The Thin Red Line

The New York Times reports 5/29/02 on the two producers Senator John McCain made a deal with to transform his autobiography (Faith of my Fathers) into a movie.

McCain hopes that Robert Duvall will play his father, a four-star admiral, and Edward Norton will play the young John McCain.

From the NY Times: The two producers, John Roberdeau, who has since died, and Robert Geisler, have been involved with one well-known movie, "The Thin Red Line," released in 1998. But they also have a history of financial entanglements that have ended up in court, and they have been repeatedly castigated by judges as frauds and cheats.

Mr. Roberdeau and Mr. Geisler were held in contempt of court on three occasions and filed for bankruptcy four times, individually and on behalf of two companies they owned. The papers also show that one of their companies pleaded guilty to a felony in Texas and that they were threatened with imprisonment for failing to turn over financial records.

In 1999 a New York judge ruled that in pulling off the sale of the movie rights to "The Thin Red Line," James Jones's classic World War II novel, they had "willfully and maliciously" cheated a former partner and ordered them to turn over to the partnership the $1.5 million they made, plus interest. That same year one of their companies, Stage Fright, pleaded no contest to a felony indictment in Texas and paid a $5,000 fine for stealing more than $20,000 from a travel agency by writing a check and then stopping payment.

Terrence Malick, director of "The Thin Red Line," banned them from the set in Australia. A 1997 news release, on the production's letterhead, described the two as "impostors and confidence men." And starting in 1996 The New York Observer, Vanity Fair, Variety and New York Magazine published accounts of earlier problems.