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Who the Devil Made It : Conversations with Legendary Film Directors (1997)

by Peter Bogdanovich

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In this chronicle of Hollywood and the art of making movies, Peter Bogdanovich (director, screenwriter, actor and critic) interviews 16 directors, including: Robert Aldrich; George Cukor; Howard Hawks; Alfred Hitchcock; Fritz Lang; Sidney Lumet; Otto Preminger; and Josef von Sternberg.
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Right from the jump, Bogdanovich could write about the movies with a cogency that placed him in the top flight of critics, and as an interviewer he has always been without peer. His latest book, Who the Devil Made It, is just further confirmation of a quality he seems to have had since the cradle. When it comes to movies, the master of the medium is often a buff but rarely a scholar – he hasn’t the time, even when he has the inclination – yet Bogdanovich somehow always managed to service his debt to the creativity of his past masters while he was busy with his own: articles and interviews, slim monographs and fat books were all done with manifest love, despite his being in a tearing hurry...

He was Hollywood’s Mr Memory even while he was its golden boy. Now that he has become the Man in the Iron Mask, he is free to cultivate the archives at his leisure. Executives who played a part in condemning him to strangle in his own beard might be in for an unpleasant surprise. What makes them pygmies is that there once were giants: it’s a cliché, but on the strength of the documentation assembled in Who the Devil Made It, Bogdanovich looks as if he might raise it to the status of an axiom.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew Yorker, Clive James
 
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… I liked almost anybody that made you realize who in the devil was making the picture … Because the director’s the storyteller and should have his own method of telling it.
—HOWARD HAWKS
Most of the good things in pictures happen by accident.
—JOHN FORD
Dedication
To the memory of my brave, dear and inspiring mother, Herma Robinson Bogdanovich (1918–1979), who was a beautiful, overly selfless person and also my first director, first editor, first friend; and to the memory of my brilliant father, the painter Borislav Bogdanovich (1899–1970), whose work and whose attitude to art influenced me more than can be expressed.
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Early in the summer of 1996—exactly 101 years after the first movies were exhibited—Warren Beatty and I were standing around on the lawn of Henry Jaglom’s Santa Monica home watching a bunch of young children at a birthday party (two of them Warren’s, two Henry’s, one mine); we were talking about some of the big changes in the picture business since we had come into it in the late fifties and early sixties.
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La versión original (Who the devil made it) se publicó en un único volumen. En España, en cambio, se separó en dos tomos.
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In this chronicle of Hollywood and the art of making movies, Peter Bogdanovich (director, screenwriter, actor and critic) interviews 16 directors, including: Robert Aldrich; George Cukor; Howard Hawks; Alfred Hitchcock; Fritz Lang; Sidney Lumet; Otto Preminger; and Josef von Sternberg.

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