Did You Know? One Of Bud Spencer’S More Serious Films, Charleston, Was Originally Written For Walter Matthaur

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Bud Spencer and Terence Hill were one of the most legendary couples, their fans still look back on their joint films with great affection, the favorite of many are The Devil’s Right and Left Hand, The Treasure That Is Not, No Two Without Four or Otherwise We Get Angry. It was no coincidence that the chemistry between the two actors was so good, as they became very good friends.

Perhaps few people know, but the film Charleston, directed by Marcello Fondato and starring Bud Spencer, was originally not intended for the Italian actor, Levente Király can read in his recently published book, The Unbeatable Couple.

The director’s son Paolo Fondato had this to say about the film:

“The script was written for Walter Matthaura, but he didn’t want to do it. My father went to Los Angeles, but Matthau had a small heart attack just then and didn’t want the film. That’s how we came up with the idea of shooting it with Bud Spencer. That’s why the script had to be adapted for him. They added a couple of wrestling scenes, but unfortunately it was not a big success either. In fact, the role was not for him and he disappointed his audience. However, the film was very well thought out. This is the only production in which Bud dances (he dances in several films, e.g. Piedone in Africa, Otherwise we get angry, Bombayó boxer – ed.), and I must say, he did it all very skillfully. Despite his great weight, he moved very easily.”

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– says Paolo Fondato, the director’s son, and then continued:

“The film was fantastic. It happened in London in 1977, where oddly enough there was a two to three month dry spell. It appeared to be a miracle: the gardens, parks, and everything else were bathed in a golden light. Never again had it been that way. The studio was adjacent to Notting Hill, where a carnival celebrating the Caribbean was being planned. Both London and the English people are lovely.

The legendary Italian slapstick Bud Spencer remembered the film like this:

“Only once, in Charleston, did I take on a role with deep thought. It was about financial crimes. The audience didn’t appreciate, in fact, it irritated them to see an intelligent Bud Spencer.”

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