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The Last Valley

The Last Valley(1971)

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Hollywood Reporter production charts list the film's title as A Last Valley. The title credit reads: James Clavell's The Last Valley. James Clavell's credit reads: "Written for the screen, Produced and Directed by." The following written prologue appears before the film's title: "The Thirty Years War began in 1618. It started as a religious war-Catholics against Protestants. But in their relentless pursuit of power, princes of both faiths changed sides as it suited them, and in the name of religion butchered Europe." On the print viewed, many of the credits were illegible. The technical credits were reconstructed using production notes and contemporary reviews.
       According to an August 1967 Daily Variety news item, Clavell initially planned to write and direct The Last Valley for The Mirisch Corporation. By April 1969 a Daily Variety item related that Robert Porter had been brought in as associate producer and that Clavall would produce the film for ABC Pictures Corp. An August 1970 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the film's composer, John Barry, was to write a title song with Don Black. Omar Sharif was simultaneously filming the Columbia production The Horsemen, which had to split its shooting schedule to accommodate the actor. The Last Valley was shot on location in Austria and at the Halifax Studios in England. Although several news items noted that the film was to be released first as a reserved-seat road show attraction, The Last Valley only was put into general release.
       As indicated in the opening prologue, The Thirty Years' War began in 1618. Its roots were tied to The Peace of Augsburg, declared in 1555, in which the Holy Roman Empire recognized the Lutheran Church. German Catholics and Protestants each formed armed alliances to preserve their religious rights and tensions grew steadily between them. The conflict spilled over into Bohemia, Moravia and Austria, when dissension within the Habsburg Empire enabled the local elites to demand religious freedom as well. Although the greater part of the long war encompassed the territories that make up modern Germany, interest in the German territories prompted involvement in the conflict at various times by Spain, Denmark, Sweden and France. The war was marked by high civilian casualties brought about, as indicated in The Last Valley, by the greed of mercenary soldiers and pestilence. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 brought the end of The Thirty Years' War and found German lands divided among several countries.