A fascinating error is revealed in a 9.29 Screen Daily story about a Zurich Film Festival master class lecture by Weinstein Co. honcho Harvey Weinstein. While recalling his early film passions Weinstein said “his first emotional connection to film came when watching Old Yeller, the classic American tearjerker about a boy and his dog,” writes SD‘s Wendy Mitchell. “The idea of Gregory Peck having to shoot the dog, I saw the emotionality of that. And I questioned that decision with my dad.”
Correction #1: Old Yeller star Tommy Kirk (still living and active and 71 years old) was forced to shoot his rabies-infected Yellow Labrador in that 1957 Walt Disney film — not Gregory Peck. Correction #2: Peck, however, did shoot a rabid dog five years later in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), so Weinstein’s confusion is understandable. Correction #3: Mitchell or her Screen Daily editors should have caught the mistake and pointed it out somewhere in the story.
During his 45-minute speech Weinstein announced plans to direct a screen version of Leon Uris‘s Mila 18, about the Warsaw ghetto uprising (i.e., a 42-day battle between Jews and Nazis with Jews, using only handmade weapons, holding hard for 42 days). “We will make that movie, sooner rather than later,” Weinstein said. In other words, not imminently.