The Bell Mountain Movie Contest, Take Two

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I’m not entirely sure this is a good idea–after all, it bombed the first time we tried it–but nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I hereby open The Official and Bona Fide Bell Mountain Movie Contest.

Suppose we were suddenly in possession of $200 million and wanted to make a movie based on yours truly’s Bell Mountain books. And suppose you could have anyone you wanted, living or dead, to play the various characters and to direct the movie. Whom would you hire? Whom would you cast?

So that’s the contest: cast the movie. Simply list four characters in the novels with the names of the actors you’d like to see playing those characters; or you can nominate a director. Example: Helki the Rod: Danny DeVito; Ellayne: Bette Davis; Lord Reesh: Stan Laurel; Directed by: Ross Perot. (I have purposely illustrated this example with choices that no one in his right mind would ever make.)

Enter as many times as you like. Entries will be judged–subjectively, I admit–by me, influenced by other readers’ reactions to the suggestions. The contest will run until The Temptation is published, and an autographed copy of it will go to the winner. I’ll extend the contest if more time is needed.

Problem: If you haven’t read any of these books, you’ll be hard-put to compete in this contest. Ridiculously Simple Solution: Read ’em. At least read one, and you’re in business. There are hundreds of characters in these books by now, and you’ve only got to come up with four. How easy can it get?

Last time, a lot of people seemed to enjoy reading about this contest… but we only got three actual entries. I got just as many for a “name that tent caterpillar” contest that wasn’t even real, I didn’t even have a tent caterpillar.

So I’ll give this a week or two and see how it goes. If it doesn’t go, we’ll have to think of something else.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

100 responses to “The Bell Mountain Movie Contest, Take Two

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Wow! Thank you, Mr. Duigon! I’m really excited! I’m happy that Jeremy can join in this time. This is going to be great!

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Hmm… four choices… what should I choose… AH-HA!

    The veteran actor of reknown, Forest Whitaker as the venerable Heathen chieftain Uduqu!

    Brian Blessed, famous for his booming, operatic voice, as the corrupt Judge Tombo! (I have taken great care not to spell “Brian” as “Brain”…)

    And ah, yes… the evil Lord Reesh, he-he-he (evil laugh)… hmm… hard choice, but I think that scary looking Ian McShane might be nice!

    And finally my most favorite character of all! Here goes… Helki the Rod! Yes, the actor of my choice that should play the invincible Helki the Rod is… (drums rolling… and the cymbals cling!) … King Felipe VI of Spain!!!

    Thank you very much folks for viewing, and thank you, Mr. Duigon for letting me participate!

  • Unknowable

    My problem is that I don’t know the names of any contemporary actors. I tend to watch old movies and my idea of a contemporary actor is the late Peter Falk, or the even later Peter Sellers. 🙂

    • leeduigon

      No problem! Most of my own cast is drawn from old movies. You don’t have to be still alive to act in the Bell Mountain movie. Anyhow, that’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it. Meanwhile, feel free to nominate anyone you please.

      • Unknowable

        Ok, I’m going to plug some of the actors I know into major roles in Bell Mountain. I think these folks would add some humor, yet keep the story itself serious.

        Reesh: Peter Sellers. Think of Sellers, not as the over the top Clouseau, but as Dr. Strangelove. Arrogant, yet strangely brilliant. Coniving and amoral. You know that he’ll never succeed in the long run, but he can cause a lot of damage along the way.

        Martis: Sean Connery. Think Sean Connery as James Bond, in Goldfinger, perhaps the most extreme, larger than life portrayal of Bond before movies became dominated by unreal effects. The Scottish accent might have to be replaced with something a bit more Latinic, but what we want here is cool, calculating and confident, to the extreme. When this character turns from evil to good, he brings with him all of the competence of his former life, but now it is applied only to good.

        Obst: Peter Falk. Think the grandfather role, in The Princess Bride, in which Falk portrays one of his more believable characterizations. This version of Falk has limitations, but he doesn’t blunder into his limitations very often. Nor does he use them as a stalking horse to mask his competency, as he did in Colombo.

        Wytt: Mickie Rooney. Think the young Mickey Rooney, who was shorter than average, yet larger than life. Unbridled enthusiasm and a can-do attitude are hallmarks of this character. Unfortunately, it would require modern affects to pull it off, because Wytt is a lot smaller than a human, even a Mickey Rooney sized human, but it could be done.

        Helki: Dan Blocker. Yep, Hoss Cartwright himself as Helki, personality and all. Here’s the reason. Hoss could seem a bit dense at first blush. He seemed more brawn than brain, but, at the very heart of it, he was a good man and used his brainpower for the good. Every so often, he would say something profound and you would realize that he knew as much as anyone in the room, even if he did come across as a bit limited in intellect at times. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and Helki has that in abundance. Hey, Blocker could even wear the same hat he wore in Bonanza. 🙂

        Ellayne’s father: Michael York, right out of the 1974 film, Murder on the Orient Express. I realize that not everyone shares my viewpoint on this, but I loved that movie and York’s portrayal of a somewhat effete Hungarian diplomat is now I see Elayne’ s father. A good man, at heart, but a bit clueless as to the reality of life outside his (somewhat) sheltered existence.

        I won’t suggest any specific character, but without Sir John Gielgud, the movie would be undercast. Even as a bit part, he has to be there, bringing his wry humor and somewhat acerbic propriety to the scene. Somewhere there’s a protagonist role that could use a somewhat standoffish a character with deep,wisdom and a heart of pure gold.

        Where that’s concerned, Dudley Moore could bring some real color to a scene. Once again, more than a bit part might be too much of a good thing, but he could contribute much in only a short appearance and a handful of lines. Perhaps somewhere in the series as a haughty and corrupt religious official. Whichever character, it has to be someone that will be humiliated, when all is said and done.

        • leeduigon

          Did you ever see a movie called “Never Let Go”? Peter Sellers plays a gangster, the villain–and is he ever a great villain! Try to find it on youtube or something.

          It’s fun to see how all these different suggestions stack up–many of which are quite different from what I had in mind. That tells me that each reader is finding some reality in each of my characters–otherwise everyone would have a lot of the same ideas.

          • Unknowable

            I’ve never seen it, but I’ll make it a point to take it in.

            Sellers was an excellent actor. Towards the end, of the Pink Panther series, the movies became almost pure slapstick, which I felt detracted from the premise, but if you watch A Shot In The Dark and the original Pink Panther, he played a very serious side to Clouseau. Clouseau, in those movies, was a believable character. The situation was as much the source of the humor as Clouseau’s ineptness.

            That would make a good Reesh. A man that may have started with honorable intentions, but allowed himself to be too easily corrupted by the job and eventually was completely given over to corruptness. An actor that could play a character that took himself seriously, yet was completely worthless, could make a believable Reesh and even being a touch of humor to an otherwise totally evil character.

          • leeduigon

            Reesh would never admit that he was evil. He would insist that everything he did was for the noblest and purest motives.

        • Elijah Holston

          Those are some great choices Unknowable! I looked up their pictures, and they would definitely fit the characters!

        • Joshua M. Swanson

          I really like your cast, Unknowable! The young Sean Connery as Martis is a great pick!

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    Wow, this contest is off to an awesome start!! Lee, you might want to find a panel of objective judges to call the winner because you are so emotionally attached to your characters. These offerings by Joshua & Unknowable are terrific! Now I have something to think about as I substitute students who are being machine taught instead of by real people.

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Why did I choose King Felipe VI of Spain as Helki the Rod? Well, I nominated him for that respectable role because of his height. He is 197 cm. tall!…That’s like 25 cm. over my head! Also his face kinda looks like Helki’s face of my imagination.

  • Jeremy M. Swanson

    And here’s Jeremy, going to join the battle!
    Here’s my cast for the Bell Mountain movie:

    The wizard living in the tower near the Glass Bridge: Christopher Lee

    Wytt: Yoda from STARWARS:

    Helki the Rod: Samson from the Bible

    Merffin Mord: The Pilsbury Doughboy

  • Jeremy M. Swanson

    Okay now let’s be serious:

    Now here’s Jeremy again, going to join the war!

    Martis: Stan Musial (With a slight mustache and beard though)

    Lord Reesh: Johnny Cash

    Lord Gwyll: Sam Neill

    Lord Chutt: Chucky! . . .No, no, no, Tim Curry

    I hope you like this cast!

    • Joshua M. Swanson

      Welcome to the battlefield, my dear brother. Just tell me if you need more reinforcements or ammunition, OK?

      Sergeant Major Joshua to General Jeremy.

  • Holston Family

    I’m assembling a cast, will post in today or tomorrow.

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Mr. Duigon, is it alright if I make more than one cast?

  • Elijah Holston

    Here is mine, most of the actors are still alive (to give it a better chance of being made) but some of them are dead by now. I gave reference to the lesser-known actors

    Lord Reesh – John Rhys Davies (he is perfect for an evil type masterminder)

    Martis – Errol Flynn (he perfect for that adventurous/daring character)

    Gallgoid – Steve Mcqueen

    Ellayne – Georgina Terry (Polyanna)

    Jack – Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone series)

    Roshy Balt – Rusty Martin Sr. (Courageous)

    Helki – Fess Parker (he has the hight and plays a good leader of backwoodsmen)

    Obst – Allen Hale

    Van – Kevin Downes [he could easily pass as an angry stepfather (Courageous)]

    Orth – Clint Howard (Play the Flute)

    Ysbott -Brian Donlevy [he’s good at playing the insanely evil villain (Beau Guest)]

    Lord Chutt – Basil Rathbone

    Gurun – Ashley Bratchet (Princess Cut)

    Abigale – Rachel Hendrix (77 Chances)

    General Hannan – Andrew Cheney (Beyond the Mask)

    Bertig – Aden Gillett [he has the looks of an older father, makeup could give him the sea-weathered look (Polyanna)]

    General Born – Kirk Douglas (I can picture him in a uniform)

    Ashrof – Kenneth Cranham (Polyanna)

    Sorry, I know it’s a little more than four, but I couldn’t resist. I haven’t yet thought of a Ryons or Udaqu. Thank you Mr. Duigon for letting me be a part of this!

  • Elijah Holston

    Oh! I forgot…
    As for Whit all we need is a voice, because he will have to be made with 3D animation. A lot of the movie will be special effects, it will make it a lot nicer.
    As for a director…Hmmm… I think Alex Kendrick would do a great job, or if that didn’t work…Chad Burns. And of course I would be the director’s assistant.

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Here are the mardars!!!

    Four Mardars:

    Mardar (the first one to appear, who appeared in Book 2) : Rep. Hank Johnson (tipped over and capsized) , or Samuel L. Jackson (Jurassic Park)

    Mardar Wusu: Laurence Fishburne (Matrix)

    Mardar Zo: Omar Sy (Jurassic World)

    Mardar Chillith (the good guy mardar) : Morgan Freeman (Batman series)

    I’ve been thinking about casting Mr. Fishburne for a long time. Glad I did it now.

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Currently including this one there are 45 comments on this post. Why don’t we work together and see if we can reach a 100 comments?

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    51 now!

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    My cast: Part 3

    Here’s another entry, considering good guy and bad guy soldiers and outlaws:

    General Hennen: Woody Harrelson

    General Born: Sean Bean

    Captain Iolo: Toby Jones

    Ysbott: Danny Trejo

    Latt Squint-Eye: Vincent Price

    Hesket the Tinker: Jeremy Irons

    Those six for now. Casting is fun!!

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    When I think about what Latt squint-Eye looks like, I usually think of a Captain Hook like character. Somebody like François Levantal might be better. (Never watched the movie, only seen pictures of him as Hook)

    • leeduigon

      Latt was dangerous because he had absolutely no inhibitions about killing people. Tougher than Ysbott, but not as sneaky.

      • Joshua M. Swanson

        I actually like the Latt Squint-Eye character. For some reason I have always been fond of fictional villains ever since I was little. Latt sure was tough and shrewd. Yet, as it turns out, he was no match for the invinsible Helki the Rod!

  • Jeremy M. Swanson

    My Cast Take 3:

    Obst – Max Von Sydow

    Ashrof – Richard Owen Roberts

    Martis – Hugh Jackman

    Gallgoid – Henry Cavill

    Wilfrygg – Domhnall Gleeson

    Lord Otvar – Charles Dance

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Here’s Part 4 of my cast!!

    Here’s what I decided for some of the protagonists:

    Jack: young Skandar Keynes

    Ellayne: young Georgie Henley

    Martis: Keanu Reeves

    Obst: Jeff Bridges

    Coming soon: The Antagonists

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    It’s kind of hard finding a good actor to play The Thunder King…

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Part 5: The Antagonists

    Ben Kingsley as the evil warlord, the main antogonist of the Bell Mountain series, The Thunder King. Ben’s bald, but…

    Burn Gorman as the vile First Prester pretender, Lord Goryk Gillow. “Burn”…get it? 🙂

    John Nettles as Lord Stinking Vulture Chutt, as Baron Roshay Bault calls him on Page 219 in The Glass Bridge. I must agree, there is no better Lord Chutt-looking person.

    And finally let me have a try again on Latt Squint-Eye…

    Keith Richards from the Rolling stones as the outlaw chief, Latt Squint-Eye. Imagine him with long braided hair and an evil-looking scarred, squinted eye… that should do the trick… I hope.

    I like the new rules for the contest, Mr. Duigon!

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    The “of” in the above comment has to be “if.” Sorry.

    This comment is the 99th comment on “The Bell Mountain Movie Contest, Take Two.” One more to 100! I congratulate you early, Mr. Duigon.

  • Jeremy M. Swanson

    Hi, everybody! I’m comment No.IOO!!!!!!!!

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