Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Ghost of Jesse James

DATELINE: Hollywood - December, 02, 1991

-"The Ghost of Jesse James," indie television production of 13 half-hour episodes, produced by Sesión, is scheduled to begin shooting. Series is directed and written by Jose Ulloa. Patty Shepard and Craig Hill will topline.
1991-92, Spain
13 X 30 minute episodes.
Production Co: Sesión S.A.
Director & Teleplay: Jose Ulloa Blancas, Executive Producer: Maria Angeles Ots (of Sesión S.A.)
Cast: Craig Hill (as the ghost of Jesse James) & Patty Shepard.
- First announced in the weekly 'Variety' newspaper, December, 1991, 'The Ghost of Jesse James' was to have started filming that same month. Director Jose Ulloa had cut his teeth as an assistant on such spaghetti westerns as '... Around Him Was Death', 'Saranda',  'El Puro,' 'Four Candles for My Colt', 'Too Much Gold for one Gringo' and 'Ten Killers Came from Afar'. He probably met actor Craig Hill, while they both had worked on the war pic, 'When Heroes Die' (US) / 'Suicide Mission' (UK) / 'Consigna: matar al comandante en jefe' / 'Commando di Spie' (1970, José Luis Merino). A few years later when Ulloa came to make his directorial debut on the thriller 'Refuge of Fear' / 'El refugio del miedo' (1974), he choose Mr. Hill as well as Ms. Shepard to star. A decade or two later, with financing from the company that had made his previous film, 'Andalucía chica' (1988), Mr. Ulloa set out to make his own western. This unsold television pilot offered the above trio (Ulloa, Hill & Shepard) a second chance to work together. From the title alone it's hard to ascertain the plot. It was probably set in the present day, with Mr. Hill being a frontier variation of both 'Topper' and the Monte Markham series, 'The Second Hundred  Years'. Casting-wise it wouldn't have mattered much that the  real 'Jesse' had died at the age of 35, as Craig would still have cut a splendid ghostly-figure, as an older worldly version of the infamous gunslinger. Too bad the series never came to fruition, as it could have made a fine ending to Mr. Hill's long career as a spaghetti leading man. Sadly both Ms. Shepard and Mr. Hill are now both gone. 
By Biltmore (Michael Ferguson).

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