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papyrusbeetle

ICE STATION ZEBRA (1968) - Howard Hughes' cult film

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Anyone ever discover WHY Howard Hughes constantly screened a copy of ICE STATION ZEBRA (1968)?

I mean DAILY.

Many times a day.

 

thanks, if you know!!!

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Maybe it had to do with Hughes' interest in cold war politics. It could have been any reason.

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He also owned a local Las Vegas TV station and insisted they air the damn thing all the time too. TB could be right about the Cold War fascination. Hughes futzed and futzed with his project Jet Pilot, a Cold War remake of Hell's Angels directed by Josef Von Sternberg. The release was delayed for years. John Wayne was an American fighter pilot caught up with a Soviet flying ace (Janet Leigh); I'd have reservations about releasing something like that too. There was kind of a cartoony "Terry and the Pirates" feel to both films, so maybe something in Ice Station Zebra appealed to Hughes' personal aesthetic as a former filmmaker himself.

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I like it. What real man wouldn't? The utter absence of females doesn't hurt anything in this case.

One thing: Patrick McGoohan --whom I believe was reasonably tall in real life --looks awkwardly puny compared to Rock Hudson; yes I have to admit that. And Ernest Borgnine's accent --seemed, mind you, to my ears, seemed -- although I am no expert --as I say, it sounded 'laid on a little thick'.

Good to see Jim Brown, but he had little to do.

All in all, fairly exciting romp and probably one of the most faithful Alistair MacLean adaptations (this isnt saying much, his series of books can really try one's patience due to the hammy writing). But this story benefits from being told visually.

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Can't go wrong with a double bill here of Alistair MacLean's Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare which has females in it!

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Saw this movie while on a date when it first came out, while in college. STill find it an interesting and well done movie worth watching.

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I have to admit I've never watched this film all the way through...

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2 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I have to admit I've never watched this film all the way through...

I did, once. That was enough. 

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1 minute ago, LawrenceA said:

I did, once. That was enough. 

Larry, you're not inspiring me to give it another chance. LOL

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To the uninformed, ISZ can be rather slow and somewhat plodding. You get a real sense of what life aboard a nuclear submarine was really like. But it had great underwater photography and the model work was fantastic. One of the reasons why I think it was nominated for Best Special Effects Oscar in 1968 (but lost to 2001), and Best Cinematography (Losing to Romeo and Juliet).

As Sarge has indicated, many of Alistair MacLean's novels are hard enough to get through, but this film and 1969's Where Eagles Dare and later on Breakheart Pass with Charles Bronson were also well made.

One note, the actual submarine they used for the on the surface shots and the close up of when the helicopter comes in to deliver the passengers was NOT a nuke. The Navy did not have a suitable nuke to use for filming, so they substituted a diesel submarine for those shots.

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1 hour ago, fxreyman said:

To the uninformed, ISZ can be rather slow and somewhat plodding.

To the uninformed, Ice Station Zebra would be considered a good movie.

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

To the uninformed, Ice Station Zebra would be considered a good movie.

I consider myself somewhat informed on some level when I speak about movies, but I also have to say that my knowledge of film only goes so far. There are many films I love and don't love. There are lots of films I have seen and have made informed opinions about them. There are categories of films I do not like and there are some categories I love. This being said I really like ISZ mainly because I am a naval history buff and I love military-like subjects.

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24 minutes ago, fxreyman said:

I consider myself somewhat informed on some level when I speak about movies, but I also have to say that my knowledge of film only goes so far. There are many films I love and don't love. There are lots of films I have seen and have made informed opinions about them. There are categories of films I do not like and there are some categories I love. This being said I really like ISZ mainly because I am a naval history buff and I love military-like subjects.

I don't hate Ice Station Zebra, it was just average, to my tastes. I've seen dozens of naval films, if not more, from patrol boats to carriers to frogmen demo flicks to submarines movies, and I've liked many of them. I've also seen other films based on MacLean, and consider Where Eagles Dare one of the ten best films of '68. So I wouldn't say that I was uninformed on the matter, either. It's simply a case of our tastes diverging on this film.

My snarky comment was my way of pointing out that accusing others of being ignorant as to the reason that they dislike something you do like isn't very persuasive nor courteous. 

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7 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I don't hate Ice Station Zebra, it was just average, to my tastes. I've seen dozens of naval films, if not more, from patrol boats to carriers to frogmen demo flicks to submarines movies, and I've liked many of them. I've also seen other films based on MacLean, and consider Where Eagles Dare one of the ten best films of '68. So I wouldn't say that I was uninformed on the matter, either. It's simply a case of our tastes diverging on this film.

My snarky comment was my way of pointing out that accusing others of being ignorant as to the reason that they dislike something you do like isn't very persuasive nor courteous. 

Agreed.

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