Monday, May 19, 2014

HERCULES IN NEW YORK MEETS CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's much reviled motion picture debut, "Hercules In New York", was filmed on location in 'Fun City' (as it was then being touted in an ill-fated civic-pride campaign) in 1969. Ludicrous and amateurish on all counts, the film was directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman who somehow managed to survive its wreckage (it was apparently his debut as well) to go onto a prolific career as a director in television.

There are many articles out there detailing the absurdities of this cinematic treasure so I wont go into the gory detail. (To be honest, I've never made it through the whole thing.) But the part of the film that anyone who loves seeing New York City on film will truly savior is, without a doubt. the chariot chase that progresses from midtown, heading north on Sixth Avenue (past Radio City) and into Central Park. The park is decimated by the stunt car a work, which digs deep holes into what appears to be the Sheep's Meadow. I say 'appears' not because I'm hazy on my CP geography (I'm not...in fact, I know the park backwards...so there) but because it is almost unrecognizable in contrast with its current state of ultra-sleek, super-planted, 'stay-off-the-lawn' perfection. Actually, many New Yorkers have come to regard the park as having grown progressively less charming due to its prissy-clean state. To those naysayers I would say: watch this and enjoy a look at a forgotten city, one where they'd issue a permit to shoot anything anywhere as long as the right payoffs were made...and one in which there was no such thing as the Central Park Conservancy to prevent shredding the crown jewel of Manhattan in the name of popular entertainment.



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1 comment:

russellgibson said...

I kind of enjoyed the frame rate of the horses in the
park. Like the Keystone Cops. I can almost hear the
Moviola running. A labor of love…. I happen to have around thirty seconds of almost the same thing with a horse that i shot mistakes sometime are the greatest memories.