Sidney Lumet

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Sydney Lumet Serpico – Did you notice that Salieri is one of the dirty cops? Dog Day Afternoon – Man, I wish John Cazale hadn’t died. What a great actor (there is a little documentary on him called I Knew It Was You. Check it out). Pacino was good too. Ah heck, everyone was good. […]

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Orson Welles

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Orson Welles “Everyone will always owe him everything.” Jean-Luc Goddard. Welles goes in and out of fashion in film school. Much like Charlie Chaplin goes up and down in popularity. Snot nosed students don’t like to be told who the greatest or best were. Or disgruntled film professors (whose script about finding love in the […]

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Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder Yes, he was born in Germany, but he’s known as an American filmmaker. One of the greatest (if not the greatest) writer/directors from the olden days (there weren’t that many). He could do comedy, drama and thrillers. Double Indemnity – Fred “My Three Sons” MacMurray was never this smarmy again (well, maybe not […]

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Hal Ashby

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Hal Ashby For me, Ashby is the unsung hero of American films in the 70’s. In my opinion, he’s the only director with a perfect record of that era. But when the studio went corporate in the 80’s, he was done and only did a couple more weak pictures as a for-hire director before he […]

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Francis Ford Coppola

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Francis Ford Coppola Arguably the first of the Film Brat generation (followed in no particular order by Scorsese, DePalma, Lucas, Spielberg and Milius (to name a few). The Godfather – Great stuff that launched several careers and was a great comeback for Brando (of course, he should’ve stopped here and just stayed on his island). […]

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William Friedkin

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William Friedkin The French Connection – Have we ever had a cop like Popeye Doyle again? He’s a racist and a jerk, and pretty darn lovable. Archie Bunker with a gun. The Exorcist – You know why this film was so effective? Because Friedkin didn’t make it like a horror film. He made it like […]

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Alan J. Pakula

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Alan J. Pakula Klute – Hanoi Barbarella is a prostitute who checks her watch when with a client. So much for the girlfriend experience. See the original Hawkeye Pierce be a dick (a private dick that is). The Parallax View – More great Gordy Willis photography and script doctoring by Robert Towne. It’s not my […]

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Ulu Grosbard

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Ulu Grosbard Who? Well, he’s done mostly theater, and a couple of movies (including Straight Time with Dusty Hoffman), but he made a great little character movie in ’81 with Bobby Duval and Bobby DeNiro True Confessions – Bobby & Bobby are brothers. One’s a cop, the other a priest. This character study is wrapped […]

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John Carpenter

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John Carpenter What the heck happened to John Carpenter (from Bowling Green, KY)? He used to be great at the kinds of films he made. Well, for one thing he just stopped caring (or trying). And in my opinion never made another watchable film after he parted ways with D.P. Dean Cundey. Dark Star – […]

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Steven Spielberg

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Steven Spielberg Ok, I am not the biggest Spielberg supporter. I can count on one hand the movies of his I enjoy. Being the most successful American director, doesn’t make him the greatest American director. And goddamn he doesn’t know what to do with female characters (yeah, I know Dee Wallace Stone was nominated, but […]

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