Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Peter Bogdanovich, Last Picture Show, Roman Polanski, Mia Farrow

I watched a documentary about the making of The Last Picture Show.

I had heard of the movie but had never seen it, then I listened to the book on tape during a long drive. I was surprised there was so much sex in it.

Then I watched the movie. Was again surprised at how much sex there was in it.

It was during the filming that Peter Bogdanovich started sleeping with Cybill Sheppard who was about 20 at the time. Bogdanovich's wife was was present and was working on the movie. His career took a nosedive after they split up which made people suspect that his wife had been the brains of the operation.

The poor guy's career hasn't lived up to its early promise. I liked his movies Saint Jack and Nickelodeon, but I haven't seen either in twenty-five years.

Of course, there was the murder of Dorothy Stratten which had to have taken the wind out of his sails.

Timothy Bottoms was in conflict with Bogdanovich during the filming. Bogdanovich was too controlling, he thought, acting out each part, showing the actors what he wanted them to do. Bottoms talked about what he learned working with Dalton Trumbo in Johnny Got His Gun. That one person couldn't do it all---it took a collaborative effort to make a movie, which he didn't think Bogdanovich was allowing.

Roman Polanski

Since I mentioned the effect the murder of Dorothy Stratten must have had on Peter Bogdanovich, I thought I'd mention Polanski. I recently watched the documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

Polanski had a lot to live with. His mother was gassed by the Nazis, his father was in a concentration camp, and he lived on his own, essentially as an orphan on the streets under Nazi occupation. He was nearly beaten to death after the war by a man who turned out to be a serial killer. Then his wife was murdered by the Manson family.

After all that, I'm glad he stayed out of prison. I don't approve of his conduct, but for God's sake.

Even the prosecutor and the attorney for the victim in his case thought the judge was mistreating him. The prosecutor said he wasn't surprised that Polanski fled.

By the way, there was an episode of Biography on Roman Polanski. They interviewed Mia Farrow since she had starred of Rosemary's Baby. She had no personal knowledge of his legal troubles, but they must have thought they'd get an interesting comment from her, what with the sex charges she made against Woody Allen. But she smiled and said that she was disappointed that Roman had made a bad decision.

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