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savafan
04-24-2007, 03:00 AM
http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/hp/content/oh/story/news/local/2007/04/23/sns042407easyrider.html



By Kelly Baker Staff Writer

Monday, April 23, 2007

Movie producer Philip Pitzer needed a Midwestern town and a well-known baseball great to finish the last scenes of his 3 year movie project a prequel to the 1969 cult classic "Easy Rider."

Pitzer found both on Monday when Hall of Famer Johnny Bench came to Springfield to shoot a scene in Pitzer's upcoming film "Scarlet Cross."

"I just happened to know of the stereotypical Midwestern town," Pitzer, of Aspen, said. "It's where I grew up."

On Monday, the Springfield native brought his cast and crew to Evans Stadium to film the fictional story of Peter Fonda's "Easy Rider" character Wyatt Williams in the years before he sought freedom on the back of a Harley.

After four years of litigating for sequel rights, Pitzer's independent film is scheduled to open around the country in September.

The movie will be told in "Forrest Gump" style, Pitzer said, with World War II veterans telling their stories in retrospect.

Monday's scene featured Wyatt's brother Virgil a 1961 South High School baseball player who is being eyed by major league baseball scouts, played by Bench and Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby.

The experience was a first for Bench who played in every Cincinnati Reds game from 1968 to 1975. He retired in 1983 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Bench arrived at the stadium around noon, under the radar screen of fans. As he exited the black limo, he quickly noticed a Yankees' ball cap worn by a crew member.

"Hey, the last time I saw that hat we swept you 2 and 0." Bench said referring to the 1976 World Series.

While he's logged more than 13,000 hours on television and radio, "Scarlet Cross" is Bench's first time on the big screen.

"I'm sure I'll just be background," Bench said, dressed in a lime green polo shirt, black pants and tennis shoes.

Pitzer asked Bench to play the part, not as himself, but as a 1960s scout who could capture the spirit of the game.

"And who better to do that than Johnny Bench?" Pitzer said.



In Philip Pitzer's version, "Easy Rider" character Wyatt Williams grows up in Springfield. "I had a charmed childhood here (in Springfield,)" Pitzer said. "It's always good to give back."

If the prequel does well, Pitzer plans to release the sequel in the summer of 2009 the 40 year anniversary of the original film.

Local shots for "Scarlet Cross" included:

Bryce Hill Farms in Urbana

The home of local Dr. Charles Parsons

Evans Field

Cedar Bog In Urbana

Ferncliff Cemetery

BCubb2003
04-24-2007, 03:15 AM
Interesting story. Can you name another member of the Big Red Machine to appear in a feature film?

savafan
04-24-2007, 03:24 AM
Pete Rose played Ty Cobb in a movie about Babe Ruth didn't he?

BCubb2003
04-24-2007, 03:29 AM
Pete Rose played Ty Cobb in a movie about Babe Ruth didn't he?

Good guess, but that was a TV movie.

WMR
04-24-2007, 04:14 AM
Wasn't Joe Morgan in a feature film proclaiming the wonders of sabremetrics?

remdog
04-24-2007, 04:38 AM
"The experience was a first for Bench who played in every Cincinnati Reds game from 1968 to 1975."

I would have to think that statement is incorrect.

Rem

RFS62
04-24-2007, 08:17 AM
"The experience was a first for Bench who played in every Cincinnati Reds game from 1968 to 1975."

I would have to think that statement is incorrect.

Rem

Yeah, and the 2-0 sweep should be 4-0.

paintmered
04-24-2007, 08:22 AM
I'm not sure if this counts. :laugh: :evil:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eAs7DM6u_Q

919191
04-24-2007, 09:40 AM
Looks like all that experience in doing The Baseball Buch is paying off now.

Reverend Doo-Rag
04-24-2007, 10:18 AM
Did Johnny Bench once release a country album, or did I dream that?

And no I'm not talking about the Tom Seaver "Casey at the Bat" album with Bench.

redsmetz
04-24-2007, 10:24 AM
"The experience was a first for Bench who played in every Cincinnati Reds game from 1968 to 1975."

I would have to think that statement is incorrect.

Rem

You are correct - his peak was 160 games in 1974.

Johnny Footstool
04-24-2007, 11:07 AM
I'm not sure if this counts. :laugh: :evil:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eAs7DM6u_Q

I don't know which is more awesome -- Pete singing or the fact that Vic "Mel" Tayback is in the commercial with him.

BCubb2003
04-24-2007, 11:43 AM
Tony Perez appeared in "Bang the Drum Slowly."

Chip R
04-24-2007, 11:48 AM
Tony Perez appeared in "Bang the Drum Slowly."


I guess he was uncredited.

RichRed
04-24-2007, 12:21 PM
I don't know which is more awesome -- Pete singing or the fact that Vic "Mel" Tayback is in the commercial with him.

No kidding. That just made my day.

TeamBoone
04-24-2007, 12:38 PM
Bench arrived at the stadium around noon, under the radar screen of fans. As he exited the black limo, he quickly noticed a Yankees' ball cap worn by a crew member.

I'm sure the limo gave nothing away.

Heath
04-24-2007, 01:03 PM
I'm sure the limo gave nothing away.

Especially in Springfield.