CapeCodHistory.us home
Joseph C. Lincoln bibliography
Jan 2008

    I was excited to hear that Joseph C. Lincoln's first novel, Cap'n Eri., was being filmed as Chatham. It's been 80 years since anyone has filmed any of his books, so this is the first talkie. It amused me that a new generation of readers might read and like Lincoln. However, so far, I've only heard that Chatham is a snore. I have to see it anyway, and maybe the first audience feedback will lead to a more generally exciting version.
    The movie was filmed largely in Chatham, with scenes at the Osterville's train depot and at Provincetown's Race Point Life-Saving Station. Surprising to me, the production does not have its own web site. According to the production office, as of 9 Apr 2007, all articles written about the movie have been in the Cape weeklies, and in the Cape Cod Times, Boston Globe and Boston Herald.
    I thank the Cape Cod Chronicle for permission to post its articles and pictures.




17 May 2006
Hollywood actors to star in 'Chatham'

By Tim Miller
Entertainment Editor, Cape Cod Times
    Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper and Martin Landau as retired sea captains?
    That's the plan, as writer-director Daniel Adams of West Barnstable prepares to shoot the feature film ''Chatham'' on the Cape this fall.
    The 44-year-old Cape native has made three films, his most recent shot on the Cape 10 years ago: ''The Mouse,'' a comedy starring John Savage as a boxer.
    ''I'm looking forward to directing something again,'' Adams said by phone yesterday. ''It's been a long time.''
    His new film, Adams said, is ''loosely inspired'' by ''Cap'n Eri: A Story of the Coast,'' written by Cape Cod author Joseph C. Lincoln (1870-1944) in 1904 and previously adapted as a silent film in 1915.
    ''I've always been a Joseph Lincoln fan,'' Adams said. ''He captures a period of Cape Cod I'm really fond of ... before the massive development.''
    Adams said he used only parts of the book, and even those he changed. He said his adaptation, a romantic comedy, is about ''three retired sea captains who try to coax an attractive, middle-aged woman to marry one of them to take over domestic chores.''
    Although Adams didn't want to give anything away, he said things don't quite go as planned.
    Anne Archer, who played Michael Douglas' wife in ''Fatal Attraction,'' has been signed to play the woman entangled with the sea captains. Peter Boyle of TV's ''Everybody Loves Raymond'' also is set to appear in ''Chatham.''
[an error occurred while processing this directive]    Adams said the film, produced by Michael Mailer (son of legendary author and Provincetown resident Norman Mailer), has an $8 million budget, making it his most expensive film to date. ''The Mouse'' had a budget under $1 million, according to Adams.
    Adams plans to film on the Cape for eight weeks, starting in late October or early November. The production might have to shift to Florida for the climactic scene, set during a northeaster, which would be shot in a large tank.
    Reynolds, who heads the cast, will be with the production for the entire eight weeks, Adams said. Hopper and Landau will be involved in filming for three to four weeks.
    Adams' other movies, besides ''The Mouse,'' include ''Primary Motive,'' a 1992 political drama starring Judd Nelson, and ''Religion Inc.,'' a 1989 satire now available on video as ''A Fool and His Money,'' starring then-newcomer Sandra Bullock.

Tim Miller can be reached at tmiller@capecodonline.com.

28 Mar 2007
Lights, camera, 'Chatham'!
  By Robin Lord
Staff Writer, Cape Cod Times
 CHATHAM - Hollywood has come to town and you know what that means. 
      ''Things that say 'Chatham' on them are really going to be hot,” predicted Scott Hamilton, a manager at Chatham Jewelers on Main Street.
   Eric Linder. "From my standpoint, it's only going to do good things for my business," the bookstore owner says.
 (Staff photo by Paul Blackmore)
      When the filming of the new movie, ''Chatham,” moves to Main Street and other outdoor locations in town beginning tomorrow, Hamilton and other business owners say the town may be the place to be. 
     ''From my standpoint, it's only doing good things for my business,” said Eric Linder, owner of Yellow Umbrella Books on Main Street. 
     The film, starring David Carradine, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn and Mariel Hemingway, tells the story of three retired sea captains who get tired of each other's cooking and advertise for a bride. They agree to draw straws, and the one who marries the woman will allow the other two to live with them. 
     The screenplay was written by West Barnstable filmmaker Dan Adams, who based it loosely on a novel ''Cap'n Eri” by early 20th century Chatham novelist Joseph Lincoln.
      Adams started filming interior scenes last week in the Mid-Cape area. 
     Today, the filming moves to the old West Barnstable train station, and tomorrow, the cast and crew are scheduled to be at Barn Hill Road Landing in West Chatham. 
     Through April 16, filming will take place around Chatham and will require road closings at various times, according to Chatham Police Chief Mark Pawlina. All dates are subject to change, he said. 
     During the evening hours of April 11, a fire scene will be shot in the alley beside Chatham Hardware, Pawlina said. Cinematic techniques will mean a small shed can be burned to simulate a larger building, he said. 
     A mixture of sand and dirt will be laid down on Main Street from Seaview Street to just east of the rotary to give it a more early 1900s look. Some store signs will be changed and windows may be dressed up, the chief said. 
     To update the public on the closures and other aspects of the film, Chatham police will hold a public hearing from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow at the town hall on Main Street. 
     Residents and business owners can voice their concerns about how the filming will affect their customers. 
     Some aren't too concerned. Hamilton noted that the nearly completed sewer line project on Main Street in front of St. Christopher's Episcopal caused more road closures than the filming is expected to involve. 
     ''Whatever they do with the movie is going to be small potatoes compared to that,” he said. 
     Kim Marsh, co-manager of Chatham Candy Manor on Main Street, said she expects more business from ''stargazers” walking around town. 
     ''I think it's going to be a fun event,” she said. 
     Chatham residents ''pretty much go about their business” when Hollywood ventures into town, as they did in 2000 when the movie ''Summer Catch,” a baseball romance starring Freddie Prinze Jr., was filmed, she said. 
     Linder said he welcomes the renewed interest in both the town and in Joseph Lincoln. He stocked up on copies of Lincoln novels and has already sold ''quite a number,” he said. 
 Robin Lord can be reached at rlord@capecodonline.com.

28 Mar 2007
Roads will be open during 'Chatham,' chief says
 
  By Robin Lord
Staff Writer, Cape Cod Times
 CHATHAM - Filming of the movie ''Chatham” will probably attract more onlookers than headaches.
      That was the message Police Chief Mark Pawlina and several members of the film company gave at a public update yesterday. 
     ''It may create some inconveniences for short periods of time but, for the most part, roads will be open throughout,” Pawlina said. 
 '    'Chatham,” a film produced by Michael Mailer and starring David Carradine, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn and Mariel Hemingway, is a romantic comedy set in Chatham in the early 1900s. It is being shot at several locations across the Cape, including downtown Chatham, through April 16. 
     A few people raised concerns yesterday about parking, deliveries and disruptions, particularly at Stage Harbor. Pawlina and film company representatives Karen Stark, Tony Raine and Aaron Levine addressed the worries to apparent satisfaction. 
     ''We're very aware of the sensitive aspects of this,” said Raine, a Chatham resident. ''We've been trying to line this up for seven or eight weeks.” 
     The bulk of the filming along Main Street will be from the Canterbury Leather store east to Seaview Street. 
     Most filming will be done on the north side of the street, with an odd shot here and there to the south, Raine said. Spectators will be able to stand on the south sidewalk, as long as they are quiet, he said. 
     Sharee Davis said the filming around Hardings Beach and Stage Harbor coincides with the time fishermen are building their weirs. 
     Raine and the others assured Davis that film crews would cooperate with fishermen. 
     Michael Rogers, owner of The Old Village Store in West Barnstable, gave mixed reviews about his experience when the movie was filming near his business Monday. Film vehicles took up most of his parking lot, crowding out some of his lunchtime crowd, he said. The police also directed traffic past his store, he said. 
     But, all in all, Rogers said he and his employees enjoyed the filming, with front row seats at their loading dock and Rip Torn stopping in for breakfast. 
     ''They promised to put a special thanks to the Old Village Store in the credits,” he said. 
 Robin Lord can be reached at rlord@capecodonline.com.

Eminent actress lends silent mug to 'Chatham"
  By Robin Lord
Staff Writer, Cape Cod Times
March 30, 2007
  Gone is the scowl for which Julie Harris will be remembered in "Chatham" as she and fellow actor Jonathan Edwards chat before filming at the Captain Bangs Hallet House yesterday. Harris, who lives in West Chatham, has a small role in the film.
 (Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times)
 
 YARMOUTHPORT - It was just a rehearsal, and she didn't have any lines in the scene,  
  Gone is the scowl for which Julie Harris will be remembered in "Chatham" as she and fellow actor Jonathan Edwards chat before filming at the Captain Bangs Hallet House yesterday. Harris, who lives in West Chatham, has a small role in the film.
 but Julie  Harris' expression spoke volumes.
(Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times)
 
     The celebrated actress of stage and screen shot one of her cameo appearances in Dan Adams' film ''Chatham” at the Capt. Bangs Hallet House museum yesterday. Seated at an antique seraphine, an organlike instrument, Harris' character, an unnamed woman at a revivalist meeting, is pained to hear Capt. John Bartlett, played by Charles Durning, telling of sin and evil in 1905 Chatham.
     Harris' face told it all. It was at once horrified, fearful and worried. 
    Adams, the director and screenwriter, knew a good acting moment when he saw one. 
     ''Julie, that's a great expression,” he said, as admirers among fellow actors, the crew and several guests looked on. 
     She wore the same look later in the scene when the Rev. Perley, played by singer and actor Jonathan Edwards, implores the members to drive the devil from town. 
     After the rehearsal, Harris, who lives in West Chatham, said she agreed to be in the film because she loves the story, and ''the director is wonderful.” 
  On the set of Chatham
     ''I didn't have much to say, so it was wonderful,” said Harris, 81, who still struggles a bit to find the right words since suffering a stroke six years ago. 
     The film, which stars David Carradine, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn and Mariel Hemingway, is based on a novel by early 1900s Chatham author Joseph Lincoln. It tells the story of three retired sea captains who decide to advertise for a wife for one of them. The other two plan to benefit from her cooking, but fate has other plans. 
     Dern on Wednesday called Harris a ''classical legend” who played across all mediums of performance art. 
     ''There's very few dames that come along that had game the way she did,” he said. 
     Harris said she and Durning are old friends and acting partners in several Broadway plays. His involvement in the movie was also one of the reasons she took the role, she said. 
     ''I wish that I, like Charlie, could do it now,” she said of acting on the stage. 
     She appeared in the film ''The Way Back Home” three years ago, but her working days are limited now, she said. 
     As crew members scrambled to set up for the actual shoot yesterday, Harris looked around and her face had another look: contentment. 
     ''It's wonderful to be in the midst of it,” she said. 
 Robin Lord can be reached at rlord@capecodonline.com.

Cape Codder articles:
30 Mar 2007
ON THE SET OF 'CHATHAM'
 By Douglas Karlson
 
 Looking at Bruce Dern’s old-fashioned tweed waistcoat, the lapstrake dory resting on the sandbar, and the fishing net drying on the roof of a fisherman’s shack on Oyster River, it’s easy to imagine the year is 1906. In fact, we’re on the set of “Chatham,” a film written and directed by West Barnstable resident Dan Adams and based on the Joseph Lincoln novel “Cap’n Eri,” which is about three retired sea captains and a mail-order bride.
 Chatham shellfisherman Bruce Gibbs fits right in. When he’s not far out at sea dragging for scallops, Gibbs sometimes plies Oyster River in search of steamers and quahogs. He was there Tuesday, but not for the clamming. Gibbs, who has long white hair and a beard, and a face weathered by the sea, is an extra in the film.
 “I came in last night … and I’ll be offshore 30, 40, 50 miles tonight,” Gibbs says, but he still found time to be in the movie. “Inside, I think I always wanted to be an actor,” he explains.
 Gibbs passes the time between takes swapping stories with fellow extra Sturgis St. Peter, a Barnstable builder who was encouraged to audition by his daughter. (He got picked, she didn’t.)
 “We’re just nasty old codgers,” St. Peter says of the characters they play.
 “Doesn’t take much practice,” quips Gibbs.
 “Quiet please! Quiet! Roll sound!” shouts someone in the crew. Everyone stands still and stops talking.
 David Carradine, Rip Torn and Dern are doing a scene inside a waterfront shanty, where Torn is hiding from his would-be wife, played by Mariel Hemingway. The cast also includes Charles Durning, Jason Alan Smith and Christy Scott Cashman.
 The fishing boat Leviathan motors out toward Stage Harbor, interrupting the scene. “Hold the roll! We got a motorboat!” shouts a crew member.  
 Once the boat passes, filming resumes. Then the scene is finished, the cast disperses, and stand-in Ron Szpond goes to work. The Falmouth retiree is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and works as an extra and stand-in whenever he can. As a stand-in for David Carradine, his job is to, well, stand there while the crew adjusts the lighting and blocking.
 He’s done such work for George C. Scott and Anthony Hopkins, and says the work is hard to come by. “I may not see another one of these for five years.”
 But it’s worth it. “I get to meet some nice people. You get to know the actor. He shares his profession, it’s a lot of fun.”
 Between shots, most of the cast members go back to chitchatting with members of the crew. Torn paces beside the shanty, reviewing his lines for the next scene.
 Dern ambles by and St. Peter takes advantage of the opportunity: “Hey Bruce, I thought you always played the bad guy.” He’s referring to Dern’s reputation for playing psychopaths. (He’s said to be the only actor to ever slay John Wayne on the silver screen, something he did in “The Cowboys.”)
 Dern smiles. “No, I’m trying to win a few in my old age,” he replies.
 A self-described “huge” sports fan, Dern’s conversation tends to steer in that direction. He thinks “it’s proper” that Schilling, and not Matsuzaka pitch the Red Sox opener, and admires the devotion of Celtics fans. It’s the same kind of pride he sees in the town of Chatham, and in the making of the film, which is due out next year.
 “There’s a passion and history here … to me that’s highly unusual,” he explains, also a warmth and strong sense of community. “I mean, who makes a film about Chatham?” He agreed to make the movie because of that passion. “More than anything else I like the guy who wrote the material and dared to dream the dream,” (even if it meant missing a few NCAA tournament games).
 Dern thinks choosing such locales for more movies would help the movie business. Rather than making movies in Canada, or New York and LA, “it’s essential for the movie business that we spread out and stay in America,” says Dern. It sends the message that “we mean something,” and he thinks that’s something that will get audiences back into the theaters.
 For director Adams, making the movie allows him to “present a place that I love in a really positive light.”
 Production is proceeding “fabulously well,” says Adams. There was some give and take with distributors, he explains, adding, “I won out in the end and got the cast I wanted. … I’m getting fantastic performances from the actors. The best I’ve ever gotten.”
 While making period pictures on location is supposed to be expensive, “Chatham,” has a budget of just $3 million. But it doesn’t take much to shave a hundred years off the town of Chatham, if you pick the right spots and don’t point the camera at any McMansions.
 “If you told me this was a huge budget, I’d believe it. This is first class,” says Smith, who plays a “cable master,” or engineer working at the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable station. “They’ve saved some expense by coming to the right place.”
 Crew members agree that the beautiful town has star power in its own right. “It’s just so picturesque, it’s hard to get this landscape anywhere else,” says gaffer Walter Stewart. “The light here is fantastic.”
 Cinematographer Philip Schwartz has been to the Sturgis Library studying the way Cape Cod artists capture the light, and says “there’s a quality of light here that’s much softer than Southern California. To me it’s very appealing.”
 He likes the plot line too. “It’s such a charming story. There are no fights, there are no guns, there’s no violence.”
 That enthusiasm seems to be shared by everyone on the set, including Carla Antonino, who’s in charge of the make-up department. It’s a “pretty awesome experience,” says Antonino, who’s used to working with the likes of superstars Denzel Washington and Arrowsmith. For her, “Chatham” isn’t a typical production. “No one’s screaming and yelling and everyone’s really proud to be part of it,” she says, adding, “Everyone’s a hundred percent into it.”
 It’s 6:30 p.m., and the workday, which began for the crew before 7 a.m., isn’t over yet. The tide has gone out and come back in, the sun is going down and there’s a chill in the air. Gibbs and St. Peter are waiting for their final scene, and Gibbs is expressing doubts as to whether he’ll have the strength to go dragging at 2 a.m.
 They’ve been shooting the breeze with David Carradine, and then Torn walks by carrying a pair of rubber boots. “I gotta get somebody to take me clamming tomorrow,” says Torn, and St. Peter volunteers to show him the ropes.
 Make-up artist Jack Engel looks out at the shore opposite Oyster River, now bathed in one of those special Cape Cod sunsets. While no stranger to the area (a veteran of “Saturday Night Live,” he drove the Bluesmobile at John Belushi’s Martha’s Vineyard funeral), he’s clearly smitten with Chatham – both the town and the movie.
 “I’ve been making motion pictures for 30 years on every continent except Antarctica, and I love it here,” he says. “I just did “Spiderman 3” and I’ve forgotten how much fun it is to make a movie like this.”
 “When you have a job like mine, you have a tendency to get jaded,” he adds, but as a movie buff, he says “Chatham” has “a charming, well-turned script with a marvelous cast. … It’s got heart. It’s a real special thing and I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised.”

Cape Cod Chronicle
5 Apr 2007
Chatham Woman Finds Niche Decorating Sets For ‘Chatham’
by Tim Wood

            CHATHAM --- This time of year, Susan Case can usually be found poring over paperwork or behind the cash register at Larry’s PX, which she owns with her husband Jay.
[photo] Susan and Jay Case, owners of Larry’s PX. Susan has been busy the past few weeks serving as set decorator for the film “Chatham.” TIM WOOD PHOTO
           For the past several weeks, however, she’s been spending most of her time haunting antique shops, attics and other obscure places in a search for the trappings of everyday life in Chatham 100 years ago.  From nautical themed tables to burlap sacks, Case is responsible for finding the props that lend authenticity to the movie “Chatham.”
            As set decorator for the independent film, Case’s search for just the right items to invoke the atmosphere sought by director Dan Adams has taken her into new territory.  Although she has an art background, this is the first film the South Chatham resident has worked on.
            “All in all it’s been a great experience,” she said during an interview at Larry’s Saturday, during a weekend break from her set decorating duties.  “If I ever do it again, this is great experience.  If I don’t, it’s a great once-in-a-lifetime thing to do.”    
[link] For a slideshow of photos from Tuesday's filming of the movie "Chatham," click here.

       Because of the low $3 million budget for the film, a lot of ingenuity has gone into finding the decorations that transform the approximately 28 sets from 21st century spaces to early 20th century parlors, offices, shops and other locations.  Many items have been borrowed from private homes and individuals, some rented from antique shops and a few purchased.  Some things have even been created especially for the romantic comedy about three sea captains in search of a mail-order bride, based on Joseph C. Lincoln’s novel “Cap’n Eri.”
            Such as burlap sacks used in the train station sequence.  Case had to research what would have been coming off a train arriving in Chatham in 1905, and had seamstress Maureen Leavenworth sew the bags, which were then filled and piled at the West Barnstable train station, which filled in for Chatham in the scene.  Vintage luggage and barrels also had to be tracked down for that scene.
            The Eldredge Public Library also loaned the production some old issues of the Chatham Monitor, some of which were scattered around the parlor of the three retired sea captains --- played by David Carradine, Bruce Dern and Rip Torn --- who are the focus of the story.  Stacks of fake newspapers were also created for some scenes, Case said.
            Possibly her best find was the heavy, dark Victorian table with rope edging that serves as the centerpiece of the parlor, which was filmed in the library of an old Osterville estate.  It was leased from a local antique shop.
            “It was just the perfect table,” she said.  “After that find, everything just seemed to fall into place.”  Another big challenge was finding horse-drawn wagons and boats, including a vintage schooner. “But it all came together.”
            A kitchen was also built for that set, with an antique stove and sink with working water pump. “I’m not sure if they even used it,” Case commented.  Those with sharp eyes may catch a bright green vegetable can sitting on a shelf in those scenes. It’s a vintage 1930s can that usually decorates a high shelf at Larry’s.  She also hung a photo of her great, great grandfather in a scene, an example of the resourcefulness necessary on low-budget films.
            In some locations, furniture and antiques were already in place, such as a house on lower Main Street in Chatham that served as a lawyer’s office.  Curtains were hung and couches were covered up to make the place “more lawyer like,” Case said.  But the décor impressed the owner.  “She liked it so much she’s keeping it,” she said.
            One of the more difficult sets was at the Old Harbor Lifesaving Station, once located on North Beach and now on Cape Cod National Seashore property at Race Point in Provincetown.  The living space inside the now-vacant building had to be recreated right down to clothes hung on the walls.  “We’re making the place look lived in,” Case said of the set, which was scheduled to be filmed on Monday.  Several tin ware items and pieces of furniture used in that and other scenes came from an Orleans couple, while original lifesaving equipment belonging to the National Seashore was available for use.
            Case was tapped to help out on the film by family friend David Allen, the movie’s production designer and a resident of Cummaquid.  He knew of her interest in antiques and her art background, as well as her decorating skills.  At first she thought she would be a shopper, locating specific items, but found herself working closely with Allen and art director Tony Dunne of Orleans on the actual decoration of the sets.
            “The three of us worked together a lot,” she said, readily admitting to receiving a lot of help from the experienced professionals.  “Everybody’s been very helpful,” she said.
            The work has been nearly non-stop for the past six weeks, but will end when filming wraps in about two weeks. Next week’s redressing of several shops along Main Street --- turning them into a post office, notions shop, clock shop and general store which the actors will stroll past --- will be one of the last major set decoration tasks for Case. 
            She’s yet to see any of the filming, since she’s always working decorating the following day’s set.  She saw some of the finished footage, however, and said the sets look great. Better, in fact, than she’d hoped.
            Case has had to play catch up a bit with her work at the restaurant, which she and her husband bought 14 years ago from her grandfather, Peter Platanitis.  No doubt she’ll be back behind the cash register or grill in a few weeks, but won’t rule out answering should Hollywood call again.
            “It was a much bigger thing than I thought it would be, but I really enjoyed the challenge,” she said.