Caboblanco (1981)

R | 92 mins | Drama | 1981

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HISTORY

The title of the film is Caboblanco, although it has also been referred to as Cabo Blanco. Opening credits include the film’s subtitle: “ Caboblanco - where legends are born…”
       End credits contain the following written statements: “Our appreciation to the Mexican Navy and the Sindicato De Trabajadores De La Ind. Azucarera for the use of their facilities of Los Angeles Locos De Tenacatita” and “Special thanks to the memory of our friend Alfonso Sanchez Tello.”
       According to an article in the 20 Oct 1978 HR, the film’s producers battled the perception that their film was a remake of Casablanca, (1943, see entry) claiming that, while they hoped to evoke that classic film, Caboblanco was a “tribute,” not a remake. Caboblanco was also based on a true story. A Nazi, reportedly Martin Bormann, sunk a ship loaded with treasure off the coast of Argentina during World War II. The Nazi made a deal with Argentina president Juan Peron to share the treasure in exchange for asylum. Production notes in AMPAS library files reported that the ship was supposedly carrying European art treasures and, after the war, several Germans arrived in Argentina to recover the goods, but the Germans disappeared under mysterious circumstances and the whereabouts of the treasure, if it existed, remains unknown.
       An item in the 20 Mar 1978 HR reported that Paul Newman was considered for the film. The 27 Jul 1978 HR noted that Rex Harrison was approached to star in the film with Charles Bronson. The 12 Sep 1978 ... More Less

The title of the film is Caboblanco, although it has also been referred to as Cabo Blanco. Opening credits include the film’s subtitle: “ Caboblanco - where legends are born…”
       End credits contain the following written statements: “Our appreciation to the Mexican Navy and the Sindicato De Trabajadores De La Ind. Azucarera for the use of their facilities of Los Angeles Locos De Tenacatita” and “Special thanks to the memory of our friend Alfonso Sanchez Tello.”
       According to an article in the 20 Oct 1978 HR, the film’s producers battled the perception that their film was a remake of Casablanca, (1943, see entry) claiming that, while they hoped to evoke that classic film, Caboblanco was a “tribute,” not a remake. Caboblanco was also based on a true story. A Nazi, reportedly Martin Bormann, sunk a ship loaded with treasure off the coast of Argentina during World War II. The Nazi made a deal with Argentina president Juan Peron to share the treasure in exchange for asylum. Production notes in AMPAS library files reported that the ship was supposedly carrying European art treasures and, after the war, several Germans arrived in Argentina to recover the goods, but the Germans disappeared under mysterious circumstances and the whereabouts of the treasure, if it existed, remains unknown.
       An item in the 20 Mar 1978 HR reported that Paul Newman was considered for the film. The 27 Jul 1978 HR noted that Rex Harrison was approached to star in the film with Charles Bronson. The 12 Sep 1978 HR reported Kirk Douglas was the star, and the 5 Oct 1978 HR listed Max von Sydow and Peter Ustinov as potential stars of the film. The 6 Sep 1978 HR reported that Genevieve Bujold and Isabelle Adjani were considered alongside Dominique Sanda for the female lead. The 8 Nov 1978 Var noted that fashion designer Nino Cerruti would make his feature film debut as the costume designer on the film, however, as reported in the Jul 1979 Los Angeles, Bill Travilla designed the film’s costumes.
       According to multiple sources, including the 24 Sep 1980 Var and the 8 May 1979 HR, the film’s budget was in the $8 million to $10 million range. The 20 Sep 1978 Var and the 20 Oct 1978 HR noted that Charles Bronson was reportedly paid between $1 million to $1.5 million. Various sources listed the start date as Oct 1978, the 6 Sep 1978 HR noted a start date of 13 Nov 1978, and the 12 Oct 1978 DV reported the start date had been moved from 13 Nov 1978 to 27 Nov 1978. According to production notes, filming began 5 Jan 1979, with an expected three month shooting schedule.
       The 20 Mar 1978 HR reported Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Cabo Blanco, Peru, as possible locations, and the 24 Mar 1978 HR added Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands to the list. Producers ultimately chose Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico, a fishing village near Manzanillo, Mexico. The 29 Sep 1978 HR stated that local authorities in Barra de Navidad planned to officially change their town name to Cabo Blanco in honor of the film, although that was apparently a publicity stunt as the town’s name remains unchanged. The 24 May 1979 HR reported that the town did name a street “Calle Charles Bronson” in honor of the film’s star. According to production notes, ninety percent of the villagers and two goats applied to be extras in the film. The goats, who had appeared in a documentary three years earlier, were the only extras with film experience. When production manager, Chico Day, asked local fisherman to provided fifty live sharks, the fisherman competitively vied to provide the largest number of sharks, even if all of their sharks were not cast.
       The 20 Oct 1978 HR reported that private investors financed the film, and no distribution deal was planned until the film was finished. The 8 May 1979 HR reported that the majority of foreign territories were sold, and producers expected the remainder to be sold by Carolco during the May 1979 Cannes Film Festival. In an item in the 23 Jul 1979 DV, producer Lance Hool reported that forty-five percent of the $10 million budget was already recouped in foreign advances and pay TV commitments. Hool planned to screen the film for U.S. distributors on 15 Aug 1979. According to an article in the 24 Sep 1980 Var, a two hour version of the film was released in spring 1980 in Italy, France, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Argentina and Venezuela. The film was cut to ninety-six minutes for the United States and other territories. No U.S. companies bought the film during discussions early in 1980, however Hool claimed that six months of unsuccessful negotiations with Twentieth Century-Fox held up the process. In Sep 1980, Avco Embassy signed on as the film’s domestic distributor, with an expected limited release in Oct 1980 and wider release in Nov 1980. However, release in the U.S. was delayed until early 1981. The film opened in Los Angeles, CA, on 24 Apr 1981, and the 18 Feb 1981 Var review was based on a 9 Jan 1981 screening in Champaign, IL.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1978.
---
Daily Variety
23 Jul 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 1979.
---
Los Angeles
Jul 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Apr 1981
p. 5.
Variety
20 Sep 1978.
---
Variety
8 Nov 1978.
---
Variety
24 Sep 1980.
---
Variety
18 Feb 1981
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Lance Hool and Paul A. Joseph Present
A J. Lee Thompson Film
A MVS Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst unit prod mgr
Asst unit prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Underwater photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still man
Spec still photog
Head elec
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Asst set dresser
Asst set dresser
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec
Boom man
Cable man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Underwater eff
Titles and opt
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prods
Prod coord
Aerial seqs
Prod secy
Scr supv
Dial coach
Press coord, Mexico
Pub coord
Asst prod secy
Secy to the dir
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc auditor
Asst loc auditor
Accountant
Crane op
Cinemobile driver
Vocal eff adv
Spec promotional services
Systems by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Very Thought Of You," sung by Nat King Cole, courtesy of Capital Records, composer Ray Noble, publisher Warner Bros. Music, a division of Warner Bros., Inc.
"Tangerine," music by Victor Schertzinger, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, publisher Famous Music Corporation
"Moonlight Seranade," composers Glenn Miller and Mitchell Paris, publisher Robbins Music Corporation
+
SONGS
"The Very Thought Of You," sung by Nat King Cole, courtesy of Capital Records, composer Ray Noble, publisher Warner Bros. Music, a division of Warner Bros., Inc.
"Tangerine," music by Victor Schertzinger, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, publisher Famous Music Corporation
"Moonlight Seranade," composers Glenn Miller and Mitchell Paris, publisher Robbins Music Corporation
"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm," words and music by Irving Berlin, publisher Irving Berlin Music Corporation
"Heaven Knows," music by Jerry Goldsmith, words by Carol Heather.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Cabo Blanco
Caboblanco Where Legends Are Born...
Release Date:
1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 24 April 1981
Production Date:
began 5 January 1979
Copyright Claimant:
M.V.S. Productions
Copyright Date:
4 November 1980
Copyright Number:
PA86819
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1948, the H.M.S. Orient Star moors off Caboblanco, Peru, and officer Lewis Clarkson is in charge of a secretive search for a sunken ship. As a crewman is lowered in a diving bell, divers lurking nearby rig the bell with dynamite and it explodes. Later that day, Frenchwoman Marie Allesandri arrives in town and when police chief Terredo questions her reasons for coming to Caboblanco, she claims to be a tourist. Clarkson is at the bar in American expatriate Giff Hoyt’s hotel when Marie checks in. Meanwhile, Terredo goes to the heavily guarded hillside mansion of ex-Nazi officer Gunther Beckdorff. Terredo informs Beckdorff that the Orient Star is scheduled to leave Caboblanco and mentions Marie’s arrival. Beckdorff does not know Marie, but reveals a wallet with Marie’s picture inside. Back at the hotel, Marie confides to Giff that she is looking for her former lover, Jacques. Two years ago, they were working in the French Resistance when Jacques went undercover on a German ship, the Brittany, and sent a postcard from Caboblanco that finally reached her. Giff reveals that Jacques was shot, but Giff found him in the surf and helped him recuperate. Giff tells Marie that Jacques left without saying a word, but withholds that Jacques left a note. That night at the bar, Clarkson asks Marie to join him for a drink, but Terredo interrupts and confiscates Marie’s passport. She asks Giff for ... +


In 1948, the H.M.S. Orient Star moors off Caboblanco, Peru, and officer Lewis Clarkson is in charge of a secretive search for a sunken ship. As a crewman is lowered in a diving bell, divers lurking nearby rig the bell with dynamite and it explodes. Later that day, Frenchwoman Marie Allesandri arrives in town and when police chief Terredo questions her reasons for coming to Caboblanco, she claims to be a tourist. Clarkson is at the bar in American expatriate Giff Hoyt’s hotel when Marie checks in. Meanwhile, Terredo goes to the heavily guarded hillside mansion of ex-Nazi officer Gunther Beckdorff. Terredo informs Beckdorff that the Orient Star is scheduled to leave Caboblanco and mentions Marie’s arrival. Beckdorff does not know Marie, but reveals a wallet with Marie’s picture inside. Back at the hotel, Marie confides to Giff that she is looking for her former lover, Jacques. Two years ago, they were working in the French Resistance when Jacques went undercover on a German ship, the Brittany, and sent a postcard from Caboblanco that finally reached her. Giff reveals that Jacques was shot, but Giff found him in the surf and helped him recuperate. Giff tells Marie that Jacques left without saying a word, but withholds that Jacques left a note. That night at the bar, Clarkson asks Marie to join him for a drink, but Terredo interrupts and confiscates Marie’s passport. She asks Giff for help and he confronts Terredo about the passport, knowing the policeman works for Beckdorff; Giff and Terredo are aware of each other’s past criminal deeds and have forged a deal. Terredo, however, admits he has a better deal with Beckdorff and warns Giff to be careful. Giff drives to the reclusive Beckdorff’s hilltop mansion and discovers that his alcoholic ex-girlfriend, Hera, is now Beckdorff’s mistress. Giff accuses Beckdorff of blowing up the Orient Star’s diving bell, and warns that he will kill Beckdorff if anything happens to Marie. The next day, Clarkson is furious when Terredo’s inquest determines the death of the Orient Star’s diver was accidental. Later, at the town’s marketplace, Giff discusses pearl diving with Bustamante, a local fisherman, and Clarkson confronts Terredo. As one of Beckdorff’s henchmen prepares to hit Clarkson, Giff intervenes and knocks him into the water. Over drinks with Giff, Clarkson admits that he is with MI5, the British Secret Service, and is searching for the wreck of the Brittany. Giff warns that Beckdorff is also interested in the wreck and has a private army. A short time later, as Bustamante dives for pearls, he encounters two of Beckdorff’s divers and they drown him. Meanwhile, a high-ranking Peruvian minister calls Terredo for an update on their deal with Beckdorff. The minister mentions that the Americans are interested in arresting Giff, but Terredo claims Giff is still an asset. That night, Beckdorff kicks Hera out and she returns to Giff’s bar just as news arrives of Bustamante’s death. Later, while Marie and Giff stroll on the beach, Giff admits that he lives in Caboblanco because he killed someone in the United States. He also tells her that Jacques was shot by a German crewman and survived that incident, but is now dead. As they return to the hotel, Marie informs Giff that there is $22 million in gold on the Brittany. She is certain Jacques told Giff of its whereabouts, but Giff denies the claim and refuses to search for the treasure. They are interrupted by a hotel clerk who announces that Clarkson stole a canoe, and Giff realizes Clarkson is headed for Beckdorff’s fortress. Meanwhile, Clarkson’s canoe is under fire from Beckdorff’s men. He swims to shore as the assailants chase the empty canoe. In the early morning, Clarkson sneaks into the beach shack where Beckdorff’s divers sleep. Clarkson finds the dynamite used to explode the diving bell, but wakes the divers and is shot as he runs into the forest. Beckdorff’s men follow, but Giff arrives in time to kill the assailants and rescue Clarkson. Later that morning, Marie goes to the hilltop mansion where Beckdorff admits he killed Jacques, then forged the postcard to ascertain if Marie knows the Brittany’s location. She learns that two years ago, Beckdorff made a deal with the Peruvian minister to sink the Brittany off Caboblanco and retrieve the treasure later. Jacques, however, put a magnet on the Brittany’s compass, thus changing its coordinates. Marie claims Giff knows the location and will give her the information. She agrees to share the treasure with Beckdorff and the Peruvian minister, and leaves. Beckdorff orders Terredo to institute a curfew and detain Giff for questioning. Meanwhile, Giff takes Clarkson to Dr. Ramirez. After he is bandaged, Clarkson reveals the plastic explosive he took from the beach hut. Thanks to the curfew, the bar is empty when Giff returns, and Marie is upset that he did not come back during the day because it foiled her plan. She admits to informing Beckdorff that Giff knows the Brittany’s location, thinking that Giff would tell her the coordinates. She planned to give the information to her French Resistance contacts, then sail with Giff to safety in Ecuador. However, Giff claims he does not know the Brittany’s whereabouts, and hides in the ceiling as Beckdorff’s men search the hotel. In her room, Hera is badly beaten by one of the assailants. Giff rushes in, kills Beckdorff’s henchman and sneaks Hera to Dr. Ramirez’s office. Giff then confronts Terredo and orders him to call Beckdorff, claiming to know the location of the Brittany. He insists that Beckdorff meet him at the hotel bar and pretends to be Terredo’s prisoner. When Marie also joins them, Giff learns the treasure on the Brittany is not gold. Marie lured him with the promise of gold, knowing that Beckdorff’s ship is filled with crates of jewelry and church artifacts looted during World War II. Giff admits that Jacques left a message for Lefty, the parrot, and the bird reveals the treasure’s location upon hearing the code words. However, when Giff speaks the code words to the bird, the parrot does not respond. Beckdorff is enraged and Giff tricks him into believing the jukebox will explode and disarms him. Beckdorff orders Terredo to shoot Giff, but the policeman is appalled at the source of the treasure and leaves. Beckdorff commits suicide with a cyanide capsule rather than face extradition for war crimes. When Marie and Giff are alone, he says the correct code words and Lefty reveals the coordinates. Clarkson’s men retrieve the treasure and return it to its rightful owners, while Giff and Marie move into the hilltop mansion. Although the treasure is gone, the legend of the Brittany continues on. +

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

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