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Peter Bogdanovich Gives Good Quote

on the set of What's Up Doc (1972)Peter Bogdanovich, one of the leading directors of the early Seventies, has finally made another movie at 76 years of age. She's Funny That Way, which stars Jennifer Aniston and opens today, is his first since The Cat's Meow (2001) with Kirsten Dunst. His career has been very quiet since his last true hit (Mask, 1985) but he hasn't been.

Bogdanovich's lack of inhibition when talking to the press has surely caused him problems in his career, but it's a source of joy for movie fanatics.It's all too rare to get unmassaged opinions from powerful artists who aren't worried about ruffling the feathers of other artists.

He just gave good quote to the Hollywood Reporter on Barbra Streisand in What's Up Doc? (1972) who originally wanted to do a drama with him instead of a comedy, Cher in Mask (1985) --  he doesn't exactly flatter her but to say he believes she should have won the Oscar that year, and making Paper Moon (1973) with the O'Neal's. That's our favorite of his pictures as you probably noted during the 1973 Smackdown last year.

But his quote on The Last Picture Show (1971) is the best:

[The scene in which] Cloris Leachman [who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role] throws that coffee pot and yells at Timothy Bottoms — Cloris did it brilliantly. She wanted to rehearse it and I kept saying, “I don’t want to rehearse it; I want to see it for the first time when we actually roll.” I had learned that idea — to not let the actors show you an emotional scene before they shot it — from John Ford through Henry Fonda. It was Hank Fonda who told me that for the big climactic scene with the mother in The Grapes of Wrath, [Ford] wouldn’t let the actors play it for him — he wanted it to be fresh when they did it and of course he used the first take.

So I said, “Action!” and she was extraordinary. [But] she said, “I can do it better.” I said, “No, you can’t; you just won the Oscar.” And to this day — Jeff Bridges told me that he [recently] ran into Cloris and that she said, “Oh, I’m so angry at Peter. That was the first take. I could have done it better.” And Jeff said: “Oh, Cloris. You won the Oscar!”

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Reader Comments (11)

The wine glass smashing in K vs. K wasn't even in the script and it was done great.
Sometimes the first take is perfect. (though actors see it differently)

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Great quotes, thanks for posting this. I adore The Last Picture Show and What's Up, Doc? and parts of Paper Moon (especially Madeline Kahn and whatever PJ Johnson was doing), but I don't know that I'd ever noticed that he made those 3 in a 3 year time span. Wow.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterScottC


August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

She's so good in that scene! Cloris Leachman is a treasure and The Last Picture Show one of those movies I need to revisit from time to time. I like it more at every viewing and it speaks to me in a deeper way.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

the teaser for Nicole Kidman's Photograph 51

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I love what he said about Cher---That's not acting, it's self-loathing.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I'll take Cher's no-bullshit attitude or over Bogdanovich's bloviating any day...

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterrick gould

And it really was a perfect take. God, I love that film. And Cloris. That she would have won for Young Frankenstein a few years later would have only made that decade better.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

What a great read! Thanks for sharing.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

I am looking forward to checking out his new one very soon - reviews aren't good, but I love the idea of (most of) that cast in "What's Up Doc" mode.

August 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

Cloris Leachman, from a craft perspective, is one of our most genius and convention-defying actors ever. She is a force of nature.

August 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

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