THE STORY OF “THE DREAM OF HAMISH MOSE’” (a/k/a “HAMISH MOSES,” a/k/a “THE DREAM OF HAMISH MOSES”), C0-STARRING O.J. SIMPSON, DIRECTED BY CAMERON MITCHELL
HOW WE CAME TO OWN THE MOVIE
In 2004 we purchased a movie library that had been assembled by Philip “Phil” Pine:
Wikipedia: “Phillip Pine (July 16, 1920, Hanford, California – December 22, 2006) was an American film and television actor, writer, director, and producer. Despite incorrect biographical information repeated on many entertainment sites, Phillip Pine was not related to Robert Pine or Chris Pine. In a career that spanned seven decades, Pine in 1955 portrayed the outlaw John Wesley Hardin in the ninth episode “John Wesley Hardin” of the ABC/Desilu western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O”Brian in the title role. In a later episode of the same series in 1957, Pine again played Hardin…. Pine appeared in a Wagon Train episode titled “The Ben Courtney Story” in 1959. He subsequently played the character Colonel Green in the classic Star Trek episode “The Savage Curtain”. Pine was in the second episode of The Outer Limits entitled “The Hundred Days of the Dragon”. He also appeared in two episodes of The Twilight Zone, “The Four of Us Are Dying”, and “The Incredible World of Horace Ford”. Pine appeared as mobster Jack Zuta in the third episode of The Untouchables titled “The Jake Lingle Killing” and in The Fugitive. He made a 1964 appearance as Phillip Stewart in the Perry Mason episode, “The Case of the Wednesday Woman.” He also played a World War II sub captain marooned inside an underwater cave with four other survivors in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode “And Five of Us are Left.” In 1966, Pine played Kit Carson in the episode “Samaritans, Mountain Style” of the syndicated series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Robert Taylor…. 1967, Pine appeared in an episode of The Invaders entitled “Genesis”. Pine also appeared in an episode of Rawhide entitled “Incident at Dangerfield Dip”. He also played a gangster known only as “Mark” in Irving Lerner’s film noir classic, Murder by Contract. He appeared in an episode of Kojak (Season 5) called “Cry for the Children” as “Eddie Creagan”, in an episode of Ironside (Season 3) called “Alias Mrs Bratihwaite?” and in Hawaii 5-O (Season 1) called “Full Fathom 5”. In 1969, Pine appeared in the Star Trek episode of Season Three, “The Savage Curtain” as the genocidal Earth warlord, Colonel Green. He sometimes appeared credited as Phillip E. Pine.”
In the 1970s, Phil became a movie producer/distributor, calling his company “Kepi Enterprises.” When we bought the library, it had eleven features with both a clear chain of title, and negative or print materials that could be used for mastering, as well as a number of relatively high-quality 3/4″ masters. In addition, there were eight more titles that either had incomplete or no materials. Distribution rights to a package of 26 “Dimension Pictures” movies had expired. The eleven features were a mix of Pine-produced/directed features, mostly of the “sexploitation” genre, and those which he had purchased from Consolidated Film Laboratories after Consolidated had obtained ownership of the copyrights and physical materials. Many of these are available on our Mr. FAT-W Video label.
When we started the purchase process, Phil was living in Hollywood; at some point, he and his wife moved to Las Vegas, leaving behind the film library, which he transferred to a close personal friend, Robert “Bobby” Stevens. It was Bobby who told us about “HAMISH MOSES.”
Bobby said that it was an incomplete feature-length movie that had featured or co-starred O.J. Simpson, directed by his friend Cameron Mitchell. The inventory from the storage facility in Hollywood contains materials which were ingested under the name “HAMISH MOSES” as well as a very large quantity of “Miscellaneous” picture and track negatives. We believe that in combination, they are enough to eventually result in a full-length feature.
WHAT WE THINK THE MOVIE IS ABOUT
The movie appears to have been based on a true story, which is recounted in a website dedicated to Buffalo Soldiers, http://www.buffalosoldier.net The “Buffalo Soldiers” “… originally were members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on September 21, 1866 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This nickname was given to the “Negro Cavalry” by the Native American tribes they fought; the term eventually became synonymous with all of the African American regiments formed in 1866: 9th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Regiment. Although several African American regiments were raised during the Civil War as part of the Union Army (including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the many United States Colored Troops Regiments), the “Buffalo Soldiers” were established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army….” Wikipedia
The Buffalo Soldiers website contains the following, uncovered by researcher Julian DiLorenzo:
“Another bloody episode involving Hudspeth County more directly was the long and often frustrating campaign by the United States Army and the Texas Rangers to control the Apaches. Under chief Victorio, a Warm Springs Apache who joined forces with the Mescaleros, the Apaches eluded their pursuers throughout the 1870s. Victorio himself was finally killed in Mexico in 1880, but not before his warriors had impressed all observers with their tactical brilliance. Perhaps the most notable encounter between the Apaches and their pursuers occurred in Hudspeth County on October 28, 1880, just two weeks after Victorio’s death, when the Apaches killed seven “Buffalo Soldiers,” members of the famous black Tenth United States Cavalry. A historical marker has been placed at their graves, near Indian Hot Springs, and their story was the subject of a 1970 movie starring O. J. Simpson.”
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE MOVIE
Until recently, there was NO public information about the movie. However, information has made its way into the Internet Movie Database as a movie that O.J. Simpson acted in, as follows:
Details: Color; filmed in Sierra Blanca, Texas, USA
Director: Cameron Mitchell
Writer: Cameron Mitchell
Cast: Henry Darrow, Don Melvoin, Cameron Mitchell, O.J. Simpson, Rockne Tarkington
Storyline: “A team of Buffalo Soldiers during the Civil War trek through the Texas desert on an odyssey to lay a fallen comrade to rest in a sacred burial ground.”
Trivia: The only movie directed by Cameron Mitchell.
Sadly, by the time we got the above information, all of the named cast except for Henry Darrow and O.J. Simpson, had passed on. O.J. Simpson is incarcerated; we contacted his attorney, who said that O.J. remembered being in the movie but had no other recollection about it. Henry Darrow is very much alive, and we did try to contact him through his website. He and Jan Pippins wrote Henry Darrow Lightning in the Bottle (BearManor Media, 2012); the rear jacket summarizes Darrow’s storied acting career:
“HENRY DARROW (born Enrique Tomas Delgado) catapulted to international stardom in 1967 as sexy, complex “Manolito Montoya” in the western The High Chaparral [an NBC TV series that ran from 1967-1971]. He was the first actor of Puerto Rican heritage to star in a television series. ‘Henry survived and had a career when if you were Latino, you couldn’t be just good, you had to be beyond great and that’s Henry,’ says noted writer/entertainer Rick Najera. At the height of his fame Darrow put his career on the line to open doors for other Hispanics. He has continued to break ground for over fifty years as a working actor and was recently featured on the PBS series Pioneers of Televison….”
The Darrow book describes his experience in the movie in the chapter headed “One of the Other Guys Pulled the Leopard Off.” He had co-starred in The High Chaparralwith Cameron Mitchell; Mitchell wanted Darrow to star in a movie he would produce and direct about Jesus, with Darrow playing the lead role, but
“….instead of playing the Son of God, he portrayed the dissolute son of a Mexican aristocrat in the film. Called The Dream of Hamish Mose’, it was shot in the boondocks of Texas and New Mexico and it was the kind of dream you have after too much cheap wine.
“The story involved a group of Buffalo Soldiers (the spirited group of reinactors from the Chaparral episode), lost near the Mexican border. When they find Rockne Tarkington hanging from a tree, they cut him down. Even though he can’t speak after being hung, Tarkington proposes to lead the soldiers across the River Jordan, or as they call it in Texas, the Rio Grande.
” ‘In the process, they’re kidnapped by Indians,’ recalls Darrow. ‘We didn’t have any Indians in the cast, but that wasn’t a problem for Cam. He got burlap bags and made holes for eyes and put them around the soldier’s heads. He put them in arm bands, feathers, stuff around the ankles. So now they’re Indians.’
“They also didn’t have any women in the cast. When a sequence called for a woman, innovation ruled. ‘The only woman was the associate producer, Sharon Gless before her acting career got going,’ says Darrow. ‘Maybe Cam thought she was wrong for the part, because he made do with one of the accountants, a very short, blond, effeminate gay guy. They dressed him in drag and sort of fuzzed the lens so you couldn’t see him very well.’
“The Manolito-esque hombre played by Darrow meets the soldiers and joins the trek to River Jordan. While he treks, he talks. A lot. Without a script. ‘Cam would turn the camera on and say, ‘Talk about your father, talk about your past, talk about the history of your family’ and he’d just leave the camera rolling. That wasn’t too bad, but then he wanted me to hold a rattlesnake up to my face and I said, ‘No! No poisonous snakes.’
“What about a bullsnake?’ Mitchell wheedled. ‘They’re not poisonous and they look sort of like rattlers.’
“Grimacing, Darrow answered, ‘I don’t know, Cam. Let me see what you want me to do.’ Enter a wrangler with a bullsnake. The wrangler held the snake up to his own face. ‘Pow! It bit him and just hung on to his cheek! I said, ‘That’s it! Forget it!’
“That might have been a bad omen, but Mitchell wanted more animals in the movie — lions, tigers and bears. He got them when a freak snowstorm stranded Bill Burrad [actor-turned-television producer/host who produced and hosted a several television series about wild animals] and his wild animal show at the same motel. ‘If the movie had ever been shown, there were sequences with the wild animals which would have been very exciting to watch, because they were very exciting to film,’ says Darrow. ‘Once, Cam had the grizzly bear coming straight to toward the camera. Cam was standing by the cameraman, but the bear picked up speed as he came toward them, so Cam started backing away. But he was telling the cameraman, ‘Stay there! Keep shooting! This is good footage!’ The camera guy said, “F____ you! I’m outta here!’
“Mitchell had borrowed expensive horses for the film, some worth $50,000. When the bear and big cats arrived on the set, one uneasy horse owner stood by with a 30.30 rifle in case a fake attack turned real. Maybe he sensed the leopard was a Method actor. ‘One of the soldiers was holding the leopard and they were playing a scene where something dangerous is about to happen,’ says Darrow. ‘Lo and behold, it did. All of a sudden, the soldier started yelling, ‘Is this…this…what the… oh, shit! His teeth are around my leg.! CAM!’ One of the other guys pulled the leopard off him.
“Sulfur springs bubbled at one location, adding a rotten egg odor to the ambiance. Either Cochise or Geronimo had come to the same springs for healing, but there wasn’t enough mojo for the movie’s maladies. ‘At the end, it was snowing and we all crossed the River Jordan. There were rows of tall trees and when the snow stopped, the sun came out and the rays shone through the branches,’ says Darrow. ‘Then O.J. Simpson appeared in a Civil War uniform, talking and making no sense whatsoever.
“The whole project made Darrow’s head hurt….”
We contacted Jan Pippins, and she has offered to help us continue our search for a screenplay or treatment; the book she co-authored with Henry Darrow is fascinating. The link to the Darrow Fan Site, is http://www.henrydarrow.com; at the bottom of the page is a link to Amazon.com to buy the book.
We pulled a box from storage to get an idea of what the movie looked like; it was a Consolidated Film Industries box marked with a black marker pen “PAN F.G. [which we assume meant “Panasonic Fine Grain”] Box 2 C.W.P. [which we assume meant “Composite Work Print] that held four reels on cores of different footages:
Trim Box Bar Code 225825431091592
Four reels of 35mm material on cores
1. “HAMISH DREAM FX 6-2 9638″
2. “REEL 7 HAMISH FX 7-5 7-6 T9638″
3. “HAMISH FILM T9638 MONTAGE B ROLL PAN I.G.”
4. “HAMISH T9638 MONTAGE SPC. ROLL 31X62 040″
The original leaders, had following written on thems:
IP Reel on core:
“Day-for-night Dream of H Moses
HAMISH FILMS #17
We believe that “Cam Sander” means that the camerman was named “Sander.” However, the lab technician who labeled the reels could have misspelled the name, which should have been “Sandor.” Chris Poggiali/Temple of Schlock was very helpful, advising that “I’m still convinced Gregory Sandor was the cinematographer, since he worked with Mitchell on another western around the same time and was such a busy, go-to-guy for low-budget filmmakers.”
Our technical expert, Jim Markovic, of Hyper-Cube Media, reported that the four reels were a B&W dupe (probably, part of a work print), an IP, and a negative, all in good shape. When we looked at them on a reel-to-reel scanner, one had a Black actor in Civil War uniform holding a brown dog; the other was an overhead shot of a large group of men in Civil War uniforms storming what appeared to be a stockade wall. We planned to transfer them to video and post them on this page early in 2016.
THE PHIL PINE INTERVIEW
There is an interview of Phil Pine with a few clips from the movie, on YouTube,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E4a_mwVRJs We were told by Bobby Stevens that Phil licensed the clip to a Los Angeles television station about the time of the original O.J. Simpson trials. We believe that the movie footage came from a work print of the movie; unfortunately, as indicated above, the box that was inventoried as containing the work print, contained only the above reels.
THE REALLY SPECTACULAR NEWS!!!!
As indicated above, although we have hundreds of print and sound negative reels in storage, we were never able to locate a treatment or a screenplay for the movie — without it, it would be a daunting job to assemble the negative reels into a completed movie, which may or may not have reflected Cameron Mitchell’s vision for it. We for many years rented an old nitrate film vault in Manhattan’s Film Center Building; although the contents started out being inventoried, over time so much additional material was dumped into it — it was, literally, jammed to the ceiling — that we really lost track of what was there. In February 2016 we rented a larger storage room near our office in Long Island City, and moved the vault contents to it. It took a week to get everything arranged properly, and we found what appears to be most of the edited 35MM work print for THE DREAM OF HAMISH MOSE, that had apparently been shipped to us a decade ago and forgotten about. There are 12 1,000 foot 35MM reels of picture or track negative. Since each reel is about 11 minutes of movie, as best as we can determine, we have about 33 minutes of complete picture and sound footage, and another 66 minutes total of either sound without picture, or picture without sound. While the remainder of the work print reels may be in storage in Hollywood, not clearly marked, when we transfer all of these to video, we should be able to (a) interest a distributor in funding the completion of the movie, and (b) have enough to serve as a roadmap for the assembly the entire movie from the picture and track negative lengths in storage. The video transfer of the 12reels will be done in the Summer of 2016, and we will then finally be able to see at least part of Cameron Mitchell’s dream.
Completion will involve mastering all of the picture and sound reels in high definition — there are probably two or three times the footage needed for a complete movie — after which they can be edited into a movie along the lines of the work print, defects will be corrected, music and effects and credits will be added, and so on. Based on Henry Darrow’s recollections, it should turn out to be a real hoot, deserving of full-fledged worldwide distribution.