Friday, September 21, 2012


Eduardo Fajardo was a very good actor, well-known in Europe, with years of experience. He was flying around playing the heavy in a picture with Stewart Granger at the same time he was doing Mission. My most important stuff was with him, because we were the antagonists, and from the beginning I sensed he was wiping me off the screen. So I showed up to watch the dailies (over the director's objections, as usual), confirming the impression.
How was he doing it?
Sometimes subtly, by stepping into my light during a tense two-shot. Block someone’s light, they disappear. Or (on my lines, of course) he’d stare off as if he found something fascinating in the far distance over my left shoulder. Or, less subtly, he’d scratch his balls or pick his nose. Anything to keep the focus on himself. Malatesta never said a thing.
Eduardo and I were pretty friendly by then, so I called him on it. He threw up his hands. “Arturo,” he said, “I can’t help it. It comes automatically to me. You’re not a very good actor, you know, and it’s hard not to take advantage.”
I guess he took pity, seeing my expression. “But the camera loves you,” he added, putting a hand on my shoulder, “and no doubt you can learn. Listen. Develop an image in your mind. You’re a fly-swatter and I’m the fly. You’re just waiting for me to land. It’ll show in your eyes.”
I guess it helped. If it changed my performance (the reason some directors don’t want actors to watch dailies), it was early enough in the picture to pass for plot. My character starts out low key, before turning intrepid. At least, that’s how it played out.

 Excerpted from FLASHBACKS, the authors autobiography.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This book ( A CALL FROM L.A.) got good reviews when it came out. But I treasure this acknowledgement above all.  Agree with him or not, this President was a gentleman through and through who would go out of his way to make a gracious gesture.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Trading a smile for a sneer. Bad guys have more fun. On or off camera. Or, as some have unkindly suggested, these parts are a better fit. Above left, playing the smooth heavy in 'Taste of the Savage' with Cameron Mitchel and Isela Vega. In the center with Nadia Milton in 'Sin Salida' (No Way Out). A truly evil couple, we had the mob , the millions, the mansion. At right, in the same film, confronting Jorge Rivero,  Mexico's action star of the era. We take each other down in a welter of gore.
The above films are all covered in the author's autobiography, FLASHBACKS. These pictures weren't what you'd call classics. They are among many covered in the book, shot all over the world to usually end up in America as 'midnight movies', so called because that's when they generally showed up on U.S. TV. Most of the fun, romance and misadventure took place off screen and that is what this story is about.
FLASHBACKS is available on Amazon and e-book platforms.

Friday, April 27, 2012


She came back to make exercise videos, star in movies and marry a mad billionaire.
He raged around in Ho Chi Minh T.Shirts and served in the California legislature.
Read the text and decide if we follow our own laws.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Next day we were back in Italy, shooting somewhere around Anzio, on some rocky terrain that looked like a moonscape. Scene was, we land in a helicopter on the slope of a hill and I get out to reconnoiter an encampment of bad guys on the other side.
I jumped down and was ducking toward camera under the blades when Malatesta cut the scene.
“Don’t crouch,” he told me. “A hero is not crouching. You walk out standing straight.”
“Everyone ducks under the blades getting out of a helicopter,” I pointed out. “Generals. Presidents. Everyone.”
“Not you. We shoot it again.”
The copter was parked at an angle, the blades spinning closer to the ground on the side I had to exit from. I didn’t think there was clearance. I looked at the director, who was my height, around six feet. “Okay, Guido, you do it first.”
He threw up his hands. “Okay, for the brave American actor, we gonna measure it.”
The pilot shut the engine down and I went to stand under the blades. Well, beside them actually, because they were level with my eyebrows. So all I would have lost was the top of my head.

Excerpt from the author's autobiography, FLASHBACKS

Saturday, March 17, 2012


This flick can hardly be compared to the immortal CASABLANCA with Humphrey Bogart. That said, we did shoot it in Casablanca - not on Warner Studios back lot. Look at all that beautiful handset tile in the background!  (And I'm sure that's what you were looking at) The dancer  proves belly dancers don't have to have bellies. Most of them are trained from childhood to dance and, yes, some of them are slaves. Driving from Casablanca to our Marrakesh  location we passed a slave train right next to the ribbon of road that was the only highway between the two cities. Arabs on camels in full regalia towing a flock of people behind them, tied together and walking - not riding. Our driver said they were on the way to the slave market in Marrakesh.
Photo excerpted from FLASHBACKS, the author's memoir. Check for more books, stills, film clips.