Barbarosa (1982)

PG | 90 mins | Western | 25 July 1982

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Cinematographer:

Ian Baker

Production Designer:

Michel Levesque

Production Company:

ITC Films
Full page view
HISTORY

End credits include acknowledgement from producers to the National Parks Service, Department of the Interior, Big Bend National Park, Texas; and the Office of the Governor, Texas Film Commission.
       According to an article in the 10 Apr 1980 DV, writer-co-producer William Wittliff and actors Willie Nelson and Gary Busey had been developing Barbarosa for “several years” before Marble Arch Productions included the film in its heavy 1980—1981 production schedule; however, Marble Arch did not remain with the project. Principal photography was expected to begin 1 Sep 1980, with a budget of $10-$12 million and an anticipated release in summer 1981.
       The 21 Jul 1980 DV announced a production start date of 12 Sep 1980, and HR production charts on 26 Sep 1980 confirmed that principal photography began 15 Sep 1980, in TX. However, production notes from AMPAS library files indicated a start date of 16 Sep 1980. Shortly after filming began, a 22 Oct 1980 DV article reported that camera operator James Lucas and camera truck driver Joseph Tutak died in an automobile accident on the Amistad Dam near Del Rio, TX, on 19 Oct 1980. The incident was not related to the production, however, and the project continued on schedule. Following a week on location in Del Rio, the production was expected to move to Fredericksburg, TX, on 27 Oct 1980, before completing filming on 21 Nov 1980. The 4 Nov 1980 HR stated that Barbarosa, functioning under a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) interim agreement, was one of two TX-based productions allowed to continue filming throughout the SAG strike that took place in ... More Less

End credits include acknowledgement from producers to the National Parks Service, Department of the Interior, Big Bend National Park, Texas; and the Office of the Governor, Texas Film Commission.
       According to an article in the 10 Apr 1980 DV, writer-co-producer William Wittliff and actors Willie Nelson and Gary Busey had been developing Barbarosa for “several years” before Marble Arch Productions included the film in its heavy 1980—1981 production schedule; however, Marble Arch did not remain with the project. Principal photography was expected to begin 1 Sep 1980, with a budget of $10-$12 million and an anticipated release in summer 1981.
       The 21 Jul 1980 DV announced a production start date of 12 Sep 1980, and HR production charts on 26 Sep 1980 confirmed that principal photography began 15 Sep 1980, in TX. However, production notes from AMPAS library files indicated a start date of 16 Sep 1980. Shortly after filming began, a 22 Oct 1980 DV article reported that camera operator James Lucas and camera truck driver Joseph Tutak died in an automobile accident on the Amistad Dam near Del Rio, TX, on 19 Oct 1980. The incident was not related to the production, however, and the project continued on schedule. Following a week on location in Del Rio, the production was expected to move to Fredericksburg, TX, on 27 Oct 1980, before completing filming on 21 Nov 1980. The 4 Nov 1980 HR stated that Barbarosa, functioning under a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) interim agreement, was one of two TX-based productions allowed to continue filming throughout the SAG strike that took place in Oct 1980. On 18 Nov 1980, HR noted that although producer Paul N. Lazarus, III, had considered filming in NM, AZ, and UT, TX was the only southwestern state which allowed Australian cinematographer, Ian Baker, legal permission to work. Four weeks of filming took place in Lajitas, TX, a remote region 400 miles southeast of El Paso, TX. Production notes confirmed that additional scenes were shot in Brackettville, TX, and Big Bend National Park, and concluded with four weeks on location in Fredericksburg.
       The 18 Nov 1980 HR announced the producers’ intentions to market and distribute the film through Associated Film Distribution (AFD) in Aug 1981. A 15 Oct 1982 LAHExam article indicated that Barbarosa was originally produced by Lord Lew Grade’s company, EMI Films, but was inherited by Universal Pictures when the studio agreed to distribute films for Grade’s AFD. In Dec 1981, however, Playboy reported that Barbarosa had been shelved by the studio for over a year, with a release not planned until Feb 1982. In his 13 May 1982 review of the film, Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel wrote that Universal had forgone any publicity and chosen to quietly screen the feature in a handful of drive-in movie theaters throughout the Chicago, IL, area.
       An article in the 16 Jul 1982 LAT explained that distribution problems arose after Universal negotiated a $500,000 deal with AFD to promote Barbarosa, but quickly decided to pull the picture from theaters due to a poor box-office returns during a limited engagement across the southern U.S. When filmmakers approached United Artists Classics to take over distribution, Universal refused the terms of the deal. However, various sources credited complaints from multiple critics for encouraging the studio to open the film in New York City, where it played at the City Cinema 1 starting 25 Jul 1982 and grossed $16,144 in its first week, according to the 15 Oct 1982 LAHExam. The film opened in Los Angeles at the Beverly Center Cineplex on 22 Oct 1982.
       Despite commercial struggles, Barbarosa received largely positive reviews.
       On 29 Sep 1983, HR stated that ITC Entertainment of production company ITC Films had filed suit against Frank Menke of Nelson Film Partners for failing to pay a $2.7 million promissory note as part of a $10.6 million deal to purchase rights to the picture. The article also revealed that the film’s world premiere had taken place as a benefit screening at the Denver International Film Festival “some two months prior to its schedule release date.” Although Menke charged that the screening had prevented the company from filing proper investment tax credits, a federal judge dismissed his claim. The 14 Jun 1988 DV reported that on 13 Jun 1988, Nelson Film Partners was ordered to pay ITC Entertainment a sum of $4.3 million for breach of contract. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
13 May 1982.
---
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1980
pp. 1, 19.
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
22 Oct 1980.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1982
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1983.
---
LAHExam
15 Oct 1982
Section D, p. 1, 6.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jul 1982
Section VI, pp. 2, 6.
Los Angeles Times
23 Oct 1982
p. 1.
New York Times
25 Jul 1982
p. 42.
Playboy
Dec 1981.
---
Variety
20 Jan 1982
p.21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Lord Grade presents
A Witliff, Nelson, Busey Production
in association with ITC Films
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Stillman
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
2d co. grip
ART DIRECTORS
Spec des consultant
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst propmaster
Asst propmaster
Set des
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
MUSIC
Supv mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boomman
Supv sd ed
Loop ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff asst
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
In charge of prod
Exec prod mgr
Post prod supv
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Local captain
Local captain
Livestock supv
Wrangler boss
Trainer
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Casting [Los Angeles]
Casting [Lajitas/Del Rio]
Casting [Fredericksburg]
Casting [Fredericksburg]
Casting [Fredericksburg]
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Res consultant
Prod coord
Prod coord
DGA trainee
Supv auditor
Auditor
Prod secy
Prod secy
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Asst to the dir
Loc equip by
STAND INS
Stunt double
Stunt double
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 July 1982
Premiere Information:
Denver International Film Festival world premiere: early 1982
New York opening: 25 July 1982
Los Angeles opening: 22 October 1982
Production Date:
mid September--November 1980 in TX
Copyright Claimant:
ITC Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 September 1982
Copyright Number:
PA148342
Physical Properties:
Sound
Sound by Todd-AO
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
36240
SYNOPSIS

In Texas, 1856, Herman Pahmeyer attends the funeral of his son, August, who was accidentally killed by a young farm boy, Karl Westover. Karl flees to Mexico, where he is attacked in the desert. An outlaw named Barbarosa kills the attacker and invites Karl to dine with him. As they eat supper, Barbarosa gazes at a locket containing a picture of a woman and child. Meanwhile, in a Mexican village, a one-legged man, Don Braulio Zavala, instructs his son, Eduardo Zavala, to kill Barbarosa as revenge for murdering many members of the Zavala family. The next morning, Karl Westover wakes up alone outside a small village. He enters a cantina, where he receives water, and two prostitutes fight for his affections. Otto and Floyd Pahmeyer, the brothers of the man Karl killed, arrive at the canteen and threaten to kill Karl, under instructions from their father. Barbarosa bursts inside and robs the patrons, but Karl allows Otto and Floyd to sneak away. Outside, Barbarosa splits the loot with Karl and bids him farewell. However, Karl follows Barbarosa and explains that he is being pursued for murder, even though he accidentally killed August by hitting him with a stick. Barbarosa teaches Karl how to aim and shoot a pistol. Meanwhile, Eduardo travels across the desert, following Barbarosa’s trail. One day, Barbarosa attempts to rob an elderly couple, but Karl refuses to take their money. Later, Barbarosa and Karl are captured by an outlaw gang led by Angel Morales. When they cross paths with Otto and Floyd Pahmeyer, Morales shoots the two brothers and orders Karl to dig their graves. The elderly couple Barbarosa attempted to rob arrive at the camp ... +


In Texas, 1856, Herman Pahmeyer attends the funeral of his son, August, who was accidentally killed by a young farm boy, Karl Westover. Karl flees to Mexico, where he is attacked in the desert. An outlaw named Barbarosa kills the attacker and invites Karl to dine with him. As they eat supper, Barbarosa gazes at a locket containing a picture of a woman and child. Meanwhile, in a Mexican village, a one-legged man, Don Braulio Zavala, instructs his son, Eduardo Zavala, to kill Barbarosa as revenge for murdering many members of the Zavala family. The next morning, Karl Westover wakes up alone outside a small village. He enters a cantina, where he receives water, and two prostitutes fight for his affections. Otto and Floyd Pahmeyer, the brothers of the man Karl killed, arrive at the canteen and threaten to kill Karl, under instructions from their father. Barbarosa bursts inside and robs the patrons, but Karl allows Otto and Floyd to sneak away. Outside, Barbarosa splits the loot with Karl and bids him farewell. However, Karl follows Barbarosa and explains that he is being pursued for murder, even though he accidentally killed August by hitting him with a stick. Barbarosa teaches Karl how to aim and shoot a pistol. Meanwhile, Eduardo travels across the desert, following Barbarosa’s trail. One day, Barbarosa attempts to rob an elderly couple, but Karl refuses to take their money. Later, Barbarosa and Karl are captured by an outlaw gang led by Angel Morales. When they cross paths with Otto and Floyd Pahmeyer, Morales shoots the two brothers and orders Karl to dig their graves. The elderly couple Barbarosa attempted to rob arrive at the camp and tell Morales, their son, that Karl stopped Barbarosa from stealing their gold. Morales shoots Barbarosa and instructs Karl to bury him. As Karl begins covering the body with dirt, Barbarosa stirs and reveals that his bullet wound was not fatal, but Karl continues to hide him under piles of earth. That night, while everyone sleeps, Barbarosa rises and the bandits escape after burying Morales neck-deep in the ground. Struggling to climb a steep cliff, Karl throws their heavy bag of gold over the edge. Infuriated, Barbarosa orders Karl to climb back down the rocks to retrieve it. On his way down, Karl is startled by a rattlesnake and falls into the river below. There, he is spotted by Eduardo, but the pursuer rides onward. The next morning, Barbarosa tells Karl that he steals gold to give to his Mexican wife, Josephina, who lives with her father, Don Braulio. At nightfall, Barbarosa sneaks into Josephina’s house while Don Braulio Zavala tells a group of children the story of the Zavala family’s feud with Barbarosa: As a Texas ranger, Barbarosa prevented his captain from shooting Don Braulio. Barbarosa then stayed and worked for the Zavala family, eventually marrying Josephina against Don Braulio’s wishes. After drinking too much on his wedding night, Barbarosa killed two of Don Braulio’s sons and shot Don Braulio’s leg off. When Don Braulio finishes his story and the group disperses, Karl hides in the room of a teenage girl named Juanita, where he falls asleep next to her in bed. Josephina takes Barbarosa to go see their daughter, who turns out to be Juanita. Upon seeing Karl in her bed, Barbarosa yells and throws Karl outside. The noise stirs Don Braulio, prompting the two bandits to take their horses and ride away. Across the Texas border, Barbarosa and Karl stop for a refreshment at a horseracing camp, where Karl is quickly recognized by Herman Pahmeyer. They open fire at one another, but eventually Karl convinces Herman to give up and return home. Exhausted, Barbarosa decides to travel alone to see Josephina before moving to Colorado. Bidding Barbarosa farewell, Karl returns home to his sickly father, Emil, and his sister, Hilda. Eduardo shoots at Barbarosa as he rides through the woods, but the outlaw escapes on foot. The next morning, Herman arrives at the Westover house and fires at Karl, but misses and kills Emil instead. Karl follows Herman home and shoots him. Many months later, Barbarosa shows up at the Westover house, where Karl now lives alone. Eduardo finds Barbarosa and holds him at gunpoint, speaking vengefully of how the outlaw killed his father. Undaunted by the boy’s pretense of courage, Barbarosa canters past Eduardo and out of the woods. Karl steals Eduardo’s boots and weapons before chasing him away. However, Eduardo follows Barbarosa and stabs him in the stomach with a pointed crucifix. As Barbarosa is dying, he reveals that Don Braulio’s men cut his ears off on his wedding night. Karl burns Barbarosa’s body and chases Eduardo through the brush. Eduardo knocks Karl unconscious with a tree branch, steals his horse, and returns to the Zavala house to inform Don Braulio that Barbarosa is dead. That night, Karl interrupts the Zavala family’s celebration by arriving on Barbarosa’s horse and returning Barbarosa’s locket to Josephina. Believing Karl to be the deceased outlaw, the Zavalas yell, “Barbarosa! Barbarosa!” as Karl gallops through the courtyard and away into the night. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.