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Maracaibo

Maracaibo(1958)

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Although the title of the viewed print and all contemporary reviews was Maracaibo, a May 20, 1958 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the picture's title was changed to Violent Venezuela "in the hinterlands." The film's onscreen music credits read: "Music scored by Laurindo Almeida/Guitar solos by Mr. Almeida/Song "Maracaibo" by Jefferson Pascal and Laurindo Almeida, Sung by Miss Wallace." According to a March 28, 1955 Daily Variety news item, the screen rights to Stirling Silliphant's novel were originally purchased by Universal-International and the project was to be produced by Howard Christie. In July 1955, Los Angeles Times announced that producer Bert Friedlob, director Fritz Lang and screenwriter David Boehm were about to begin work on a film entitled Maracaibo, but it has not been determined if their never-filmed project was to be based on Silliphant's novel.
       Los Angeles Times reported in February 1957 that Lana Turner had been scheduled to star in the Universal production, which was to be filmed on location in Venezuela, but due to hazardous weather conditions there, she would instead appear in The Lady Takes a Flyer. In early September 1957, Variety announced that Paramount had purchased the project for Cornel Wilde's independent Theodora Productions. The same Variety news item stated that Aaron Rosenberg had been slated to produce the picture for Universal.
       Although a November 25, 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item includes Roy Averse, Jose Portugal, Gil Barreto and Fernando Gonzalez in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. The film's pressbook and reviews noted that some sequences were shot on location in Caracas and Maracaibo, Venezuela and at the resort of Macuto Beach, near Caracas. The Hollywood Reporter review noted that "the hair-raising fire backgrounds" were shot at the Salton Sea in California. An item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column stated that the mansion belonging to "Miguel Orlando" was actually that of producer Cecil B. DeMille. In August 1958, the "Rambling Reporter" noted that Maracaibo and Wilde's previous independent production for Paramount, The Devil's Hairpin, were so successful that the company realized a profit of $500,000 each on them.
       According to a February 1966 Hollywood Reporter news item, the film was to be telecast on NBC that evening for a fee of $350,000. The news item further noted that the picture originally had a negative cost of less than $1,000,000. In 1972, Hollywood Reporter reported that Wilde acquired the television distribution rights to Maracaibo and The Devil's Hairpin, and that Maracaibo had "just been leased to CBS for the late, late show for three runs."