I was going to write about Among the Living, which was the second feature of yesterday's program at Noir City 9, but can really only focus on the irony of the title and the coincidence that I was *just* talking with a friend about a different film shot in a radioactive desert that quite possibly contributed to 91 of 220 cast and crew developing cancer; 46 of whom died from the disease, including Susan Hayward
, one of the stars of Among the Living
.That film was The Conqueror, a Howard Hughes venture shot just a grenade-propelled-stone's-throw away from a wildly active U.S. nuclear bomb test site.
Frances Farmer, another star of Among the Living, also died of cancer, but I'm guessing that was the least of her worries.
The Conqueror (1956, Howard Hughes)
A film I've never seen, nor do I have any interest in seeing (even though Susan Hayward was in it...I mean look
at her...) , The Conqueror
is notorious for having been the putative reason for the untimely demise of a number of Hollywood stars to cancer, who, during the filming of this crappy picture, were exposed to the radioactive fallout from months of above-ground nuclear testing — about 11 detonations having occurred a year before shooting began.
An article in People Magazine (11/10/1980)
goes into more atomic detail about the filming of The Conqueror
, including the moving of 60 tons of radioactive dirt by Howard Hughes back to the studio for use for retakes — on top of the 13 weeks of location shooting in the hot zone.Anyway, Howard Hughes said he felt real, real bad about it
Smoking and/or Shooting on Location at a Nuclear Test Site for a Couple of Months May Be Hazardous to Your Health