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J ohnny GotHis Gun Died in' 77 But Earnslts Reui,ual in' 7 7
By lfuthy

unorthodox subject matter, are not eonsidered worth the gamble by distributors. fuid if some imprudent backer is 'found, the general consensus usually proves correct when, &e movic is a boxoffice failure. "The King of llearts" and "Harold urd Maude" wcre such films. Old agr, death and madness wcre clearly unpalatable subjects for popular tastc. Or
were they? Tirne has provrd the bcst judge of valuc al the small cult followings that rprsng up rround the films grcw steadil), clch time they $€rG rcvived. "Johnny Got Hk Gun" is a plcture wi& a vcry

movie's success is always a risky endeavor, even when it lools like a sure winner. But some films, bccause of their controversial or Predicting

a

[eqrrrottr

Friday on campus, punctuated by slides and clips from the film. Bottoms was not prcscnt as he had to appear in court that morning for "mooninu a
helicopter at the beach." campbcll spoke to a crowd of about 200 on the film's origins in the thirties, wlren Trumbo wrote the book "Johnny Got His Gun" bescd on a true carc of a wlr casualty that profoundly afhcted the

similar history. lvriterdirector Delton Trumbo and producer Bruce Campbelt had grcat dtfficulty in

finding anyone willing to finance a fllm rbout

an

armles, legless, faccles World lVar I victim. When it finally appeared in l97l very few people sew it, dthough tt received sornc critical acclalm and *on
three rnajor a*ards at the cannes

writer. one of the Hdlywood Tcn blecklisted in 1947, Trumbo was not able to 30e his desire to make a filrn vcrsion of his novrl rcdtzcd unti! 1964, whsn he worked on the proiect with Director [.nis Bunuel in Mcxico. UnfortunrUly, thc moncy ran out bcforc lt was completcd urd the partncnhip disolvcd. Trumbo findly dircctcd the film himrctf becaurc he wu not able to rflord r ncw director" For thc tttle role, Trumbo unnted rn unknown, and Timothy Bottoms, r rccent grrduate of Sanu Barbarr l{igh, lendcd thc pirt. Ris only previous acdng cxpcrlcnoa wes tn rchod plryl. Alro fui ttr cot arc fcon Robcr&, Domld Suthcrhnd rnd

After Trurnbo's reccnt dcrth, Crmpbcll bought role distributing rights to the film and dccldcd thc tiilr had corte for a ra'ivrl. Hc lr phnning to tanr ttr country with it, doiry I rcrtir of tc-cturcr in which he will bc accompuricd by tlr film'r star, fffiathy Bottornr.

Ftm Festival.

will be the launching sitc of thc

. This ,Friday, Santa Barbara's fultngton Theater

Campbell gave thc first pf his preliminary telkt last

debut, Bruce

had made lts messagc too irnmcdiate urd hrrdtritting, rnd thrt no onc wrntcd to scc .h dowrcr." Now, campbcll urd hrs esociaten Rev. Dick Spears, lre trklng Scrt pins to convcy the poeitlve aspccts of the fllm. Crmpbcllr nacountbg Trunnbo's own fecling thrt the movlc hrd r hopeful (Pleasc turn to p,6, cg|Zl

Arkcd to rpoculate ebout why the Jilm x/!s rccoivtd ro poorly in 19? t, ClmpbGU fctt thrt r major problcm wes timlng, thrt the victnam lYar

Manhr Hunt.

Johnny Got His Gun-.But Few Saw
{Continued from p.5l

stop after Santa Barbara is Tuscon and
University of Arlzona.

ttrs

end. added "it's a tove story, rcally." Spcars was cven morc emphatic on this point, doscribing it u "a strong af{irmation of ttrc desire to live" and "a story of thc ability to com,nnunicatc."
Campbell scems fairly optimlttic about tho film'l chanccs of rucceeding 'this timc rround",d$.hit,

lVhcther today's entertainmentoriented movic
audienccs will accopt a topic that wes too disturbing

carefullyglotted grasrrootr campalgn that will fint
conceRtratc oR

bcforc opmtng

the studmt domographic urei in lVestwood or Ncw York. Ncxt

six ycffir ago remains to be scn. And while thc anti-war contrortrsy in sow safely buricd, "Johnny Gol, llrrrfiun'h&',open to a wholc ncw linc of {irc &om the "right to dio" lupportcrs. But the film posos e uniquc chrllongc: en cxpcrienoa thrt promlc* to be difficult but pontrful, urd not likcly to leavc thoc who soe lt unchrngcd.

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