Red Sun


1h 55m 1971
Red Sun

Brief Synopsis

A Samurai and a Western outlaw join forces to track down the bandits who stole a ceremonial sword.

Film Details

Also Known As
Soleil Rouge
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Western
Action
Release Date
1971

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor and Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

In the 1870s midwest an outlaw is betrayed by his partner after they hold up a train carrying Japanese diplomats en route to Washington. The outlaw and one of the Japanese bodyguards--whose partner was killed by the double crosser--set out for revenge.

Film Details

Also Known As
Soleil Rouge
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Western
Action
Release Date
1971

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor and Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

Red Sun


The dual cinematic fads for European westerns and Asian martial arts epics resulted in some odd hybrids during the 1970s, with gunfighters and karate champions sometimes crossing paths under the most unlikely of circumstances. The most prestigious of these cinematic experiments came in 1971 when a cast of European stars joined forces with Akira Kurosawa leading man ToshirĂ´ Mifune for Red Sun, an ambitious international project designed for as much global appeal as possible.

The man chosen to helm this undertaking was Terence Young, best known at the time as the director of some of the best-loved James Bond adventures including Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965). By this point Young's fluency in Spanish, French, and Italian made him an ideal candidate for multilingual European productions, with titles like Mayerling (1968) already under his belt. On top of that Young was in the middle of a three-film collaboration with actor Charles Bronson (along with 1970's Cold Sweat and 1972's The Valachi Papers), which meant the gun-slinging actor from Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) could be brought in to provide the necessary American appeal.

Budgeted for $3.6 million, Red Sun began shooting in mid-January of 1971 in Madrid and Almeria, Spain. Originally a Warner Bros. production, it eventually went to France's Corona Films and Ted Richmond Productions with Bronson shooting it at the same time as Chato's Land, bookending this around the other film's shoot. Originally the film was intended to be made in 1967 after associate producer Ted Richmond's Villa Rides, with Laird Koenig (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane) writing the original draft. Koenig eventually received a story credit as the script was drastically reworked a number of times, most significantly by Denne Bart Petitclerc. David Goodman was also brought to write a version in 1968, and final screenplay credits in 1971 went to Petitclerc, William Roberts, and Lawrence Roman.

Despite his Bronson connection, Young originally wanted a different Sergio Leone actor to star, Clint Eastwood. At the same time he signed on to this film, Young was also preparing a biography of artist Benvenuto Cellini, potentially to star Claudia Cardinale, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Romy Schneider, and Kim Novak. That film would never come to fruition, but that connection meant Andress was retained to star in Red Sun instead.

Young clashed throughout the production with Richmond, who later told International Soundtrack Madrid in 1971, "We were both under tremendous tension, but I'm planning three more pictures with Young." Not surprisingly, that turned out to be wishful thinking as the two never worked together again.

Before handing off screenplay duties, Richmond based the idea for the film on a story he heard from an authority on Eastern history about a Japanese representative dishonored during a trip through the American West. He prepared a 15-page outline and courted Mifune for the role during a trip to Japan in 1966, getting the first casting commitment for the international cast that also included Alain Delon, Capucine, James Bond actor Anthony Dawson, and even a young Luc Merenda, who would become a star in several '70s Italian crime films. In an unusual move, composer Maurice Jarre, who had already earned Academy Awards for his work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago) (1965), was brought onto the set to get a feel for the atmosphere of the film; though evocative and certainly worthy of the composer, the score was never released as a soundtrack album in the United States but has remained in steady circulation in France, Japan, and Spain.

The costly production went smoothly for the most part, though a heavy, unexpected rainstorm added 18 days to the shooting schedule. Mifune entertained the cast and crew throughout the entire production with his refined culinary skills, bringing over a supply of Japanese meats, watercress, seaweed, and other ingredients. He would also exchange recipes for French and Italian dishes, including spaghetti. Family man Bronson brought an entourage of 16 people including wife Jill Ireland and their five children, while Andress fell in love with the area and bought a Spanish villa during the shoot. Meanwhile the busy schedules of Delon and Capucine meant that they flew back to France and Switzerland respectively for weekends and were helicoptered back to the location each Monday.

Red Sun was picked up for American distribution by the up-and-coming independent company National General Pictures, which emerged as a production company in 1967 after years as a theater chain company. The wound up releasing the film in June of 1972 after nabbing it in an ambitious, pricey slate of titles including Pocket Money, The Getaway, Up the Sandbox, The War Between Men and Women, Snoopy Come Home, Prime Cut, and The Dead Are Alive. By the following year, the company would be bought out by American Financial Corporation with its in-house films quickly passing into the hands of Warner Bros. Fortunately the film's star appeal and genre-mashing novelty have ensured that it survives long after the forces that created it vanished into film history.

By Nathaniel Thompson
Red Sun

Red Sun

The dual cinematic fads for European westerns and Asian martial arts epics resulted in some odd hybrids during the 1970s, with gunfighters and karate champions sometimes crossing paths under the most unlikely of circumstances. The most prestigious of these cinematic experiments came in 1971 when a cast of European stars joined forces with Akira Kurosawa leading man ToshirĂ´ Mifune for Red Sun, an ambitious international project designed for as much global appeal as possible. The man chosen to helm this undertaking was Terence Young, best known at the time as the director of some of the best-loved James Bond adventures including Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Thunderball (1965). By this point Young's fluency in Spanish, French, and Italian made him an ideal candidate for multilingual European productions, with titles like Mayerling (1968) already under his belt. On top of that Young was in the middle of a three-film collaboration with actor Charles Bronson (along with 1970's Cold Sweat and 1972's The Valachi Papers), which meant the gun-slinging actor from Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) could be brought in to provide the necessary American appeal. Budgeted for $3.6 million, Red Sun began shooting in mid-January of 1971 in Madrid and Almeria, Spain. Originally a Warner Bros. production, it eventually went to France's Corona Films and Ted Richmond Productions with Bronson shooting it at the same time as Chato's Land, bookending this around the other film's shoot. Originally the film was intended to be made in 1967 after associate producer Ted Richmond's Villa Rides, with Laird Koenig (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane) writing the original draft. Koenig eventually received a story credit as the script was drastically reworked a number of times, most significantly by Denne Bart Petitclerc. David Goodman was also brought to write a version in 1968, and final screenplay credits in 1971 went to Petitclerc, William Roberts, and Lawrence Roman. Despite his Bronson connection, Young originally wanted a different Sergio Leone actor to star, Clint Eastwood. At the same time he signed on to this film, Young was also preparing a biography of artist Benvenuto Cellini, potentially to star Claudia Cardinale, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Romy Schneider, and Kim Novak. That film would never come to fruition, but that connection meant Andress was retained to star in Red Sun instead. Young clashed throughout the production with Richmond, who later told International Soundtrack Madrid in 1971, "We were both under tremendous tension, but I'm planning three more pictures with Young." Not surprisingly, that turned out to be wishful thinking as the two never worked together again. Before handing off screenplay duties, Richmond based the idea for the film on a story he heard from an authority on Eastern history about a Japanese representative dishonored during a trip through the American West. He prepared a 15-page outline and courted Mifune for the role during a trip to Japan in 1966, getting the first casting commitment for the international cast that also included Alain Delon, Capucine, James Bond actor Anthony Dawson, and even a young Luc Merenda, who would become a star in several '70s Italian crime films. In an unusual move, composer Maurice Jarre, who had already earned Academy Awards for his work on Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago) (1965), was brought onto the set to get a feel for the atmosphere of the film; though evocative and certainly worthy of the composer, the score was never released as a soundtrack album in the United States but has remained in steady circulation in France, Japan, and Spain. The costly production went smoothly for the most part, though a heavy, unexpected rainstorm added 18 days to the shooting schedule. Mifune entertained the cast and crew throughout the entire production with his refined culinary skills, bringing over a supply of Japanese meats, watercress, seaweed, and other ingredients. He would also exchange recipes for French and Italian dishes, including spaghetti. Family man Bronson brought an entourage of 16 people including wife Jill Ireland and their five children, while Andress fell in love with the area and bought a Spanish villa during the shoot. Meanwhile the busy schedules of Delon and Capucine meant that they flew back to France and Switzerland respectively for weekends and were helicoptered back to the location each Monday. Red Sun was picked up for American distribution by the up-and-coming independent company National General Pictures, which emerged as a production company in 1967 after years as a theater chain company. The wound up releasing the film in June of 1972 after nabbing it in an ambitious, pricey slate of titles including Pocket Money, The Getaway, Up the Sandbox, The War Between Men and Women, Snoopy Come Home, Prime Cut, and The Dead Are Alive. By the following year, the company would be bought out by American Financial Corporation with its in-house films quickly passing into the hands of Warner Bros. Fortunately the film's star appeal and genre-mashing novelty have ensured that it survives long after the forces that created it vanished into film history. By Nathaniel Thompson

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.


Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute.

After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland.

TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place:

8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960)
10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963)
1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967)
4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976)

Charles Bronson, 1921-2003

Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81.

He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him.

Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954).

Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West.

These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977).

Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.

Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute. After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland. TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place: 8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960) 10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963) 1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967) 4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976) Charles Bronson, 1921-2003 Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81. He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him. Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954). Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West. These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977). Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1971

Released in United States 1971