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 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:35 am 
El Cid
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Location: Lincoln, England

Here are a couple of examples from the Samuel Bronston book ... L+BRONSTON by Mel Martin.
Page 76 is about the filming of EL CID, and concerns Ben Barzman, one of the screenwriters.

Norma Barzman, who was present during production while her late husband toiled over the script, told me there were great worries about the scenes between the two leads, particularly Heston, who was difficult throughout the shoot. "Well, he kvetched (complained)! He kvetched about when she arrived. He thought it wasn't fair that he should be there so long and she should get away. But he was in every shot and it was ridiculous. His kvetches were nonsensical. Yes, he kvetched, but he was shot that she got all the good ... but he was more beautiful.
"Heston was always such a pain in the neck on this set. Every time I went, actually, well, he was cold to me but that's not why. I mean, I watched him. He was awful with everybody. He wasn't likeable, he wasn't anything, and he was so worried about how he was coming through. Well, it was such a contrast with Sophia, so warm and lovely."

Page 76-77
Bronston's widow, Dorothea, also told me there were problems with Heston. "He wasn't an easy man to know. He was bristly, sort of, and I think that he was competing with Sophia Loren. And she was charming. One other thing that amused me very much is we were at an opening in London with EL CID. The press was waiting downstairs and they had both sort of migrated to the back of the theater. And she got out first, so of course, the crowd, the press just surrounded her. When he came down, they didn't pay as much attention to him because she'd already gotten press there. He was very miffed about that. He was thinking of himself most of the time."

Page 102, a chapter on 55 DAYS AT PEKING
.... script author Bernard Gordon was not wild about Heston.
"Well, I didn't like Heston, I didn't like his politics, and I like him even less now. I've been on the air with him and so on but the National Rifle Association stuff is not my kind of thing."

Page 125, still 55 DAYS AT PEKING
In his career, Heston has had problems with his leading ladies. In truth, he has had some temperamental co-stars, but there was, especially in his earlier films, a pervasive dislike of female actresses. In an interview with the LONDON DAILY EXPRESS around the time of 55 DAYS AT PEKING, Heston let loose. "By and large, actresses are a different breed of cat. Most of them, I wouldn't touch with a pole - or work with where I have some control over the production. It appals and disgusts me, the amateur way most of them treat film-making. The rule of thumb for most of those broads is to be 20 minutes late in the morning and 10 minutes late after lunch."

Pages 193-194 - Dorothea Bronston complains to the author Mel Martin that Heston mentions, in his diaries, how her husband Samuel cried in front of him.

Thorn, I don't recommend this book at all, and not just because it slags Heston off. Its extremely repetetive, and certainly overpriced for what it is. Give it a miss.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:24 pm 
Damned Dirty Admin
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I think the El Cid stuff is somewhat understandable. He didn't like Loren back then and it was his first big movie after winning an Oscar for Ben-Hur. I am very surprised about his words on female actresses, though. He may have gotten off on them as a whole mostly because he was full of recent memories of both Loren and Gardner, though.

You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:29 pm 
El Cid
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Location: Lincoln, England
I'm with Heston here. Who needs unprofessional work colleagues who turn up for work when it suits them, leaving everyone else waiting around.

I have met five actresses who worked with Heston, and they all said good things about him. Nicole Maurey, particularly, thought he was very professional and a perfect gentleman.

Heston was also praised by loads of other ladies who starred with him. Martha Scott became a friend, as did Nancy Reagan (who starred with Chuck in BAILOUT AT 20,000 FEET). Janet Leigh always spoke highly of him when interviewers discussed TOUCH OF EVIL.

Heston had words of praise for Jennifer Jones, even though she apparently put herself into a trance before each scene. Chuck loved working with Vanessa Redgrave, and always praised her to the skies, which is surprising, considering they were on different planets, politically speaking.

In the Lewiston, Maine, "Sun Journal" on 3 January 1990 Heston said some nice words about some of his lady co-stars.

Charlton Heston and Vanessa Redgrave are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But Heston still ranks Redgrave as the world's best actress.
"She does a wider stretch of parts and she takes more chances than any other actress alive," Heston said on "The Joan Rivers Show" taped 19 Dec for Thursday broadcast.
Heston said it's OK with him that Redgrave "makes Jane Fonda look like Herbert Hoover."
"My political conservatism has gotten me some bad notices," he conceded, adding that he learned early in his career not to worry about critics.
Heston named Ava Gardner, Jennifer Jones, Sophia Loren and Jean Simmons as the most glamorous actresses, and Gardner and Jones "are much better actresses than they think they are," said Heston, who has worked with both.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:27 pm 
El Cid
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Some excellent reviews of the SECRET OF THE INCAS dvd at this site, where 834 have been sold already. ... 0749781007

by cgar8768
Sep 29, 2016
A Little Pokey But A Must See...
...for fans of the Indiana Jones series and/or fans of Yma Sumac. I happen to be a fan of both. It's quite startling to see a very young Heston appear in full Jones garb minus whip. Even his sweaty three-day-beard is the same. The film, itself is slow with few action scenes, but it's a strange one and the addition of Yma Sumac singing two of her marvelous songs is weird and campy enough by itself to warrant a viewing.
Good quality disc, too.

by swu5539
Jul 06, 2016
1954 Secret of the Incas
Very good copy of the 1954 movie delving into a possible Inca treasure that was entombed to be untouched for all time. The visuals were great ... but what complemented the entire movie was the voice of Yma Sumac who had hit every note from high high to medium low. The vocals enhanced the overall mood and feeling of the movie in its search for this priceless artifact.

by katiesungirl
May 01, 2016
Quality Adventure
This movie is a family favorite. In one way we could spot the similarities and see how this movie inspired Indiana Jones. It has the hat-wearing sassy adventurer, the smart fellow, a spunky damsel, and an ancient treasure; all in a jungle setting. But in another sense this adventure has a slightly different feel. So you'll just have to watch it yourself and find out what happens.
We were so glad to find someone making a quality DVD version. The disc we received played well, the picture was clear, and the sound good. Great quality movie.

by davi_b0ykehlz
Oct 18, 2016
A classic film
What makes this film a classic is that George Lucas used the character played by Charlton Heston to model his Indiana Jones character after in Raiders of the Lost Ark film. If you like "Indiana Jones" then you will enjoy this movie.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:14 pm 
Damned Dirty Admin
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Still shocked this can't get an official release in the States, or anywhere.

You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.

 Post subject: My holiday to the locations in SECRET OF THE INCAS
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:27 am 
El Cid
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PERU, 2007.
Blazing the Harry Steele Trail.

"Come fly with me, let's float down to Peru
In llama land there's a one man band and he'll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me and let's float down in the blue"

We were standing on the summit of Machu Picchu, overlooking the classic postcard view, ... 60x250.jpg gazing in awe at the sheer magnificence of the luxuriant jungle vegetation, with the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Andes surrounding us, the Urubamba river below us, and the whole breath-taking panoramic scene literally overwhelming us, when my wife turned to me and said, ‘Just think … we wouldn’t be here now … if you hadn’t seen that old Heston film’.

It’s true, if it wasn’t for SECRET OF THE INCAS, we wouldn’t have had the most exciting, extraordinary experience of our married life, a totally unique action-packed holiday that was worth all the worry and the planning, the expense, the yellow fever jabs, the anti-malaria tablets, the stomach upsets and the horrendous 17 hour flight (thank God for Bill Bryson). Peru is a land of intrigue, where tales of lost cities, fabulous treasures and sun-worshipping natives vanquished by ruthless conquistadors abound. This is a land of colourful people, exotic birds, great lakes and remote forests. As a kid, my imagination was stirred by watching Hollywood movies about American tough guys hunting for lost cities in the darkest jungles of South America, and SECRET OF THE INCAS was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best of these. Sitting in the cinema in 1963, and seeing the unbelievable scenery of the Andes for the first time in glorious Technicolor, I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to go there one day!’ Well, it may have taken me 44 years, but in May 2007 I finally achieved my ambition and ventured to the land of the Incas with my wife Tracy.

The funny thing is, being an aficionado of vintage movies, my Peruvian experience sometimes resembled scenes from both SECRET OF THE INCAS and the Humphrey Bogart classic THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. At any moment in Peru, a tourist is liable to be cajoled into buying some unspeakably terrible water-colour painting by an Alfonso Bedoya ... apture.PNG look-alike, or begged to purchase a hand knitted llama by a Bobby Blake double, or hassled beyond belief by water sellers who look like they have just come straight off the SECRET OF THE INCAS set. This is the down-side of Peru, those guys just don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I can sympathise with the Heston character Harry Steele, who barked ‘Vamose’ at the locals in the movies airport scene. I was constantly reminded of my favourite movie, particularly when arriving at the Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport ... irport.jpg in Cuzco (named after the first Peruvian to fly across the Andes) and we had to queue for immigration, passport checks and luggage. Those tourists in the Heston film had it easy. They left the plane – were met by Heston – and driven straight to their hotel. Why isn’t real life as easy as a movie? Our tour-guide at Cuzco, when instructing us of the hazards of high-altitude sickness, actually quoted Heston movie lines … word for word … which I found bizarre. ‘You will have to take it slow and easy’ he warned us. When we arrived at our hotel in Cuzco, it got even stranger. Sat in the foyer enjoying a cocoa tea with his wife was the double of old Harry Steele himself Charlton Heston. The guy was called Gus Ferguson, and he was the most instantly likeable stranger I had ever met. As we shook hands, he quipped ‘Dr Livingstone I presume’, unknowingly quoting another Heston line. This was all becoming a bit weird, we had only been in Cuzco for a few minutes and everyone seemed to be quoting lines from SECRET OF THE INCAS. Gus and his wife were very charming, and proved to be ideal travel companions. Over a couple of cups of cocoa tea he told us that they were on a world tour ‘spending the children’s inheritance’, which really made us chuckle. Gus was a Heston look-alike living the life of Indiana Jones.

We went to unpack and relax, but I was too excited to ‘Take it slow and easy’ and I immediately went out into the hustle and bustle of the teeming stone-walled streets and alleyways of the old Inca capitol. Heeding the warnings about the intense heat I put my suncream on - the previous year Cuzco was found to be the spot on Earth with the highest ultraviolet light level, (the last recorded snowfall was in June 1911). It’s an exciting experience just walking around Cuzco, evading all the speeding yellow taxis ... o-lima.jpg and encountering colourfully dressed locals, many of whom had llamas in tow. ... /peru5.jpg You will never be lonely in Cuzco, sooner or later someone will greet you and try to sell their wares. A teenaged lad approached me, ‘Senor Americano, my name is Raul … I will be your guide and your new best friend’. I showed the kid some colour photos of Cuzco in 1953, taken from my SECRET OF THE INCAS DVD. Raul’s eyes expanded, ‘Where did you get these from Senor … they are worth a lot of dollars, no?’ I explained to Raul that my time was extremely limited, and I asked him if he recognized any of the locations in the photos. He took me to them all and when he discovered I was English, and not an Americano, he was very inquisitive about the English football teams Liverpool and Manchester United. South Americans have an even bigger passion for football than the English I was soon to discover. The casualties of the 1950 Cuzco earthquake would have been much higher but for the fact that 15,000 citizens were watching a football match in an area which escaped serious damage. A footnote in football history is that a Peruvian player, Mario de las Casas, was the first ever to be sent off in the inaugural 1930 World Cup tournament.

The first place Raul took me to was the Plaza where Heston is seen walking across just before he is shot at in the movie. ... 902-bg.jpg Raul told me it was the Santa Teresa Palacio Municipal at the Plaza Cabildo, and I recognized it immediately as one of the movies locations. The Municipal building directly behind Heston has “Casa de Gobuerno 1848” engraved on it and is now the Contemporary Art Museum. Heston’s hotel is now a pizza joint “Los Portales!” which proudly exclaims that it’s a Touristico and Pizzeria Grill. I was about to snap a photo of the place when an overly excited waiter ran out and pleaded with me to dine there. ‘Later maybe’ I said. ‘You come back tonight … you promise Senor!’ and thrust a pamphlet in my hand which stated we were actually at the Plaza Regocijo. Apparently, its name derives from the Quechua tradition that called it cusipata or “joyfulness yard”. This was the place where people carried out public festivities like bullfights or jousting games as well as market activities. The Cuzco Bullfight Ring was built here in 1768. Opposite is the Hotel Cuzco, formely the grand, state-run Hotel de Turistas, which is the place where Elena first encounters Harry Steele in the movie. The Cuzco Hotel interior in SECRET OF THE INCAS is a Paramount Studio recreation of the real hotel, even down to the same paintings and adverts on the walls.

The scene when the red truck is carrying Elena Antonescu and the Quechua Indians was filmed in the San Francisco Square, and it still looks virtually the same today. The Arco Santa Clara with the two condor sculptures on top is still there, but sixty years of traffic exhaust has darkened the stonework. ... -Cusco.jpg This arch was requested by the President Santa Cruz in 1835 to commemorate the union between Peru and Bolivia through a confederation. Tracy and I took a nice stroll down Santa Clara in the evening and just past the arch is a house that was selling very obvious pirate DVD’s, the sort of stuff that is sold illegally at car-boots in England. Ironically, the most popular titles seemed to be RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and the other Indiana Jones movies. The opening ‘Burro burro’ scene in SECRET OF THE INCAS, when the two donkeys are blocking the truck and the autocarril, is now just a road leading to Puno. You can clearly see the Ausangate snowcape in the background. Elena Antonescu fleeing from the Peruvian police was filmed in Loreto Street in Cuzco. It hasn’t changed one iota! Harry Steele wasn’t a very good tourist guide. When he is showing his group the magnificent Cuzco Cathedral, he incorrectly points out the wrong location of the famous Maria Angola Bell. It’s actually behind the two bells in the Torre del Evangelo Bell Tower on the far right of the Cathedral, the largest in South America. Harry Steele also tells his group a bogus bit of information when he claims that the painting of the crucifixion at the back of the cathedral’s sacristy is ‘attributed to the Flemish painter Van Dyck’. Most scholars nowadays claim that it’s actually the work of the 17th century Spaniard Alonso Cano. A similar painting hangs in the Museo de Arte Religioso. There are ten chapels around the nave of the Cathedral, and one of them, named The Lord of the Earthquakes, was also a title that could be cinematically applied to Charlton Heston I chuckled to myself. In another chapel there is a painting of Pope John Paul 11 when he visited Sacsayhuaman in 1985.

The highlight of our Peruvian holiday was Machu Picchu. In fact, seeing this sacred Inca paradise for the first time was the most awe-inspiring moment of my life. Tracy was worried that it wouldn’t live up to its build up and that I would be disappointed after over forty years of high expectations. She worried needlessly, I was both amazed and exhilarated at the sheer beauty, mystery and magnificence of Machu Picchu. ... chu5_1.jpg Thank God the conquistadores never located and destroyed this brand new Wonder of the World. Machu Picchu is one of only three places in the Americas that have been declared a World Heritage Site for both its natural beauty and its history (the other two are Palanque in Mexico and Tika in Guatemala).

Unfortunately Tracy tripped on one of the stone steps and sprained an ankle, but she bravely carried on regardless and never complained. Other members of our tour group took it in turns to assist her when the going got rough - there was great camaraderie on this adventure. Her ankle swelled up to twice its size, and the next day was black and blue. Even Yma Sumac and her iodine couldn’t have cured this Inca Trail injury. Tracy sprained her ankle in exactly the same spot where Irmin Roberts filmed the first sighting of the archaeological camp in SECRET OF THE INCAS. That scene makes her eyes water now!

We had our photo taken at the Intihuatana, ... cchu-1.jpg ‘the place to which the sun is tied’, by a Japanese tourist. Our guide told us that the sacred rock was ‘carved in situ and is a masterpiece of eternal aesthetic quality. It pays homage to the mystical mind of humanity. Its shape captivates the eye from every angle and its beauty is equal to its enigmatic meaning’. But all I could think of was that ludicrous scene in SECRET OF THE INCAS when Robert Young proposed to Nicole Maurey at the Intihuatana. I whispered to Tracy, ‘Go on … say it!’ Her eyes rolled and reluctantly, she asked me those immortal words from the movie, ‘Who cut down the Cherry Tree?’ in a French accent, ala Nicole Maurey, which made me howl with laughter. The Japanese guy must have thought I was nuts.

We stayed the night at Aguas Calientes, a popular resting place for those recovering from the rigours of the Inca Trail. There is a tiny village church opposite the school ... ientes.jpg and as we sat down in quiet reflection the church suddenly filled up with about forty Quechua porters who were giving thanks for a safe return from the Inca Trail. This religious service was a very moving experience to watch, as the humble porters sang and prayed on their way to the altar to give the priest their offering of thanks and to receive a blessing. That night we had a very romantic meal in a wonderful little pizzeria that had some stunning artwork on the walls of Machu Picchu and Pachacutec. Pachacutec is everywhere in Peru, there is even a huge statue of him in the middle of Aguas Calientes. When we passed through all the shanty towns in rural Peru, his image had been painted on the side of hundreds of homes. ... FCW5BR.jpg In SECRET OF THE INCAS Michael Pate played the leader of the Quechua community, and he was called Pachacutec. Pate gave the role great dignity, strength and noble bearing, as befits anyone named after such a great hero of the Incas. Unfortunately the screenwriters made a booboo at the end of the movie, when Heston returns the Sunburst to the Quechua Indians, Pate holds the Inca idol and asks Robert Young “With your permission?” to display the long lost Sunburst to the waiting Indians. ... 640/73.png This I think was very disrespectful to the name of Pachacutec, which means “He who transforms the world”. I bet that scene makes Peruvians cringe. It’s extremely doubtful that the real Pachacutec would act in such a subservient manner. In Puno I had my photo taken with a Quechua dressed head to toe like Pachacutec. He looked magnificent.

Lima was shrouded in a misty haze, and not as friendly as Cuzco. Armed policemen were everywhere, but they clocked off at tea-time and we certainly didn’t feel safe at night walking around the streets of Lima. Our hotel was in the Miraflores neighbourhood, a wealthy area and spotlessly clean – I’ve never seen so many street cleaners in my life. On 5 Feb 2008, the Ricardo Palma Cultural Centre in Miraflores ... C_0188.jpg presented a public showing of SECRET OF THE INCAS to an audience studying Peruvian opera and culture, surely one of the last public airings of my favourite movie. One of the films technical advisors was Cesar Miro, who was born in the Miraflores district in Lima. He studied in the San Agustin and La Immaculada schools and in later life was an ambassador for Peru in UNESCO. Near our hotel was Kennedy Park, named after the only Roman Catholic US President (Peru is 98% Catholic). After having our photo taken in front of the JFK commerative bust, ... d29kjp.jpg Tracy and I decided to relax for a while away from the noisy, congested speeding traffic of Lima in the park. We thought it would be nice to sit down, gather our thoughts, rest our weary limbs and watch the world go by for half an hour. Within thirty seconds of sitting on the bench two shoe shiners descended on us and offered their services … when I say offered … I mean they hastily removed our shoes, took out the laces and proceeded to do a very thorough job of shining. This lengthy cleaning ritual only encouraged yet another beggar who sat beside me and explained in quasi-English how impoverished his four children were, and actually provided photographic evidence to support his claim. Tracy laughed at my predicament and whispered “Time to get your money out again James!” I paid the beggar for his sob story and I thought of how expensive it is trying to relax in a park in Lima, Peru!

Peru holds many unforgettable moments and wonderful memories for Tracy and me. The magnificence of Machu Picchu, the fascinating blend of different cultures of Cuzco, the sun rising in Lake Titicaca, walking on the extraordinary floating islands of Uros, flying over the Andes, Taquile Island, the colonial buildings in Lima, the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the Sacred Valley, I could go on and on. Our Peruvian adventure was action packed, exhilarating and worth every penny, easily the best two weeks of my life, and we had this terrific experience all because my dad took me to the cinema in 1963 to see a great little movie called SECRET OF THE INCAS.

Last edited by James Byrne on Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

 Post subject: The Spell of Yma Sumac
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:01 pm 
El Cid
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I have just read this beautiful memorial of the day that Yma Sumac died on 1 November 2008. Her carer and make-up artist Damon Devine looked after her needs in the last decade of her life.
Damon Devine. November 1st, 2008: 10:52am

I rushed in, out of breath.
She was still beautifully made up from the night before, which had never happened before. Usually the caregiver removed her makeup at night. The instant I recognized that indescribable stillness, I howled openly. There was no movement of any kind. That 'vacancy', combined with the distant gaze that she was famous for, made me touch her shoulder and say , "Perita....PERITA!" I was sure she would somehow transform and look at me, startled.
But she did not.
I hugged her attorney, who had helped me with everything for a whole year and said over and over and over, "this isn't possible. It is not possible." I said this because I kept thinking, somehow, it could be reversed if I did not accept it.
The 300 Get Well and birthday cards had already been removed from the walls they adorned for roughly six months. All from fans all over the entire globe, and myself. None from Peru, which was a shame .
I kept looking at her. My friend, very much like a close grandmother--completely still. Her eyes were not entirely closed. They also didn’t look the same as the night before. She looked 50, no lines of any kind. Though beautiful, she appeared wax-like.
After bouts of weeping off and on, I asked to be alone with her. Caregivers, nurses and her attorneys left to the hallway.
It took great effort to get words out. It was strange. My mouth opened but words were stuck, from shock and escalating sorrow.
Finally, I touched her shoulder and said, "Perita....I hope I did everything the right way. I tried so hard. I really did. I hope I never disappointed you."
And tears flowed nonstop. I cried so hard, I heard the door close behind me. It had been left ajar, but the others had decided that what they were hearing, was too deeply personal and that she and I needed to be totally alone.
"I always loved you--you know that. And I think in your own way, that you always loved me too. I am so happy that I was able to show you what unconditional love was, and that you got to experience it. It doesn't appear that you knew it before, as a woman and a human being. But you know it now. I will never, ever forget you. Never. Never. Never."
I was crying so hard I had a hard time catching my breath.
"I'm gonna keep it good for you. I promise that. I will always protect your name. You can count on that."
I kissed her sunken cheek over and over.
I looked out the big sliding glass doors. I will miss the beautiful view of Los Angeles from here. Hundreds of times I looked out that window. I remember the 4th of July and all the fireworks I saw from there. I also spent Mother's Day there, both mine and her birthday's and even Halloween. I will miss the daily walks there and back--the trees, the flowers, the houses. I hadn't been around that for years, living on Sunset Blvd.
I chose to leave, as I did not want to see strangers cart her out to a lonely place where I would not be able to stay by her and protect her, as I had always done.
As I write this--I don't know what tomorrow brings. I am no longer Yma Sumac's personal assistant and friend. She was my very last "relative." She was a close friend, a constant source of affection. She was my lifeline out of what is often a desperate loneliness, masked as "Damon, the strong solitary figure". She was the same way. We bonded because of that. And now I must go it alone.
The world is looking to me to release the news. But I want these few precious hours--these very, very quiet hours--just between us; Our special thing, completely foreign to the masses that will weep after me.

Last edited by James Byrne on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:20 pm 
El Cid
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1137
Location: Lincoln, England
Highest Forum views on Heston movies and TV shows (2 Nov 2010 - 2 Nov 2016)
1. SECRET OF THE INCAS - 797 - 89166
2. BEN-HUR - 394 - 57480
3. THE OMEGA MAN - 84 - 29386
4. PLANET OF THE APES - 106 - 25628
5. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS - 146 - 20577
6. WILL PENNY - 71 - 19417
7. THE NAKED JUNGLE - 88 - 13573
8. KHARTOUM - 71 - 9906
9. MY FATHER: RUA ALGUEM 555 - 78 - 9754
10. EARTHQUAKE - 38 - 9718
11. THE BIG COUNTRY - 70 - 9606
12. SOYLENT GREEN - 39 - 9529
13. TREASURE ISLAND - 42 - 9146
14. ARROWHEAD - 19 - 9093
15. EL CID - 52 - 8714
16. MAJOR DUNDEE - 51 - 7509
17. THE WAR LORD - 41 - 7497
18. CHIEFS - 26 - 6763
21. ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA - 36 - 6172
23. THE THREE MUSKETEERS - 35 - 5757
24. THE FOUR MUSKETEERS - 11 - 5497
25. THE COLBY'S - 22 - 5404
26. THE AWAKENING - 34 - 5152
27. THE MOUNTAIN MEN - 7 - 5056
28. SKYJACKED - 21 - 4758
29. THE LAST HARD MEN - 22 - 4655
30. THE SAVAGE - 27 - 4491
31. NUMBER ONE - 27 - 4376
32. CALL OF THE WILD - 24 - 4239
33. 55 DAYS AT PEKING - 29 - 4099
34. GRAY LADY DOWN - 19 - 4091
35. DIAMOND HEAD - 35 - 4071
36. PONY EXPRESS - 22 - 4068
37. THE FAR HORIZONS - 6 - 4036
40. DARK CITY - 29 - 3806
41. FORBIDDEN AREA - 5 - 3719
42. AIRPORT 1975 - 21 - 3631
43. MOTHER LODE - 29 - 3406
44. JULIUS CAESAR (1970) - 20 - 3327
45. TOUCH OF EVIL - 25 - 3268
46. COUNTERPOINT -21 - 3223
47. THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY - 19 - 3121
48. TWO MINUTE WARNING - 18 - 3082
49. CRASH LANDING - 14 - 2946
50. THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE - 15 - 2743
51. LUCY GALLANT - 12 - 2730
53. THE BUCCANEER - 22 - 2407
54. THE PRESIDENT'S LADY - 18 - 2401
56. HAMLET - 8 - 2374
57. RUBY GENTRY - 16 - 2353
58. A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS - 7 - 2265
59. THE AVENGING ANGEL - 8 - 2260
60. THE CRUCIFER OF BLOOD - 6 - 2153
62. WUTHERING HEIGHTS - 9 - 2084
63. TRUE LIES - 5 - 2059
64. BAD FOR EACH OTHER - 7 -1909
65. ALASKA - 6 - 1903
66. TOMBSTONE - 9 - 1890
68. JULIUS CAESAR (1950) - 15 - 1782
69. GIDEON - 8 - 1599
70. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS - 5 - 1447
71. THE ORDER - 6 - 1392
72. NAIROBI - 5 - 1332
73. ELIZABETH AND ESSEX - 8 - 1280
74. PROUD MEN - 7 - 1190
75. JAYNE EYRE - 6 - 908
76. WAYNE'S WORLD 2 - 4 - 902
77. SOLAR CRISIS - 7 - 883
78. A BOLT OF LIGHTNING - 4 - 774
79. OF HUMAN BONDAGE - 2 - 664
80. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY - 3 - 672
81. ALMOST AN ANGEL - 2 - 590
82. THE WILLOW CABIN - 1 - 340
83. ORIGINAL SIN - 1 - 316

Last years figures are here -


I can't find the board for THE HAWAIIANS, Thorn, has it been deleted?
This time last year it was at number 63.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:13 am 
El Cid
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Trivia – over a 100 things you may not know about SECRET OF THE INCAS by James Byrne


Nicole Maurey’s correct date of birth is 20 Dec 1926, not 1925. The actress told me this in person at her home.

Yma Sumac jokingly tells the bathing Nicole Maurey that ‘Iyaconka’ means ‘beautiful’. In Quechuan, the words ‘yma sumac’ mean ‘How beautiful’.

Charlton Heston spies on Nicole Maurey as she bathes, and after been rebuked for being a “Peeping Joe”, quips ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. This ancient proverb is said by some to have come from ancient Hebrew writings. However, its first appearance, in a slightly altered form – seems to be in the writings of Francis Bacon. In Advencement of Learning (1605) he wrote: ‘Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God’. Nearly two centuries later John Wesley in one of his sermons (1791) wrote: ‘Slovenliness is no part of religion. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness’.

Beautiful women bathing crop up regularly in Jerry Hopper movies. There’s Nicole Maurey in an authentic Inca bath in SECRET OF THE INCAS, Rhonda Fleming in a western wooden tub in PONY EXPRESS, and Leslie Caron taking a river dip in a western filmed in Israel, MADRON. One thing about the leading ladies in Hopper’s movies, they are all very clean!

In the German documentary Yma Sumac, Hollywood’s Inkaprinzessin, Dorothy Hopper, the widow of SECRET OF THE INCAS director Jerry Hopper, claimed that Yma Sumac filmed her scenes in Peru, and that ‘Yma stayed to herself, and, surprisingly, did not talk to the Peruvians’. This statement is untrue, Madame Sumac filmed all her scenes at Paramount Studios.

Harry Steele and Indiana Jones are said to have been based on the explorer and archaeologist Hiram Bingham who discovered Machu Picchu in 1911. But if you look at photos of Bingham he actually resembles Dr Stanley Moorehead more, in looks and attire. The screenwriters pay tribute to Bingham when Heston and Nicole Maurey finally arrive at Machu Picchu. “Well there it is, The Lost City of the Incas” says Heston, which was the title of Bingham’s 1948 best selling book. Also in 1948 the road from Cuzco to Machu Picchu was opened, it was named the Hiram Bingham Highway, and at the entrance of Machu Picchu now there is an engraved marker dedicated to the great American explorer.

Harry Steele and Indiana Jones look macho in their fedoras as they both plunder the ancient antiquities of Peru, but the fedora was originally a fashion accessory for women. The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou, which was written for Sarah Bernhardt. The famous actress played the role of Princess Fedora, and she wore a hat which we would recognize as a fedora. The style of the hat became a fashion favoured by women in the 1890s and lasting until 1920, at which point men appropriated the style for themselves.

Indiana Jones was created from various Saturday morning serials and vintage adventure films, but Charlton Heston movies figure predominantly in the four Indy movies. The train wreck from THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, the marauding soldier ants from THE NAKED JUNGLE, the sky in the parting of the Red Sea from THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, and numerous scenes from SECRET OF THE INCAS prove that Heston must be the singular stand-out inspiration for the greatest movie hero of all time. Two talented fans of Indiana Jones have also posted spoof Indy movies on the net, Ivan Guerreo’s Raiders of the Lost Ark 1951 has received rave reviews from around the world, and Stuart Pittman’s Raiders of the Lost Archives is a thirteen minute compilation of early examples of Indiana Jones in cinema 1919-1973 that mirror exactly the amazing open sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both borrow liberally from the three Heston movies.

Two American teenagers, Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, were so enamoured with the first Indiana Jones movie that they filmed an exact scene-by-scene version, Raiders of the Lost Ark-The Adaptation, using just an old VHS camera, and filmed over a seven year period. This amateur production was so successful that the young film-makers were invited to screen their version at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, in Rochester, New York, and they were offered the chance to view any film of their choice from the museum’s considerable collection. Zala and Strompolos chose to watch Secret of the Incas, because ‘More than any other single film, Spielberg and Lucas drew upon Secret of the Incas for inspiration for Raiders of the Lost Ark.’

Yma Sumac is a descendant of the last Inca Emperor Atahualpha, Madam Sumac’s mother being Donna Emilia Atahualpha.

According to the author and poet David Tipton in his book , A Sword in the Air, there was a statue of Atahualpa in the centre of the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, in the early sixties, that wasn’t actually the Inca Emperor, but the North American Indian Chief Sitting Bull. Evidently, in the early 1930’s a French firm had been commissioned to cast statues for Cuzco and South Dakota, but the two statues had been swapped in transit. The war started and the error was never rectified. Instead of an Inca in ceremonial robes, Cuzco had a North American nomad, naked to the waist, with a few feathers around his head. The statue has now been removed, but if you freeze frame the long shot of Heston and the tourists crossing the plaza in Secret of the Incas the statue of Sitting Bull is clearly visible.

At a Hollywood auction on 17 Dec 2010, a John L. Jensen pencil and watercolour costume sketch (for Edith Head) of Yma Sumac in Secret of the Incas was sold for $650. It was described in the sale as “an elaborate and richly detailed sketch of a cult music legend.”

If you think it was heartless of Heston to snatch all the contents of Marion Ross’ purse at Cuzco airport, that was nothing compared to what CBS did to her and the rest of the Happy Days cast for a number of years. The actors are now claiming £6 million worth of “lost” royalties from merchandising from dolls, games, lunch boxes, DVD’s, comic books, trading cards, T-shirts and casino images.

In the pre-credits opening shot of Secret of the Incas, we see llamas grazing while an Indian extra plays a quena, a flute-like musical instrument. Ironically, quenas are made of llama bone. Llama bones were also made into tools for scrapers, knives, needles and awls. Llama hides were made into clothing and even llama dung was used as fuel and fertilizer to re-enrich fields left fallow between growing seasons.

Charlton Heston made classic movies in five different genres - but never officially a musical. Curiously though, three of his early films have quite a few musical interludes. In his Hollywood debut Dark City, Heston starred opposite the great film noir femme fatale Lizabeth Scott, and she sang three songs in her role as a nightclub entertainer (Scott was actually dubbed by Trudy Stevens). Six memorable songs were featured in The Greatest Show On Earth by such worthies as Betty Hutton, Dorothy Lamour and even James Stewart on a trampoline! And Secret of the Incas has the dynamic voice of Yma Sumac displaying her 5-octave range in three numbers. Heston sang briefly in the classic western Will Penny, when Joan Hackett teaches him a Christmas song.

Secret of the Incas is totally ignored in most movie books and Heston biographies, and when it is mentioned, as in The Films of Charlton Heston by Jeff Rovin, it gets short shrift. There are three interesting books about the history of Peru and Machu Picchu that do point out some unique aspects connected to the Heston adventure flick. Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of South America, by the rogue adventurer David Hatcher Childress, discusses the Sun Disc that Harry Steele and others are desperately seeking in the movie. Cradle of Gold, by Christopher Heaney, is a must-read for those venturing to Machu Picchu to celebrate the Hiram Bingham centenary; Heaney brings to life in dramatic detail the story of the Bingham expedition, and also relates the cinematic and historical link between Hiram Bingham, Harry Steele and Indiana Jones. Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams has the author re-creating the exact footsteps of Hiram Bingham’s epic journey with humour and some fascinating historical details.

A retired teacher, Paul John Wigowsky toured Peru with his daughter and wrote Inca Pilgrimage: Hidden Treasures of Pacha mama in which he describes watching Secret of the Incas just as he’s entering the Sacred Valley.

Queen Frederika of Greece visited the Secret of the Incas set in November 1953 and was photographed with Charlton Heston. In Greece, Charlton's surname is written "Easton" because "Heston" in Greek means "shit him". Queen Frederika's American state visit was very successful and she was on the front cover of Time magazine (26 Oct 53) and Life (16 Nov 53).

The Inca emperor was allowed to marry his sister – it was meant to keep the royal blood pure. Some of the dialogue in Secret of the Incas mildly alludes to Inca incest of the past. Heston eyes up Nicole Maurey and tells Glenda Farrell ‘She reminds me of my mother!’ Later, Heston says to Nicole ‘Not your Uncle Harry,’ even though they are romantically linked. When arriving at Machu Picchu, Nicole asks Heston ‘You and I … what are we to each other, brother and sister?’

The movies screenwriters slipped in a few references to the 1911 Hiram Bingham expedition. Luis Valcarcel, the director of Cuzco’s Historical Institute, questioned Bingham concerning the unsupervised excavation and smuggling of Inca gold. Bingham explained that he found no gold – only one silver shawl pin. In the very last reel of Secret of the Incas, Heston hands over a silver shawl pin to Nicole Maurey that he has stolen from the Inca tomb.

Prescott Bush, whose son and grandson were to become US Presidents, was so taken with Hiram Bingham’s lectures on his excavating adventures at Machu Picchu, that Bush later dug up the skull of Geronimo at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. One of the stars of Secret of the Incas, Michael Pate, twice played Geronimo in 1950’s tv westerns, Broken Arrow and The Last Bugle.

When Charlton Heston is cadging tips off the outgoing tourists at Cuzco Airport, look at the surprised look on the face of Marion Ross as Miss Morris. Her quizzical expression is real – Heston was indulging in a bit of improvisation. In his previous movie, The Naked Jungle, also set in South America, Chuck had also improvised that famous scene when he empties a bottle of perfume over Eleanor Parker.

Quite a lot of Indiana Jones fans don’t like Heston’s white scarf in Secret of the Incas – it spoils the ‘Indy look’. It’s not actually a scarf, but a bathroom towel Harry Steele stole from a hotel in Bolivia. It has Hotel La Paz written in blue on it. Curiously, the end of the Inca Empire involved a white scarf. In 1532 Francis Pizarro waved a white scarf in the air, the pre-arranged signal to his army to open fire on the followers of Atahualpa, the king of the Incas.

The most memorable line in Secret of the Incas is when Heston threatens Thomas Mitchell for sending a hit man to frighten him. ‘The next time you send a rifle after me I’m going to bring it back here and ram it up your nose!’ a priceless quote from the future NRA President.

Geraldine Hall plays Mrs. Richmond from St. Louis, one of the tourists Heston meets at the airport. Just before she began filming Secret of the Incas, Geraldine’s husband, Porter Hall, died suddenly. He had just appeared in another Heston movie directed by Jerry Hopper, Pony Express.

The scene in the Cuzco Archaeological Museum has two classically trained stage actors, Heston and Booth Colman, who both went on to play elderly apes in different versions of Planet of the Apes. On stage they both played Commander Queeg in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial and Sir Thomas More in A Man for all Seasons.

Hanging on the wall of the museum, behind Heston when he is fitting the stone map into the model of Machu Picchu, is an Inca Quipu, a recording device used in the Inca Empire. The conquistadors destroyed many of these – they were considered idolatrous. Only 600 Inca Quipus survived the Spanish conquest of Peru, and are now preserved in museums using techniques that will minimise their future degradation.

The Museum curator (Booth Colman) is describing the artefacts on display to the tourists and mentions the Rosetta Stone. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone was a lucky accident. In 1799 a French soldier discovered a piece of stone at an Egyptian village called el – Rashid or Rosetta. On the stone, the same words were written in three scripts representing two languages. Hieroglphic text is at the top, demotic text is in the centre, and Greek at the bottom. The Rosetta Stone has entered the English language as a phrase for ‘a key to some previously unattainable understanding’ and it is in this respect that the Museum curator uses it in Secret of the Incas. The Rosetta Stone has been on display in the British Museum, London, since June 1802, and it is now the Museum’s most visited single item.

The opening scene of the movie has Heston shooing away two donkeys from the railway track. Look closely at the passengers when Heston is outside the autocarril, they are completely different when he gets back in the tram. Another continuity error in this scene – the driver of the red truck (Carlos Rivero) has his shirt sleeves rolled up in the studio shot, but the location footage has the driver with his sleeves rolled down.

Carlos Rivero is easy to spot in Secret of the Incas, but its difficult to find him in the other two movies he made with Heston. In The Naked Jungle he was one of the natives, and in The Ten Commandments he was one of the thousands of Egyptian slaves. It seems the whole of Hollywood appeared in this great De Mille epic, including Alfred Hitchcock’s daughter, Charlton Heston’s son, Robert Mitchum’s sister, Henry Wilcoxon’s wife, Geromino’s grandson (Charles Stevens), Mr. America (Mike Sill), Herb Albert and maybe even Fidel Castro.

Secret of the Incas inspired Spielberg to make Raiders of the Lost Ark, and other Heston movies have also made a big impact on moviemakers and singers. 1960’s Country singer Roberta Streets loved all the swampland passion of Ruby Gentry so much that she changed her name to Bobbie Gentry. Clint Eastwood always had good things to say about Will Penny, so it was no surprise his children in Unforgiven were named Will and Penny. The Greatest Show on Earth was spoofed in Big Top Pee-wee, and Airplane and its sequel mercilessly mocked Airport 1975. Ridley Scott’s Gladiator borrowed much from Ben-Hur.

Heston’s first words ‘Burro burro’ set the tone for the “Animal crackers” dialogue. Heston calls Thomas Mitchell an ‘ape’ and a ‘bat’. He refers to the tourists as ‘pigeons’ and describes Nicole Maurey as a ‘dead fish’. Thomas Mitchell likens to finding the Sunburst to ‘Cutting up a roast chicken’ and also calls himself ‘A little mouse’. When Heston turns his attentions from Glenda Farrell to Nicole Maurey, Glenda asks him, ‘Are you changing horses in mid stream?’ This saying was popularized by Abraham Lincoln in 1864, in reply to delegation from the National Union League who were urging him to be the presidential candidate. Lincoln actually said ‘An old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion once that it was not best to swap horses when crossing streams’.

Heston offers the excuse “She reminds me of my mother!” to Glenda, who was old enough to be his mother. Glenda Farrell was famous for being able to speak 390 words per minute when she played Torchy Blaine in the 1930’s, and was the cousin of Jerry Hopper, director of Secret of the Incas.

Alvy Moore plays the young guy at the bar with a crew cut who tries to chat up Nicole Maurey by pretending to be Harry Steele. When Heston questions this, Moore turns into a trembling, timid weakling. In reality, Moore was anything but timid, as a US Marine in the Second World War he fought gallantly at the battle of Iwo Jima. After the war, Alvy took up acting and appeared in many movies about the Korean War and WWII. Alvy was also a Little League umpire for seven years, and even umpired a championship game at Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

At the Cuzco Airport scene at the beginning of Secret of the Incas, look out for the female extra wearing a green dress and red scarf. She goes back and forth three times.

Charlton Heston made many movies around the world, but Secret of the Incas was the first time he went on location to a foreign country. Chuck was filmed at the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco airport, the Urubamba River and the Plaza Regocijo in Cuzco, Peru.

Edith Head won eight Oscars for her costume designs and was nominated for a staggering 34 Oscar nominations. Costume design did not become an Academy Award category until 1948. Had the award been introduced earlier, she would surely have earned additional nominations for such distinctive creations as Dorothy Lamour’s sarongs in The Jungle Princess or Barbara Stanwyck’s Latin-inspired garments for The Lady Eve. The year after designing the costumes worn by Nicole Maurey, Yma Sumac, Glenda Farrell and Marion Ross in Secret of the Incas, she controversially accepted the 1955 Oscar for Sabrina even though Audrey Hepburn’s costume had been designed by Frenchman Hubert Givenchy. Edith Head played herself in the Heston movie Lucy Gallant.

Thomas Mitchell tells Heston that he has been searching for the Inca treasure for 14 years. By coincidence, 14 years before he made Secret of the Incas Mitchell starred in Only Angels Have Wings, which bears a slight resemblance to the Heston movie. The hero is Cary Grant, a tough-talking, bomber jacket wearing pilot who engages in derring-do in the Peruvian Andes … and his partner is Thomas Mitchell.

The tourists Heston leads around the Plaza de Armas are different to the ones he shows around the museum moments later. One of the tourist extras at the museum turns up at the end of the movie in Quechua costume. He can be seen behind Heston and Thomas Mitchell as Michael Pate tells the Indians that the sunburst is made of stone.

Secret of the Incas was Robert Young’s final movie. Other actor’s to make their final bow in a Heston movie include; Edward G. Robinson (Soylent Green), William Boyd (The Greatest Show on Earth), Gloria Swanson (Airport 1975), Victor Jory (The Mountain Men), H. B. Warner (The Ten Commandments), Claude Rains (The Greatest Story ever Told), and Mark Lester (The Prince and the Pauper).

Leon Askin plays Anton Marcu. Born as Leo Aschkenasy into a Jewish family in Vienna, he had to escape to America in 1940 with no money and less than a basic knowledge of English. Askin joined the U.S. Army and while on active service learned of his parent’s death at Treblinka extermination camp. After the war Askin appeared in many movies, and in the late 1960’s gained wide popularity on tv as General Burkhalter in the comedy sitcom Hogan’s Heroes.

Kurt Katch, who plays the sniper, went to the United States in 1937 to escape the Nazis. He became type-cast in Hollywood movies – playing Nazis! He was born in Grodno, Poland (Russia) but he lived mostly in Germany. A famous football goalkeeper during his youth, and like Leon Askin, a member of the Max Rienhart acting school, Katch appeared in the first German “talkie” motion picture. He died in 1958 from cancer. His wife was the famous Polish stage actress Roma Katch, who was the early voice of the “Campbell Soup” television commercials. Roma served as acting coach and voice/dialect teacher for many famous Hollywood stars from the 1940’s – 1960’s. She died aged 84 in 1995.

Thomas Mitchell was the brother of James P. Mitchell, who was the Secretary of Labour in the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1962 Thomas Mitchell played Lt. Columbo on stage, a role that Peter Falk eventually made his own on television. Mitchell was the first actor to win the “triple crown” of acting awards – Oscar, Emmy and Tony.

Fans of Thomas Mitchell who were in New York in May/June 1954 and wanting to see their favourite character actor were spoilt for choice. Secret of the Incas opened to smash business on 28 May at the Victoria, the best in many weeks at that Broadway cinema, and over the road at Loew’s State film palace Gone With The Wind was doing sensational business on its fourth revival, breaking the house record on its opening day, 29 May.

There are five character actors who are credited in Secret of the Incas who also appear in the 1950 movie Crisis: Robert Tafur, Zacharias Yaconelli, Martin Garralaga, Carlos Rivero and Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr.

Child actor Anthony Numkena plays the runner, who twice warns the archaeological camp that Heston is approaching. Anthony’s brother, Ronald Numkena, appeared with Heston in The Naked Jungle and The President’s Lady. In ancient Incan times, runners, or ‘chasqui’, ran about a kilometre each to the next post and carried a message in their head. The chasqui chain were able to carry messages hundreds of miles across the Inca Empire very quickly. They had to remember the messages word for word – or face the consequences! The runners worked 15 days before they had some time off, and carried a badge to show they were servants of the emperor. They also carried a sling and a star-headed mace to defend themselves against wild animals.

Harry Steele and Elena Antonescu were originally going to be played by Wendell Corey and Viveca Lindfors, who had previously starred together in No Sad Songs For Me (1950). According to the incomplete yellow script dated 28 Aug 1953, Corey was then relegated to the secondary male lead role of Stanley Moorehead, which was later given to Robert Young.

“National Geographic” sponsored the 1911 Hiram Bingham expedition in which Bingham brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world: the magazine also influenced the making of Secret of the Incas. Producer Mel Epstein read the October 1950 edition which featured stunning colour plates of life in the Andes, Machu Picchu and Cuzco, and decided to make an adventure movie with those impressive locations as a backdrop. Many of those plates have been faithfully recreated in the Heston movie. Plate 453 is a Pisac musician playing a flute, which is identical to the flute playing Quechua at the very beginning of Secret of the Incas. Other plates in the magazine show a yellow autocarril, a deserted Machu Picchu, Indians dancing in a pagan ritual, a red truck driving around the narrow streets of Cuzco, and llamas being led by Quechua, which have all been recreated in the film. In the months after the movie was released in 1954 there was a sudden rush of adverts in the magazine for trips to Peru.

In a February 1954 San Francisco Chronicle article, writer Sydney Boehm claimed he got the idea for the story after meeting Yma Sumac at a Hollywood party. The original title was Legend of the Incas.

One of the films technical advisors was Albert A. Giesecke, who was Hiram Bingham’s right-hand man on that first expedition. The son of German immigrants, Giesecke was born in Philadelphia in 1883 but at the age of 25 transplanted to Peru becoming a teacher, explorer, and also President of Cuzco University. Giesecke contributed significantly to the discovery of Machu Picchu, and promoted the paving of the streets of Cuzco and its sewage system. Giesecke also prepared the first runway and collaborated with the construction of Cuzco after the 1950 earthquake.

Some people think that the famous Paramount Studios logo of the mountain is Machu Picchu, but it actually looks more like Artesonraju, a peak in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Peruvian Andes. Raiders of the Lost Ark used the original 1950’s logo, which had been scrapped for years, and the logo dissolves into a shot of a silhouetted mountain peak. The same idea would be incorporated into the beginnings of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (the mountain on a gong in Club Obi-Wan), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (the mountain turns into a cliff in Utah) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (a pile of dirt where a gopher lives that is crushed by a moving truck).

Secret of the Incas is the only American movie that features Machu Picchu in the plot. The Inca citadel was seen briefly in two later productions The Motorcycle Diaries and Aguirre, Wrath of God. In 1970 Dennis Hopper, fresh from his Easy Rider success, filmed The Last Movie in Cuzco, Peru, but it flopped badly.

The amazing scenes of the Andes were filmed by Irmin Roberts, who was the inventor of the Dolly Zoom, a cinematic technique in which the camera moves closer or further from the subject while simultaneously adjusting the zoom angle to keep the subject the same size in the frame. This technique was made famous by Alfred Hitchcock in Vertigo and was also effectively used by Steven Spielberg in ET and Jaws.

Charlton Heston always extensively researched each role. On location in Cuzco with his wife Lydia, he studied “Lost City of the Incas” by Hiram Bingham and “Conquest of Peru” by William H. Prescott. Years later when he played an English archaeologist in The Awakening, he read every book on Egyptology by Howard Carter.

The Romanian consul flies to Cuzco in a private plane to bring Elena Antonescu back behind the Iron Curtain. If he has flown from Romania – how come his Piper Cub plane has the OB prefix, the national identity markings for Peruvian planes? His plane should have the YR prefix, the foreign registration code for Romanian planes.

A continuity error occurs when Nicole Maurey arrives in Cuzco in the red truck. Her location double opens the truck door, but the next scene is a studio shot of Maurey still sitting in the truck asking directions to her hotel. Its obvious Nicole Maurey never went on location to Peru, her location stand-in has a completely different hairstyle.

Take a close look at the clothing the American tourists are wearing at Cuzco airport, not exactly suitable apparel to be walking around high altitude Cuzco, “the city of light.”

Charlton Heston as Harry Steele wore virtually the same outfit as Ronald Reagan in Hong Kong. Chuck was good friends with Ronnie Reagan and his wife Nancy. Coincidentally, both were born in Illonois and later became Presidents of the Screen Actor’s Guild, apes and monkeys figured famously in their movies, both actors started out as liberal Democrats but gradually converted to conservative Republicans, and tragically, they both suffered from the devastating dementia alzheimers in later life. As well as resembling 1950’s Indiana Jones Soldiers of Fortune, they both married Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis, Reagan in real life - and Heston in reel life. In 1955 Chuck married Jane Wyman in Lucy Gallant and Nancy Davis in Bailout at 43,000 Feet.

Secret of the Incas was the first movie that former BBC Controller Michael Grade went to as a child. In an interview with Deborah Ross on 15 May 2000, she enquired about Grade’s first cinematic memory:
‘It was Yma Sumac in “Secret of the Incas”. Actually, the actress was really Amy Camus, but she’d turned her name around. Ha! She had a seven or eight octave voice which meant that the film kept stopping, so that she could wail from the top of the pyramids or whatever. I can’t remember much more about the film, but Yma Sumac is engraved on my heart. And all the way home, Uncle Lew – God rest his soul – did his impression of her.’

Michael Grade is one of many who mistakenly still believe that Yma Sumac is Amy Camus, a joke started by a member of the band and repeated by Walter Winchell on his radio show – listened to by millions of listeners in the 1950’s. Hence the amount of people who still think Yma Sumac was really Amy Camus.

Chuck Heston played Moses in The Ten Commandments a year after making Secret of the Incas with Yma Sumac. Yma’s husband was Moises (Spanish for Moses) Vivanco and they had a son, Charlie, who was nicknamed Chuck. Vivanco had an affair with Yma’s personal secretary while she was filming Secret of the Incas. The twin children from that liaison were born on 4 Oct 1954 – Chuck Heston’s 31st birthday.

Moises Vivanco can be spotted sitting behind Yma Sumac as she sings “Earthquake” at Machu Picchu. They married and divorced twice.

Another husband and wife appear in Secret of the Incas, but they don’t share a scene together. Rosa Rey, who is hilarious as Yma Sumac’s mother, was married to Martin Garralaga, who can be seen briefly towards the end of the movie in the archaeological ruins finding the stone version of the Sunburst. They only appeared in one other movie together, Song of the Gringo, which was Tex Ritter’s debut.

Martin Garralaga was a stalwart of hundreds of movies, among them Secret of the Incas, Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the three biggest influences on the Indiana Jones series.

Thomas Mitchell, Ed Morgan in Secret of the Incas, starred in two other classics that are closely linked with influencing Indiana Jones: Only Angels Have Wings and the classic western Stagecoach.

On 20 April 1954 Thomas Mitchell appeared on the tv show The Name’s The Same, and host Robert Q. Lewis asked him about his latest movie. “Last I heard, it was called Treasure of the Incas, about those boys down in South America”. Lewis nervously rustled his notes, and stuttered “It says here it’s called Treasure of the Islands” - with both men looking momentarily embarrassed. Not exactly the best publicity for Secret of the Incas, a month before its general release.

Grandon Rhodes plays the cuckold husband Mr. Winston, who gets off the plane at Cuzco and immediately gets altitude sickness – surely the quickest case in history! You are supposed to refrain from drinking and smoking to avoid the dreaded “soroche” but not only has Mr. Winston made an amazingly swift recovery in his next scene … he is drinking, smoking and dancing.

Only four American tourists get off the plane at Cuzco airport. This might seem a ridiculously small amount nowadays but the movie accurately represents that era. In 1954 there were 6,903 tourists who visited Cuzco, and only 421 were foreigners. One of them was the great Swiss photographer Werner Bischof, who was killed in a car accident on 16 May1954 aged 38. His most famous photo was of the Quechua boy “On the road to Cuzco”.

At the movies finale, Yma Sumac sings in ecstasy at a Paramount Studio set of The Temple of the Sun to celebrate the return of the gold encrusted Sunburst. In April 1953 Yma gave a concert at Machu Picchu, without using a microphone. Yma Sumac’s musical interludes are a distraction to some critics of the Secret of the Incas, in particular Indiana Jones devotees, but the Inca world was full of music. Music and dance played a very important part in the everyday lives of the Incas. They did not use stringed instruments, but drums and hand-drums, rattles, flutes, whistles and panpipes. Instruments were made from wood, reeds, pottery and bone. At festivals, musicians would play all day without a break. Large bands walked in procession, each panpipe player picking out a different part of the tune. Ancient tunes and rhythms live on in the modern music of the Andes.

Cuzco was still showing evidence of the 21 May 1950 earthquake three years later when the Paramount film unit shot location footage there. Look closely at the La Compania Cathedral when Heston walks past it leading his tour group, the building is still being supported by scaffolding. A photo taken by Che Guevarra in April 1952 of the Cathedral also shows the scaffolding and can be viewed in his book The Motorcycle Diaries.

Irmin Roberts captured some incredible footage of the Andes and Machu Picchu before the tourist explosion. Check out the colourful scene when hundreds of Quechua Indians are climbing the slopes of “The Lost City” to celebrate finding the Mamacuna mummy. One of the Indian extras, blowing into a shell-like musical instrument called a charango, can’t resist looking straight into the Roberts camera lens as he walks past.

Michael Pate portrays Pachacutec, who was one of the greatest heroes to the South American Indian. Australian Pate usually played North American Indian heroes, like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, in scores of westerns on television and the cinema screen. In the tv western Wagon Train he played the Native American “Yellow Robe” opposite Anthony Numkena, the child actor who played the runner in Secret of the Incas. In a 1963 episode of Perry Mason, Pate played a character called “Richard Harris”, two years later he was in the western Major Dundee opposite Heston and - Richard Harris.

Michael Pate and Booth Colman also appear in Paul Newman’s debut film The Silver Chalice. Newman despised this movie, he was embarrassed with his performance and never made an epic movie again. When it was broadcast on American tv in 1966 Newman took out an ad in a Hollywood trade paper apologizing for his lacklustre performance and urged people to give it a miss. This backfired, and The Silver Chalice gained unusually high ratings because of the ad.

Nicole Maurey was very brave getting into that Piper Cub plane with Chuck Heston, in view of what happened to the planes in some future Heston movies: Alaska, Mother Lode, A Thousand Heroes, Airport 1975, True Lies, and Skyjacked. Heston crashed his plane in The Omega Man, Planet of the Apes and Battle of Midway.

Two of the actors in Secret of the Incas named their houses after their most successful movie and tv show. Robert Young’s home was The Enchanted Cottage and Marion Ross lives in Happy Days Farm. Alvy Moore, Hank Kimball in Green Acres, owned the car number plate GRN ACRE5.

In 1941 Glenda Farrell married Dr. Henry Ross, a West Point graduate and Army physician who served in General Eisenhower’s staff. Glenda is the only actress to be buried at West Point Military Academy.

Charlton Heston’s screen characters in Ruby Gentry, The Naked Jungle and Secret of the Incas all had adventures in South America, and even The Greatest Show On Earth had a South American musical interlude. Heston played Josef Mengele in his final movie, My Father, Rua Alguem 5555, which was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ten cast members of Secret of the Incas have died in May and June.

Thomas Mitchell falls off a cliff at the end of the movie as punishment for attempting to steal the Sunburst. This was a nice touch by the screenwriters – Inca law stated that any criminal convicted of murder, insulting the emperor, or insulting the Gods, was thrown off a cliff.

The set designers made a boob at the scene when Heston and Nicole Maurey meet Pachacutec for the first time. They have planted some Black-eyed Susans amongst the jungle growth behind the actors. The Black-eyed Susan is native to North America only, not South America.

No wonder that Harry Steele had a chip on his shoulder with comments like this from the Romanian Consul Anton Marcu, “I can buy him like potatoes”.

‘Who cut down the cherry tree?’ is a running line throughout the movie, and bizarrely, only mentioned during romantic interludes. In reality, George Washington never did cut down the cherry tree. It was a moral fable made up by Washington’s biographer Mason Locke Weems who wrote the first ever biography of America’s first President, with the catchy little title: Life of George Washington; with Curious Anecdotes Equally Honorable to Himself, and Exemplary To his Young Countrymen.

When Charlton Heston encounters Robert Young at Machu Picchu, he jokingly says the oft-used quote from Stanley, “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” This famous quote was actually never spoken by Stanley according to the author Tim Jeal in the book Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer. In another book Mr Stanley, I Presume by Alan Gallop, its mentioned that the diary Stanley kept throughout his search for Livingstone has a missing page – the page on which he records his meeting with Livingstone and his first exchange of words with the doctor. There is no reason to suggest that Stanley did not say the words, as they appeared in the New York Herald dispatch written shortly after the first meeting. Stanley went through the remainder of his life insisting that he had used the phrase, although Livingstone’s own recollection of the same meeting made no mention of words when the two men met for the first time in the African interior.

For an archaeologist, Dr Stanley Moorehead displays total ignorance of the Quechuan culture. Look at the way he sits on the Intihuatana, the most important Inca shrine at Machu Picchu, while proposing to Elena. On 3 November 2005, a camera crane operator, Walter Leonidas Espinoza, accidently chipped the stone sundial while shooting a commercial for the Backus beer company and was sentenced to six years imprisonment.

Charlton Heston would have been a more obvious choice to play the father of Indiana Jones instead of Sean Connery. Apart from the Harry Steele connection, Heston was an archaeologist at The Valley of the Kings in The Awakening, the great American explorer William Clark in The Far Horizons, and adventurers in The Naked Jungle, Nairobi and Alaska. Chuck also proved very handy with a whip in Ben-Hur. Heston’s real name was John Carter, coincidentally the name of the adventurous hero in the Edgar Rice Burrough’s stories.

Heston also closely resembled the look of Indiana Jones in the 1952 Oscar winning spectacular The Greatest Show On Earth. This great movie was Steven Spielberg’s favourite as a child, and he homaged the train crash in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Apart from Secret of the Incas, Jerry Hopper directed Heston in two other movies, Pony Express and The Private War of Major Benson. Hopper also directed Chuck’s wife Lydia Clarke in The Atomic City – his debut as a director. His final movie Madron starred Leslie Caron and Richard Boone. In her autobiography Thank Heaven Caron is scathing of Hopper and didn’t like being kissed by Boone. ‘You can’t fight a drunken director bullied by a drunken leading man. I rinsed my mouth with a strong mouth wash’.

The barman charges Heston six soles for a pisco sour – quite an exhorbitant price considering you could get a hotel room for that amount in 1954.

Secret of the Incas is set in Peru, but features only one native born Peruvian, Yma Sumac. The rest of the cast came from America, Australia, Austria, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Poland and Spain.

Yma Sumac holds a dubious movie claim to fame – no one has said the word ‘iodine’ as many times in one scene as her. She is jealous at the attention Robert Young is giving to Nicole Maurey, so dispenses iodine to the doctor as he tends her Inca Trail wound. It is ironic that this movie scene has a French actress being given the medicine, as iodine was discovered by Frenchman Bernard Courtois in 1811.

Nicole Maurey plays a Romanian refugee, who due to financial necessity, worked as a prostitute in La Paz. Two years later Nicole was on the game again, playing an Italian lady of dubious virtue in The Bold and the Brave opposite Mickey Rooney.

Heston ‘romanced’ hookers in Secret of the Incas, Three Violent People, Major Dundee, and Soylent Green. Towards the end of his long career Heston played a character called Hooker in Tombstone.

After his small role in Secret of the Incas, bit player William Henry must have formed a good friendship with John Wayne and John Ford. His film credits after 1955 include Mr. Roberts, Wings of Eagles, The Horse Soldiers, Sergeant Rutledge, The Alamo, Two Rode Together, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cheyenne Autumn, How The West Was Won, and El Dorado.

Another bit player who owed a debt to John Ford was Fritz Ford. You can’t miss him in Secret of the Incas – he’s the huge guy in a brown shirt and tan jacket leaving the airport entrance just as Heston introduces himself to the tourists. Born Fred Apking, he excelled at college football and doubled for actor Phil Carey during the football scenes in The Long Gray Line. Director John Ford was so impressed by the beating he took against two pro players that he gave him a small role in Mr. Roberts . The studio didn’t like his real name so out of gratitude he changed his name to Fritz Ford. He doubled for Charlton Heston in Bad For Each Other and Soylent Green.

On the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Heston and Nicole Maurey take a breather, and she enquires if he is meeting someone there. ‘There won’t be anyone there … a few Indians maybe … it’s a summer resort, not many people go to Machu Picchu.’ The tourist situation has changed considerably since Chuck Heston spoke those lines in 1953. According to Peru’s National Institute of Culture, each year some 800,000 people visit Machu Picchu, spending in the region of 200 million dollars.

Two stars of Secret of the Incas have had statues built in their honour. On 9 Nov 2002 Charlton Heston as Will Penny was unveiled at The Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, in Oklahoma City. The sculptor was Blair Buswell. Leon Askin had a double honour bestowed on him. On 6 March 2007 a square in Vienna was named after him, and on 31 Aug 2007 in the Tuerkenschanzpark, Vienna, a statue was unveiled. The sculptor was Hubert Wilfan. Another star from from the movie has been honoured with a theatre named after her. The Albert Lea Civic Theatre is now the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

The Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health in Rock Island, Illonois, is named after the actor in Secret of the Incas in honour of his work toward passage of the 708 Illonois Tax Referendum, which established a property tax to support mental health programmes in his home state. Young had attempted suicide on 12 January 1991 by running a hose from his exhaust pipe to the interior of the car, but he couldn’t start it. He rang a towing company to help him get it started, and the guys saw the pipe and notified the police. Young was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for observation and was later released.

Leon Askin’s 1954 filmography is very interesting to fans of adventure movies. In the short space of a few months in 1954, two films were released that loosely chronicle the two greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century, and the most impressive aspect about these two colourful escapades is that Secret of the Incas and Valley of the King’s were filmed at the actual locations where Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, and where Howard Carter unearthed the Valley of the King’s.

Heston incorrectly points out the wrong location of the famous Maria Angola bell in Cuzco Cathedral. The bell was built in 1655, weighed about six tons and is 2.10 metres high. Maria Angola was a rich lady who lived in Cuzco, who became pregnant by her beau. Her father challenged the young man to a duel, and was killed. Maria’s lover then died on a trip to Spain, and she became inconsolable over the loss of her father and boyfriend. Maria Angola was so disconsolate that she entered the convent of St. Theresa throwing all her precious gems, jewellery and a 25lb gold piece into the hearth where the giant bell was being smelted. The bell was then named after her.

In the El Prado pool room Thomas Mitchell tells Heston ‘I can’t move fast myself,’ but at the movies end his character Ed Morgan (obviously a stand-in) is seen scampering up and down Machu Picchu carrying the weighty Sunburst like an Olympic athlete!

Heston tells Maurey ‘I tried to quit smoking once’ – but is never shown smoking at all in the movie, Paramount’s Head of Foreign and Domestic Censorship, Luigi Luraschi banned the character from being a smoker!

In the earliest draft of the Secret of the Incas screenplay, by Sydney Boehm, the heroine was Penny Ante, a cute and wise American blonde who is in trouble with the Cuzco police. Luigi Luraschi didn’t like the fact that she was from the States, and requested changes. By October 1952, Heston’s character was now to befriend one Julia Bartosh, a beautiful refugee from a European slave labour camp, an ex-model of Paris, and at the moment a fugitive from the police because she unwisely irked a man of wealth and influence and is facing deportation charges. Julia Bartosh was then changed to Lisa Georges. Luraschi still wasn’t satisfied, and so co-screenwriter Ranald McDougall rechristened the girl Elena Antonescu, a gorgeous refugee from an Iron Curtain country, and whose only hope of escape is to reach the United States.

If you require evidence of how stubborn mules can be, look at those two burros standing on the road, blocking the red truck and the autocarril. I wonder how many takes it took to get them to stay rooted to the spot like that?

In the late 1940’s Charlton Heston was spotted in a Broadway production by a talent scout who excitedly phoned producer Hal Wallis about his discovery, ‘He’s another Burt Lancaster!’ gushed the scout. ‘Yes, but do we need another Burt Lancaster?’ replied Wallis. Chuck and Burt often trod similar paths: both made Airport movies and starred as Moses, and in the 1950’s they both appeared in highly successful circus movies. The early 1950’s penchant for sympathetic Indian westerns had them both playing Native Americans, and the Gunfight at the OK Corral, 1970’s disaster movies, submarine movies, not to mention swashbuckling pirate adventures with Christopher Lee, can be found on their filmographies. Both of these screen tough guys started off in the business in film noir dramas opposite the great femme fatale Lizabeth Scott. Burt Lancaster was originally pencilled in to play General Gordon in Khartoum, Brad Braden in The Greatest Show on Earth, and Judah in Ben-Hur, roles that eventually went to Heston.

The Lux Radio Theater presented a radio version of Secret of the Incas on 14 December 1954 at the Music Box Theater on Hollywood Boulevard before a live audience of a thousand fans. Heston and Nicole Maurey repeated their movie roles but Yma Sumac wasn’t in this adaptation. William Conrad was excellent as Ed Morgan, the man-hungry Mrs. Winston was played by Paula Winslowe, and Ted de Corsia was a rather threatening Pachacutec. Others in the cast were James Stephenson, Edward Marr, Edgar Barrier and Herb Butterfield. The studio audience tittered at the ‘Who cut down the cherry tree?’ scenes, and during the Inca Trail sequence several of the audience can be heard coughing. Heston and Maurey were paid five thousand dollars for this 50 minute show.

Joe Foster wrote the sleeve notes to the Yma Sumac compact disc Voice of the Extabay, and he astonishingly described Secret of the Incas as “One of the most bizarrely racist movies ever”. Interestingly, Foster does not provide any examples of ‘bizarre racism’ to back up his incredibly ridiculous statement.

There are two scenes when Heston uses a torch, which magically change colour and size in a matter of seconds. While Yma Sumac sings ‘Taita Inty’ Heston goes looking for clues in the tomb, and pulls out of his pocket a very small silver torch at the entrance. The next scene in the tomb, Heston is holding a huge black flashlight. The very same thing happens later when Heston leaves Ed Morgan asleep, on route to finding the Sunburst.

Charlton Heston was seen by more cinema audiences in the 1950's than any other actor. Three of the top seven biggest box-office hits starred Heston. He was a big star right through to the 1970's.

The Secret of the Incas screenwriters really thought big - as the word "big" crops up repeatedly in the movies dialogue.
Glenda Farrell purrs to Heston - 'Mmmm, you're the big one" at the airport.
Heston warns Alvy Moore at the bar - "I'm bigger than you."
Heston insults Mitchell at the El Prado - "You're bigger than you look," and later "You're just a big tub of guts."
Nicole Maurey scolds Heston - "For a big man you are the smallest one I know" at the camp.
Mitchell praises Heston - "You’ve got everything, big, good-looking ..."
Heston builds up the Sunburst to the tourists - "A Sunburst like that, only twice as big ...." and ends with "This one's big brother."

Four different languages are spoken in the movie: English, Spanish, Romanian and Quechua.

 Post subject: Re: Secret of the Incas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:41 pm 
El Cid
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:11 pm
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Location: Lincoln, England
Boy oh boy ... talk about burying your head in the sand!

Yma Sumac's performance in "Secret of the Incas" (1954)
published: 21 Sep 2016
views: 58

Yma Sumac doing what she does in "Secret of the Incas". The character of Indiana Jones had nothing to do with this film. Nothing, I tell you!

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