The 49 Parallels

Mark Steyn flashes back to a review of 1999’s Grey Owl, a $40 million film (back in 1999, when $40 mil was considered a medium budget picture in Hollywood) starring then-007 Pierce Brosnan and directed by superstar Gandhi and Chaplin director Richard Attenborough. Which is all part of the problem, Mark writes:


As director of Grey Owl, Attenborough performed his own remarkable reinvention on Pierce Brosnan, transforming the highest-grossing James Bond of all time from a glittering international film star to a deadbeat loser on the straight-to-video shelf at the local Blockbuster. At $40 million, Grey Owl was one of the most expensive movies ever not to get a US theatrical release. Attenborough says it was because the Americans wanted more sex scenes, perhaps having misunderstood him when the director promised them explicit beaver shots. But it’s not just the lack of sex, it’s the lack of everything. The Guardian headlined Attenborough’s piece about the making of the film ‘Grey Owl was a liar, a lush, a bigamist and an impostor. But he was also one of the world’s first environmental activists’.

Al Gore, Ira Einhorn and Espera Oscar de Corti could not be reached for comment.

Related: At Power Line, John Hinderaker sees some equally timely resonances from a group of much older (and classier) B-movies: “Return of the Mummy, or the Creature, or…”


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