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Blue Sky

Colonel Mike Anwalt

Carly Marshall is the mentally unbalance wife of Hank. He’s in the military and responsible for monitoring atomic tests. Carly’s antics (she’s fun loving) have force her and the family (two daughters) to move from one military base to another. At a new base in Alabama, Carly gets up to her usual tricks.

This was the first of what turned out to be a series of roles I did on film with my friend Tommy Lee Jones. As usual in this first outing, I play his commanding officer and spend a lot of time setting up the jeopardy in which he eventually finds himself. We shot sequences in Florida and Arizona and I was privileged to work on one of the last films British veteran Tony Richardson directed before he died. It was also a treat to work around and watch Jessica Lange act. I had no scenes with her, but she’s a solid performer and I learned a lot about being camera-savvy by watching her on sets.

I was also able to talk the affable Tony Richardson into letting me fly right seat in a number of period helicopters we used in the film. Normally, a body-double or a stuntman in such instances replaces an actor, but Tony knew my military background and trusted me to get it right without having to cut once the helicopter landed. Some of those old birds were really primitive and very interesting to fly. Vietnam veteran Bob Smith who owns Colony Helicopters out of south Florida did the piloting. I have used him and his aircraft in a number of other film projects.

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