Untold Tales of Hollywood #31

You might want to go back and check on some of my earlier posts. I’ve added quite a few more images as I discovered much more Conan art while digging through my archives for this series. I also found and posted a couple of my Raiders of the Lost Ark storyboard drawings.

To warm up each day while I was working in Europe, I’d do a small Conan-related sketch. Here’s a typical example:

I created a lot of costume designs for the film, as the visuals of our new genre had not been established (as I stated in earlier entries, art conservation was not one of my producers’ fórtes).

They were beautifully interpreted by our costume designer, an Englishman named John Bloomfield. John and I also worked on Conan the Destroyer. By the second film, he needed no help from me. He totally “got” the genre by that time and created a truly incredible wardrobe for our cast.

Prior to John, our costume designer was Dario Cecchi, an old friend of the DeLaurentiis family. Dario, who was gay, was extremely attracted to me. He told me he loved to gaze upon my “Botticelli hands”. Dario loved to bring Francesca DeLaurentiis to hang with his gay circle of friends in Madrid. I didn’t understand why Francesca’s presence was blowing their minds, until Dario revealed to me that Francesca looked exactly like her mother, Silvana Mangano, in her youth. Until then, I had no idea Silvana was such a huge gay icon — a kind of Italian Judy Garland.

Dario was a sweet guy — but he was on the wrong film, in way over his head. Not surprisingly, Dario and John Milius did not see eye-to-eye.

Dario burst into my office in Spain one morning, very upset.

“I am running out of ways to cover Conan’s pee-pee!” he lamented.

John had Dario fired and replaced him with John Bloomfield.

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