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B-P Movies


1. Life of Baden-Powell on Film:

Scouts! The Rise of the World Scout Movement

A Clear Horizon Film Production, Producer/Director: Michael Dana Murphy, Los Angeles, Churchill FIlms, 1986. (videorecording) "Traces the life of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, and discusses the development of the world scouting movement during and after Baden-Powell's life. Includes archival footage and still photographs." (Source: Lew Orans)

This Canadian production was available at the Scout Shop at the National Scouting Museum when it was located in Murray, KY.  The National Scouting Museum moved to Irving, Texas in 2000.  We do not know whether the movie is still available.

2. Life of Baden-Powell Screen Play Manuscript

Cecil B. DeMille Screen Play

From: Ed Henderson
Subject: Re: Baden-Powell motion picture
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L

The DeMille screen play was based on Green Bar Bill Hillcourt's Book, BADEN-POWELL: Two Lives of a Hero. A copy of the screenplay is in the Hillcourt estate personal papers. Our Publisher, Terry Howerton, is one of the estate's trustees and I have looked through his copy of the old screen play. (Thus, it is not lost and long forgotten, a preserved copy still exist at the Scouter's Journal office). Hillcourt's riveting account of B-P's life would make for a fantastic story and, as many have pointed out, Steve Spielburg would be by far the best choice of Hollywood's Producers to take up the banner, revise the DeMille screen play, and produce the film.

Relations between Spielburg & the BSA have cooled somewhat from the mid 1980's when Spielburg was involved with Cimematography Merit Badge's roll out and produced the three Tenderfoot - 1st Class Videos through Paramount primarily over a difference of opinion on some of BSA's policy positions.

Never the less, Steve Spielburg continues to be an Eagle Scout, a honor he is quite proud of and from an organization he still regards as central to his life. He gave us the Indiana Jones character with his Scouting background. He has helped some of the west coast councils with their summer camps, in dozens of different ways he has been so very helpful to our movement. Producing the life work of our founder & greatest hero would give the millions of people involved in our movement a new prespective on a man who has been reduced to a few pages of history in the Scout Handbook.

I wish Jere Radcliffe was on the next plane to Los Angelas to make the case with Spielburg for at least looking at this movie. With the passage of Green Bar Bill in 1992, we are now as a movement, berift of nationally recognized Scouting heros. Yes, there continue to be Eagle Scouts who do great things but when the average public citizen sees a Neil Armstrong or Gerald Ford they don't always make the scouting connection with their achievements.

There was a time in our organization when practically every member, adult & youth knew who James West, Ernest Seaton, Daniel Beard, and Bill Hillcourt was. Today most youth probably don't know any national scouting leaders. Certainly there is no national scouting heros on the public stage. At least the Red Cross has Elizabeth Dole!

Hollywood need not look to fiction to create great epic stories of heros. The life story of Baden-Powell is hero enough for anyone. B-P was a Reniassance man of many talents, yet there has never been a major work on his life. B-P, throughout his entire life, kept detailed notes and diary's and letters to his mother. Even after his passing in 1941, Olaive - Lady Baden Powell, preserved his memory, his writings, and his papers.

If Hollywood were to produce a really good movie, as we all know Spielburg can, think of the troops who would go in mass to see it, all of the older veteran scouters who would see it, all of the videos that would find their way into troop libraries. A good chunk of the public might even decide to see it.

Anyone who has never read B-P Two lives of a hero should get a copy of the book, it is available from the 1-800-SCOUTER catalog. Many of his writings are also being reprinted today by a number of scouters who do not want to see this man's life become just a page of history. I will make an effort to get, if not his E-Mail address, certainly Spielburg's snail mail address in Hollywood so interested scouters can write and petition him to look at producing this movie. I will post it to Scouts-L after I have located it.

National BSA frets over Public Relations and image all the time. Producing this one positive movie would do more to create awareness and positive feelings for scouting than all of their press releases have done for the past 10 years. Even when the liberal press and the movie critics snear at the film (that crowd has never understood Scouting Values anyway...and Scouting has always been politically incorrect, at least by Hollywood standards) I feel the public will flock to this film.

The time has come for Baden-Powell's life work to be presented on the big screen.


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