Press Kit Trivia

PRESS KIT

COLUMN SHORTS

Turning the rocky natural cave in the Hollywood hills in California into a Russian mineral mine at the Arctic Circle for “Raise The Titanic!” wasn’t too much of a job for movie art director John DeCuir, Jr.  But restoring the prime tourist attraction after photography was completed was a major task.

“We coated a half mile of tunnels with white plastic, added clear plastic for ice, and then covered it all with 23 tons of real shaved ice,” DeCuir disclosed.  “After shooting, we had to go in with scalding steam hoses, melt down the remains, and clean up the area.  It took days.”

Icy caves aren’t easy to come by in Southern California.

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Surveying the natural caves in the hills of Hollywood in California, where his multi-million dollar adventure drama “Raise The Titanic!” was filming, producer William Frye noted that he was in familiar surrounding.

“I’ve filmed in these caves with Alan Ladd, Charlton Heston, and a dozen other stars,” he reflected.  “Revamping these caves to look like a Russian mineral mine at the Arctic Circle cost $80,000.  I think that’s more than I spent on any of the other movies I made here.

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Actor Bo Brundin put in a nervous day during the location filming of “Raise The Titanic!” in Athens, Greece.  The script called for Brundin to ride in a helicopter with Soviet markings over the city.  The pilot already had been warned by the Greek government that it would be “inappropriate for the helicopter to fly over the Acropolis.”  (They skirted the historic ancient site.)

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Clive Cussler, who authored the best-seller “Raise The Titanic!” appeared in a brief scene in the screen adaptation of his novel while it filmed on location in Washington, D.C.

“I felt on the outside looking into myself,” the novelist said.

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Nicos Savalas, nephew of Telly (“Kojak”) Savalas, worked as a driver for the “Raise The Titanic” company during the during in Athens, Greece.  Young Savalas, who has a full head of hair, also plays a small role in a scene with Jason Robards and Richard Jordan.

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Nik Mescherski, Mercedes-Benz dealer in Washington, D.C., born in Moscow, took a leave from his business to appear as an actor in the Soviet embassy sequences for “Raise The Titanic!”  It seems there’s an acute shortage of Russian types in the nation’s capital.

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Citizens in view of San Diego’s inner harbor were shocked to see a Russian trawler, complete with hammer and sickle emblems and flag flying in U.S. Navy waters off the California coast.  It really was the C.D. Long Lines, the world’s largest telephone cable-layer, rented and disguised by the “Raise The Titanic!” film company to serve as a USSR spy ship.

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Filming on location at the home of Washington attorney David Shapiro for “Raise The Titanic!” was interrupted by a fund-raising party for Indo-Chinese boat people.  Attending was Teddy Kennedy, Joan Baez, and 150 of Washington’s leading citizens.  The $2-million Shapiro home, Prospect House, once was used as a presidential guest house when President Harry Truman lived in Blair House.

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If anyone complains about their high fuel bills, consider the coast of the “Raise The Titanic!” movie production company’s tab of $22,000 per day for diesel fuel.  That was the film company’s cost to move the U.S. Navy’s U.S.S. Denver, U.S.S. Schenectady, and the frigate, U.S.S. Carpenter in and out of San Diego’s bay during filming in California.

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Multi-millionaire Joe Wheeler’s 90-foot yacht cost $6,000 for a single night’s charter by film producer William Frye for a sequence in “Raise The Titanic!” Wheeler then ordered the check written to the Special Olympics Fund.

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Visiting the filming of “Raise The Titanic!” while it was on location at Carbis Bay, St. Ives on the Cornish coast of England was 73-year-old William Rowe Richards, a survivor of the Titanic sea disaster in 1912.  At age three, Richards was hoisted from a lifeboat to the rescue ship Carpathia.

“They’ll have to build a bridge before I try to cross the Atlantic again,” said the septuagenarian.

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Candyce Martin, San Francisco socialite now living in Washington, D.C., appears in a bit role for long-time friend and filmmaker William Frye, who produced sequences of “Raise The Titanic!” in the capital.  She’s the daughter of Francis Martin, IV who owns the San Francisco Chronicle, among other enterprises.

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