Mexico’s Filman International, while looking for an American company to handle global distribution. The title was expected to be changed, so as not to be confused with a Mexican film called Tiempo Para Morir. Filcer hoped to cast Frankie Avalon, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Peter Fonda in the picture, with principal photography originally scheduled to begin sometime between Mar and May 1967.
       Two years later, a 21 Apr 1969 DV news item noted that funding had been assumed by Wichita, KS, oil tycoons J. P. Spellman and R. C. Clinton, who were associated with the producer, World War II veteran Audie Murphy. As stated in the 18 Aug 1969 HR, A Time For Dying was the first project under Murphy’s company, Fipco Productions. A 10 Apr 1969 production schedule in AMPAS library files indicated that location scouting took place 21 Apr 1969, followed by the first day of principal photography 22 Apr 1969 in Apache Junction, AZ. The 19 May 1969 HR announced that location filming concluded one day ahead of schedule, on 16 May 1969. The remainder of production and postproduction were to be completed in Hollywood, CA.
       A 29 Apr 1969 Var item reported that the film marked the motion picture debuts of Murphy’s two sons, ... More Less

Although the onscreen credits include a copyright statement to Fipco Productions, Inc., the company did did not register the film until Jun 1982, when it received the registration number RE-754-012.
       According to the 1 Feb 1967 Var, writer-director Budd Boetticher planned to have A Time for Dying produced by Juan Filcer of Mexico’s Filman International, while looking for an American company to handle global distribution. The title was expected to be changed, so as not to be confused with a Mexican film called Tiempo Para Morir. Filcer hoped to cast Frankie Avalon, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Peter Fonda in the picture, with principal photography originally scheduled to begin sometime between Mar and May 1967.
       Two years later, a 21 Apr 1969 DV news item noted that funding had been assumed by Wichita, KS, oil tycoons J. P. Spellman and R. C. Clinton, who were associated with the producer, World War II veteran Audie Murphy. As stated in the 18 Aug 1969 HR, A Time For Dying was the first project under Murphy’s company, Fipco Productions. A 10 Apr 1969 production schedule in AMPAS library files indicated that location scouting took place 21 Apr 1969, followed by the first day of principal photography 22 Apr 1969 in Apache Junction, AZ. The 19 May 1969 HR announced that location filming concluded one day ahead of schedule, on 16 May 1969. The remainder of production and postproduction were to be completed in Hollywood, CA.
       A 29 Apr 1969 Var item reported that the film marked the motion picture debuts of Murphy’s two sons, Terry and James, but neither is credited onscreen.
       The 18 Aug 1969 HR announced that the world premiere was scheduled for 15 Sep 1969 in Dallas, TX. Two years later, the 24 Aug 1971 LAHExam stated that since the picture was originally eighteen minutes short of feature film length, actor Richard Lapp chose to independently hire unnamed writers and technicians to help create $50,000 worth of additional scenes. At that time, the use of the footage had yet to be approved by the film’s initial financier, the First Investment Planning Corporation of Washington, D.C. The print viewed for this record is seventy-three minutes in length, but it remains undetermined whether or not it includes Lapp’s material. Although not yet released nationally, A Time for Dying previously opened throughout TX and was scheduled to be shown in ninety-three international markets.
       In 1982, the 7 Apr Var indicated that the picture had only been screened in “limited showings” due to legal complications following Murphy’s death on 28 May 1971. New York City’s Corinth Films had since acquired global distribution rights, and the film opened locally the week of 2 Jun 1982.
       A news story in the 20 Nov 1994 London Observer suggested that Boetticher only agreed to make the film in order to help Murphy, a compulsive gambler, who had debts to various organized criminals. The picture was arranged as a “tax-loss production,” intended to perform poorly at the box-office. Delays were caused when Murphy declared bankruptcy in 1968, was acquitted for attempted murder in 1970, and later died in a plane crash in 1971, which Boetticher reportedly believed was staged by the Mafia. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Apr 1969.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sept 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 1969.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 1969.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1969.
---
LAHExam
24 Aug 1971.
---
New York Times
2 Jun 1982
p. 19.
Observer
20 Nov 1994.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1967.
---
Variety
29 Apr 1969.
---
Variety
6 Oct 1971.
---
Variety
7 Apr 1982.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Fipco production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
1st asst cam
Cam op
1st asst cam
Stills
Best boy
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
SOUND
[Post prod sd]
Mixer
Mike op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Title art
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting consultant
Assoc to the prod
Post-prod coord
Scr supv
Head wrangler
Assoc to the dir
Unit pub
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1982
Premiere Information:
Dallas, TX premiere: 15 September 1969
New York opening: week of 2 June 1982
Production Date:
22 April--16 May 1969 in Apache Junection, AZ
Copyright Claimant:
Fipco Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 June 1982
Copyright Number:
PA140091
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
73
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On his way to the western settlement of Silver City, Texas, an earnest and optimistic young traveler named Cass Bunning shoots a rattlesnake so that its rabbit prey can run free. He attracts the notice of a passing trio of riders, who warn him about Silver City’s less-than-friendly inhabitants and decadent saloons. Upon his arrival, Cass pushes through a crowd of drunken men hollering at the women employed at Mamie’s, the local brothel. The bartender reveals that one of the strangers Cass met in the desert is an outlaw known as Billy Pimple, wanted for terrorizing the town. Although Silver City has laws against carrying firearms, Cass whips out his pistol to demonstrate his superior shooting skills by firing holes into a poster of Billy’s face. Outside, Mamie’s newest employee, the innocent, twenty-year-old Nellie Winters, arrives by stagecoach, naively believing that she applied to work at the saloon as a waitress. Determined to save the girl from the increasingly rowdy mob, Cass mounts his horse and pulls Nellie up beside him. As they escape to the outskirts of town, she bemoans the difficulty of finding a decent job. After aimlessly wandering through the desert all night, the pair rents a room at a hotel in Vinegaroon, where they are arrested for sharing a bed while unmarried, thus breaking the law against “indecent cohabitation.” When brought before the drunken and unforgiving Judge Roy Bean, he forces them to marry on the spot, offering a complimentary “honeymoon suite” at the hotel. Later, the newlyweds encounter the judge while walking in the hills, and the older man shares his personal ambition to establish his own town in Texas named after his favorite ... +


On his way to the western settlement of Silver City, Texas, an earnest and optimistic young traveler named Cass Bunning shoots a rattlesnake so that its rabbit prey can run free. He attracts the notice of a passing trio of riders, who warn him about Silver City’s less-than-friendly inhabitants and decadent saloons. Upon his arrival, Cass pushes through a crowd of drunken men hollering at the women employed at Mamie’s, the local brothel. The bartender reveals that one of the strangers Cass met in the desert is an outlaw known as Billy Pimple, wanted for terrorizing the town. Although Silver City has laws against carrying firearms, Cass whips out his pistol to demonstrate his superior shooting skills by firing holes into a poster of Billy’s face. Outside, Mamie’s newest employee, the innocent, twenty-year-old Nellie Winters, arrives by stagecoach, naively believing that she applied to work at the saloon as a waitress. Determined to save the girl from the increasingly rowdy mob, Cass mounts his horse and pulls Nellie up beside him. As they escape to the outskirts of town, she bemoans the difficulty of finding a decent job. After aimlessly wandering through the desert all night, the pair rents a room at a hotel in Vinegaroon, where they are arrested for sharing a bed while unmarried, thus breaking the law against “indecent cohabitation.” When brought before the drunken and unforgiving Judge Roy Bean, he forces them to marry on the spot, offering a complimentary “honeymoon suite” at the hotel. Later, the newlyweds encounter the judge while walking in the hills, and the older man shares his personal ambition to establish his own town in Texas named after his favorite actress, Lilly Langtry. They then return to their hotel room, which has been booby-trapped with a bucket of water propped over the door, forcing Nellie to remove her soaking wet dress. Once they make love, Cass and Nellie attend a town wedding ceremony held in their honor, dancing and watching the guests play games. The next day, they ride out of Vinegaroon toward Cass’s father’s farm, where he plans to leave his bride while he goes in search of Billy Pimple. Cass describes his father as an honorable man who taught him the gunfighting skills he will use to become a bounty hunter. Although Nellie grows angry that is he willing to risk his life hunting outlaws instead of staying with her, they declare their mutual love. They are interrupted by the infamous outlaw, Jesse James, who is impressed by Cass’s shooting and offers him tips to improve his confidence, suggesting that the young man has enough talent to someday join his posse. When Nellie gets pricked by cactus needles, the two stop to rest, and Cass enthusiastically tells her stories about Jesse’s past bank robberies. Later, a group of Jesse’s violent followers kidnap Nellie and drag her along as they wreak havoc in Silver City. Cass kills two of the men to save his wife, prompting the town mayor to name him a hero, but a local man warns him that Billy Pimple, enraged by his earlier poster shooting, has challenged him to a fight. Unsure what else to do, Cass wipes his sweaty palms and enters the darkened street. Although Nellie hides in the shadows with a rifle aimed at the enemy, one of Billy’s men injures Cass first, and he collapses. Mounting his horse, Billy fatally shoots Cass at point-blank range before riding out of town. Mamie guides the sobbing widow Nellie inside and promises to send her back to Cass’s father’s farm. Later that night, another fresh-faced girl arrives in Silver City and enters Mamie’s brothel, attracting the interest of many local men. +

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

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