Robert L. Lippert, Jr. 1928 – 2011
Posted October 10, 2011on:
Now we’re those old film guys…
My first encounter with Robert L. Lippert was in 2004, after I’d called and asked him if he’d be willing to be interviewed about his legendary father, producer-distributor-exhibitor, Robert L. Lippert, Sr. This was shortly after I purchased the 100+ feature film library produced and distributed by “Senior,” as Bob called him.
Bob lived in Pebble Beach, California, with his lovely wife Hong Sook. Their house was filled with world-class Asian antiques, and his living room walls lined with photographs of him and his many adventures…and he had a lot of adventures; as a film editor, producer, exhibitor, aviator, restaurateur, and I’m sure others he didn’t have the wall space to document.
Bob took me to breakfast and we talked about his father, then we went over to his stately home. He led me downstairs to his office which was filled with posters from movies he had worked on, “High Noon,” “The Tall Texan,” “The Sins of Jezebel,” and many others. Soon the subject of conversation turned to Bob himself. He had a lot to say, and did so with gruff, colorful language that you’d expect of a veteran of B-movie making. No one had ever asked him about his life in the movies for 50 years, and he was delighted to have someone interested, especially an avid listener like me.
We met several more times, most notably when he invited my wife, Donna, and I for lunch at the Pebble Beach Country Club. I dressed nicely with a sport jacket, but wore jeans which I found out was taboo at the country club. He took me back to his house and gave put on a pair of his slacks. I was a size 32, and he was a shorter man who wore size 38. I was quite a sight, but I didn’t care.
Bob’s passing saddened me because he was my last link to the “old school” filmmakers I so loved.
My good friend, Steve Durbin, recently told me, “Remember those old film guys we loved to hear stories from?”…“Now we’re those old film guys.”
Robert L. Lippert, Jr. Filmography:
Massacre (1956) Producer
The Black Pirates (1954) Co-producer
The Big Chase (1954) Producer *
Fangs of the Wild (1954) Producer
Sins of Jezebel (1953) Producer
The Great Jesse James Raid (1953) Producer
Bandit Island (3-D short) Producer, director *
The Tall Texan (1953) Assistant film editor
Hellgate (1952) Assistant film editor
The Jungle (1952) Assistant film editor
High Noon (1952) Assistant film editor
FBI Girl (1952) Assistant film editor
Pier 23 (1951) Assistant film editor
Roaring City (1951) Assistant film editor
The Danger Zone (1951) Assistant film editor
The Steel Helmet (1951) Assistant film editor
The Bandit Queen (1951) Assistant film editor
All except “The Black Pirates” and “Bandit Island” are available on DVD.
* “Bandit Island” was later incorporated into “The Big Chase.”
These passages appeared in a previous a previous post, “The Lippert-Fox Productions/Lippert Trivia”:
“’The Black Pirates’ (1954) was shit, and ‘Massacre’ was no good either.” — Producer, Robert L. Lippert,
After a day of filming “Massacre” (1956) in Guatemala Producer Robert L. Lippert, Jr. was relaxing in his hotel room and heard gun shots in the room next to him. Recalling that a General was staying there, he immediately calculated it was an assassination (it was.) Lippert didn’t want to be shot as an eye witness, so he jumped out the window and ran on foot all the way to Mexico, and the cast and crew, who were staying in another hotel, departed by plane.
Again during the filming of “Massacre,” Lippert, Jr. said he was on location in a rural town where he found the electrical power was at best unreliable. Of course power was essential. To proceed with filming he went to the local airport, such as it was, which was powered by a generator. He paid off government officials to obtain the airport generator during the daytime hours. Daytime air operations ceased, and each night the generator was returned to the airport thus enabling planes to once again take off and land.
There wasn’t enough money in the production budget to afford a pirate ship in “The Black Pirates” (1954), so the movie begins with the “pirates” arriving on shore in a row boat. They never leave land for the entire movie.