Harvey Bernhard served as a producer on many great Richard Donner films such as The Omen, The Goonies, Ladyhawke and The Lost Boys. He also produced The Mack, Damien: Omen II, Omen III: The Final Conflict and Omen IV: The Awakening. He worked with such talents as Richard Pryor, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick, Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green and Sam Neill during his career. He also collaborated with director Joel Schumacher. Before all of his Hollywood success, he served in the US Navy during World War II.
Iconic films by producer and veteran Harvey Bernhard
1. The Goonies
A classic Hollywood favorite of the 1980s, The Goonies was directed by Richard Donner with a screenplay written by Chris Columbus and based on a story by Steven Spielberg. The film stars an all-star crew with Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton and Ke Huy Quan, whose career has hit a big resurgence with Everything Everywhere All At Once, which won him an Oscar for his in the film.
The story follows a group of friends, Goon Docks, from Astoria, Oregon, who attempt to save their families' homes through a treasure hunt for gold of One-Eyed-Willy, a famous pirate. The crew is pursued by baddies who want the map and the gold. It grossed $125M worldwide on a budget of $19M. It is a legendary cult film and is in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being significant. Bernhard has helped to make a classic, American film about camaraderie, taking risks, dreams and pushing through fear to succeed.
2. The Omen
A top-notch supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner of the 1970s and a blockbuster hit with a box office take of $60.9M on a budget of $2.8M, Bernard established himself as a sought-after producer. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner and Harvey Spencer Stephens in his film debut as Damien Thorn.
The story follows Damien, who was replaced at birth by his father, which was unknown to his wife because their biological died soon after birth. Damien is a mysterious and evil child whose presence brings much destruction and death. It is soon discovered that Damien is the antichrist. The film earned two Oscar nominations, winning for Best Original Score by Jerry Goldsmith. It spawned three sequels and a remake in 2006.
3. The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys was one of Bernhard's last big films and became an immediate 1980s cult classic. It was directed by Joel Schumacher, and written by Jeffrey Boam with an all-star cast of Kiefer Sutherland, the Coreys (Haim and Feldman), Jason Patric, Jamie Gertz and Diane West. The movie is in reference to The Lost Boys by J.M, Barrie about Peter Pan and Neverland and was filmed in Santa Cruz, California, on the boardwalk and surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains.
The film is about a new family moving to a California town and intermingled with a biker gang. The gang turns out to be vampires, led by David Powers (Sutherland). They invite Michael Emerson to not only join their gang but to become a vampire, although not exactly the kindest invite to vampirish, nonetheless, Michael goes against Powers. We find conflict, camaraderie and great special effects in this 80s classic. It made a good return on its investment with $32.2M on a budget of $8.5M. It spawned a couple of sequels, none equaling the greatness of the original.
One of Bernhard's lesser-known collaborations with Donner, Ladyhawke, is a medieval fantasy film that stars Matthew Broderick, Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer. It was written by four screenwriters, including Tom Mankiewicz of the famous Hollywood family of writers and directors, which includes Citizen Kane. The film follows a young thief who becomes involved with a warrior and his woman. They are pursued by the Bishop of Aquila.
Gaston, also known as The Mouse, joins Etienne and Isabeau of Anjou as they attempt to escape from the Bishop of Aquila. The film met with below-average box office success but did garner two Academy Award nominations for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing.