In December 1965, Telsun had announced that production of the fifth movie had been postponed once again (the original postponement having been part of the February 1965 announcement). The film, to be produced by Sam Spiegel, was to highlight UN peacekeeping efforts along the India-Pakistan border, and some filming had already been completed. However, an armed conflict had erupted between the two nations over the disputed Kashmir territory (including one of the largest tank battles fought since World War II), and a Telsun spokesman announced that production would not resume while the conflict continued. Spiegel had by this time moved on to another project (the 1966 movie The Chase, starring Marlon Brando and the little-known Robert Redford, whom Spiegel had personally chosen for the movie), and as it turned out the project apparently was never restarted.
This was not completely the end of Telsun, however.
In the Internet Movie Database there appears a 1967 movie called La Chica del Lunes – in English, Monday’s Child. Leopoldo Torres-Nilsson, director of Once Upon a Tractor, was back, with Academy Award nominees Arthur Kennedy and Geraldine Page starring as a troubled husband and wife who move to Puerto Rico with their daughter (Deborah Reed), where they face a life of poverty and depression as Kennedy tries to find work, while Page, as the alcoholic wife, lends her daughter out to the locals.
So, other than the downbeat subject matter, what has this to do with Telsun? Well, as it turns out, the U.S. distribution rights to the movie belonged to none other than the Telsun Foundation.
Was this the mysterious, fifth, never-seen-on-TV movie?
It’s hard to tell because, frankly, it’s hard to find out much information about Telsun. There’s no one location on the Internet with much information about it; a myriad of sources went into this brief account. A call to the television division of the United Nations produced a puzzled representative and a promise to contact the UN’s research library for further information – a promise that was never fulfilled. If one were inclined to believe in black helicopters, the strange story of the Telsun Foundation would hardly dissuade you from believing in conspiracy theories.
Nonetheless, Telsun does leave its own legacy, if you’re willing to search for it. The series featured perhaps the greatest collection of talent ever attached to a television project; the list of producers, directors and actors reads like a Who’s Who of 1960s movies and television. The fact that such big names were willing to work for scale on what were essentially made for TV movies attests to the growing power of the medium.
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