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Peter Bogdanovich

The Peter Bogdanovich story is a Hollywood tale through and through, replete with memorable associations and fantastic success, along with various ups and downs. Bogdanovich was a teenage actor in NYC and directed and produced an Off-Broadway production of Clifford Odets' "The Big Knife" at age 20. He worked as a film critic for such magazines as Film Culture, Movie and Esquire and began interviewing directors in the early '60s, writing monographs for the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Howard Hawks, Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock and publishing elsewhere the results of his talks with other luminaries like John Ford, Fritz Lang and Allan Dwan. Critics compared his breakout movie, "The Last Picture Show" (1971), to "Citizen Kane." "What's Up, Doc?" (1972) was his tribute to the screwball comedies of Howard Hawks. Starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, "What's Up, Doc?" was a huge success, just the prescription for a country weary of the Vietnam War. Bogdanovich followed with the Depression-era comedy-drama "Paper Moon" (1973), which marked the peak of his filmmaking fame. "Nickelodeon" (1976), recreating the early days of motion pictures, was also a success, but personal tragedy sidelined him for a time following the murder of companion Dorothy Stratten. He returned in 1985 with "Mask," which opened to good reviews, and was followed by "Texasville" (1990), a sequel to "The Last Picture Show," and "Noises Off" (1992), adapted from the hit stage play. Bogdanovich continued to care about and seek out directors from the early days of Hollywood, compiling a storehouse of anecdotal information about the pioneering days of Hollywood which found its way into "Who the Devil Made It?," a huge and valuable collection of his interviews with 16 great Hollywood directors that was published in 1997.
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