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Reel Life Films   By: (1910-1996)

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At least a contributing factor to the current cycle of science fiction movies being made in Hollywood is the touchiness of minorities having their nationals being portrayed as villains. Cinema makers are now trying to avoid further boycotts by using space aliens for villains. But suppose some of our Extraterrestrial neighbors are also a bit touchy?

reel life films

by ... Jacques Jean Ferrat

Pity the poor purveyor of mere entertainment in today's world. He can't afford to offend a soul, yet must have a villain.

Twenty five years ago Cyril Bezdek and E. Carter Dorwin would have met in a private railway car belonging to one of them. They might even have met in a private train. At any rate they would have met in absolute privacy. But it being the present, they had to be content with a series of adjoining rooms taking up less than one half of a car on the Super Sachem, fastest coast to coast train in the country.

Their meeting in private was very important. Upon its results hinged the future of Gigantic Studios, one of Hollywood's big three production companies.

Dorwin was the powerful plenipotentiary of the Consolidated Trust Company of Manhattan and backer of Gigantic's multimillion dollar productions. He was on his way West to make sure that the interests of his bank were being adequately served by the studio.

Bezdek was Gigantic's supreme production boss. Former office boy, writer, prop man, assistant director, director, producer, and story editor, he was the works unless Dorwin decided otherwise during this meeting and pulled the props out from under him. He had thought Dorwin's trip sufficiently important to fly to Kansas City and get aboard the Super Sachem to be with the banker during the remainder of his trip.

They had dined in the privacy of Dorwin's suite Bezdek as befitted his tortured duodenum on yogurt and Melba toast Dorwin on caviar, consommé, a thick steak with full trimmings, and a golden baked Alaska accompanied by Armagnac.

"How do you manage to keep thin?" Bezdek asked him, honestly envious. "Polo, tennis? Golf would never do it."

"I haven't exercised in ten years," said the banker, biting off the end of a Havana Perfecto. He studied the little movie maker over the flame of his lighter. Outside, the flat expanse of Kansas rushed past through the night at close to a hundred miles an hour.

"Some people are lucky," said Bezdek, adjusting the broad knot of his hand painted Windsor tie. He was remarshaling his thoughts and ideas. It was very important that he and Dorwin be in perfect accord before they reached Hollywood.

The banker, who was new to the movie making branch of his business, spoke first. "I presume," he said finally, "that you're aware of the current feeling in our New York office?"

The movie magnate gestured carelessly with a Saxony gun club sleeve, revealing a platinum wristwatch strap. "We hear rumors now and again," he said. "It's about our science fiction films." Bezdek avoided making it a question. He was far too shrewd for that.

The banker, finding himself thus at a disadvantage, said amicably, "It's not that the fantasy series isn't making money, understand." He paused, looking faintly distressed. "It's just that, frankly, we feel they're getting too far away from reality. Trips to Mars and Venus strange creatures.... It's not real it's not dignified. Frankly, we question whether an institution like ours can afford to be connected with anything so so ephemeral. After all ..."

He paused as sounds of a scuffle in the corridor penetrated the room and something or somebody was banged hard against the door. Bezdek, frowning, jumped up nervously and went to the door, opened it, looked out.

"What's going on out there?" he inquired tartly. " Ty! "

"Sorry, Mr. Bezdek," said Ty Falter, the mogul's private secretary, bodyguard and constant companion. He was leaning against the far wall of the corridor, mopping a cut lower lip with a bloody handkerchief... Continue reading book >>

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