FIGHTING THE GREAT FIGHT
DARKER THAN AMBER
not only one of Bill's longest fight scenes [his fight with Clint
Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can had more screen time], but includes
his longest on-screen kiss. Unfortunately for those who would like
to see Bill in a love scene, he's kissing Suzy Kendall so she can't scream.
He holds her tight in this lip lock until his partner can bring the car
around so Bill can throw her in front of it. This scene didn't come
from MacDonald. In the book, Travis simply finds Vangie's body in
the morgue and guesses that Terry (Bill) is responsible.
Q: This is a very
effective scene. Some of us liked it almost as well as your fight
with Rod Taylor. You simply use brute strength to hold this woman
so immobile that passersby think you're lovers kissing.
The infamous fight scene
Bill: The director, Bob Clouse
wanted to set up a complication after I thought I'd already killed her
by dropping her off a bridge. We just started doing it. She
was really hitting me hard. She was inflicting more pain in that
scene than I was. It was unbelievable. She was a pretty good
actress. She was married to what's his name, great comedian,
English guy . . . Dudley Moore. That's who she was married to then.
He came around and visited her on the set.
Bill: That's Ahna
Capri there. [pointing to body] I'd already killed her before
the fight. She was also in Piranha, Piranha. She killed
me in that one. [The fight with Rod starts on screen.] I hit
that wall so hard man. That was such a tough fight scene. We
didn't use any stunt doubles at all. [Said with boyish enthusiasm
He broke three of my ribs and
I busted his nose. That happened in the bedroom there, but you don't
even get to see it in this version. After he busted three of my ribs,
I hit him with a bottle, a real one.
Q: Now why did you do that?
Bill: He busted three of
my goddamn ribs and I couldn't even breath and he was still hitting me.
Q: So that's how you stopped
Bill: Yeah. There was
a lot more here too. All the way down the hallway and the stairs.
I was throwing guys around.
Q: They left a couple
in. You shoved one guy aside then just picked up another guy and
tossed him like he was nothing.
Bill: He was a small guy.
Q: What 150 lbs.
Bill: Maybe 168.
Q: Looks like you came out of
the fight a little better off than Rod
Bill: Until he got me back
in the last scene.
Terry makes a final try
for Travis. As Bill's running toward him, Rod picks up a long board,
swings it into Bill's knee, knocking him down long enough for the cops
to gather him up.
Bill: When he whacked me with
that board, he missed the knee pad and hit me right there [indicating a
spot just below the knee]. To this day when I talk to him, I accuse
him of doing it on purpose. Luckily that was the last take of the
Q: It's really a shame that
the only video available is the one they cut for TV. They cut out
so much of the fight.
Bill: These days they
would add in extra violence for the video version.
Q: Have you ever been able
to get a hold of an uncut version?
Bill: No, I've been looking
for years. Several people have sent me tapes thinking it was an original,
but they've all been cut. [Aside to Joanne confirming that the last
one they received was a cut version.]