Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors

Overview

Peter Bogdanovich, director, screenwriter, actor and critic, interviews sixteen legendary directors of the first hundred years of film - from Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh to Leo McCarey, Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Lumet. The conversations brought together in this book give us a history of the movies. They are the stories of pioneers who came to the picture business from many worlds. Some were adventurers (running away to sea; joining Pancho Villa) before finding their place in the movies. Some were football stars,...
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Overview

Peter Bogdanovich, director, screenwriter, actor and critic, interviews sixteen legendary directors of the first hundred years of film - from Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh to Leo McCarey, Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Lumet. The conversations brought together in this book give us a history of the movies. They are the stories of pioneers who came to the picture business from many worlds. Some were adventurers (running away to sea; joining Pancho Villa) before finding their place in the movies. Some were football stars, some electrical engineers, lawyers, auto mechanics, airplane designers. Some were trained in silent movies (Dwan, Walsh, Lang, von Sternberg, Hitchcock). Many of them were men who lived to the hilt and brought to their work the residue of their earlier experiences.

Peter Bogdanovich, award-winning director, screenwriter, actor and critic, interviews 16 legendary directors over a 15-year period. Their richly illuminating conversations combine to make this a riveting chronicle of Hollywood and picture making. A Literary Guild Selection. 62 photos. 832 pp. Author tour.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Director, actor, screenwriter and critic Bogdanovich (This Is Orson Welles), who claims he learned how to make movies by asking questions of famous directors, has assembled a monumental volume of his tape-recorded conversations with 16 masters whose careers span nearly the entire history of the cinema. Included are Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Sidney Lumet, Josef von Sternberg and Raoul Walsh. The title is taken from a comment about directors by Howard Hawks, who said, "I liked almost anybody that made you realize who in the devil was making the picture," and it expresses the spirit of individuality that characterized these giants of Hollywood's golden age. The directors' reminiscences about technique, working methods, sources of ideas and relationships with actors and studios are thoroughly entertaining. Allan Dwan, for example, humorously describes the serendipitous process of making silent movies when the medium was still in its infancy; Alfred Hitchcock shares the mischievous workings of his inventive mind; and Otto Preminger gives a no-holds-barred account of the B movies he made as a young man for Darryl Zanuck. Each interview is preceded by a summary of the director's career and followed by a list of his movies. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Noted film director (The Last Picture Show, 1971) and author (This Is Orson Welles, LJ 11/15/92) Bogdanovich here consolidates 16 interviews with a very representative selection of significant cinema pioneers. Bogdanovich begins with a lengthy introduction in which he lays out his credentials, provides an overview of cinema history, and discusses the pervading influence of Ernst Lubitsch (d. 1947). Each director receives a career analysis followed by the interview and concluding with vital statistics and a complete filmography. As a film historian, Bogdanovich knew which questions to ask. Except for the previously unpublished Robert Aldrich and George Cukor interviews, these pieces originally appeared in periodicals, monographs, and books dating as far back as 1960. The books are out of print, and some of the periodicals are hard to find, making this compendium very valuable, even essential, for film collections.Kim R. Holston, American Inst. for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Lib., Malvern, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345404572
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Pages: 846
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Lightning Art 3
1 Allan Dwan (1885-1981)
The Last Pioneer 42
Galloping Tintypes 49
2 Raoul Walsh (1887-1980)
The Adventurer 127
Dagger, Sword and Gun 131
3 Fritz Lang (1890-1976)
Fate, Murder and Revenge 170
The Director's Copyright 175
4 Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969)
The Angle of Vision 235
They Are All Abstract 240
5 Howard Hawks (1896-1977)
Ride, Boldly Ride 244
The Rules of the Game 256
6 Leo McCarey (1898-1969)
The Crazy Irishman 379
The Ineluctability of Incidents 383
7 George Cukor (1899-1983)
Sound's Perfect Choice 437
The Players're the Thing 441
8 Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)
A Synonym for Suspense 471
Young Man with Master Mind 484
9 Edgar G. Ulmer (1904-1972)
Out of Nothing 558
Nothing Was Impossible 560
10 Otto Preminger (1906-1986)
The Intelligence of the Audience 605
Open Questions 611
11 Joseph H. Lewis (1907-)
The Impressionist 640
Artist Without Diploma 642
12 Chuck Jones (1912-)
What's Up, Honorary Doc? 699
Every Day's New Game 702
13 Don Siegel (1912-1991)
Action's Intellectual 720
That Outcast Is Me 724
14 Frank Tashlin (1913-1972)
The Possum's Smile 768
The Nonsense of Civilization 772
15 Robert Aldrich (1918-1983)
Deadly Kiss Me 780
The Phoenix Flight 783
16 Sidney Lumet (1924-)
A Child of New York 794
Making Mosaics 796
Acknowledgments 815
Abbreviations Used in Filmographies 819
Index 821
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