Variety

‘Death Wish II,’ ‘Runaway Train,’ ‘Over the Top,’ ‘Delta Force,’ ‘The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington,’ ‘Street Smart,’ ‘Fool For Love,’ ‘Barfly,’ and ‘Missing in Action.’ He Directed and Produced Everything From Schlock to Art-House Gems. Cannon Films’ Menachem Golan Dies at 85

Aug 8, 2014  •  Post A Comment

“Menachem Golan, 85, the colorful, free-spending Israeli-born producer and director whose Cannon Films yielded hundreds of productions starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris before going bust, died Friday in Israel, according to Haaretz,” reports Richard Natale for Variety.

The story continues, “Golan, whose first name is sometimes spelled Menahem, was famous for his overblown pronouncements and business plans, and partnered for many years with his cousin, Yoram Globus. The duo started their U.S. career making fast-paced action exploitation titles starring the likes of Norris and Charles Bronson. Then, in the ’80s, Golan and Globus headed the ill-fated public company Cannon Entertainment…”

In “Over the Top,” the star was Stallone’s bicep as Stallone portrayed an arm wrestler. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when New Yorker movie critic Pauline Kael saw the Cannon produced “Street Smart” with Morgan Freeman, she suggested that Freeman might be America’s greatest actor.

Natale adds, “After returning to Israel with creditors right behind him, Golan turned to the stage, producing Israeli versions of popular musicals like ‘The Sound of Music,’ though he was not above seizing on an event like the murder of Italian designer Gianni Versace and quickly cranking out an exploitation film about it.

“Shelley Winters, who worked on several Cannon [movies], was said to have once compared the cousins to the old Hollywood moguls: ‘They’re like the old-style bastards. We hated them, but they loved films.’ ”

To read much more about the colorful career of Golan, please click on the link above and read all of Natale’s obituary.

Over the top

 

One Comment

  1. Shelley also held those “Bastards” hostage when she hid several valuable gem stones that they were using in a movie until they paid her the money that they promised. of course Miss Winters got her way and her money. She usually did both. Her estate was worth almost 15 million dollars. not bad for a woman from a generation where most died broke and nearly forgotten.

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