Hall Bartlett

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Hall Bartlett
Born Hall Bartlett
(1922-11-27)November 27, 1922
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died September 7, 1993(1993-09-07) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 1952–1982
Spouse(s) Rhonda Fleming (1966–1972; divorced) Lupita Ferrer (1978–1978; divorced)

Hall Bartlett (November 27, 1922 – September 7, 1993) was an American film producer, director, and screen writer.

Early life[edit]

Hall Bartlett was born in Kansas City, Missouri, he graduated from Yale University Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Rhodes Scholar nominee.[citation needed] He served five years in Naval intelligence, then started his film making career when he began producing the documentary film Navajo, the first contemporary picture to focus attention on the plight of the American Indian.[1] Bartlett was also the first filmmaker to do a picture about professional football: his Crazylegs was the story of superstar Elroy Hirsch.[1]

Film career[edit]

His next film and directorial debut, Unchained, was filmed inside the California Institution for Men at Chino, California. Bartlett spent six months living as an inmate while he wrote the screenplay. The film's musical theme, "Unchained Melody," became an international classic.[2]

Bartlett then acquired the rights to the first novel of Arthur Hailey, Zero Hour!, and made it into a suspense film. The film's plot was later used for Airplane!, the 1980 spoof of disaster films.

Drango, a study of the post American Civil War era, was based on the true story about a Union officer who returned to the land his fellow soldiers had ravaged to try to rebuild the South, as Abraham Lincoln had encouraged before his assassination.[3]

All the Young Men, starring Sidney Poitier was about a black man's struggle to achieve first class citizenship.

The Caretakers centered on the problems of mental health and was (at the request of President John F. Kennedy) the first film ever shown on the floor of the United States Senate.[4] Two days after the screening, President Kennedy’s mental health bill was passed without a dissenting vote.[4]

A Global Affair, a story about the first baby ever born in the United Nations building in New York City, starred Bob Hope and Lilo Pulver.

Hall's film, Sol Madrid, was made from the Robert Wilder novel, The Fruit of The Poppy.

Changes, a strongly personal examination of the younger generation, was filmed in college communities across the country to record honest insights into issues of the day. The New York Times called the film "one of the most imaginative, haunting and artistic movies yet made. It is a remarkable film and – more than that – a remarkable experience."[5]

The Sandpit Generals received international acclaim and was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival.[6]

Bartlett's film Jonathan Livingston Seagull was filmed entirely without human actors on screen, using only voiceovers, and before computer-generated effects were available. In order to make seagulls act on cue and perform aerobatics, Mark Smith of Escondido, California, built radio-controlled gliders that looked remarkably like real seagulls from a few feet away. The writer Richard Bach was so unimpressed with the treatment of the film that he sued the Paramount Pictures Corporation for negligence. Critics blasted the film, calling it "for the birds". Despite the criticism, the movie garnered praise from artistic and technical film professionals and earned Academy Award nominations for film editing (Frank P. Keller, James Galloway) and cinematography (Jack Couffer).

The Search of Zubin Mehta is a story of an extraordinary family, eminently making a high place of cultural achievement in the world.

The Children of Sanchez was written for the screen by Cesare Zavattini based on Oscar Lewis's book of the same title, a classic study of a Mexican family interpreted by Anthony Quinn, Dolores del Río and his wife Lupita Ferrer. This film is better known for its Grammy award winning musical score by Chuck Mangione. The film was entered into the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.[7]

Love is Forever is the true story of one of the most daring escapes in modern history.[citation needed] John Everingham rescued his Laotian fiancée under the watchful guns of the Pathet Lao Army, executing an unforgettable, exciting, dangerous, and life-risking plan. The plan demanded a year's careful training and study, after Everingham, a top reporter was imprisoned in Laos, then expelled from the country with a high price for his murder if he ever returned. Bartlett filmed Love Is Forever in Thailand. He is the first person to get permission to shoot on the Mekong River, two miles away from the Army of Laos.[citation needed]

Personal life and death[edit]

Bartlett was heavily involved in the Los Angeles community as a founder of the Music Center, a director of the James Doolittle Theatre, a patron of the Art Museum, a patron of the American Youth Symphony, a board member of KCET, and organizer of the Los Angeles Rams Club and the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Club.

At the time of his passing in 1993, Bartlett was finishing his second novel for Random House, Face to Face. His first novel, The Rest of Our Lives, was a best seller in 1988. Bartlett had partnered with Michael J. Lasky and developed a dozen projects for the eleven years prior to his death. One of these projects included the film Catch Me If You Can.[8] Bartlett and Lasky both wrote and drafted many scripts for the project with Hall positioned as the director and Lasky producing. The rights were eventually sold and produced/directed by Steven Spielberg, nineteen years after Lasky's first option.[citation needed] In his last days, they were working on a three-picture slate which included the re-mastering of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The production team grew to include Robert Watts, known for being one of the producers on a number of Spielberg and Lucas films.


Bartlett's films have received ten Best Picture and Best director awards at international film festivals, seventeen Academy Award nominations, eight Hollywood Foreign Press Golden Globe Awards, and more than 75 national and international awards from publications and organizations.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Hall Bartlett Biography". Yahoo! Movies. April 20, 2011. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Unchained (1955)
  3. ^ "Drango". This TV. Archived from the original on April 30, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Adam Zanzie (March 7, 2011). "The Caretakers (1963)". Icebox Movies. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ Howard Thompson (February 12, 1969). "Changes (1969) Screen: 'Changes' Opens:Novices in Cast Make Story More Touching". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "7th Moscow International Film Festival (1971)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ Kathi Jackson (2007). Steven Spielberg: A Biography. ISBN 978-0-313-33796-3. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. 

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