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Stanley L. 'Stan' Hough (July 23, 1918February 23, 1990) was an American movie executive and film and television producer. He worked as an assistant director from 1952-1961, before he became vice-president in charge of production operations at 20th Century Fox. Mort Abrahams, associate producer on the original Planet of the Apes, credited Hough, who controlled the budget on the film,[1] with inspiring it's sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes during this time: "'Planet' had been doing extremely well and we were talking, patting ourselves on the back, and giving Dick [Zanuck] credit for putting his neck on the line and so forth. Arthur [Jacobs], Stan Hough and I left Dick's office and walked downstairs. As we were walking across the lot, Stan said, 'Why don't you do a sequel?' And I said, 'You've got to be kidding - how?' He said, 'You think about it.' Later, I got a flash of an idea and went into Arthur's office and said, 'Listen, I got this crazy idea about how to do a sequel...'" [2] Hough subsequently decided to become a producer and resigned his post at Fox. He first produced the successful feature film Emperor of the North Pole (1973) starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Keith Carradine. After hitting top ratings with his 90-minute motion picture for television, Mrs. Sundance (1974), he was assigned producership of the Planet of the Apes TV series in 1974. In this capacity, Hough essentially took over the role of the Arthur P. Jacobs, producer of the five Planet of the Apes movies, who had died in June 1973.

Rowland Barber, a journalist from TV Guide, visited the set of the Apes TV show while they were filming the first-recorded episode ('The Good Seeds'), and spoke with Hough about the nature of the show. "The company is moving right along, on schedule (six days per episode) and budget ($200-300,000 per), and producer Stan Hough is pleased. Hough is a big, sunny, non-artsy movie hand, up from the ranks of 20th Century assistant directors, who still wears the badge of his old calling—a red duckbilled cap. He also squints a lot, which gives him an appropriate into-the-future look. "It’s not only that actors have a ball playing something totally different, in their masks and costumes," Hough said, "but we have so much latitude in what we can say, dressed up in monkey suits. We are enjoying the freedom, the fun, of creating a whole culture and society from the ground up. We can reveal truths and show things we could never otherwise get away with. Make social statements. About the violent side of human nature. About the horrors of the police state. About the blindness of prejudice. Let's face it. What we're doing is playing God." Unfortunately, it’s hard to play God on a six-day-bike-race of a production schedule, and the criterion of Creation’s progress is "How many pages did we shoot today?" As a result, there is a surfeit of Jungle Jim "action" shots, skulkings around corners and dartings from bush to bush to the adrenalin music of tom-toms and muted horns, and a modicum of Truth Revealed."[3]

Apes star Ron Harper later recalled the filming of the episode 'The Legacy', where the show's budget restrictions became obvious. "There’s one that took place in a castle. A castle right in the middle of what was supposed to be Oakland, California - that was very strange! Anyway, that castle set was left over from a Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein [1974]. It was going to be torn down, so Stan Hough, who was a hands-on producer, asked, 'When do you have to tear it down?' They said, 'Next week'. He said, 'All right, we're gonna shoot it'. So we shot it that week! To save money, they tried everything they could do!"[4] On the set of "The Liberator", Hough told Jerry Buck from 'The Charlotte Observer', "The thrust of what we're doing is taking a look at this upside-down world. In its own curious way it's a mirror of today."[5] And on Friday 13 September '74, Abbie Bernstein from Marvel Comics' Planet of the Apes Magazine also visited the Apes set: "The episode being shot was titled 'Tomorrow's Tide', and I had entered just in time to witness a rehearsal of the scene to be filmed shortly. Briefly, the episode is about Galen, Virdon and Burke in a small fishing village controlled by an unscrupulous chimpanzee Prefect (played by Roscoe Lee Browne). This scene is between Browne and one of his gorilla policemen (police-apes?)... Browne is complaining bitterly about the pressure he is receiving from his superiors. He pauses long enough to ask the gorilla what he wants. The gorilla shrugs, "I dunno, Stan Hough sent me." The crew breaks into laughter at this; quite obviously this is not in the script."[6]

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Mort Abrahams Interview, by Dean Preston - 'Simian Scrolls' #13 (Winter 2007)
  2. 'Planet of the Apes Revisited' by Joe Russo and Larry Landsman
  3. 'Planet of the Apes - The Series' at storiesfromchalo.info
  4. I Talked with a Zombie: Interviews With 23 Veterans of Horror and Sci-Fi by Tom Weaver (2008)
  5. Ape Land Is Tucked Away Near Malibu, by Jerry Buck - 'The Charlotte Observer' (Sunday October 13, 1974)
  6. 'Planet of the Apes' UK Issue #28 at Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive

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