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Even the B-pictures, the lower budget pictures, they used to make are better than most of the films being made today.
I think so. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie like Spartacus (1960) or Some Like it Hot. [Someday] they are going to make a picture with a lot of emotional attachments.
Do you have one movie of yours you like more than others?
The Great Race (1965). I loved that. I played honor and goodness and Jack [Lemmon] played the devil. It was the most amusing movie. I liked Sweet Smell of Success (1957), too. Burt Lancaster was the finest actor, the most genuine man I ever knew.
You did a lot of your own stunts in Trapeze (1956).
Yes. I had an inclination for it. As I kid, I would climb up the chain links that led to the El in New York City and hitch on the back of cabs and cars and trolley cars. You see I was doing that already to prepare myself for the movies. It was hard, but I was a good athlete. I never did anything that I felt was beyond what I could do. A lot of Trapeze is nerve-wracking because you can see it’s really me and Burt Lancaster doing the high-wire work. Yes. Well, I did that. They showed me what to do if you fell. There was a big net underneath. I trained for about six months. I became part of the circus and it worked. I’ve had a good life. A really good life.
Have you ever been to Sedona?
I’m not sure. When I was making movies as a kid with Universal, they’d send us out on location and we had locations all over Arizona.
Do you have a message for the people of Sedona before you arrive?
Each environment I go [to] is different than the one before and the one after. The weather, the politics, attitudes, what hits the newspapers. It all has effects on the people. With that in mind, I like to make myself part of the environment. Before I come to Sedona, I’ll get some Sedona news to get a feel of what’s going on. Then I’ll be prepared and be able to answer questions like an intelligent person.
MORE SEDONA MONTHLY INTERVIEWS: Susan Sarandon, Joan Collins, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Lea Thompson, Don Black, Beatrice Welles, Frances Fisher, Gary Sinise, Rita Rudner, Michael Moore, Tim Daly, Maynard James Keenan, Richard Schiff, Connie Stevens, Don Hahn, Ed Harris, Marla Sokoloff, Bill Plympton, Jane Seymour, Robert Osborne, Robert Shields
MORE SEDONA MOVIE HISTORY: Johnny Depp in Dead Man, the last western film set, the making of Johnny Guitar, the return of actors Clint Walker, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, Robert Horton, and Morgan Woodward, Sedona movie locations today, Oscar winner shooting spot, Sedona’s film legacy
Want more Hollywood history? Go to www.arizonaslittlehollywood.com