Our faithful reader, Graham Hill believes our quizzes are too tame so he invented a mini-one and a real stickler for us.

GRAHAM’S QUESTION: What Hollywood movie has a plot that is about a love story of someone working on a REAL Hollywood movie being shot on location? A very interesting “behind-the-scenes” movie gem.

GRAHAM’S CLUE: The movie in question was the very first top billing of an actor who went on to become a top box office star in the 1970s!

GRAHAM’S ANSWER: The movie is 1968’s ‘Fade-In‘  starring Burt Reynolds.

Although technically it wasn’t the first top billing for Burt, as he made several ‘B’ movies just before, this was the first ever movie to use the DGA pseudonym “directed by Alan Smithee” when Paramount recut the movie and director Jud Taylor demanded his name be removed.

As Grahame notes, ‘Fade-In’ wasn’t released theatrically, it sat on the shelf for six years and was later released by CBS as a TV movie.

GRAHAM’S OPINION: ‘Fade-In’ was actually a gem and a unique piece of Hollywood history showing the actual making of the western movie ‘Blue’ with Terence Stamp and Ricardo Montalban, woven into the story. (See one-sheet above.)

Wonderful music score by Ken Lauber, great scenic Moab photography by William A. Fraker and art direction by Albert Brenner, both of whom went straight on to do BULLITT afterwards.

Burt plays a Utah rancher who rents his land out as a location for the western movie BLUE. He also gets a job as a driver on the production and falls in love with assistant film editor Barbara Loden. It was Loden that many believe, including Burt, is why FADE-IN just faded out.

BLUE also failed… But you do get to see the spectacular Utah scenery, and the chance to witness just how a western is shot in the USA, back in a time when others had headed for Spain, and the American cowboy legend John Wayne was making his in Mexico.

It has since been re-mastered and was recently well received on NETFLIX.

Thanks, Graham….. and we’ll try to make our quizzes more challenging in the future.

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