Lawsuit Settled; Companies Paying For Use Of Navy Jets In Movie
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Three companies accused of failing to reimburse the Navy for aircraft flights in the movie ″The Final Countdown″ are paying the federal government $400,000, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
The payment will settle a lawsuit filed by the government against Peter Vincent Douglas, the son of actor Kirk Douglas, and three film production companies. At the time the movie was being made, one of the firms, The Bryna Co., was owned by Kirk Douglas, according to court documents in the case filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va. Peter Vincent Douglas was the movie’s producer.
Douglas agreed with the Navy in 1979 to require the three companies to reimburse the Navy for costs incurred in making the movie, which featured the warfare capability of the F-14 fighter and the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
Emory Worth Brown Jr., commanding officer of the F-14 squadron used in the film, reported 32.5 hours of flight time for the project. The government subsequently alleged the squadron actually flew 200 hours.
Brown, who also was a defendant in the civil suit, eventually pleaded guilty to receiving an illegal payment of $5,560 from the producers during the production of the film. Now retired, he was placed on probation and fined $5,000.
The other two companies involved in the settlement are Morison Finance Ltd., a film financing company formerly known as Film Finance Group Limited of Los Angeles; and Aspen Productions, a defunct film financer also in Los Angeles. The Bryna Corp. is located in Beverly Hills, Calif.