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The Making of ‘Green Ice’: A Mysterious Adventure with The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman’s Music

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Green Ice‘ movie, music by Bill Wyman

1981 British film starring Ryan O’Neal and Omar Sharif where down on his luck engineer gets involved in an adventure with a mysterious woman and an emerald magnate, for which Bill Wyman scored the music.

From Wikipedia:
Green Ice
is a 1981 British adventure film starring Ryan O’Neal. It was also released under the name Operation Green Ice.
The film was based on a novel by Gerald Browne, best known for writing 11 Harrowhouse. Browne was fascinated by emeralds and spent extensive time in Colombia researching the book, which was published in 1978.

In July 1978 David Niven Jr, who had just made Escape to Athena, arrived in Hollywood to commence pre production on the film adaptation. Browne was saying Richard Burton would star in the lead but Niven Jr said this was not true and that there was not even a script.

In October 1978 ITC announce the film was part of a slate of movies that also included Raise the Titanic, The Lone Ranger, The Chinese Bandit, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Niggers, The Golden Gate, The Gemini Contenders, Trans-Siberian Express, and The Scarletti Inheritance. (Only Green Ice and the first two would be made.)

The original director was Anthony Simmons, best known for Black Joy (1977) which had been backed by ITC. Simmons says he got the job on the back of the critical success of On Giant’s Shoulders (1979). Simmons says the original novel “was a huge book with about five different stories, any one of which would have been perfect action thriller, and the producers wanted to do the section set in Bolivia. It had all the hallmarks of disaster and I should never have touched it.”

Simmons says the budget was going to be £7 million and the writer was to be Troy Kennedy Martin. He says he worked on the script and the “set action pieces” for over a year and ITC “spent a million dollars looking for locations first in Spain, then in Mexico.”

Anne Archer was cast on the back of her performance in Raise the Titanic. Simmons says “Every artist for the part of the woman was turned down for being too “old”, (she was meant to be in her early twenties) but it turned out Lew Grade had already contracted Ann Archer, a good actress in her mid thirties. (Ref. green ice movie)

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