Monday, November 29, 2010

Robert Aldrich


Ed here: Excellent long post by Matthew Bradley on his Bradley on Film blog. Robert Aldrich has always been one of my favorite under-rated directors. Matthew does a great job elaborating on Aldrich's importance.

Matthew Bradley:

At his best when prefiguring or subverting entire genres and subgenres, Aldrich made heroes of a sympathetic Indian in Apache, at a time when few would do so, and unsympathetic—but weirdly compelling—p.i. Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) in Kiss Me Deadly. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) anticipated the wave of all-star disaster films launched, as it were, by Airport (1970), and Ulzana’s Raid used a Western setting to make a statement about the war then raging in Vietnam. In The Dirty Dozen, he turned the star-studded WW II epic on its head twice, first by making a bunch of convicted criminals his main characters, and then by making us really care about them.

With Baby Jane, Aldrich could lay claim to creating an entire subgenre of his own, unleashing a torrent of “dotty old lady” thrillers, which he perpetuated as both a director (Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte [1964]) and a producer (What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? [1969]). In fact, he often produced his own films and, like Dino De Laurentiis, used his early success to establish his own production company, only to have it shuttered by a series of flops. Among his directorial efforts, he’s credited as a writer on only three (Ten Seconds to Hell [1959], 4 for Texas, and Too Late the Hero [1970]) and, perhaps predictably, was never so much as nominated for an Academy Award.

for the rest go here:


Fred Blosser said...

I was thinking about Aldrich last night-- specifically, THE GRISSOM GANG -- after watching the 1949 version of MISS BLANDISH on TCM. The two would make an interesting double feature.

Todd Mason said...

Well, no one thinks the Oscar is awarded for merit, do they?

Happy birthday, Ed! Hope all is celebratory...

Matt Paust said...

Todd is once again on the money, especially with the birthday felicitations. Have a good one, Ed!

Matthew Bradley said...

Thanks, Ed! Didn't know it was your birthday, so happiest wishes, but I'm not at all surprised to see we share an affection for Aldrich. He was quite a filmmaker.