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SAUL ZAENTZ (executive producer) has built a reputation as one of the most creative independent American producers. His production of "Amadeus" (Milos Forman, 1984) swept the Academy Awards, with eight Oscars including Best Picture, while "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (Forman, 1975), which he co-produced with Michael Douglas, won the Oscar for Best Picture as well as for Best Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay. "When a man like Saul Zaentz comes along," says Jerome Hellman, "it's like a miracle. He's smart, he's honest, he's experienced, he knows what it is to make a movie--and he's willing to put up the money and walk away. This film couldn't have been made as well under any other auspices."
Zaentz first came into prominence by managing and developing the pioneering record company, Fantasy Records. Fantasy was a creative and pioneering label, the first to record Dave Brubeck with Cal Tjader and Paul Desmond; the "new wave" of fifties stand-up comedians, Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl; and the rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fantasy's first film production was Daryl Duke's "Payday" (1972), about a day in the life of a country-western singer (Rip Torn). Following the success of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Zaentz produced "Three Warriors" (1977) and a full-length animated feature, J.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (1978), directed by Ralph Bakshi. Zaentz's companies, Fantasy, Inc. and The Saul Zaentz Company, occupy a square block with a seven-story complex fully equipped with state-of-the-art recording studios, mixing and film editing facilities, where such films as "Amadeus," "The Right Stuff," and "Never Cry Wolf" were post-produced.
PAUL THEROUX (author) is the best-selling writer of two dozen books, including novels, short stories and his immensely popular travel books--The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), The Old Patagonian Express (1979) and The Kingdom by the Sea (1983). He has been described by Saturday Review as, "one of the most gifted and prodigal writers of his generation." In addition to The Mosquito Coast (1982), Theroux's novels include Waldo (1966), Fong and the Indians (1968), Girls at Play (1969), Jungle Lovers (1971), Saint Jack (1973, filmed in 1979 by Peter Bogdanovich), The Black House(1974), The Family Arsenal (1976), The Consul's File (1977), Picture Palace (1978) and The London Embassy (1983). Theroux's 1984 bestseller Half Moon Street consists of two novellas, the first of which, "Dr. Slaughter," was recently made into the film "Half Moon Street," starring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Caine. His latest novel, O-Zone, was recently published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.
As a screenwriter, PAUL SCHRADER is best known for two major films with Martin Scorsese, "Taxi Driver" (1976) and "Raging Bull" (1980, co-written with Mardik Martin). Schrader also has an impressive career as a writer/director, with such distinctive films as "Blue Collar" (1978), "Hardcore" (1979), "American Gigolo" (1980), "Cat People" (1982, only directed), and "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" (1985) to his credit. His other screenplays include Sydney Pollack's "The Yakuza" (1975, co-written with Leonard Schrader), Brian De Palma's "Obsession" (1976), John Flynn's "Rolling Thunder" (1977) and Joan Tewkesbury's "Old Boyfriends" (1979, co-written with Leonard Schrader).
JOHN SEALE (director of photography) continues a long association with director Peter Weir on "The Mosquito Coast." Seale served as director of photography on Weir's "Witness" (1985), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He also worked as a camera operator on Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975), "The Last Wave" (1977) and "Gallipoli" (1981) and directed the second unit photography on "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1983). Seale has long been one of the most respected cinematographers in his native Australia, and his credits as director of photography include David Hemmings' "The Survivor" (1981), Carl Schultz's "Goodbye Paradise" (1982), Sophia Turkiewicz's "Silver City" (1984) and Schultz's "Careful He Might Hear You" (1984), which provoked Jerome Hellman to hire him for "The Mosquito Coast." Since "Witness," Seale has lensed Chris Tompson's "The Empty Beach," with Bryan Brown; Robert Harmon's "The Hitcher," with Rutger Hauer; and Randa Haines' "Children of a Lesser God," with William Hurt.
MAURICE JARRE (composer), winner of Academy Awards for David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) and "A Passage to India" (1984), recently received his seventh Oscar nomination for Peter Weir's "Witness" (1985). He also collaborated with Weir on "The Year of Living Dangerously" in 1983. Among the 130 scores created by this talented musician are Ken Annakin's "The Longest Day" (1962), Serge Bourguignon's "Sundays and Cybele" (1963, Oscar nomination for Best Adaptation Score), William Wyler's "The Collector" (1965), Rene Clement's "Is Paris Burning?" (1966), Lean's "Ryan's Daughter" (1970), John Huston's "The Life And Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972, Oscar nomination for Best Song), Huston's "The Man Who Would Be King" (1975), Moustapha Akkad's "Mohammed--Messenger of God" (1977, Oscar nomination for Best Original Score), Akkad's "Lion of the Desert" (1981) and George Miller's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985).
THOM NOBLE (editor) received his first Academy Award this year for Peter Weir's "Witness." Since making his editing debut on Francois Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451" in 1966, Noble has built a reputation as one of the film industry's leading editors. Unfortunately, due to union regulations, he has only recently begun to receive film credit for his American work. Many of his films have been in collaboration with director Ted Kotcheff, for whom Noble edited "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (1974), "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" (1978), "North Dallas Forty" (1979), "Split Image" (1982), "First Blood" (1982) and "Uncommon Valor" (1983). Noble's other credits include Monty Python's "And Now For Something Completely Different" (1972), Otto Preminger's "Rosebud" (1975), Bob Brooks's "Tattoo" (1981), John Milius's "Red Dawn" (1984) and Brian Gibson's "Poltergeist II: The Other Side."
JOHN STODDART (production designer) was born in Sydney, Australia, and was trained as an architect. While working in an architectural firm in London, he was asked to design some scenery for a small local theatre. One opportunity led to another, and soon he found a new career. Stoddart designs most often for opera companies: he has worked with the English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Scottish Opera and the Australian Opera. His film credits include Bruce Beresford's "The Adventures of Barry McKenzie" (1972), "Barry McKenzie Holds His Own" (1974) and "The Getting of Wisdom" (1977); Carl Schultz's "Careful He Might Hear You" (1984) and Stephen Wallace's "For Love Alone."
A native of Ohio, GARY JONES (costume designer) came to New York at age 19 and worked for the next decade at the New York Shakespeare Festival, assisting Theoni Aldredge and Milo Morrow. Among Jones' credits from that period are "Two Gentlemen of Verona," "That Championship Season" and "A Chorus Line." In 1976, he began an association with costume designer Ann Roth which led to such films as Milos Forman's "Hair" (1979), John Landis' "Trading Places" (1983), Karel Reisz's "Sweet Dreams" (1985), and Mike Nichols' "Heartburn." On his own, Jones designed Peter Masterson's "The Trip to Bountiful" (1985), Brian Hutton's "The First Deadly Sin" (1980), Brian De Palma's "Dressed to Kill" (1980), the CBS television movie "When the Circus Comes to Town" (1981) and the made-for-cable "Tiger Town" (1983).
The Saul Zaentz Company presents a Jerome Hellman Production: Harrison Ford in "The Mosquito Coast." Also appearing are Helen Mirren, River Phoenix, Conrad Roberts, Andre Gregory and Martha Plimpton. Directed by Peter Weir, the Warner Bros.' release was produced by Jerome Hellman from the screenplay by Paul Schrader, based on the novel by Paul Theroux. Saul Zaentz was the executive producer, John Seale, the director of photography and Thom Noble, the film editor. Music is by Maurice Jarre.