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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Steve Canyon Pilot Film

Steve Canyon Pilot Clip
Click on the image to see the clip (Quicktime Required).

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This is a minute and a half long Quicktime mp4 movie clip from the unaired pilot for the series. The opening titles were similar when finally aired on September 13, 1958 at 9pm on NBC, but this is the only time the logo for the comic strip is used in the series. According to Producer and showrunner David Haft, the intention was to have the show be looked upon as a realistic and adult show, therefore they tried to minimise certain references to the comic strip. This episode was the only one produced at the Hal Roach Studios (with exteriors at Convair in San Diego and other USAF airbase locations), the rest of the series being made at Universal International Studios. Work began on the pilot in late 1957, and when it was finished in April 1958, it was screened for Ligett & Myers Tobacco Company (Chesterfield Cigarettes) who immediately signed on as sponsors to fund the series.

As many as 39 episodes may have been shot, but only 34 (including the pilot) were finished and aired before the series was cancelled in 1959. We have a screenplay entitled "Project B-58", marked as Production #9216, and two other numbers (#9217 and #9224) that were skipped and unnacounted for amongst the finished shows. We are hoping to locate the missing materials needed to finish any remaining shows, which would then be added to the 34 restored episodes in our archives.

Milton Caniff's nephew Harry Guyton, executor of the estate, is Executive Producing the DVD collection which is scheduled for release late 2007 to coincide with the 100th birthday celebration of Caniff, and the 60th anniversary of the creation of Steve Canyon.

This restored STEVE CANYON clip is Trademarked and the property of The Estate of Milton Caniff, and all rights are reserved. Any other use is strictly prohibited.

3 comments:

Dave said...

You might note: voice-over narration by the legendary Paul Frees.

John Ellis said...

Paul Frees appeared in the pilot, and provided off-camera voices in a few episodes (besides doing the beginning (and end in several instances) narration in slightly more than half of the shows, which is very cool, but did you know that Jackson Beck did the opening and closing narration on EVERY episode...he was the announcer on the 1940 and 1960 Suoerman cartoons, and was frequently the voice of Bluto on the popeye cartoons over the years.

theo j. w. said...

That opening clip from the pilot episode is becoming my daily drug-of-choice. (According to AIR & SPACE magazine, the series' outstanding aerial photography was largely the work of future Mercury astronaut Leroy Gordon 'Gordo' Cooper.)