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Author Topic: Bogdanovich  (Read 21686 times)
Nobody
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« on: September 22, 2004, 10:40:38 AM »

As most die hard Leone fans probably know, Peter Bogdanovich was supposed to direct this film with Leone producing. Now, my memory is is a bit rusty here, did Sergio take over before shooting started, or shortly after it had begun?

Would be interesting to hear Bogdanovichs thoughts on this project. Perhaps on the rumoured upcoming MGM special edition dvd?

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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2004, 11:06:22 AM »

i was under the impression it was after a couple of days after leone pissed him off 2 much (according to frayling), and after leone tried 2 get someone else Rod Steiger demanded that Leone direct it, although he didnt really want 2.

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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2004, 11:56:20 AM »

In Oreste de Fornari's book 'Sergio Leone, the Great Italian Dream Of America', there is a section where Bogdanovich describes working with Leone which is very amusing. For example  Leone and Bogdanovich would meet for discussions about the story and Leone  

"would begin each new sequence with a rush of English and much acting, all of which he did in the middle of the room accompanied by dramatic gestures. "Two BEEEG green eyes?", he would usually begin, one hand leveled above his eyes, the other below to indicate what we would be seeing on the screen".

According to Bogdanovich, him and Leone fell out when Bogdanovich said he didn't like close-ups! He says he left the film just before Leone was about to fire him. Leone found another Italian  director [not named] to take Bogdanovich's place, but after two weeks Steiger and Coburn demanded that Leone direct it himself.


God knows what the film would have been like directed by Bogdanovich, has anyone here actually seen any of his films?
 

« Last Edit: September 22, 2004, 11:57:09 AM by Jon » Logged
The Smoker
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2004, 03:12:31 PM »

I think Leone got Bogdanovich (a replacement for his real goal Peckinpah) of the back of Targets, a Roger Corman cheapie he made around the same era as OUATITW. It has a similiar feel in how the charactors move around each other. Very simple. Its about a Sniper... and ofcourse his targets (the main one. a Boris Karloff in his twilight years)

But by time Leone got to him he was a different creature. A New Hollywood Kid. Made alot of Americana films with Cybil Shepard... remade his 'Last Picture Show' about 3 or 4 times through the seventies in different forms.

And there was supposidly some egos and mud been thrown about.

Its like this.. 15 years later....
- Leone was Shooting DeNiro in a NY 1930s dream like oriental opium den.
- Bogdanovich was making  Weepy 'Oscar Fodder' with Cher.  No contest Grin

« Last Edit: September 22, 2004, 03:16:12 PM by The Smoker » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2004, 09:25:08 AM »

well, seeing as Bogdanovich loved Ford and thought Leone films were fascist, when in fact they are largely apolitical, with a touch of Marxism, and Leone thought Ford's films were sentimental, i think Leone probably had one over on Bogdanovich, lol.  Grin

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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2004, 07:32:33 AM »

Speaking of Bogdanovich, I recently bought The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection, and each film comes with a documentary were Bogdanovich (among others) is interviewed. He also appears, occasionaly, on Sopranos.

By the way, The Last Picture Show is a great film, worth checking out. Haven't seen any of his other films though.

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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2004, 06:29:39 AM »

Bogdanovich was sort of the Tarantino of the '70s, a brash youngster with an encyclopedic memory of scenes from the older films that Big Hollywood had forgotten, along with the ego & bravura to bluff his way through a few projects which recycled the best bits from the golden oldies he treasured. Unlike Leone, he NEVER showed any real originality or vision, although the two share a love for homage and visual quotations of earlier classics.

According to Peter Biskind's excellent book on '70s Hollywood, Bogdanovich apparently spent lots of time sitting on his couch, watching old movies on TV while he sucked on fudge-sicles and tossed the licked-clean wooden sticks over his shoulder behind the furniture. (Ick!!)

Bogdanovich quit the DUCK YOU SUCKER project before a foot of film was rolled. (Maybe he was disappointed to learn it was not about a hero whose goal is avoid vollies of flying fudge-sicle sticks!)  Another Italian director began shooting it, but Steiger & Coburn got fed up with him right away and insisted Leone take over as director. Which of course is what happened.

I talked to someone at MGM who said Bogdanovich was approached to participate in the DVD "extras" on the forthcoming DYS:Special Edition, but he declined. I bet he regrets not having proceeded with directing DYS, as it's certainly a more memorable film (and one that holds up a lot better) than the ones he DID direct. Although THE LAST PICTURE SHOW won Oscars and PAPER MOON and WHAT'S UP DOC? made money, Bogdanovich's career is littered with disasters such as DAISY MILLER, AT LONG LAST LOVE, NICKELODEON, THEY ALL LAUGHED and TEXASVILLE (a desperate, misguided sequel to THE LAST PICTURE SHOW). By the mid-'90s he was reduced to shooting made-for-TV fluff such as TO SIR WITH LOVE II.

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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2004, 11:01:12 AM »

Touche', you blowed him up real good Concorde  Grin

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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2004, 08:53:09 PM »

Well, the fudgesicle-sucker was overrated at the time and paid the price later. Hard.  Undecided


"Son, I had twenty years in this outfit, when your idea of a good time was sittin' in front of the TV tube, watchin' Bugs Bunny and gnawing on your fudgcicle."
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Il Tramonto
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2004, 10:37:29 AM »

So what parts of the film did Leone not direct? Anybody know?

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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2005, 05:10:50 PM »

According to Frayling, Giancarlo Santi began directing the film when it reached production stage. There, sadly,  any certainty ends, as both Leone and scriptwriter Donati fail to agree for how long he was employed in this post. Leone says 10 days. Donati not even a whole day.

Santi, like Leone when he got his big break, was known as a top assistant director at the time. If you've ever been on a movie set, you'll know that nobody seems to have a tougher production job than these guys. They run around everywhere yelling, keeping the film on schedual, while the director (these days anyway) spends most of his time slumped in a chair watching a little TV monitor. Santi had worked on Leone's two previous features.

I've watched and enjoyed a lot of Bogdanovich's movies, the early ones anyway. TARGETS is a fine little film, with a great performance by Boris Karloff. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW is excellent, but much of that is due to its arresting black and white (mostly wide angle lensed) cinematography. Hell, I even enjoyed NICKLEODEON. But. Did Bogdanovich have the cohones to direct a film with a script like GIU LA TESTA? Never in a million years. Indeed, despite his credentials as a great critic and admirer of John Ford's, I'm not sure he even understood Western's very well at all.

"Leone's pictures are cynical, which Ford never was. And there's no poetry in them." he tells Frayling. No poetry in Leone!!? Is this man blind? Clearly, judging by how bad his directing has been for the last couple of decades.

In old age now he seems to be purely living off the fact that he once knew many of the American greats like Orson Welles and John Ford. All a bit pathetic really, and he merely comes accross as a waspish little prick in a bow tie.

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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2005, 06:37:19 PM »

Quote
In old age now he seems to be purely living off the fact that he once knew many of the American greats like Orson Welles and John Ford. All a bit pathetic really, and he merely comes accross as a waspish little prick in a bow tie.


Don't think you can say it any better than that, lol.
I've caught him a few times now on TCM, I think its the essential film series that he hosts.

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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 12:27:36 AM »

Not that I wildly disagree with any of this, but in some small defence of Bogdanovich, he put together an essential book on Orson Welles (pretty much a whole book of interviews - a great read) and publicly defended Welles against unjust attacks like Pauline Kaels scabrous, full-of-lies book on Citizen Kane which cost Welles financing on two movies. Bogdanovich has also been actively attempting to have Welles last film, The Other Side of the Wind, finished and released. I think Bogdanovich is probably a better film historian than director, but at least his heart seems to be in the right place.

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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2005, 04:22:07 AM »

Good for that. At least that sounds as if he's making amends, now, I'd like to hear what he now has to say about Leone in retrospect.

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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2005, 10:22:18 PM »

[quote author=Walton liI think Bogdanovich is probably a better film historian than director, but at least his heart seems to be in the right place.

Let's not get too carried away here. Artists (directors probably most of all),  usually care about their work more than anything (except themselves), and will sacrifice everything/everyone else to bring about their "vision".

Bogdonavich used his work and relationship  with Welles to gain respect  in Hollywood and first heard about "Picture Show" from actor Sal Mineo while writing about John Ford on location for "Cheyenne Autumn"

Mineo had hoped produce/star in the film, and ended up on the outside.

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