Saturday, June 15, 2013


Yes, that's Umatac Church on Guam and it was prominently figured in a badly-made, low-budget obscure movie called Noon Sunday back in the early 1970s.

My dad was a bit actor in it and worked mainly on production.

Somehow my dad got mixed up with an Australian movie producer, director and writer named Terry Bourke.  Bourke somehow thought he could make money producing an action/drama/espionage movie on Guam.  Maybe it was the island scenery, or perhaps the belief that production costs would be low, that were part of the attraction.  Gordon Mailloux, a local businessman and later a politician, put up the money, with some help from the Guam Economic Development Authority hoping Guam would become a major site for Japanese film crews.

On Guam's rocky shores, Mark Lenard tries to help a wounded John Russell in the movie's final scenes

Two mercenaries are hired to assassinate some political villain played by perhaps the best-known actor in the bunch, Keye Luke of Gremlins fame.

I remember going with my dad to the premier at the old Agana Theatre, now Staywell Insurance next to the GCIC Building.  I wanted to laugh a few times during the movie, especially at the horrible props like the toy trucks used as military vehicles.

My dad had about a minute of screen time acting as a CIA-type boss in coat and tie giving instructions out of Washington, DC.  In reality, they used some lawyer's office on Guam for the setting, with rows and rows of legal codes on the book shelf to make it look like CIA headquarters!

Worse yet they dubbed my dad's speaking parts with some guy's higher pitched voice.  I wanted to explode with laughter.  My dad has a deep, commanding voice.  Why did they think the dubbing was an improvement?

Too bad I don't have a pic of my dad in that scene.

They used many locals in crowd scenes, and Old Man Cushing in particular.  I chuckled a lot when I saw them use Umatac residents walking back and forth in front of the Umatac Church.  They used the same 12 people from Umatac!  Ladies walking with their purses.  I knew that they didn't really do that in Umatac!  The same dozen people walking the same 200 yards, back and forth, in front of the church, as if it were a bustling town.  Hilarious.

Keye Luke
Other than him, all the other actors weren't huge names

I remember my dad would always leave school, where he taught, and spend the rest of the afternoon and evenings working in the production side of the movie.  Even some of the toy trucks and cars ended up in my house after the movie was made.

But for Guam in the early 70s, making a movie on our little island was a big thing.  My dad got a lot of attention from the guys at school for being in the movie.  My dad already had a (false) reputation for being some CIA spy, and being in Noon Sunday added to that myth.

The movie did not make money.  In fact, Terry Bourke and his financiers probably lost money making this C movie.  I remember watching TV at 1AM in Los Angeles back in the 90s and, lo and behold, Noon Sunday came on.  I watched as far as my dad's appearance (early in the film) then shut off the TV and went to bed.  That's where this movie belongs.  At 1AM on Los Angeles TV.
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