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Thread: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

  1. #16
    Moderator? Troy Howarth's Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel S.S. View Post
    Isn't that funny? Literally the single piece of dialogue I can recall from this movie is, "can I have some ice cream?" To this day me and the buddy who watched it together (20+ years ago?) use it as a catch phrase occasionally to induce a chuckle.
    It's not the line, it's the delivery - it made me laugh my ass off.
    "One cannot 100% trust a screenshot that someone else made."

  2. #17
    Level 3 Jive Turkey Daniel S.S.'s Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Howarth View Post
    It's not the line, it's the delivery - it made me laugh my ass off.
    Yes, it doesn't work unless you say it exactly like him, that's why it's so memorable. Poor ol' Blackenstein...
    Up the airy mountain, down the rushing glen, we never can go hunting, for fear of little men.

  3. #18
    Registered User Kevin J. S.'s Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mayer View Post
    There's a college which offers a course on Blaxploitation? Can you get a degree in Drive-In Studies?

    Yeah! Believe it or not! I'm am getting a film degree in cinema as Southern Illinois University (in Carbondale, Il.) and I jumped at chance take the class. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. The class was very well laid out. First we discussed the representation of African Americans in U.S. cinema from the begining to the emergance of the Blaxsploitation movement. Some of film's we watched were:

    Classified X (1998) (excerpts)
    Night of the Living Dead (1968) (obviously not Blaxploitation but shown for
    the role of Ben (Duane Jones)
    Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
    Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
    Shaft (1971)
    Super Fly (1972)
    Blacula (1972)
    The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
    The Mack (1973)
    Cleopatra Jones (1973)
    Coffy (1973)
    Shaft (2000)

    I just turned 31 (I recently returned to school a few years ago to get my degree, I'm aiming to get into the field of film preservation/restoration, film archiving) and I've seen most of the film's but it really was a blast to watch these movies with a younger group. They really loved the films!!


    Unfortuanatly I didn't do so hot on the paper but I did get A's on everything else. I ended up with a B in the class. But the best thing was I ended up getting in contact with William A. Levey, the film's director!! I was able to get his phone number from a friend and I called and left a message. Well time went on and I didn't hear anything from him. Then a few days after turning in the paper I got a phone call from Mr. Levey! I really can't tell you how nice he was! Even though I had already turned in the paper I asked him a handful of questions which he answered as he then told me behind the sceens stories about the making of the film.

    Right now I don't have the notes infront of me but here is what I remember off the top of my head:


    Mr. Levey said that the film's original budget was $40,000 and the film ended up costing double that at $80,000. He also said that the film made 2 million dollars at the box office.

    This was the first film Mr. Levey directed and he wasn't originally slated to direct the film. It was supposed to be directed by an older gentleman (he didn't say the name) that Frank R. Saletri knew. One of the crew members (the name escapes me right now) threatened to walk off if this original director wasn't replaced (he apparently didn't know what he was doing). This same crew member recommended Levey to direct the film (as he worked with him before).

    Levey also said that Joe De Sue (Eddie Turner/Blackenstein) was a client of Mr. Saletri's (as was the infamous Liz Renay) and that's how he got the job. Mr. Levey also said how hard it was to direct De Sue as he cound not act to save his life (as someone pointed out the hospital scene "Can I have some ice cream, my throats dry" classic!!)


    All the best ,
    Kevin

  4. #19
    Registered User Matthew David's Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Cool story Kevin.....that class does sound like a blast. My family comes from that area originally BTW.

    Heard about BLACKENSTEIN over the years, but never realized how awful/awesome it's supposed to be......gotta track down a copy!

    Always been curious about William A Levey -- interesting filmography he has -- pleez post more of your interview notes when you get a chance. Wonder how he became involved with co-writing the trash classic NIGHT PATROL...


    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin J. S. View Post
    Yeah! Believe it or not! I'm am getting a film degree in cinema as Southern Illinois University (in Carbondale, Il.) and I jumped at chance take the class. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. The class was very well laid out. First we discussed the representation of African Americans in U.S. cinema from the begining to the emergance of the Blaxsploitation movement. Some of film's we watched were:

    Classified X (1998) (excerpts)
    Night of the Living Dead (1968) (obviously not Blaxploitation but shown for
    the role of Ben (Duane Jones)
    Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
    Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
    Shaft (1971)
    Super Fly (1972)
    Blacula (1972)
    The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
    The Mack (1973)
    Cleopatra Jones (1973)
    Coffy (1973)
    Shaft (2000)

    I just turned 31 (I recently returned to school a few years ago to get my degree, I'm aiming to get into the field of film preservation/restoration, film archiving) and I've seen most of the film's but it really was a blast to watch these movies with a younger group. They really loved the films!!


    Unfortuanatly I didn't do so hot on the paper but I did get A's on everything else. I ended up with a B in the class. But the best thing was I ended up getting in contact with William A. Levey, the film's director!! I was able to get his phone number from a friend and I called and left a message. Well time went on and I didn't hear anything from him. Then a few days after turning in the paper I got a phone call from Mr. Levey! I really can't tell you how nice he was! Even though I had already turned in the paper I asked him a handful of questions which he answered as he then told me behind the sceens stories about the making of the film.

    Right now I don't have the notes infront of me but here is what I remember off the top of my head:


    Mr. Levey said that the film's original budget was $40,000 and the film ended up costing double that at $80,000. He also said that the film made 2 million dollars at the box office.

    This was the first film Mr. Levey directed and he wasn't originally slated to direct the film. It was supposed to be directed by an older gentleman (he didn't say the name) that Frank R. Saletri knew. One of the crew members (the name escapes me right now) threatened to walk off if this original director wasn't replaced (he apparently didn't know what he was doing). This same crew member recommended Levey to direct the film (as he worked with him before).

    Levey also said that Joe De Sue (Eddie Turner/Blackenstein) was a client of Mr. Saletri's (as was the infamous Liz Renay) and that's how he got the job. Mr. Levey also said how hard it was to direct De Sue as he cound not act to save his life (as someone pointed out the hospital scene "Can I have some ice cream, my throats dry" classic!!)


    All the best ,
    Kevin

  5. #20
    Registered User Marty McKee's Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin J. S. View Post
    Yeah! Believe it or not! I'm am getting a film degree in cinema as Southern Illinois University (in Carbondale, Il.)
    Go, Salukis! You probably know this, but I assume your professor is the one who wrote BLACK ACTION FILMS for McFarland (can't remember his name). I don't think that class existed when I was there in the late-80s, or I would have been all over it.

  6. #21
    Registered User Kevin J. S.'s Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew David View Post
    Cool story Kevin.....that class does sound like a blast. My family comes from that area originally BTW.
    It's a really nice area. I've lived in the Chicagoland area all of my life and it's like a totally different state


    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew David View Post
    Always been curious about William A Levey -- interesting filmography he has -- pleez post more of your interview notes when you get a chance. Wonder how he became involved with co-writing the trash classic NIGHT PATROL...
    Me too. I've also always been interested in Frank R. Saletri. Unfortunately I didn't talk with Mr. Levey that long (I was shocked when he called back and he was so nice I didn't want to waste his time.) I just asked him some questions regarding the film Blackenstein. I also said I was a fan of the film "Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!" After I talked with him he said if I had any other questions to fee free to call him back. He's such a cool guy!!!


    All the best,
    Kevin

  7. #22
    Registered User Kevin J. S.'s Avatar
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    Re: Blackenstein (1973), Frank R. Saletri, William A. Levey & Exclusive International

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty McKee View Post
    Go, Salukis!
    right on!! I've already been through two years there and this fall will be my last semester (I only have three classes left!!!). I'm then hoping to get into the certificate program at The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation the following fall.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marty McKee View Post
    You probably know this, but I assume your professor is the one who wrote BLACK ACTION FILMS for McFarland (can't remember his name). I don't think that class existed when I was there in the late-80s, or I would have been all over it.
    Actually he didn't write that book but another one called "Blaxploitation Films of the 1970's" I believe it was his dissertation for his PH.D. His name is Dr. Novotny Lawrence. Actually the 2009 Spring semester was the first year for the class. It was a kind of test run, and it went extreamly well. He was definatly one of the best professors I've ever had. I learned a great deal from the class even though I had already been a huge fan and had seen most of the films


    All the best,
    Kevin
    Last edited by Kevin J. S.; 07-16-2009 at 08:01 PM.

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