“The Car” (1977) was directed by veteran film and television director Elliot Silverstein (Silverstein also worked on 1965’s “Cat Ballou” and 1970’s “A Man Called Horse;” he also directed four episodes of the HBO television adaptation of EC Comics’ “Tales from the Crypt” from 1991-94). The screenplay treatment for “The Car” was written by Michael Butler and Dennis Shyrack (Butler and Shyrack’s screenplay was originally under the title of “Wheels” and was changed to “The Car” after Universal executives bought the screen rights to Butler and Shyrack’s treatment since competing film distribution outfit United Artists had the feature film rights to Arthur Hailey’s “Wheels”), according to the American Film Institute.
Who was in Elliot Silverstein’s 1977 Universal action thriller?
The players who appeared in “The Car” (1977) were James Brolin (as Wade Parent), Kathleen Lloyd (as Lauren), Kim Richards (as Lynn Marie), John Marley (as Everett), R.G. Armstrong (as Amos), Eddie Little Sky (as Denson), Elizabeth Thompson (as Margie), Ronny Cox (as Luke), Kyle Richards (as Debbie), Doris Dowling (as Bertha), Robert Phillips (as Metcalf), Kate Murtagh (as Ms. MacDonald), Henry O’Brien (as Chas)**, John Rubenstein (as John Morris), Lee McLaughlin (as Marvin Fats) and Roy Jenson (as Ray Mott).
James Brolin was known for his role of Dr. Steven Kiely in the 1969-74 Universal Studios-ABC medical drama series with Robert Young, “Marcus Welby, M.D.” Two years after his appearance in “The Car,” he appeared in the role of George Lutz in Stuart Rosenberg’s horror-thriller for American-International Pictures, “The Amityville Horror” (1979). Brolin married singer-actress Barbra Streisand in 1998; according to IMDB.
Doris Dowling previously appeared in two Paramount mystery-film noir features, Billy Wilder’s “The Lost Weekend” (1945, in the role of Gloria with Ray Milland and Jane Wyman) and George Marshall’s “The Blue Dahlia” (1946, in the role of Helen Morrison with Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd).
Kim Richards previously appeared in the role of Prudence in the 1970-71 Twentieth Century Fox-ABC mystery-comedy series, “Nanny and the Professor” (with Juliet Mills, Richard Long, David Doremus and Trent Lehman). Richards also appeared in the role of Tia Malone in John Hough’s live-action fantasy/mystery features for Walt Disney Productions, “Escape to Witch Mountain” (1975, with Eddie Albert, Ray Milland and Ike Eisenmann) and “Return From Witch Mountain” (1978; with Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Jack Soo and Eisenmann).
“The Car” was originally planned as a First Artists production
According to additional details from the AFI database article on “The Car,” First Artists Productions originally wanted to adapt Butler and Shyrack’s screenplay into a feature film until Universal won the rights. First Artists was a production company that was founded by Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman; according to New York Magazine.
Filmed on location in Utah
Exterior scenes for Silverstein’s Universal production of “The Car” (1977) were filmed in the towns of Kanab and St. George, Utah. Additional exterior scenes were also filmed around Zion National Park, according to additional details from the American Film Institute’s database article.
A stunt attraction during the filming of “The Car”
The citizens of the town of St. George, Utah showed up for the “plunge” stunt sequence that was directed by stunt coordinator Everett Creach with veteran stunt performer A. J. Bakunas. Bakunas had to fall 196 ft. from a bridge into a custom nylon bag for the “plunge” scene, according to additional information from the American Film Institute.
With James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, Kim Richards, John Marley, R.G. Armstrong, Eddie Little Sky, Elizabeth Thompson, Ronny Cox, Kyle Richards, Doris Dowling, Robert Phillips, Kate Murtagh, Henry O’Brien, John Rubenstein, Lee McLaughlin Roy Jenson and George Barris’ “sinister” 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III customized car design; be sure to watch Svengoolie’s upcoming big broadcast of “The Car” (1977) this Sat. on Me-TV! Don’t miss out on Sven’s additional fun facts, Doug Graves’ evening parody song and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended to all fellow super SvenPals everywhere!
*Before Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick area (Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick broadcast region in early 2013; originally on WJLA-TV and then moved to Fox O&O WTTG-5 in March 2017). -C.H.
**Henry O’Brien’s characterization of “Chas” is not connected to Sven’s audio engineer, Chas Alling (“Hit the theme for us, Chas!”) -C.H.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow #Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast during Sven’s big broadcast showcase of “The Car” (1977) on Me-TV this Sat.!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago/Franklin Park, Illinois and beyond! Svengoolie will be appearing in person and will be signing autographs at the upcoming “Franklin Park Fest” (“Family Fun Day”/”Railroad Day” festival) in Franklin Park, Illinois on Sat., June 8 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (local time, 9700 Franklin Ave., Franklin Park, Illinois 60131)! Note: One personalized autograph per person (according to the official flyer for the festival).
To our fellow super SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago/Franklin Park, Illinois and to our fellow super SvenPals who are traveling to the Franklin Park festival, have fun during Sven’s in-person appearance in Franklin Park and have fun during the Franklin Park “Railroad Day” festival! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee has recently announced a new Indiegogo campaign of an upcoming local Chicago/Berwyn/Villa Park, Illinois theatrical rendition of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)!” Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield; the upcoming/planned Chicago/Berwyn/Villa Park production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” will be directed by Jim Behr and will feature the acting trio of Jamie Lee, Dean Griffiths and Tara Petrozelli! A tentative schedule of performances of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” is planned for July 2019 at the Terminus Theatre (121 Grand Ave., Lake Villa, IL, 60046), according to the official Indiegogo Site!
In order for the upcoming Chicago/Berwyn/Lake Villa, Illinois performances of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” to occur, Jamie and the entire Terminus troupe are currently looking for production funding via Indiegogo’s official site; any amount helps! Several premium offerings/goodies (“perks”) are also listed for patrons who donate according to the official site!
Congratulations to Jamie, Dean, Tara and Jim on their upcoming rendition of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)!” The entire crowd of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere are jumping for joy and we’re all proud of you and cheering/rooting for you and the entire troupe! To our fellow super SvenPals and aficionados of the performing arts, the theatrical works of William Shakespeare and comedy; be sure to give whatever you can and help spread the word about Jamie and the Terminus players’ Indiegogo campaign for their upcoming production! We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that this will be a major success! Two thumbs up, kudos, three cheers and “Hi-Keeba!” And again, any amount helps! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow Chicago/Berwyn/Antioch super SvenPals and beyond! Second big week of the PM&L Theatre edition of Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike;” featuring fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee and the PM&L players troupe! Directed for the PM&L troupe by Mark Badtke, Jamie is reprising her role of Nina in the current PM&L edition of Durang’s play! The second big week of the PM&L performances of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will occur this Fri., June 7 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat., June 8 at 8 p.m. (local time) and Sun., June 9 at 2:30 p.m. (local time)! Additional performances will occur on Fri., June 14 at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat., June 15 at 8 p.m. (local time) and the finale on Sun., June 16 at 2:30 p.m. (local time)! Ticket information are available online and through the PM&L box office for purchase (according to the PM&L Theatre website, ticket prices are $15 and $18). Purchase yours today!
The entire league of fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast are rooting and cheering for Jamie and the entire PM&L players ensemble on their second big week of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” this week! Congrats, two thumbs up, three cheers and “Hi-Keeba “to Jamie and the entire PM&L troupefrom all of us fellow super coast-to-coast SvenPals! We’re all jumping for joy and we’re al proud of you! Have fun and enjoy! -C.H.
In connection to “The Car” (1977):
“The Car”(1977) is also available on Blu-Ray from Shout! Factory and their Scream Factory imprint (by arrangement with Universal Studios). The film is also available on DVD from Universal and “The Car” (1977) is also available for streaming through participating video-on-demand providers.
Questions/comments about “Svengoolie” and/or his big broadcast of “The Car” (1977)? Drop a line in the comments section!
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