Saturday, December 01, 2007

Valete Knievel

So farewell then Evel Knievel, motorcyle stuntman and long-forgotten (in Britain, at least) 1970s celebrity.

My own connection with Knievel is that I attended what was billed as the UK premier of the film Viva Knievel!, in which he starred. This took place at a Bristol hotel during the 1977 British Monopoly Championships at Oldbury-on-Severn nuclear power station.

My memory of the event is that it turned out to be one of the worst films ever made, and the comments on IMDB confirm my youthful judgement.

But looking at the cast list now it seems absolutely fascinating. Knievel's mechanic is played by Gene Kelly - Gene Kelly - in almost his last film. And his promoter (the chief villain) is Leslie Nielsen, waiting impatiently to be reinvented as a comic genius.

1 comment:

Will said...

And then, of course, there's Gene Kelly's very last film, which surely must be even worse (much as I love it) than Viva Knievel?