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Peter Bogdanovich (1939 - )

The Last Picture Show (1971) - Peter Bogdanovich [Amazon.com]


Peter Bogdanovich (born July 30, 1939) is an American film director, born in Kingston, New York.

Bogdanovich was a film critic before deciding to try his hand at directing. His most famous film is The Last Picture Show (1971). The film received eight Academy Awards nominations and won two of them. It was reedited for video release in 1991. He also directed a sequel to it: Texasville (1990). Bogdanovich has also done some acting: he was a principal supporting character in his first feature, and most recently had a recurring guest role on the television series The Sopranos as Dr. Melfi's analyst.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Bogdanovich [Jul 2004]

The Roger Corman Link [...]

Following the advice of director Frank Tashlin, Bogdanovich and his wife, production designer Polly Platt, packed up and moved to California. There, a chance meeting with exploitation director/producer Roger Corman led to his first job as a filmmaker. In early 1966, Bogdanovich was hired to do a script rewrite of Corman's upcoming biker picture, The Wild Angels, and wound up working on the picture as Corman's assistant, second unit director, assistant editor, and even as an extra, tussling with a Hell's Angel during a fight sequence. During those 22 weeks, Bogdanovich got a paid course in all aspects of how to make a film quickly, cheaply and efficiently.
Pleased with Bogdanovich's work on Wild Angels, Corman next assigned him to shoot new English-language footage to be intercut with outer-space sequences from a Russian film Corman had purchased, eventually released as Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1966). His next assignment from Corman would turn into a major triumph for the fledgling filmmaker.


  1. The Last Picture Show (1971) - Peter Bogdanovich [Amazon.com]
    Like Easy Rider, Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch, and The Graduate, The Last Picture Show is one of the signature films of the "New Hollywood" that emerged in the late 1960s and early '70s. Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry and lovingly directed by Peter Bogdanovich (who cowrote the script with McMurtry), this 1971 drama has been interpreted as an affectionate tribute to classic Hollywood filmmaking and the great directors (such as John Ford) that Bogdanovich so deeply admired. It's also a eulogy for lost innocence and small-town life, so accurately rendered that critic Roger Ebert called it "the best film of 1951," referring to the movie's one-year time frame, its black-and-white cinematography (by Robert Surtees), and its sparse but evocative visual style. The story is set in the tiny, dying town of Anarene, Texas, where the main-street movie house is about to close for good, and where a pair of high-school football players are coming of age and struggling to define their uncertain futures. There's little to do in Anarene, and while Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) engages in a passionless fling with his football coach's wife (Cloris Leachman), his best friend Duane (Jeff Bridges) enlists for service in the Korean War. Both boys fall for a manipulative high-school beauty (Cybill Shepherd) who's well aware of her sexual allure. But it's not so much what happens in The Last Picture show as how it happens--and how Bogdanovich and his excellent cast so effectively capture the melancholy mood of a ghost town in the making. As Hank Williams sings on the film's evocative soundtrack, The Last Picture Show looks, feels, and sounds like a sad but unforgettably precious moment out of time. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

  2. The Wild Angels (1966) - Roger Corman [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Embittered by his experience working with 20th Century Fox on The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), and weary of the Poe films for American International Pictures, Roger Corman was in dire need of inspiration for his next production. He found it in Life magazine, which featured a photo of the funeral of Mother Miles, head of the Sacramento, California, Hell's Angels. From this picture came both The Wild Angels and the biker-movie genre itself. Peter Fonda, who replaced George Chakiris, stars as brooding Angels chieftain Heavenly Blues. When his pal Loser (Bruce Dern) is shot by police, Blues attempts to bury him in a small town, but the locals resist, and a brawl ensues. Audiences and critics were alternately appalled and thrilled by the extensive drug use and violence, but beneath Angels' leathery hide beats the heart of a Western, especially in its ruminations on personal freedom. Charles Griffith's script (cowritten by Peter Bogdanovich, who also cameos in the film) helped make Angels the sole U.S. entry for the 1966 Venice Film Festival, which irked the State Department enough to try and revoke the honor. Corman's direction, freed from AIP's period pieces, is lean and exuberantly active, aided by Monte Hellman's editing. The film helped give Fonda the counterculture clout to later make Easy Rider, and boosted the careers of Dern and then-wife Diane Ladd; Nancy Sinatra, however, renounced the picture, fearful of its effect on her image. Mike Curb's score features Davie Allan and the Arrows' fuzz-tone-soaked hit "Blues' Theme." --Paul Gaita for Amazon.com [...]

  3. Targets (1968) - Peter Bogdanovich [1 VHS, Amazon US]
    The story of how this film was made is almost as interesting as the film itself. Bogondavich was assigned a ridiculously short period of time by Roger Corman and a very small budget to come up with a contractual-obligation last film quickie for Karloff, with the only condition being that he had to incorporate scenes from the last two AIP Karloff films, flops that the studio was hoping to reawaken interest in. In just a few days, working on a shoestring, first-timer Bogdonavich comes up with this great, self-reflexive, funny, and disturbing film about an aging horror film star who wants to retire, because he feels his old gentle style of scaring people can't compete with modern horrors such as serial killers. This means that the "showdown" at the end of the film, where the sniper fires FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN, is not only great plotting, but thematically relevant; throughout the film, we're asked to consider our desire to watch horror movies in the first place. Anyone who really likes THINKING about cinema should love this -- it belongs on the shelf with PEEPING TOM and REAR WINDOW. It also has one of the funniest things I've seen in cinema -- a scene where Karloff catches his reflection in the mirror in an off-moment and, associating the image with years of monster movies, jumps in fear, before realizing it is only himself he's looking at... A great little movie. Allan MacInnis for amazon.com [...]

  4. Paper Moon (1973) - Peter Bogdanovich [1DVD, Amazon US]
    A sweet and subtle gem of a movie. Newly orphaned Addie (Tatum O'Neal) falls into the care of small-time con artist Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal, Tatum's real-life father) and turns out to be better at grifting than he is. Set in Depression-era Kansas, Paper Moon is a miracle of unity. The set design and cinematography combine to give both the flavor of documentary photos and the visual quality of movies from the period, and every performance meshes with the overall tone of sincerity, earnest optimism, and creeping desperation. The rapport between Addie and Moses is phenomenal--and being father and daughter doesn't make that a sure thing. Ryan O'Neal gives a truly great performance (perhaps the only one of his career) and Tatum won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (she's the youngest winner in history). Madeline Kahn was also nominated for her wonderfully funny and sad turn as an exotic dancer named Trixie Delight. Paper Moon has a miraculous combination of outrageous sentimentality and pragmatic cynicism; the result is genuinely touching. One of director Peter Bogdanovich's best films, and kind of a comic companion piece to The Last Picture Show. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

  5. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1966) - Peter Bogdanovich, Pavel Klushantsev [Amazon.com]
    Alright, this movie started out as a straight-forward sci-fi epic about the first ship on venus. Filmed in eastern europe (I've heard it was made in hungary, poland, czechaslovachia, and / or russia; take your pick) in 1963 or so, Roger Corman got a hold of it, brought it to america, and "fixed" the film for american audiences. Some "dull" scenes were removed and scenes with Faith Demergue (floating in a spacestation) and Basil Rathbone (at a moonbase) were added. Both performers seem as bored as they are boring. This "new" movie was called VOYAGE TO THE PREHISTORIC PLANET. Next, in about 1967, Corman removed the Demergue / Rathbone scenes, turned over the camera to Derek Thomas (aka: a young Peter Bogdanovich), and inserted Mamie Van Doran and a host of scantilly-clad uber babes. Thus, the confoundingly confusing mess, VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN was born! Instead of a venusian adventure, it's a playboy bunny sunbathing contest, with a few astronauts and a robot running around! Unfortunately, there's a load of unnecessary narration in this one that's only slightly less painful than swallowing a porcupine. I'm not really complaining. I mean, I enjoy this type of hyper-schlock. If you like babes in seashell bras (and who doesn't), then this one's for you...

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