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LAND OF MONTEZUMA


by Hymie Fink

Photoplay, May 1947

(This is a two-page article; click link at bottom of page to continue.)

Photoplay's private enterprise for the month - putting Hymie Fink and camera on a plane Mexico-bound. His orders: Cover Captain from Castile on location and bring back the year's most exciting pictures. P.S. He did!








EVEN PHOTOGRAPHERS now and then get breaks - and the breaks were with me when PHOTOPLAY decided to send me down to Mexico for some location shots of the Captain from Castile Technicolor extravaganza.

My plane landed in Mexico City at three A.M. and I went straight to the Reforma Hotel for some necessary shut-eye. The next afternoon, still half asleep, I went to the airport and met Ty Power's pilot Jeff, who was to fly me to Uruapan (pronounced Oor-wa-pan), a little town about three hundred miles from Mexico City.



WE TOOK OFF and about an hour and a half later landed in a cow patch guarded by Mexican soldiers. The shooting here was mostly of crowd scenes showing the historical mach of Cortez on what is now Mexico City but was then the stronghold of Montezuma, the great Aztec king. The next day we were a little uneasy. You see, about ten miles from location is Mexico's famous active volcano, which the natives call Paricutin because its real name is too long to handle. Never have learned to trust a volcano belching fire and smoke. Pari kept at it all day, and when the wind was right the fine ash came down like light rain. There was real rain, too, and when the ash and rain tangled we were spattered with fine black mud.






THIS LOCATION INVOLVED serious transportation problems. There were horses, tents, trucks, all the costumes, etc. Over three thousand extras (Tarascan Indians) were used. They made fires at non and cooked their tortillas, frijoles and chili. At night, wrapped in their serapes, they slept on the ground.


TY WAS SWELL about letting me take pictures. So was his co-star, Jean Peters. Jean, by the way, has never before made a picture. She won the Twentieth Century-Fox's college girl contest as Miss Ohio State and is now Ty's leading lady. Also, director Henry King was pretty swell. He shot a whole scene just so I could catch the two leads.

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