Jeannot Szwarc: “I always thought that ’Somewhere in Time’ [1980] was like a shoe that fits perfectly”

Do you remember film directors such as Clarence Brown, Irving Rapper, Charles Vidor or John Farrow? Those highly skilled craftsmen who worked during the studio era were always very reliable storytellers. They weren’t the famous trendsetters such as Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston or Billy Wilder, but you could always count on them. They worked with great actors, they were great at working with actors, and they all mastered their craft.

Jeannot Szwarc on the set of “Santa Clause: The Movie” (1985). Photograph: Tri-Star Pictures

So does French-born director Jeannot Szwarc. To me, he’s a filmmaker who belongs in this very same category. On top of that, he knows what he talks about: he’s a true and most sincere film buff, un cinéphile, an IMDB encyclopedia on his own, and he might be one of the best film directors you may have never heard of, or that you might have forgotten by now.

He directed some of the greatest actors, such as Vincent Price, Geraldine Page, George C. Scott, Christopher Reeve, Peter O’Toole and Burgess Meredith. His oeuvre includes a lot of work for television, and films such as the 1978 blockbuster “Jaws 2” which grossed over $100 million worldwide, the cult classic “Somewhere in Time” (1980), the political thriller “Enigma” (1982) and the fantasy adventure “Santa Clause: The Movie” (1985).

Yet “Somewhere in Time” is his favorite and most personal film. It’s my favorite too. Based on Richard Matheson’s novel “Bid Time Return” (1975), the film stars Christopher Reeve—in his first movie since “Superman” (1978)—as a Chicago playwright who visits the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. He finds himself drawn to a portrait he sees there of an actress (played by Jane Seymour) who appeared at the hotel in 1912, and he travels back in time to meet her.

The mystical and emotional romance was not a hit movie at a time when everybody expected to see Christopher Reeve flying again. In fact Mr. Reeve did, as “Somewhere in Time” was shot and released between “Superman” and its sequel “Superman 2” (1980). Mr. Szwarc made a few more movies since then and later returned to television, where he also began his career as a director in the late 1960s, directing episodes of TV series such as “Ironside,” “It Takes a Thief,” “The Virginian” and another favorite of his, Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery” which allowed him to work with Sandra Dee, Sally Field, Mickey Rooney, Raymond Massey, Laurence Harvey and numerous others.

But “Somewhere in Time” always stuck with me. Universal gave its director carte blanche when he did the film, which makes it the ultimate Jeannot Szwarc movie—timeless and priceless—and it has the same appealing magic that you can find in many of the old screen classics he’s so familair with. But still, I could never figure out why Mr. Szwarc, born in Paris in the late 1930s, didn’t have a long and rewarding career as a filmmaker after a very promising start.

In the end, I was very fortunate in my quest: I was able to get in touch with him, and Mr. Szwarc, up until recently still directing episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” allowed me to meet him at his Los Angeles home and talk about his career. But first things first. Let’s begin with “Jaws 2” (1978), which may be the most ungrateful job offer you can get: direct the sequel to Steven Spielberg’s original hit movie.

Mr. Szwarc, “Jaws 2” was an incredible blockbuster. How did you get involved in that project?

They had started the film with another director and had been shooting for about six weeks. Verna Fields, the editor on “Jaws” [1975] and by then a Universal executive, visited the set of “Jaws 2” [on location] and shut it down because it was such a mess. They hadn’t even started shooting on water yet, it was still on land. So the studio was stuck, but they didn’t want to shut it down because they had already huge advances. They also had a crew in Florida. So they went through a number of names and production designer Joe Alves—we had worked together on “Night Gallery”—mentioned my name. He had said, “I know someone who is fast and can do this very quickly.” At that time I was prepping a pilot for TV producer Quinn Martin, but they told Universal executive Ned Tanen about me and I was brought in for this meeting. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t have a clue. So they gave me the script, I read it, and they asked, ‘What do you think?’ I told them that the dialogue was terrible but the action was good. After I had left the meeting, I went back to Quinn Martin, and when I got there, they said to me, ‘Universal just called, you gotta go there.’ I went back, and Ned Tanen said, ‘Look Jeannot, if you’ll do this, it will be under horrible conditions. You’ll only have one week to prepare, it’s a nightmare, so what do you want from me? Would you like a multiple picture deal?’ I said, ‘No, I only want a handshake that you owe me a favor.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’

And that favor was “Somewhere in Time”?

That’s right. After I had finished “Jaws 2,” I wanted to do a love story and then I found “Somewhere in Time.” I also knew [author] Richard Matheson, we had worked together on “Night Gallery.” I fell in love with “Somewhere in Time” and I went back to see Ned Tanen. I told him, “Do you remember you owed me a favor? I’m here to collect.” Nobody could get it off the ground, nobody was even interested in this project, so he put executive Lew Wasserman on the speaker, and said, ‘Jeannot is here, he says we owe him.’ Then Wasserman said, ‘We do owe him, but what does he want?’ ‘There’s this picture he wants to do about a guy who falls in love with a portrait and he travels through time.’ Then there was a long pause and Wasserman said, ‘Cut the budget in half and give him the picture.’

[The theatrical trailer of “Somewhere in Time”]

So you preferred to do “Somewhere in Time” instead of another big picture.

Everybody wanted me to do a big picture after “Jaws 2,” but I didn’t want that, and so “Somewhere in Time” became very special to me. We had very little money when we made it, but I didn’t mind: the studio was so absolutely non-interested in the project, that they left us totally alone. We filmed on Mackinac Island with no interference at all. We carried our own luggage, we moved to the different locations on our own, it was really like a summer stock experience. Then when I had finished the film and the studio saw it, everybody said, ‘Oh my God, this is special.’ Unfortunately, the release was a disaster and it broke my heart. But there was a man called Jerry Harvey who had Z Channel, a cable TV channel—he used to come over and hang out with me because I had all of those old movies on video, movies that he had never heard of—and he put it on Z Channel for a week, every night, and then it found its audience. It took off, also because an international network of “Somewhere in Time” enthusiasts had a magazine of their own, and that’s how it became a huge cult movie. Every year during the last weekend of October, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, people come together for the weekend. They get dressed in costumes, watch the movie and pay homage to it. I have been there, but after Chris passed [2004], I didn’t want to go back because it would be too painful. I’m not getting any younger, so I don’t think I’ll ever be there again, although I once returned after Jeff Gourson, the editor on “Somewhere in Time,” had asked me to, and it was incredible. I ran into a guy who told me, ‘I have seen the film over two hundred times,’ and a woman who said to me, ‘I watch the film every day.’ I think it is because we did it with great sincerity and there was no cynicism, so I’m very proud of that. One day, the studio said to me, ‘You gotta have visual effects,’ but I didn’t want to do that. They said, ‘Well, how will we know they’re in the past?’ And I said, ‘Guys, if we do our jobs properly, that is not gonna be a problem.’

[Actress Jane Seymour visits the Grand Hotel and attends a “Somewhere in Time” weekend]

How did you end up choosing Mackinac Island as the location?

That was very interesting, because Matheson wrote it originally with the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego in mind. I went over there, but it was obvious that wouldn’t work. There were too many television antennes—it just didn’t work, and then associate producer Steve Bickel showed me a photograph of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. And I said, ‘Oh! I gotta go over there and look at it.’ So I went, the hotel was closed because it was during the winter, everything was covered in snow, but I asked the valet what was it like in the summer. And he explained to me where the lawn is, where they put the tables and the chairs, etc. It all became very clear to me. Once I saw the hotel, I knew we had to make it work there.

John Barry wrote a magnificent score for the film, didn’t he?

He did. I met him thanks to Jane Seymour. She was a very good friend of his wife. John Barry was the first one who saw the film, before I showed it to the studio. I was there with the editor and when the screening was over, he had tears in his eyes. He said, ‘Jeannot, I didn’t expect anything like this.’ I told him we had very little money, but he didn’t care, he was glad to do the score. I also knew a lot about music, I used to play the piano when I was young, so we talked a lot about music. Do you remember the scene when he remembers the music? Originally that was Mahler, I don’t remember exactly what piece, but it was Mahler. I was in Paris at the time listening to Mahler, while the editor was at work in Hollywood, and I called John and said to him, ‘John, I’m sorry, but I think Mahler is too big.’ So we started all over again, we needed something that was known in the past and would work better. Then he came up with the idea of Rachmaninoff.

You had an amazing cast. How did you work with your actors?

I kind of let things play, and there are things I have very strong instincts about. Like the first time Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour see each other and she says, ‘Is it you?’ Or their first kiss, those moments had to be incredible. I felt very strongly about those things, and the script was great. In Richard Matheson’s novel, the character of Collier is sick and dies of a disease. I told him, ‘You know what, Richard? When people die in films because of diseases, the time element always makes it very difficult. The character should die of love.’ And Matheson loved it. He thought the studio would never let us do it, but I said, ‘We won’t tell them!’ [Laughs.]

The Belgian poster of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (1947).

I always thought that “Somewhere in Time” is the best film that was never made during the studio era.

Well, you know, even though a film like “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” [1947] was not exactly the same, it gave me the same kind of feeling. Gene Tierney was so wonderful! That film was glorious, it was a beautiful love story. But you’re right—I worked with Vincent Price many times, and he always said to me, ‘Jeannot, you were born too late, they would have loved you in the forties.’ It is funny for a French kid like me, but when “Singin’ in the Rain” [1952] came out, I saw it fourteen times in a row. If I would give you a list of my favorite films, it would certainly include “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Band Wagon” [1953]. In that film you can find the most beautiful sequence in film history, when Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are ‘Dancing in the Dark.’

[Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are ‘dancing in the dark’ in Vincente Minnelli’s “The Band Wagon”]

That’s right. And yet, after you did “Somewhere in Time,” I think that—back then—only one movie ever came close to what you did.

And what movie is that?

“Field of Dreams” [1989].

Oh yes, I love that film, it has the same charisma. But I don’t think it is possible to do that today.

Did Christopher Reeve need a lot of direction?

No. I was sure he was getting a lot of offers at the time to do physical films with stunts, but I was also sure that he wanted something he could do as an actor. So I called Richard Donner [director of “Superman”] who was an old friend of mine, and he told me, ‘Chris is very bright, very smart and very well-read.’ So then I went to meet him, I pitched the film, I explained it, and the next day, he said, ‘I’m in.’ Once we had him, we had to find the girl. I interviewed every girl known to man. Every actress you know now, I interviewed her for the part. And when we met Jane Seymour, there was something going on between them that was perfect. What I also liked about her, is that there was a lot under the surface which I felt was important for the character. Later on, people who have worked with her, told me, ‘You got something out of her that nobody else did.’ Because she’s not soft as a person at all, but there was something, and then everything else fell into place.

And as you said, it has become a cult movie.

I love a lot of the films I did, but nothing like “Somewhere in Time,” I really put myself into that. Do you remember the scene when Collier sees the photograph for the first time? I had told Chris, ‘I want you to be at the other end of the room and you feel that she is looking at you, then you turn around and you go towards her.’ Chris was a very brilliant and intelligent man, and he looked at me and said, ‘Jesus, Jeannot, you’re really going all the way.’ I told him, ‘Chris, if we don’t go all the way, it’s not going to work.’ I saw the film in my head from the very beginning, that has happened to me very rarely. With this one, I just had it immediately. I always thought that it was like a shoe that fits perfectly.

[The scene when Christopher Reeve’s character Richard Collier first notices the portrait of actress Elise McKenna, played by Jane Seymour]

You always manage to get the best out of every actor you work with, and in your career you have worked with a lot of great actors. What’s the secret of your direction?

I think I always had a gift to work with actors. I never give long notes, I never make long speeches, I approach it more like a scrulpter. If I want to do four things, then I start with the first one, and then I do the next one. I don’t throw it all in their faces. I once did a “Night Gallery” with Geraldine Page. It was a one-day shoot and I did my usual thing, I spoke with her and told her what I wanted. At the end, she took my hand and said, ‘Jeannot, if you got another part for me, you don’t need to call my agent, just call me directly.’ And I said, ‘Please, tell me, am I doing it the right way?’ Because I didn’t know it back then, I was still a young director, and she said, ‘You just keep on doing what you’re doing.’ That gave me a lot of confidence and I am happy to say that I always had a very good relationship with my actors. I don’t get angry, I don’t bully, I don’t dictate, and I try to get them to understand what I’m after.

“The Trip to Bountiful (1985) earned Geraldine Page an Academy Award as Best Actress.

How do you do your homework for the scenes you plan to shoot the following day?

Even when I work for television now, I always prepare the whole show. Every night I go through all my notes that I folded and are in my back pocket. I never look at the script, because that’s all in here [points his finger to his head]. As a matter of fact, sometimes when an actor forgets a line, I would say, ‘You forgot a line there,’ or, ‘There was another word.’ [Laughs.] So whatever I’m doing, whether it’s “Bones” or “Grey’s Anatomy,” they give me those two little monitors, and I stand at the edge of the set. If I need to say something to the actors, I can say it immediately, without yelling. I don’t have to get up, run to them, and then come back. It’s more personal for the actors, it reassures them—that’s better for them than sitting in front of a monitor sixty feet away.

I also like the way you combine all the elements in your stories. Take for example “Enigma” [1982] with Martin Sheen and Brigitte Fossey, you have a love story, a political thriller…

…I love that film, but it died, by the way. The cast was terrific, also the actors in the supporting roles. Derek Jacobi…! I have a great Derek Jacobi story. He and Michael Williams were hanging around all the time, and one day I asked him, ‘Derek, what’s wrong? I can tell from your body language that something is wrong.” So we had dinner, and he had what we call the ‘Laurence Olivier syndrome’: he was convinced he didn’t know how to act anymore. I said to him, ‘You should go back on stage, you should do more stage work.’ And he did, it worked for him, because he became the star of the National Theatre. He needed the feedback from the audience. For an actor to be a great actor, it takes an intangible kind of gift. So I understand when an actor thinks, ‘I lost it, I don’t know how to do it anymore.’ That’s why the atmosphere on the set is very important. The last thing I did was an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” about six months ago. The minute I showed up on the set, the actors said, ‘Ah, thank God, you’re here!’ I like the atmosphere to be relaxed, and it should be fun: we’re shooting something that’s fun, it’s entertainment, for heaven’s sake! So when I show up, I know exactly what I want, it’s not like, ‘Let’s see how it evolves.’ I keep it light, I use a lot of humor, so that everybody has a good time and they all love to do their job. Making a film is like building a cathedral: all those different people with different gifts, techniques and know how, they all get together and create one thing.

Do you need a lot of takes during this creative process?

Not if I have to. I don’t believe in doing ten or twelve takes. If it’s something tricky, yes, but otherwise, everybody will get bored. And also, it’s not getting any better. My magic number is usually three takes—three good ones.

Was it any different when you did your all-star films like “Supergirl” [1984] and “Santa Claus: The Movie” [1985]? Did you also use storyboards for those films?

I used the same technique, and yes, I had storyboards. I simply had to. There were scenes that involved so many visual elements that we needed storyboards and we needed to stick by them. I’m not too crazy about storyboards, by the way, because the problem is that they never look exactly the way it looks through the camera. It’s a different perspective, so I always tell everybody not to take and approach it like, ‘This is what we want.’ It’s an approximation, you know.

I always wondered why didn’t you make more films. Don’t you think you were terribly underestimated as a filmmaker?

You know, “Jaws 2” was a blockbuster, but “Somewhere in Time “ did not make money, “Enigma” did not make money, “Santa Claus” did not make money… You see? I would have loved to do more features. There were so many other films that I wanted to do, and if “Somewhere in Time” would be released today and it would be well received, I could have had a really great career. On the other hand, if you want to do a feature, it’s such a huge investment in time—it takes forever. So I was lucky to get into television.

Could you pick out one actor that you worked with and that you really admired?

Oh, there are so many… Laurence Harvey, Geraldine Page, Frank Finlay… George C. Scott! He was unbelievable. We did “Murders in the Rue Morgue” [1986], which I think is the best version ever made. I had this scene where he is sitting in a chair against the wall with Val Kilmer and Rebecca De Mornay in the foreground. He didn’t have any dialogue, he didn’t move, but he made you watch him. He was such an incredible actor, just brilliant!

How did your passion for movies come about?

Well, you have to understand I came from France. I never went to film school, I was a real cinéphile. I was just obsessed with films, I was very shy as a child, so whenever I was unhappy, I used to go to the movies and enjoy la magie des salles obscures. That was when you could see a film time and time again, you could stay in the theater after the screening was over and wait for the next one. I got hooked on films and I decided I wanted to work in films. But my father, an extraordinary intelligent self-educated man from Poland, suggested me to get a degree first, and once I had that, I could do whatever I wanted. So I entered a school in Paris—une grande école—and while I was there I founded a ciné club which still exists. After I had finished studying, I was going to give it a try. And I did.

Los Angeles, California
March 27, 2019

FILMS

EXTREME CLOSE-UP (1973) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Paul N. Lazarus III SCR Michael Crichton CAM Paul Lohmann MUS Basil Poledouris CAST Jim McMullan, Katherine Woodville, James A. Watson Jr., Bara Byrnes, Al Checco, Jacqueline Giroux, Curtis Credel, William Wellman Jr.

BUG (1975) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD William Castle SCR Thomas Page, William Castle (novel by Thomas Page) CAM Michel Hugo ED Allan Jacobs MUS Charles Fox CAST Bradford Dillman, Joanna Miles, Richard Gilliland, Jamie Smith-Jackson, Alan Fudge, Jesse Vint, Patty McCormack, Brendan Dillon, Frederic Downs, William Castle

JAWS 2 (1978) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Richard D. Zanuck, David Brown SCR Carl Gottlieb, Howard Sackler (characters created by Peter Benchley) CAM Michael C. Butler ED Steve Potter, Arthur Schmidt, Neil Travis MUS John Williams CAST Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey Kramer, Collin Wilcox Paxton, Ann Dusenberry, Mark Gruner

SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Stephen Deutsch, Ray Stark [uncredited] SCR Richard Matheson (also novel) CAM Isidore Mankofsky ED Jeff Gourson MUS John Barry CAST Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright, Bill Erwin, George Voskovec, Susan French, John Alvin, Eddra Gale, William H. Macy, George Wendt, Richard Matheson

ENIGMA (1982) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Peter Shaw, André Pergament SCR John Briley (novel by Michael Barak) CAM Jean-Louis Picavet ED Peter Weatherley, Peter Culverwell MUS Marc Wilkinson, Douglas Gamley CAST Martin Sheen, Sam Neill, Brigitte Fossey, Derek Jacobi, Michael Lonsdale, Frank Finlay, Warren Clarke, Michael Williams

SUPERGIRL (1984) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Timothy Burill SCR David Odell CAM Alan Hume ED Malcolm Cooke MUS Jerry Goldsmith CAST Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, Peter O’Toole, Hart Bochner, Mia Farrow, Simon Ward, Marc McClure, Brenda Vaccaro, Peter Cook, Maureen Teefy, David Healy

SANTA CLAUS: THE MOVIE (1985) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Ilya Salkind, Pierre Spengler SCR David Newman (story by David Newman, Leslie Newman) CAM Arthur Ibbetson ED Peter Hollywood MUS Henry Mancini CAST Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, Burgess Meredith, Judy Cornwell, Jeffrey Kramer, Christian Fitzpatrick

HONOR BOUND (1988) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Michel Roy, Tim Van Rellim SCR Terrell Tannen (novel by Steven L. Thompson) CAM Robert M. Stevens ED John Jympson MUS Mark Shreeve CAST Eric Douglas, Edward Meeks, Hana Baczynska, Relja Basic, Gene Davis, Bob Delegall, George Dzundza, Michael Hofland, Darko Janes, Zdenko Jelcic, Lawrence Pressman, Tom Skerritt

HERCULE & SHERLOCK (1996) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Marie-Christine de Montbrial SCR Joe Morheim, A. Sanford Wolfe (adaptation by Valentine Albin) CAM Bernard Lutic ED Kako Elber, Françoise London, Chantal Pernecker MUS Gabriel Yared CAST Christophe Lambert, Richard Anconina, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Roland Blanche, Béatrice Agenin, Laurent Gwendon, Benjamin Rataud, Michel Crémadès

LES SŒURS SOLEIL (1997) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Alain Terzian SCR Michel Delgado, Marie-Anne Chazel CAM Fabio Conversi ED Catherine Kelber MUS Eric Levi CAST Thierry Lhermitte, Marie-Anne Chazel, Clémentine Célarié, Didier Bénureau, Isabelle Carré, Léonore Confino, Alain Doutey, Jean Reno

TV MOVIES

NIGHT OF TERROR (1972) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Thomas L. Miller, Edward K. Miklis TELEPLAY Cliff Gould CAM Howard Schwartz ED Michael Vejar MUS Robert Drasnin CAST Martin Balsam, Catherine Hicks, Chuck Connors, Donna Mills, Agnes Moorehead, Vic Vallaro, John Karlen

THE WEEKEND NUN (1972) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Thomas L. Miller, Edward K. Miklis TELEPLAY Ken Trevey CAM Ronald W. Browne ED Rita Roland MUS Charles Fox CAST Joanna Pettet, Vic Morrow, Ann Sothern, James Gregory, Beverly Garland, Kay Lenz, Marion Ross

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN (1973) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD David J. O’Donnell TELEPLAY William Wood, Gerald Di Pego (short story by Cornell Woolrich) CAM Walter Strenge ED Richard G. Wray MUS Richard Clements CAST David Hartman, Jane Wyatt, Ralph Meeker, Jess Walton, Joseph Campanella, Colby Chester, George Murdock, Ben Gazarra, Bo Svenson

THE SMALL MIRACLE (1973) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Herbert L. Strock TELEPLAY Howard Dimsdale, John Patrick (story and novel by Paul Galico)  CAM John R. McLean ED David Newhouse MUS Ernest Gold CAST Vittorio De Sica, Marco Della Cava, Guidarino Guidi, Raf Vallone, Pietro Tordi, Massimo Sarchielli, Umberto Raho

LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK (1973) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Tom Egan TELEPLAY Lionel E. Siegel (novel by John Neufeld) CAM Richard C. Glouner ED Keith Olson MUS Rod McKuen CAST Anne Baxter, John Forsythe, Kay Lenz, Anne Lockhart, Debralee Scott, Jamie Smith-Jackson, Anson Williams, Erin Moran

A SUMMER WITHOUT BOYS (1973) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Ron Roth TELEPLAY Rita Lakin CAM Mario Tosi ED Jim Benson MUS Andrew Belling CAST Barbara Bain, Michael Moriarty, Kay Lenz, Mildred Dunnock, Debralee Scott, Bruno Kirby, Ric Carrott

SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPENS EVERY SPRING (1975) DIR Jeannot Szwarc TELEPLAY John Patrick, Howard Dimsdale (novel by Paul Gallico)

CRIME CLUB (1975) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD James Duff McAdams TELEPLAY Gene R. Kearney CAM Gayne Rescher ED Jim Benson, Sigmund Neufeld Jr. MUS Gil Mellé CAST Scott Thomas, Eugene Roche, Robert Lansing, Biff McGuire, Barbara Rhoades, Michael Cristofer, M. Emmet Walsh, Kathleen Beller, Carl Gottlieb

HAZARD’S PEOPLE (1976) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Roy Huggins TELEPLAY Heywood Gould, Roy Huggins, Jo Swerling Jr. CAM Charles Correll MUS John Cacavas CAST John Elerick, Cliff Emmich, Stefan Gierasch, Richard Herd, Roger Hill, John Houseman, Doreen Lang, Hope Lange, James Whitmore Jr.

CODE NAME: DIAMOND HEAD (1977) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD – TELEPLAY Paul King CAM Jack Whitman ED Jim Gross MUS Morton Stevens CAST Roy Thinnes, France Nuyen, Zulu, Ward Costello, Don Knight, Ian McShane, Eric Braeden, Dennis Patrick, Alex Henteloff

THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1986) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Robert A. Halmi TELEPLAY David Epstein (story by Edgar Allan Poe) CAM Bruno de Keyzer ED Eric Albertson MUS Charles Gross CAST George C. Scott, Rebecca De Mornay, Val Kilmer, Ian McShane, Neil Dickson, Maud Rayer, Maxence Mailfort, Fernand Guiot

GRAND LARCENY (1987) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Patrick Deschamps TELEPLAY Peter Stone CAM Tony Impey ED Lyndon Matthews MUS Irwin Fisch CAST Ritza Brown, James Cossins, Marilu Henner, Louis Jourdan, Ian McShane, Omar Sharif, Steve Kalfa, Thy Nguyen, Jean-Pierre Rosier

PASSEZ UNE BONNE NUIT, a.k.a. HAVE A NICE NIGHT (1990) DIR Jeannot Szwarc TELEPLAY Jeannot Szwarc, Sergio Gobbi, Alec Medieff (novel by James Hadley Chase) ED Rached M’Dini MUS Claude Bolling CAST Michael Brandon, Marisa Berenson, Guy Marchand, Stéphane Bonnet, Marc de Jonge, Valérie Steffen, Sophie Renoir

MOUNTAIN OF DIAMONDS (1991) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Gerald Morin TELEPLAY Sergio Donati (novel by Wilbur Smith) CAM Sergio D’Offizi MUS Michel Legrand ED Mario Morra CAST Isabelle Gélinas, Derek de Lint, Jason Connery, John Savage, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Marina Vlady, Ernest Borgnine, Frank Finlay, Valerie Perrine

SCHRECKLICHER VERDACHT (1995) DIR Jeannot Szwarc ED Rainer Standke CAST Susanne Schäfer, Sebastien Koch, Michael Greiling, Raynor Scheine, Mark Kuhn, Sophia Dirscherl, Dominique Alter, Sebastian Kalhammer

THE ROCKFORD FILES: A BLESSING IN DISGUISE(1995) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD David L. Beanes, Mark Horowitz TELEPLAY Stephen J. Cannell CAM Steve Yaconelli ED Pamela Malouf MUS Mike Post CAST James Garner, Richard Romanus, Joe Santos, Renée O’Connor, Aharon Ipalé, Reuven Bar-Yotam, Eric Lutes, Morton Downey Jr., Stuart Margolin

THE ROCKFORD FILES: IF THE FRAME FITS… (1996) DIR Jeannot Szwarc PROD Mark Horowitz, Mark R. Schilz TELEPLAY Juanita Bartlett (created by Stephen J. Cannell, Roy Huggins) CAM Steve Yaconelli ED Pamela Malouf MUS Mike Post, Pete Carpenter CAST James Garner, Dyan Cannon, Joe Santos, Gretchen Corbett, Tom Atkins, James Luisi, Carmen Argenziano, Steve Eastin, Stuart Margolin

TELEVISION MINI-SERIES

PRIGIONIERA DI UNA VENDETTA (1993) DIR Jeannot Szwarc, Vittorio Sindoni EXEC PROD Thierry Caillon, Enrico Vanzina TELEPLAY Raoul Giordano, Romano Migliorini, Luca Morsella, Dominique Roulet (story by Bernard Fixot) CAM Safai Teherani, Jean-Yves Le Mener ED Alberto Gallitti, Madeleine Guérin, Françoise London MUS Serge Franklin, Renato Serio CAST Mireille Darc, Jean Sorel, Charles Aznavour, Marc de Jonge, Guiliano Gemma, Ana Obregón, Remo Girone, Laura Soveral, Sophie Renoir