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HISTORY

Blue marked a re-teaming of producers Irwin Winkler and Judd Bernard after 1967’s Point Blank (see entry). Robert Redford was initially attached to star, as announced in a 25 Jan 1967 Var item, which listed Blue as one of twenty-eight feature films Paramount Pictures planned to release between 1967 and 1969. Rod Steiger was sought to co-star with Redford, according to the 20 Apr 1967 DV. However, the 12 Jun 1967 issue noted that Redford had left the project and would be replaced by British actor Terence Stamp. The 23 Apr 1968 DV review of the film later stated that legal action was taken following Redford’s departure, resulting in a rumored settlement.
       Principal photography began in Moab, UT, on 5 Jul 1967, as noted in a 7 Jul 1967 DV production chart. While filming was underway, a second picture, titled Fade In, was shot concurrently. An article in the 30 Jul 1967 LAT explained that, on a location scout for Blue in Apr 1967, director Silvio Narizzano and associate producer Patricia Casey had met a Utah local named Pete Dole, a farmer “who impressed them with the complete harmony with which he lived in his environment.” Casey had imagined what might ensue if a worldly woman like herself had a love affair with Dole; thus, the story for Fade In was built around an unlikely romance between a visiting actress and local cowboy on the set of Blue. Jud Taylor was hired to direct Fade In, with Burt Reynolds and Barbara Loden co-starring. ... More Less

Blue marked a re-teaming of producers Irwin Winkler and Judd Bernard after 1967’s Point Blank (see entry). Robert Redford was initially attached to star, as announced in a 25 Jan 1967 Var item, which listed Blue as one of twenty-eight feature films Paramount Pictures planned to release between 1967 and 1969. Rod Steiger was sought to co-star with Redford, according to the 20 Apr 1967 DV. However, the 12 Jun 1967 issue noted that Redford had left the project and would be replaced by British actor Terence Stamp. The 23 Apr 1968 DV review of the film later stated that legal action was taken following Redford’s departure, resulting in a rumored settlement.
       Principal photography began in Moab, UT, on 5 Jul 1967, as noted in a 7 Jul 1967 DV production chart. While filming was underway, a second picture, titled Fade In, was shot concurrently. An article in the 30 Jul 1967 LAT explained that, on a location scout for Blue in Apr 1967, director Silvio Narizzano and associate producer Patricia Casey had met a Utah local named Pete Dole, a farmer “who impressed them with the complete harmony with which he lived in his environment.” Casey had imagined what might ensue if a worldly woman like herself had a love affair with Dole; thus, the story for Fade In was built around an unlikely romance between a visiting actress and local cowboy on the set of Blue. Jud Taylor was hired to direct Fade In, with Burt Reynolds and Barbara Loden co-starring. Silvio Narizzano and Judd Bernard, among others, were set to appear as themselves. The budget for Fade In was cited as $400,000 in the 30 Jul 1967 LAT, which indicated that Blue would cost far more. The 23 Apr 1968 DV later listed Blue’s initial budget as $3 million, but stated that the final cost exceeded $5 million. The dual production was said to mark the first time that two separate Hollywood pictures were shot in conjunction with one another. Judd Bernard, who produced both, was quoted in LAT as saying, “Both pictures are either going to be great or be disaster areas. There will be no middle ground for either one.” However, while Blue received a theatrical release as planned, Fade In was shelved by Paramount. It was ultimately shown on television, making its debut on 8 Nov 1973 on the CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) network, as indicated by a 4 Nov 1973 NYT listing.
       The world premiere of Blue was scheduled to take place on 23 Apr 1968 at the Utah Theatre in Salt Lake City, UT, according to the 12 Apr 1968 DV. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was slated to perform at the event, which would celebrate the picture as the first-ever feature-length theatrical film to be shot entirely in Utah.
       A news brief in the 25 Apr 1968 DV stated that Johnny Mandel was originally hired to compose the score but was later replaced by Manos Hadjidakis.
       Blue marked the feature film acting debut of Peggy Lipton. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1967
p. 3.
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1967
p. 1.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1967
p. 1, 11.
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1967
p. 8.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1968
p. 16.
Daily Variety
23 Apr 1968
p. 3, 12.
Daily Variety
25 Apr 1968
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
2 Feb 1967
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
15 Jun 1967
Section E, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jun 1967
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1967
Section P, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
3 May 1968
Section C, p. 17.
New York Times
11 May 1968
p. 28.
New York Times
4 Nov 1973.
---
Variety
25 Jan 1967
p. 3, 18.
Variety
11 Oct 1967
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod exec
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Orch
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Hairstyle supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
2nd unit asst dir
Unit prod mgr
2nd unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Visual consultant
Prop master
Dial coach
DETAILS
Release Date:
April 1968
Premiere Information:
Salt Lake City, Utah, premiere: 23 April 1968
Los Angeles opening: week of 3 May 1968
New York opening: 10 May 1968 at the Criterion and Tower East
Production Date:
began 5 July 1967
Copyright Claimant:
Kettledrum Productions
Copyright Date:
31 March 1968
Copyright Number:
LP36393
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
113
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Azul, the adopted son of a Mexican revolutionary bandit named Ortega, is as cruel as Ortega's three real sons--Manuel, Xavier, and Antonio. During a raid on a Texas settlement in 1880, however, Azul kills Manuel to prevent him from raping Joanne, a young Texas woman. In the ensuing battle with the settlers, Antonio is killed and Azul wounded. Joanne and her father, Doc Morton, offer Azul refuge during his convalescence, and the two young people slowly come to trust each other. Azul, now called "Blue," realizes that in killing Manuel he has severed his ties with the Mexicans, and he agrees to help Doc run his farm. After some reluctance on the part of Joanne's former suitor, Jess Parker, all of the settlers accept Blue, and he and Joanne fall in love. Meanwhile, Ortega, depressed by the loss of his adopted son, seeks him out; but their reunion quickly turns into a fight when Blue rejects the old man. His pride hurt, Ortega vows to return with a fighting force, and Blue reluctantly agrees to lead the Texas community against his foster father whom he still loves. The ambush organized by Blue to trap Ortega and his band at the Rio Grande is successful, and both Xavier and Ortega are killed. Feeling guilty for having betrayed his own people, Blue honors Ortega's last request that he be carried to the Mexican side of the river for burial. In so doing, Blue becomes a target for Carlos, a dying Mexican gunman who uses his last bullet to kill Blue. As the settlers pick up their dead, Joanne swims out to bring Blue's body back to Texas ... +


Azul, the adopted son of a Mexican revolutionary bandit named Ortega, is as cruel as Ortega's three real sons--Manuel, Xavier, and Antonio. During a raid on a Texas settlement in 1880, however, Azul kills Manuel to prevent him from raping Joanne, a young Texas woman. In the ensuing battle with the settlers, Antonio is killed and Azul wounded. Joanne and her father, Doc Morton, offer Azul refuge during his convalescence, and the two young people slowly come to trust each other. Azul, now called "Blue," realizes that in killing Manuel he has severed his ties with the Mexicans, and he agrees to help Doc run his farm. After some reluctance on the part of Joanne's former suitor, Jess Parker, all of the settlers accept Blue, and he and Joanne fall in love. Meanwhile, Ortega, depressed by the loss of his adopted son, seeks him out; but their reunion quickly turns into a fight when Blue rejects the old man. His pride hurt, Ortega vows to return with a fighting force, and Blue reluctantly agrees to lead the Texas community against his foster father whom he still loves. The ambush organized by Blue to trap Ortega and his band at the Rio Grande is successful, and both Xavier and Ortega are killed. Feeling guilty for having betrayed his own people, Blue honors Ortega's last request that he be carried to the Mexican side of the river for burial. In so doing, Blue becomes a target for Carlos, a dying Mexican gunman who uses his last bullet to kill Blue. As the settlers pick up their dead, Joanne swims out to bring Blue's body back to Texas soil. +

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.