Cinematically speaking, there was a lot of crazy crap going down in Georgia the 1970s. Of course there’s Deliverance, filmed in the north Georgia mountains (my Dad still hasn’t gotten over do-si-do’ing with the banjo kid after happening upon a local square dance during a church trip to the Chattooga River).
“Leslie Uggams, who plays Elizabeth Weatherly, an arrogant and egotistical rhythm and blues singer, will sing the national anthem at the game as part of the game’s opening ceremonies and the movie,” director and producer Rick Robinson was quoted as saying in the November 15, 1973 issue of The Plainsman.
After the game, Weatherly’s car breaks down at a place called Bertha’s Oasis, a lodge run by a retired stripper (Shelley Winters) smack dab in the middle the Mayberry from hell. A wannabe country singer named Eddie (Mike Christians) who can’t sing (but who is apparently pretty) thinks Weatherly can help him break into the biz. She can’t.
“When things don’t work out, poor, pretty Eddie turns into a psychopathic killer,” Robinson said.
(Advisory: This is just a trailer, but 70s trailers were even more screwed up than the movies… you may want to stop around the 25 second mark.)
The Plainsman essentially billed the game as a casting call, and said that Auburn fans in attendance would have “a genuine chance to break into the big time and become a real honest-to-goodness movie star.”
Yes, if you’re an actor that got your start in the visitor section of Sanford Stadium, do leave a comment.
UPDATE: Some folks think the scene above looks as if it was filmed not in Sanford Stadium but Fulton County Stadium, then home of the Atlanta Falcons. One reason: you know… the word “Falcons”… and the teams logo can definitely been seen on a goalpost. Also, the dimensions of the stadium seem to some to be a better match. The game in the movie is definitely supposed to be a Falcons game, but the stadium scene is longer than what’s shown in the trailer. It seems possible that shots filmed at two stadium’s were spliced together.
In the article, Robinson definitely said it was going to be the Auburn-Georgia game, but obviously there could have been a last second switch. However, a lot of pieces would have had to fall into place pretty quick. The game couldn’t have been the Falcon’s game that Sunday; Atlanta vs. Minnesota was the Monday Night Football game that week (and the game in the movie is obviously a day game). The Plainsman indicated that filming was supposed to wrap in just a couple of weeks. The next Falcons home game the crew could have filmed was on December 2. Any other theories?
Related: The Auburn plaque in 1984’s ‘Tank’.
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