Jaguar Lives! (1979)

PG | 90 mins | Adventure | 31 August 1979

Director:

Ernest Pintoff

Writer:

Yabo Yablonsky

Producer:

Derek Gibson

Cinematographer:

John Cabrera

Editor:

Angelo Ross

Production Designer:

Ron Talsky

Production Company:

Jaguar Productions, Ltd.
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HISTORY


       The picture marked the feature film debut-starring role for world heavyweight karate and kickboxing champion, Joe Lewis. According to a Jul-Aug 1978 Mediascene article, Jaguar Lives! was planned as the first in a series of action films featuring Lewis as special agent “Jonathan Cross.” Executive producer Sandy Howard signed the newcomer to a four-picture deal, but no additional films about the character were made. Lewis is also credited for staging action sequences in the film.
       Principal photography began 26 Jun 1978 in Madrid, Spain, as noted in items from the 27 Jun 1978 HR and the 26 Jul 1978 Var. Location filming was scheduled for six weeks in Spain and four weeks in other countries, including Japan, Germany, Turkey, Italy, and Hong Kong, China. According to publicity material in the AMPAS library files, specific historic sites in Spain included the Valley of the Fallen, the Alcazar of Almeria, and the Castle of Belmonte, where the final sequence between “Jaguar” and “Esteban” was shot. An area in northern Spain stood for the Colorado mountains, as stated in a 23 May 1978 HR column.
       The same column mentioned that the budget was $4.5 million, while a later HR item dated 6 Sep 1978, listed the production cost at $10 million.


      In the end credits, production manager Vicente Escriva, Jr. is listed as “Vincente Escriva, Jr.,” assistant director Kuki Lopez Rodero’s is listed as “Kuki Lopes Rodero,” and stunt coordinator Robert Bralver is listed as “Robert Bravler.”

              End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks to Shaw Brothers, Limited Hong Kong,” and ... More Less


       The picture marked the feature film debut-starring role for world heavyweight karate and kickboxing champion, Joe Lewis. According to a Jul-Aug 1978 Mediascene article, Jaguar Lives! was planned as the first in a series of action films featuring Lewis as special agent “Jonathan Cross.” Executive producer Sandy Howard signed the newcomer to a four-picture deal, but no additional films about the character were made. Lewis is also credited for staging action sequences in the film.
       Principal photography began 26 Jun 1978 in Madrid, Spain, as noted in items from the 27 Jun 1978 HR and the 26 Jul 1978 Var. Location filming was scheduled for six weeks in Spain and four weeks in other countries, including Japan, Germany, Turkey, Italy, and Hong Kong, China. According to publicity material in the AMPAS library files, specific historic sites in Spain included the Valley of the Fallen, the Alcazar of Almeria, and the Castle of Belmonte, where the final sequence between “Jaguar” and “Esteban” was shot. An area in northern Spain stood for the Colorado mountains, as stated in a 23 May 1978 HR column.
       The same column mentioned that the budget was $4.5 million, while a later HR item dated 6 Sep 1978, listed the production cost at $10 million.


      In the end credits, production manager Vicente Escriva, Jr. is listed as “Vincente Escriva, Jr.,” assistant director Kuki Lopez Rodero’s is listed as “Kuki Lopes Rodero,” and stunt coordinator Robert Bralver is listed as “Robert Bravler.”

              End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks to Shaw Brothers, Limited Hong Kong,” and “Special thanks to Shochiku Company, Limited Japan.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Sep 1979
Section IV, p. 11.
Mediascene
Jul-Aug 1978
p. 4.
Variety
26 Jul 1978.
---
Variety
5 Sep 1979
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Sandy Howard Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
U.S. prod mgr
Prod mgr, Hong Kong unit
Asst dir, Hong Kong unit
Unit mgr, Hong Kong unit
Prod mgr, Tokyo unit
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam asst
Cam asst
Still photog
Lighting gaffer, Hong Kong unit
Cam, Tokyo unit
Processing by
Processing by
Processing by
Processing by
Processing by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, Tokyo unit
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop buyer
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus rec
Re-rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Post prod supv
Action staged by
Prod exec
Prod's secy
Film researcher
Casting
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Transport mgr
Prod supv, Hong Kong unit
Loc mgr, Hong Kong unit
Unit pub, Hong Kong unit
Unit pub, Hong Kong unit
Prod secy, Tokyo unit
Spec coord, Tokyo unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt arranger
Stunt coord, Tokyo unit
SOURCES
SONGS
"Jug Of Wine," written and performed by Elliot Redpearl, courtesy of Rumpelstiltsongs, a division of Wood'n Music, Inc.
"Smokin," written by Rob Walsh and Gerry Gibson, performed by the Fuller Avenue Band, courtesy of Raissa Music (ASCAP) and Cowpoke Music (BMI).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Jaguar Lives
Release Date:
31 August 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 31 August 1979
Production Date:
began 26 June 1978 in Madrid, Spain
Copyright Claimant:
Leo Vergote
Copyright Date:
9 October 1979
Copyright Number:
PA60828
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Special agent Jonathan Cross, whose code name is “Jaguar,” is wounded while trying to dismantle a bomb at Spain’s historic Valley of the Fallen monument. His partner, Bret Barrett, is killed. Both men were members of an elite group of highly skilled agents, employed by international espionage organization G-6. Recovering from the incident, Jonathan leaves the service and retreats to his Colorado ranch where he practices martial arts under the guidance of his lifetime mentor, Sensei. While Jonathan herds cattle, a helicopter lands on the property transporting Anna Thompson, the coordinator for G-6. She needs Jonathan to reenlist and help with the current crisis in the Middle East. Following the assassination of Arab leader Hasam, a British hired killer named Coblintz was jailed for the crime. However, Anna believes that the conspiracy is much larger and points to a mysterious person simply known as “Esteban,” who is somehow connected to a cryptic term called “The Killing of the Kings.” Tired of bloodshed, Jonathan refuses, but when Anna mentions that Esteban might have been responsible for Bret’s death, Jonathan becomes more interested. In the Arabian city El Habbab, Jonathan tracks down occasional G-6 informant Ben Ashir, who is Bret’s father. Ashir warmly embraces Jonathan and provides him with a map for the notorious El Sharif prison, where Coblintz is being held and tortured. If Coblintz has not already been killed, Jonathan hopes that the killer can provide clues about Esteban. Before dawn, Jonathan approaches the imposing prison, accompanied by Ahmed, Bret’s young son. While Ahmed waits outside with the getaway car, Jonathan quietly sneaks into El ... +


Special agent Jonathan Cross, whose code name is “Jaguar,” is wounded while trying to dismantle a bomb at Spain’s historic Valley of the Fallen monument. His partner, Bret Barrett, is killed. Both men were members of an elite group of highly skilled agents, employed by international espionage organization G-6. Recovering from the incident, Jonathan leaves the service and retreats to his Colorado ranch where he practices martial arts under the guidance of his lifetime mentor, Sensei. While Jonathan herds cattle, a helicopter lands on the property transporting Anna Thompson, the coordinator for G-6. She needs Jonathan to reenlist and help with the current crisis in the Middle East. Following the assassination of Arab leader Hasam, a British hired killer named Coblintz was jailed for the crime. However, Anna believes that the conspiracy is much larger and points to a mysterious person simply known as “Esteban,” who is somehow connected to a cryptic term called “The Killing of the Kings.” Tired of bloodshed, Jonathan refuses, but when Anna mentions that Esteban might have been responsible for Bret’s death, Jonathan becomes more interested. In the Arabian city El Habbab, Jonathan tracks down occasional G-6 informant Ben Ashir, who is Bret’s father. Ashir warmly embraces Jonathan and provides him with a map for the notorious El Sharif prison, where Coblintz is being held and tortured. If Coblintz has not already been killed, Jonathan hopes that the killer can provide clues about Esteban. Before dawn, Jonathan approaches the imposing prison, accompanied by Ahmed, Bret’s young son. While Ahmed waits outside with the getaway car, Jonathan quietly sneaks into El Sharif and subdues the guards to free Coblintz. During a high-speed escape across the desert, Jonathan coerces Coblintz into revealing that the deal with Esteban was arranged through Fleming, Coblintz’s partner, who is currently on assignment to assassinate military dictator General Villanova. Later, back at G-6 headquarters in New York City, Anna’s staff tries assess how Villanova, the dictator of the small republic Santa Fortuna, is connected to the Hasam assassination in the Middle East. Since both leaders were involved in their countries’ opium trade, Jonathan suspects that Esteban is manipulating these separate networks in an attempt to build a drug cartel. In Santa Fortuna, Jonathan is picked up at the airport by G-6 contact Consuela, who informs him that the hired killer, Fleming, was caught by Villanova. When Jonathan meets with the dictator, he is surprised that Fleming is being treated like a royal guest at the palace. Laughing, the dictator says that any assassination attempt on him is a misconception by the Americans. He reveals that he did double-cross Esteban, but now they are good friends. When Jonathan realizes that Villanova has prepared a firing squad for him, he uses martial arts to fight off an attack by guards on motorcycles and escapes in a helicopter. Afterward, Jonathan updates Anna that he will investigate smaller overseas drug suppliers, whom he suspects will be Esteban’s next target. Meanwhile, G-6 receives reports about the deaths of several drug lords across the globe. During a trip to Hong Kong, China, Jonathan discovers a fishing boat operation moving drugs through Richards Shipping Lines, a company recently associated with suspicious activity in other cities. In Madrid, Spain, Jonathan visits the rich owner, Ralph Richards, whose son was kidnapped and murdered three months ago. During the incident, Richards was wounded and is now confined to a wheelchair. He informs Jonathan that the kidnappers are forcing his company to transport shipments, and Richards must comply in order to protect the rest of his family. Later, during a rendezvous with Anna, Jonathan learns that industrialist Zina Vanacore, who operates a large automobile factory in Rome, Italy, was involved in the Richards kidnapping. When Jonathan questions Zina, she discloses the name of Adam Caine, a powerful British drug dealer based in Macao, China, whom Jonathan knows from previous assignments. Leaving the factory, Jonathan is confronted by Zina’s thugs, but defeats them without firing a weapon. While trying to make contact with Caine in Macao, Jonathan is double-crossed by a fellow undercover agent, Terry, who is secretly working for Esteban. Unconscious after being hit by a dart, Jonathan is placed in a crate and flown to Tokyo, Japan. There, Caine entertains Esteban in his luxurious high rise, as the two criminals toast the formation of a $9 billion heroin cartel, the largest in modern history. In a nearby room, Jonathan wakes and overhears Caine say that he will not be attending Esteban’s grand celebration of “kings” at the Belmonte Castle in Spain. After Esteban leaves, Caine forces Jonathan, whom he respects as a formidable warrior, to participate in an elaborate challenge. In a cemetery where Caine has already prepared a tombstone for him, Jonathan must fend off numerous Samurai swordsmen and Sumo fighters. After Jonathan succeeds, Caine has no choice but to let him go. In Spain, Jonathan climbs the castle walls of Belmonte and looks down at the courtyard on Esteban’s party, which represents a historic gathering of drug kings from the across the globe. After the guests raise their glass to the “king of kings,” Esteban addresses the crowd. As the sunlight illuminates Esteban’s face, Jonathan is shocked to see that the criminal mastermind is his former partner, Bret. The men confront each other and Jonathan questions Bret about why he would abandon his family and fake his own death. Although Bret proves to be a tough opponent, Jonathan eventually sends him careening off the castle wall to his real demise. Back in Colorado, Jonathan resumes his training with Sensei, until he sees Anna’s helicopter approaching yet again. +

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

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