Made in Pittsburgh in the summer of 1992
In the summer of 1992 Columbia pictures filimed a movie, staring Bruce Willis, "Striking Distance", the original title was "Three Rivers"
The movie also had a Chris Craft Capri (or should we say three Capris), owned by Bruce Willis' caractor Tom Hardy. A number of Allegheny chapter members worked on the movie. Frank Miklos worked 93 days including the first 21 days on the building crew of a 58' plywood work barge. Frank's younger two brothers, Erik & Bob started working the early in the filming. Other chapter members that worked a day here and there were Chuck Miklos, Paul Miklos & Blaine Koehler. Once filming started, Frank's job was to take care of the Capris, making sure they were ready for filming. Frank, Erik, & Bob were the only member's of the full time boat crew to be allowed to run the Capris. Along with the Capris there were 3 Boston Walers, to 23' and about 15 other boats used to make the movie including the "Titanic" the 58' bardge used for filming. The head of the boat crew was Pat Curtin who also worked on the movie "On Golden Pond". Other notable people working on the boat crew were Gordon Hauser who worked for both Chris Craft and Wellcraft, Clark Maloof champion race boat driver, and Leigh Furnell of Furnell Flyer boats. Leigh builds formula one race boats.
Early one morning after a night of filming with both good Capris. This photo was taken just below the West End bridge on the Ohio River, by Frank Miklos, Erik Miklos is at the wheel of the other Capri. As mentioned earlier, there were three Capris used in this movie, two good 21' models and a 19' model that was a gray boat with paint on it for color with varnish to make it shiny. The three boats hull numbers were 21CP020, 21CP141 and 19CP688. This photo was taken from 21CP141 the running boat is 21CP020. The first black & white photo with Bruce Willis at the wheel is of Capri 21CP141.
This photo is just minutes later, lower on the Ohio River, as a wall of fog set in. This is of Capri # 21CP141. Frank is at the wheel.
Here during night shooting, Lance Gilbert one of the Stunt men at the wheel fo Capri #21CP141
Waiting for the rest of the filming after lunch, boat crew members Erik Miklos, Bob Miklos and Dan O'Malley on the house boat set, at Hare's Island. The Capri is # 21CP020.
Bruce in Capri 21CP141 on the Allegheny River with the Pittsburgh skyline in the background.
Above left Frank's crew tag, right Frank in wordrobe, one of the two nights that he doubled for the Luffey caracter. Frank is driving the riverrescue boat that comes into the dock just before the final chase scene.
Abord the "Jacob G" tow boat in lock # 3 on the Mononghaela river. This scene did not make the final cut of the film. Many scenes, and a complete story line, were cut from the final released movie.
Very early in the shooting of the film Pat Curtin at the wheel of 21CP141.
The above two photos are of the 19 Capri jump boat 19CP688. The photo on the left shows the engine and the seat bracing. The above right photo shows the boat with the rear cockpit covered with a vinyl covered board. This was done because the 351 PCM engine did not fit in the engine compartment. This boat also had 1/4" plywood added to the outside of the bottom due to the fact that the inner bottom was rotted away. less than two months before this boat was sitting at Boyde's Boat yard with pine needels filling the bildge. This boat was not only a gray boat but it had moss growing on it. The boat was power washed, scrubbed with bleach water, dried out and painted. Then a few coats of varnish were added to give it the proper appearance.
Again the 19 Capri, this time in mid air coming off of dam #6 on the Allegheny River. The boat ended up jumping over pipe ramps two times and then jumping off of the dam two times. This photo is the boat jumping the dam the the first time. After each jump there was damage to the boat, repairs were made for the next jump. After the second jump off of the dam, the boat split open (about a 4' split along the keel) and sunk at the shore. Inspecting the boat it appeared that the engine stringer had cracked after the first jump off of the dam, and the second jump it completely let go. Also the engine casting failed at the engine mounts and fell into the bildge. Neadless to say the boat could not be used for another jump...
... The director, Rowdy Harrington, decided that he did not have enough angles of the Capri jumping in comes 21CP020 which sustained minor bow damage(above left) when doing a high speed beaching into a bridge pier. So they decide to use this boat for a final jump over the pipe ramps. Well no one told the stunt man that this was not the same size boat that he had jumped earlier. He uses the same mark on the 21' Capri that he used on the 19', this made him be off center on the pipe ramps. The propeller hits and goes from being a 14" prop to being a 9" prop. The boat barely made it over the ramp, in doing so a great pressure was applied to the left side of the bottom and a football size hole was knocked through the bottom. The boat made it to the lanch ramp and and with the fast actions of the boat crew the trailer was waiting in the water. The boat sunk on the trailer. The boat was taken back to the boat warehouse and cleaned, the above right picture is a piece of the botom planking that was found in the bildge. The boat crew went to work and the boat was back in service for the next day's shoot, it now had a three layer plywood patch in the bottom. The boat then sustained damage (split planking) on the hull sides when the Boston Wahaler and it were hitting off of each other during the chaise scene. This was also repaired and the art department painted over the filler to fake the wood grain. Hull number 21CP141 did no ever do any jumping it did not receive any damage during filming.
These boats were unauthentic in many ways, the windshield are Riveria style, the interior were not to original pattern, the floor covering is not correct. The Chris Craft and Capri names did not appear on the boat, the dash board was done in mahagony , not upholstered . The gauges are not Chris Craft, and the throttle is not correct. This boat is 21CP141.
Capri # 21CP020 running at speed, Erik Miklos at the wheel. We clocked these boats at 49 mph. with the 351 Ford Pleasure Craft Marine engine. We were running parrell to a truck along the shore we were in contact via radio. We were going down stream, so our actual speed may have been a little slower. This photo was taken along the Monongahela River at Sand Castel.
Click here for a "Striking Distance video clip.