Friday, June 13, 2008

Searching in the Sixties

Between 1966 and 1967 I attempted a few more queries about "U.F.O." and did receive replies from most sources. As a teenager, I became a formidable pest as I constantly begged Syracuse TV station WHEN (now WTVH) to run the movie again and again on either its late-night movie presentation or during its daily afternoon offering. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I had a chance to record the soundtrack from the TV on a small audio reel-to-reel tape recorder I received as a gift from my family, thrilled that I had somehow conquered the technological barrier preventing memories from becoming actual sounds on demand with the press of a button.

There were letters to and from United Artists, which released the Greene-Rouse movie, and though the ones reproduced here were helpful, their responses to me weren't always so. As I prepared my original Official UFO article for publication in the mid-seventies, for example, a representative of the UA legal department actually told me I would have to pay to use already-available movie publicity photos and images with my article. Inasmuch as I had already obtained permission from Greene -- per UA's original advice -- to use any and all promotional material, my ultimate decision was to just go ahead and do my own thing. In weeks to come, I'll also be posting one of numerous letters from Tom Towers (Tom could be quite chatty in correspondence, and I'm very grateful) in which he offers his own words of condemnation regarding UA, and, again, I'm hoping the studio reputation he paints will be an annoyance of the past.

As an aside -- People connected with the motion picture industry realize that United Artists, for all the great movies the studio has turned out for decades, boasts a very troubled existence historically. Recently, UA was acquired by actor Tom Cruise and associates, and it is hoped that the corporation will function smoothly once again. Coincidentally, Tom Cruise was born in Syracuse, as was I. So, I might ask the God of Coincidence, why didn't I get to star in "Top Gun?"

I did have one of those oh-if-only-I-had-known moments in 1967. Too late, I discovered that a considerable amount of "U.F.O." publicity material had been printed by the Cato Show Printing Company of Cato, NY -- almost next door to me, in terms of "as the crow flies." I queried the company (see letter) and learned to my eternal consternation that all movie items had been disposed of years previously. What an historical treasure trove each and every excess publicity memento would have been, every one in pristine condition! Posters, lobby cards, photos, newspaper displays, the works. What does it all mean? It means. . .you know, I would have been happy just to have had a bit part in "Risky Business". . .but I digress (sigh). . .