|Directed by||Ernest Day|
|Produced by||Jack Wiener|
|Written by||Edward Anhalt|
Robert de Laurentis
|Based on||novel by Gerald A. Browne|
|Music by||Bill Wyman|
|Edited by||John Jympson|
|Distributed by||ITC Entertainment|
|21 May 1981 (UK)|
|Budget||$14 million or $10 million|
|Box office||$4 million|
A down on his luck engineer gets involved in an adventure with a mysterious woman and an emerald magnate.
- Ryan O'Neal as Joseph Wiley
- Anne Archer as Holbrook
- Omar Sharif as Meno Argenti
- John Larroquette as Claude
- Michael Sheard as Jaap
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. "
Simmons says a lot of the film "was shot in and around the hotel and a large chunk taken back to the studio in the UK" and the opening sequence was shot in the hotel gardens. He also says Ryan O'Neal "found he couldn’t work with" Anne Archer as "they both had very different ideas about what kind of film we were making. Then I was told either me or the producer had to go and they were going to get Franklin Shaftner to shoot it. So I left the production by ‘artistic disagreement’. I was paid 100 per cent of my fee but it took me a couple of years to live it down." Simmons left the project during filming and was replaced by Ernest Day, the second unit director.
Grade said he found O'Neal "charming and helpful" during the making of the movie. Sharif said he had "a nice secondary part, rather flash, with plenty of time off." The schedule was arranged so Sharif could periodically return to Europe to supervise his casinos.
Simmons says "We couldn’t go above a certain budget. But the rumour is that the film in the end cost nearly double its original budget. Anyway, it was an experience. It was my first time going into a Hollywood-style production and that kind of contract."
The film was distributed in the US by AFD, the newly formed distribution arm of ITC and EMI Films.
The Observer called it "a disaster".
In June 1981 it was the fifth most popular movie then in release at the British box office.
- Mann, Roderick (6 July 1980). "MOVIES: THE HIGH ADVENTURES OF 'GREEN ICE'". Los Angeles Times. p. o25.
- "The Unstoppables". Spy. November 1988. p. 92.
- GREEN ICE Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 48, Iss. 564, (Jan 1, 1981): 92.
- Tempo: GREEN ICE The emerald: Symbol of virtue, stone of evil The emerald: symbol of virtue is a stone of corruption Gorner, Peter. Chicago Tribune 18 July 1978: a1.
- Sean Connery Back in Bondage? Los Angeles Times13 July 1978: h12.
- FILM CLIPS: A New Dimension for a Brother Act Kilday, Gregg. Los Angeles Times 28 Oct 1978: b11.
- Spicer, Andrew (2008). "Interview with Anthony Simmons". Journal of British Cinema and Television. 5 (1): 14–15.
- BIG LIFT: 'TITANIC' TO 'ICE': 'TITANIC' TO 'ICE' Los Angeles Times 4 Mar 1980: g1.
- Lew Grade, Still Dancing: My Story, William Collins & Sons 1987 p 251
- CALENDAR: OMAR SHARIF: HIS GAMBLING PAID OFF Mann, Roderick. Los Angeles Times 20 Apr 1980: o25.
- "Green Ice". Bill Wyman Website.
- Sinatra jogs along the beaten track Milne, Tom. The Observer 24 May 1981: 30.
- BOX OFFICE The Guardian 1 June 1991: II.
- WILDCAT FUNDING BRINGS IN A 'WALTZ' Mann, Roderick. Los Angeles Times 29 Sep 1981: g2.