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The Playlist

Interview: William Friedkin on ‘Sorcerer,’ The ‘Killer Joe’ TV Show And Life Beyond “Macho Bullsh*t Stories”

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 21, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments
At 78, William Friedkin is experiencing a new lease on life, career-wise. When we spoke with the genial, anecdote-laden, Oscar-winning director at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, he let drop that he's in contention, at least, for what has to be one of the choicest TV gigs on offer: season 2 of “True Detective,” or part thereof.

10 Great Overlooked Films From The 1970s

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 24, 2014 3:51 PM
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  • 48 Comments
10 Overlooked 70s Movies
If you've had a conversation with a serious cinephile in the last week or so, there's probably only been one real subject of discussion. Well, once you've finished talking about "Heaven Is For Real," anyway. Tuesday saw the release of a shiny new Blu-ray of the brand new restored version of William Friedkin's "Sorcerer," Long unavailable on home video, Friedkin's 1977 remake of "The Wages Of Fear," an expensive flop buried in part by the release of "Star Wars," has only grown in estimation over the years, and after long legal wrangling, was finally reclaimed by the director last year, and hit stores earlier this week.

William Friedkin Says He Passed On Producing 'Star Wars,' Warns Fans Not To Buy 'Sorcerer' DVD

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 23, 2014 10:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments
"Star Wars" lore goes that when George Lucas was putting his film together, no one could have guessed just how big it would become. Indeed, the space fantasy turned into a pop culture phenomenon, that even decades on, has rarely been matched. When Disney paid $4 billion just for the rights to the franchise, it spoke to the ongoing appeal and longevity of Lucas' creation, which makes it all the sobering to realize that Lucas initially had trouble finding a home for the project. And even his filmmaking friends Francis Ford Coppola and William Friedkin turned him down.

William Friedkin's Restored 'Sorcerer' Finally Coming To DVD & Blu-ray This April

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 6, 2014 3:55 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Sorcerer
"I sued Universal and Paramount to determine who owns the rights because both studios, through their legal affairs department, claimed they didn't own the rights and I don't know what's happened, I think it has fallen between the cracks. So I'm suing these guys to save the afterlife of the film," director William Friedkin told us in 2012 about the legal issues surrounding his 1977 film "Sorcerer." And the tactic paid off. Just over a year later, a fully restored "Sorcerer" premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and now, folks will be able to see a crisp and clean cut of the movie from the comfort of their own home.

William Friedkin's Restored 'Sorcerer' Getting A Re-Release, Aiming For The Venice Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 21, 2013 6:01 PM
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  • 11 Comments
As William Friedkin spent most of last year on the promo circuit for his deliciously raw "Killer Joe," one frequent question he fielded was about the fate of his 1997 flick "Sorcerer." The film has been in mired in some complex legal stuff, but as Friedkin himself told us last year: " I sued Universal and Paramount to determine who owns the rights because they claimed both studios through their legal affairs department claimed they didn't own the rights and I don't know what's happened, I think it has fallen between the cracks. So I'm suing these guys to save the afterlife of the film." And it looks like the tactic worked (though he dropped the suit). Last month, he promised the film would be getting a digital transfer, and now a full blown release is on the way.

William Friedkin Says 'Sorcerer' Finally Getting Digital Transfer, But Won't Be On Criterion

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • February 12, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
2012 proved by turns an odd and triumphant year for director William Friedkin, who fashioned Matthew McConaughey's performance in the shockingly good “Killer Joe,” but also was forced into dealing with his troubled past, namely the 1977 suspense drama “Sorcerer.” Legal difficulties and lawsuits surrounding the film have plagued the past 12 months for the filmmaker, but now it appears Friedkin may finally gain some peace with his underseen gem.

Exclusive: William Friedkin Talks Making 'Killer Joe,' The Problem With Exorcism Movies, 'Sorcerer' & Much More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 26, 2012 11:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Deep fried, dangerous, obscene, hilarious and hugely entertaining, while not for the faint of heart, William Friedkin's "Killer Joe" proves the director hasn't lost the energetic spirit that put him on the map in the 1970s with films like "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist." And indeed, it might be his most controversial film since that latter pic. The film's violence and nudity might have made some folks at the MPAA squirm, but it was undoubtedly a climatic sequence involving fried chicken that pushed them over the edge.

William Friedkin Discusses Frustrating Lawsuit Over His Undersung '70s Film 'Sorcerer'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 11, 2012 7:19 PM
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  • 7 Comments
When discussing the scrappy and hirsute "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" generation of 1970s filmmakers, the narrative arc of William Friedkin is a fun one to tell, and is often the stuff of legend. While he doesn't rank up there among some of the peers of that era like Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, he was the first of them to deliver what many call the first true blockbuster before "Jaws" and "Star Wars" with 1973's "The Exorcist." Arriving just two years after his critical hit "The French Connection" (which earned him an Academy Award for Best Director; 4 wins and 8 nominations total), "The Exorcist" became one of the highest-earning movies of all time during its era, grossing over $441 million worldwide (which is still a great figure by today's standards).

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