peterbogdanovich Peter Bogdanovich
Blogdanovich is the blog of director, producer, writer, actor, film critic, and author Peter Bogdanovich. He has directed over 25 feature films including international award winners The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Daisy Miller, Saint Jack, Mask; cult favorites Targets, Texasville, Noises Off, They All Laughed, and A The Thing Called Love, among stars he’s introduced: Cybill Shepherd, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Ritter, Sandra Bullock; has directed stars Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Michael Caine, Cher; best-sellers Who the Devil Made It: Who the Hell's In It, The Killing of the Unicorn; standard texts John Ford, This is Orson Welles; and was a recurring guest-star on the popular HBO series The Sopranos.

Peter Bogdanovich

The Raoul Walsh File - Part 4

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • August 28, 2013 9:39 AM
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  • 9 Comments

The Raoul Walsh File - Part 3

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • August 18, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 9 Comments

The Raoul Walsh File - Part 2

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • July 22, 2013 1:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Design for Living (1933)

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • July 7, 2013 12:35 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Ernst Lubitsch's movie version of Noel Coward's hit stage comedy has always had a certain stigma attached to it, because Lubitsch and the ace writer, Ben Hecht, had had the temerity to use only one single line from the play and to totally alter the construction of the piece. They kept the basic premise---two men and one woman carry on an extended menage a trois---and several plot points, but otherwise they basically re-envisioned the entire story, even changing the names of the characters.

The Raoul Walsh File - Part 1

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • June 23, 2013 1:49 PM
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  • 9 Comments
With pretentious films all the rage today---pictures told backward, jumbled chronology, jittery camera, rapid-fire editing throughout, confusing story-lines, tons of special effects---I often find myself saying (out loud sometimes), "Where the hell is Raoul Walsh when we need him!?" Because Walsh (1887-1980) was the epitome of good, solid, craftsmanlike, unobtrusive, vigorous and forthright picturemaking. In the best American tradition. To say that I miss this is an understatement.

At Long Last: The Definitive Version of "At Long Last Love"

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • June 6, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 43 Comments
Way back in 1975, 20th Century-Fox released a musical comedy I had written and directed, which was suggested by, and consisted of, numerous songs by Cole Porter. Like the recent Les Miserables, all the singing was performed live---as opposed to lip-syncing pre-recorded tracks---and a great many of the numbers were done in long, continuous shots, without much cutting. It was actually the first time anyone had done a musical live like that since the early '30s. The studio loved the dailies, and rushed to get a great New York booking at the glorious Radio City Music Hall. Unlike all original Broadway musicals, which preview out-of-town for weeks sometimes, we had exactly two previews and consequently were never able to get the picture into the right balance between songs and dialog scenes---which is the toughest and most important thing to perfect in a musical---and so we were rushed into opening a show that really wasn't ready at all.

Two by Hawks

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • June 2, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Five by Renoir

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • May 21, 2013 9:33 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Jean Renoir (1894-1979), generally now considered the finest picture maker the West has produced, never made a bad movie, so they're all worth watching, especially if you're interested in films comparable in quality to Mozart's music. From his first mature period (1931-1939), which included such famous masterpieces as Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game, you might want to try the 1932 satirical comedy, Boudu Saved From Drowning (available on DVD). It stars the incomparable Michel Simon as a wildly undomesticated tramp saved by a deeply middle-class shop owner, and shows how little the fellow appreciates the good deed, seducing most of the women in the house --- wife, daughter, maid --- and generally behaving atrociously, hilariously.

TWO BY WELLES: CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT & THE STRANGER

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • May 10, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Perhaps the most difficult-to-see of Orson Welles' films --- and his own personal favorite --- is Chimes at Midnight, his amazing consolidation of the Falstaff sections of five Shakespeare plays into what the venerable theatre critic Brendan Gill described in The New Yorker (at the time of its tiny 1967 U.S. release under the title Falstaff) as a brand new play by William Shakespeare, for which Welles deserved our undying gratitude (available in foreign DVDs presented in English).

AMERICANA: THREE PERIODS

  • By Peter Bogdanovich
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  • April 24, 2013 11:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment
David O. Selznick produced (and co-scripted and even directed bits of) that 1946 western epic Duel in the Sun (available on DVD) in a wild, headlong attempt to outdo in every way his success seven years earlier with the epoch-making Gone With the Wind; as well as to forever extinguish (his then-lover, soon wife) Jennifer Jones' wholesome Song of Bernadette image (a 1943 Oscar to her for that, a role Selznick helped her get) and replace it with Sex Goddess of All Time.

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