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Nate and Hayes

Handbook of Production Information






In the mid-1800's, the South Pacific islands are subjected to con-stant raiding by "blackbirders" (slavers). Captain "Bully" Hayes (TOMMY LEE JONES) and Ben Pease (MAX PHIPPS), once shipmates but now deadly rivals, have been the main offenders through the years, but Hayes now confines his business to double-dealing unwary passengers on his scow, the Rona.

One such passenger is Sophie (JENNY SEAGROVE), who is journeying with her fiance Nate (MICHAEL O'KEEFE) to an island where his missionary parents, the Reverend and Mrs. Williamson (BILL JOHNSON and KATE HARCOURT) are preparing for their wedding. During the ceremony, Ben Pease and his crew attack the village, wounding Nate, killing his parents and carrying off Sophie.

On recovering, Nate sets off in a small boat in pursuit of Hayes, who he erroneously assumes is responsible. He discovers his mistake when he is rescued by Hayes after marooning himself at sea. Together they set out in search of Sophie.

Pease, meanwhile, has rendezvoused with a German Count (GRANT TILLY) who is secretly planning to take over the island of King Owatopi for a military base. In Samoa, Hayes and Nate discover the pair preparing to leave in the Count's gunboat; a fight ensues during which Hayes' boat is sunk, but commandeering Pease's boat, the Leonora, they set off in pursuit.

At the conclusion of their negotiations with the King, Pease and the Count present him with a special gift - Sophie. The King orders her immediate sacrifice and, strapped to a spar, she is being lowered into a volcanic pit when Nate and Hayes arrive just in time to effect a breathtaking rescue. They escape in the Leonora pursued by the German gunboat; Hayes once more produces a plan which spectacularly disposes of the ship. Pease, however, manages to survive and later informs on Hayes, who is subsequently arrested by the authorities and sentenced to be hanged on a gunrunning charge.

It is now Nate's turn to demonstrate ingenuity in saving his friend from the gallows...


During the last ten years, fast-rising stage and screen star TOMMY LEE JONES has become something of an expert in playing real-life characters.

Thirty-six-year-old Jones has already portrayed multi-millionaire Howard Hughes in the highly-praised two-part television special about j the elusive eccentric, and in the 1980 hit motion picture "The Coal Miner's Daughter," he took on the challenging role of Mooney, the real-life husband of country music legend Loretta Lynn.

Now in his latest film, "Nate and Hayes," Jones takes on the role of Captain "Bully" Hayes, an American seaman who was to emerge as a larger-than-life character of the South Pacific towards the end of the 19th century. William Henry Hayes was a buccaneer, con man and one of the last great adventurers to roam the islands of the South Pacific.

Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas. It was during his i prep school days in Dallas that he first became involved in acting via a part in Dylan Thomas' "Under Milkwood."

Following a sortie into the Texas oil fields as a roughneck, Jones continued his acting career at Harvard where he earned a degree in English and a reputation as a top gridiron football player.

Too light for professional football, however, Jones moved to New York and for six years worked in many Broadway productions including "Four on a Garden" with Carol Channing and Sid Caesar, and "Ulysses in Nighttown" with the late Zero Mostel.

In motion pictures, Jones received attention from producers following his appearance in the blockbuster "Love Story," playing one of Ryan O'Neal's friends. Then came "Jackson County Jail," followed by a riveting performance as a Vietnam veteran in "Rolling Thunder," in which he starred with William Devane.

Following his acclaimed portrayal as "The Amazing Howard Hughes," it was back to the big screen with leading roles in "The Betsy" and "The Eyes of Laura Mars," the latter opposite Faye Dunaway. These roles brought Jones to the attention of director Michael Apted which led to his role opposite Sissy Spacek in "The Coal Miner's Daughter."

This past season he won tremendous praise with his performance as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore in "The Executioner's Song," based on the Norman Mailer novel, which was shown on television in the United States and theatrically in the rest of the world. "The Executioner's Song" opened the Deauville Film Festival in France, and recently brought Jones an Emmy Award as Best Actor.

After training at the American Theatre of Academy Art, MICHAEL 0'KEEFE began a theatrical career in 1974, appearing in "The Killdeer" at the Public Theatre in New York. The Colannades Theatre Lab, a small repertory company, took up his next three years and four plays, one of which earned him the Dramatists Guild Award. He was then cast in Mike Nichols' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Streamers," followed by his first film role in "Grey Lady Down," opposite Charlton Heston.

In 1977 he was chosen to play opposite Robert Duvall in "The Great Santini," for which both actors were nominated for Academy Awards. The comedy "Caddyshack" was next, opposite Rodney Danger field, Ted Knight and Chevy Chase.

Maintaining a strong personal commitment to live theatre, O'Keefe returned to Broadway for two plays: Lanford Wilson's "Fifth of July" and "Mass Appeal." It was his performance in the latter which first attracted "Nate and Hayes" director Ferdinand Fairfax, ultimately leading to his being signed for the part of Nate.

O'Keefe has been active in television as well, with some ten made-for-television movies to his credit including "Rumors of War" with Keith Carradine, "Harvest Home" with Bette Davis, and an adaptation of "Friendly Persuasion."

A recent film credit was the dramatic "Split Image," in which he played the lead role of a religious cultist, a fitting prelude to his role as the young trainee Reverend Nathaniel in "Nate and Hayes." O'Keefe is also a fencer - a craft which not unexpectedly came in handy during the filming of the swashbuckling buccaneering adventure set in South seas.

English film and stage actress JENNY SEAGROVE says of her character Sophie, the heroine of "Nate and Hayes," that she is "everything I have always wanted to play - naive, a little wicked, but resourceful to a point where she will stop at nothing to survive." (Typically Victorian, Sophie is forced out of her mold to aid and abet in the series of misfortunes that befall her and her two heroes).

Trained at Bristol's Old Vic Theatre School, Seagrove also holds a stage fighting certificate which came in handy for her active role as Sophie.

Seagrove has appeared on stage in and around London and has had major television roles that include her Angela Brack in "The Brack Report" (as the daughter of a nuclear scientist), the role of Laura Fairley in the BBC "Women in White," and the lead in Granada's "Crown Court."

Her feature films include "Dead End," "A Shocking Accident," "Moon-lighting" and, most recently, "Local Hero," produced by David Puttnam ("Chariots of Fire," "Midnight Express") and directed by Bill Forsyth ("Gregory's Girl").

MAX PHIPPS is one of Australia's most experienced and versatile actors, with a penchant for playing nasty characters. He is therefore perfectly delighted with his role of Ben Pease in "Nate and Hayes," a man, he notes, "with absolutely no redeeming features."

In a career spanning 20 years, Phipps has played parts from Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to Brerwolf and has performed in musicals, plays, films and television series. He began his career at Hayes Gordon's Ensemble Theatre in Sydney, and has often returned to direct plays there.

In 1969 he played Queenie in "Fortune in Men's Eyes," a revolutionary play that actually altered prison systems in his native Australia. His credits then rolled, including David Williamson's "The Removalists" at Sydney's Nimrod Theatre, and "What If You Died Tomorrow?," selected to open the Sydney Opera House Theatre. After touring Australia and then three plays in London's West End, Phipps returned to Sydney to play Frank N Furter in Harry Miller's version of "The Rocky Horror Show" for two years.

His television credits include "Cop Shop," "Bellamy," "Holiday Island," "The Benny Hill Show," and, most recently, his role as the Australian Prime Minister in director George Miller's ("Mad Max," "The Road Warrior") teleseries, "The Dismissal."

His film credits start from the beginning of the Australian film industry - in 1975 Peter Weir's "The Cars That Ate Paris," in 1980 Steve Wallace's "Stir" (for which he was nominated as Best Actor in the Australian Film Institute Awards) and George Miller's "Mad Max II," released in the United States as "The Road Warrior."

GRANT TILLY is one of the actors considered the backbone of the flourishing New Zealand film industry. With five recent feature films to his credit, and a background in theatre and television, he was an ideal choice to create the dogmatic, Teutonic Count Von Rittenberg who with his German gunboat creates much of the high drama in "Nate and Hayes."

Tilly trained in London in the early 1960's, then returned to his native New Zealand where he became involved heavily in live theatre. He co-founded Wellington City's Circa Theatre, and has for a long time been an advisor in local drama education.

He played the lead role in director Geoff Stevens' feature film, "Skin Deep," and two movies directed by John Reid, "Middle Age Spread" and "Carry Me Back". He also had major roles in John Laing's "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" and "Race for the Yankee Zephyr."

Tilly is also an artist, with weekly sketch columns in a major New Zealand daily, including three published sketch books to his credit.

For BRUCE ALLPRESS, 1982 was a banner year. He carried away New Zealand's Best Actor Award for his role in the top-rated television series, "Jocko," and won the role of Lieutenant Blake in "Nate and Hayes."

Allpress began his career in radio drama in the early 1960's, soon expanding and now dividing his time equally between cinema, television and live theatre.

His feature film credits include John Laing's "Beyond Reasonable Doubt," and, more recently, Sam Pillsbury's "The Scarecrow," which was chosen as this year's entry into Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. "The Scarecrow," produced by Rob Whitehouse, was also shown I i at the Toronto Film Festival.

"Bad Blood," shot in New Zealand by Southern Pictures and being distributed worldwide by Rank, was his most recent film prior to "Nate and Hayes."


Currently President of the British Society of Cinematographers, TONY IMI is one of the most experienced men in his field.

Working from a British base, Imi moves internationally from one major theatrical and/or television project to another; each time he adds to his vast knowledge on location and set in climate extremes from North American winters to the tropical South seas isles of "Nate and Hayes."

Imi began his career in the late 1950's with the BBC, establishing his reputation with early British television landmarks, "Cathy Come Home" and "Up the Junction." By the 1970's, he was in great demand for feature films, with such credits as "The Likely Lads," "Brass Targets," "Raging Moon," "The Slipper and the Rose," "International Velvet," "North Sea Highjack" and "The Tale of Two Cities."

The 1980's brought further feature film credits with "The Sea Wolves" and "The Night Crossing." His recent television credits have included the BBC's "King Edward VII" and ABC's "Inside the Third Reich," the latter winning him an Emmy nomination in America this past year.


JOHN SHIRLEY, the editor of "Nate and Hayes," is highly experienced in the editing of high-action films, including two James Bond pictures, "The Man With the Golden Gun" and "Live and Let Die."

Other credits include "Zeppelin," "When Eight Bells Toll," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and the classic Douglas Bader story, "Reach for the Sky."

In a lighter vein, Shirley has been responsible for five of the j popular British "Carry On" film series.


A great deal of the "Nate and Hayes" authenticity was the responsib-ility of English production designer MAURICE CAIN.

Cain traveled between the Fiji Islands, Auckland, the Bay of Islands and Rotorua in New Zealand to supervise the construction of over half a dozen elaborate sets, including an entire Fijian native village, a full Samoan business port of the late 1800's, the transformation of a fishing vessel into a sinister steam-powered German gunboat, rope bridges across dangerous ravines, as well as vicious and lethal sacrificial setups.

Cain followed into his father's footsteps as a production designer, the latter testing his skills very early by requesting help from his son in building a mountain and a casino for a James Bond film.

Since then Cain has been involved in productions worldwide, including sophisticated design techniques required on films such as "Live and Let Die," "The Wild Geese," "The Sea Wolves," "Shout at the Devil," as well as the top-rated television series, "The Avengers."


One of the most experienced men on the "Nate and Hayes" set was s British production supervisor TED LLOYD, who has been in the film business in Britain since the late 1940's. "

The multi-talented Lloyd, apart from his work supervising film projects, has written and produced several of his own film and television features, serving as associate producer on the 1977 feature film "The Legacy" and the more recent Columbia Television presentation of "David the King."

During the 1950's and 1960's, Lloyd produced more than a dozen motion pictures. These included "Weekend With Lulu" for Hammer/Columbia (which he also wrote), and two for Eros Films, "Inn for Trouble" and "Emergency Ward 10."

As a production supervisor, Lloyd has been in constant demand since 1965 when he worked on the cinema version of the popular "Doctor Who" television series. Then came "The Avengers," again for television, followed by "Where Eagles Dare" for MGM in 1969.

In 1971, Lloyd joined Norman Jewison for the film version of "Fiddler on the roof" and again 1974 for "Rollerball".

"Nate and Hayes" brought Lloyd to New Zealand for the first time from his home in Middlesex in England.


PETER DIAMOND is one of the world's top stunt coordinators, with a career that spans over 30 years.

He has contributed incredible stunts for such films as "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Superman II" and the current "Return of the Jedi." His career covers, too, years of television productions.

A small man with a look that seems more akin to academia than the world of dangerous and dramatic film stunt work. Diamond turned his talents to stunt work after earlier careers in the British Army, training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and working as an actor r at the Old Vic and in repertory.

The stunts for "Nate and Hayes" required all of Diamond's skills, all done on location and with a great deal of high drama and action that was done on such dangerous places as a suspension rope bridge falling into torrent-filled canyons, as well as major sea battle gymnastics.


The screenplay for "Nate and Hayes" was written by JOHN HUGHES and DAVID ODELL based on a story by LLOYD PHILLIPS. The screenstory is by DAVID ODELL.

"Nate and Hayes" is one of five feature films John Hughes has worked on this year.

With a background in advertising, Hughes is a writer for the National Lampoon magazine and recently has to his credit screenplays for "National Lampoon's Class Reunion," as well as National Lampoon's "Vacation," starring Chevy Chase and directed by Harold Ramis for Warner Bros.

Having written primarily comedy screenplays for film, Hughes was delighted with the opportunity of contributing his writing skills to the adventure film.


New Zealand's only Academy Award winner, LLOYD PHILLIPS is one of the producers of "Nate and Hayes."

With an early career background in photo-journalism and public relations, Phillips' keen eye for a good shot and a good story have proved invaluable to him as a feature film producer.

In 1976 Phillips turned to film full time by being accepted into the prestigious National Film School in London where he was able to experiment with various aspects of the art. While there, he wrote, directed and edited a horror film called "Half Way Around the Circle," which received numerous international film awards and prompted Phillips to begin making contacts within the American industry.

With his production company, Rocking Horse Films, newly established in London, Phillips embarked on his first production, a short film for Paramount, which turned out to be a dream debut, when "The Dollar Bottom" won an Academy Award in 1981. It was also nominated in the Best Short Film category in England.

Encouraged by the recognition of his work and with the swift emergence of the film industry in his native New Zealand, Phillips joined forces with another New Zealand producer, Rob Whitehouse, and they began making plans to make a full feature film in New Zealand.

By 1981, "Battletruck," a futuristic action drama set "after the oil wars" was completed, and was pre-sold in America even before it began its highly successful domestic release in New Zealand.

Again teamed with Rob Whitehouse, Phillips has helped write a very different chapter for the New Zealand film industry. The enormity of the "Nate and Hayes" project alone set it apart from anything produced in the country so far, with a 12-week international shooting schedule, I elaborate stunts and special effects, and, quite literally, a cast of thousands.

ROB WHITEHOUSE, with Lloyd Phillips, has produced "Nate and Hayes."

From a legal and investment background, Auckland (New Zealand) producer Whitehouse has packaged and produced two major features in two years. His first, "The Scarecrow," achieved a milestone in the local industry by being the first New Zealand feature to be invited into the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. His second, ' "Battletruck," shot in 1981, received worldwide release via Roger Corman and the Golden Harvest Distribution Group.

Whitehouse became interested in the film business soon after graduating from law school in 1973, initially looking after the business affairs of producer/director Roger Donaldson, and at the same time utilizing his legal and financial background to the benefit of the local industry.

In 1976 Whitehouse accepted a partnership in a New Zealand law office, and set up the inaugural representation of New Zealand film makers at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. Later that year, he financed Sam Pillsbury's highly-acclaimed documentary, "The Greatest Run on Earth," which went on to be a double Festival award winner.

Whitehouse was also in discussions to set up the New Zealand Film Commission and developed a plan for a filmmakers' bank.

In 1980 he resigned his major law practice in favor of a smaller one and set up a full-time production company - Oasis Films. Later that year, "The Scarecrow" was in production under the direction of Sam Pillsbury and with veteran American actor John Carradine playing the title role.

In the same year, Whitehouse joined forces with Lloyd Phillips to produce "Battletruck," a futuristic adventure story set "after the oil wars." The pair worked together again on their most ambitious project to date, "Nate and Hayes."


British-born director FERDINAND FAIRFAX came to "Nate and Hayes" with a strong track record in action, adventure and historic series.

For a short time a stills photographer, Fairfax switched to filmmaking when he joined the BBC Features Department. His talent soon won him independent projects for the British government and major companies such as Shell, which gave him eight years of commercial documentary and short film experience. For two years in succession, he won the British Best Documentary Film Award.

Euston Film Production head Verity Lambert, seeing Fairfax's potential, asked him to direct in 1977 the pilot episode of her "Danger UXB" series, based on wartime bomb disposal units. The pilot received so much attention from critics and the British public that he was signed to direct three more episodes. He also directed episodes of "The Professionals."

One of Fairfax's favorite projects is his 94-minute biographical account of the life and career of Sir Malcolm Campbell for the BBC, produced by Innes Lloyd, a strong and lasting account of the world speed ace who was beloved throughout the world. The film was entitled "The Speed King."

Another recent credit was as the director of "Winston Churchill - The Wilderness Years," for Southern Pictures, consisting of eight segments and taking two years to complete. Starring Robert Hardy (who also starred as "The Speed King") as Churchill, the series received ten nominations for the British Film and Television Awards in 1981. Hardy also won the British Press Critics Award for his performance.

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