FX raises the stakes with `Nazi Gold’

Sep 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

FX, Fox’s general entertainment cable network, has given the green light to Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd and Robert Cooper’s Landscape Entertainment to proceed with the screenplay for a two-hour telefilm tentatively titled “Nazi Gold.”
Mr. Chetwynd confirmed that the deal had been made but cautioned that the network had not yet signed off on the details of the story. Mr. Chetwynd is scheduled to deliver the script before the end of the year, and the film will most likely shoot in the spring of 2002 for telecast sometime in the third quarter of that year.
“Nazi Gold” will then join the roster of heavily promoted original movies that FX has been touting as it proceeds toward its goal of becoming known for original series and film productions rather than for the high-profile off-network one-hour dramas that sustained the network in the past. “Nazi Gold” tells the contemporary story of a woman, now living in New York, who fought with the French Resistance during World War II and survived the Nazi concentration camps. Her story is interwoven with the fact-based story of four generations of Swiss bankers, each one of whom faces a different moral crisis.
Mr. Chetwynd, who is known for such politically committed films as “The Hanoi Hilton” and “Children in the Crossfire,” among many others, intends “Nazi Gold” to go beyond the tale of the discovery of ill-gotten Nazi gold hidden away in Swiss banks to examine the entire issue of Swiss collaboration with the Nazi regime and the post-war cover-up of the wartime relationship between Switzerland and the Nazis.
Mr. Chetwynd recently completed a two-hour documentary for PBS about Carl Foreman, the blacklisted Hollywood writer whose works include “High Noon,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “The Guns of Navarone.”
He is also working on a telefilm for A&E called “Eisenhower: Thunder in June,” a World War II docudrama based on the archives of historian Steven Ambrose (“Band of Brothers”) and set in the days preceding D-Day; and “The Deerfield Massacre,” a historically based theatrical feature for Columbia and producers Frank Price and Alan Greisman about a 1704 attack on a British settlement by a group of Iroquois Indians and their French officers.
Mr. Chetwynd wrote and directed the Showtime movie “Varian’s War,” which tells the story of American journalist Varian Fry who helped thousands of people escape extermination by the Nazis.