As you have no doubt realized by now, I am a staunch supporter of the creative endeavors of my pals*. Not just because they are my special chums and I love them, but because these gals are enormously talented, each in their own way.
Today I’d like to share The Bradford Dillman honorary blogathon – the annual project of my dear friend The Millie. This year’s collection of posts rallies under the moniker: Bradford Dillman: A Jazzier Kind of Noir. Don’t know who Bradford Dillman is or why he deserves a blogathon? Well, as the official hostess and organizer of these Bradford festivities, Millie created a short video promotion that is sure to clear up any questions. Have a look:
After laughing till I cried at that hilarious promo, I became determined to participate this year. As I set about searching the filmography of Mr. Dillman, I found a film just tailor-made for a blogathon hosted by The Millie: The Great Gold Conspiracy aka Gold (1974). This is not a film I would typically watch (my main rule is to steer clear of films made after 1968, especially ones from 1969-1979), but I braved Gold for the sake of Bradford Dillman.
Gold takes a harsh look at the complex workings of an African goldmine. Riddled with ulterior motives, back-stabbing, racism and intrigue, the management team of the mine works through a disastrous accident in the first minutes of the film. At the root of all the trouble is none other than our friend Bradford. He has cooked up a plot to sabotage the mine for profit and is determined to see it through. We have fistfights, extra-marital affairs, dirty dealing and two (not just 1, but 2!) mine collapses.
Let’s just do a quick rundown on the vital statistics here:
1. Bradford Dillman in a prominent villain’s role. Just look at that troubled expression.
3. An almost unbelievable all-star cast.
Susannah York- too old for pigtails, but sporting them nonetheless. This poor lady really got the shaft from wardrobe on this film. Not a single redeemable outfit in the bunch. In fact, when she dines with Roger Moore, she’s clad in what appears to be a large sheer curtain, gathered strategically.
[Warning – SPOILERS AHEAD!]
And the best for last, #4 – Bradford Dillman’s epic final scene…
…death by Rolls Royce. Honestly, this scene (which clocks in at a mere 3 minutes) trumps every other memorable event in the film (including two mine collapses and Susannah York landing a small plane on a tiny dirt road near the mine entrance). The scene only gains epic status because the object of wrath is Bradford Dillman. After he has spent the entire film scheming, double-dealing and lying to all and sundry, he finally meets his end flying through the air in a cloud of dust.
The only drawbacks for me are the needless gore (Oh, you didn’t want to see Roger Moore’s limbs get crushed? So sorry) and the level of risque elements. On my risque scale of 1-10, I’d give this film a 8.5 for situations and language. But prejudice against the 70s and cinematic gripes aside, I must admit Gold is a highly enjoyable film. It won’t be joining the ranks of my DVD shelf any time soon, but I wouldn’t have missed the performance of Bradford Dillman for the world. He really is a deliciously evil villain!