All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Robert Aldrich


As you might know, I'm quite a film buff and this is something that I've inherited from my dad. From a very early age, I showed a worrying interest in most things cinema, to the extent that I have (or had) quite a collection of books on the movies - actors/actresses, the studios, movies themselves etc.

I thought a while back about whom I would consider to be my all-time favourite director. I can't really give a rational reason for this waste-of-time exercise, but as you know, we movie buffs need to spend considerable hours understanding why we like to be "movie buffs"...sort of gives a rasion-d'etre to this anorakish hobby.

I thought of the greats - Hitchcock (he'd be second on my list), Spielberg, Howard Hawks, William Wyler, Woody Allen, Orson Welles (ok,The Third Man is genius, even though it was directed by Carol Reed), Robert Altman (I liked The Player) and then, Robert Aldrich.

Aldrich won. You probably don't know who he is, but if I mention three movies that he made, you will say "Oh, him!"

Robert Aldrich directed, amongst others:

"The Dirty Dozen"
"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"
and the original "Flight of the Phoenix."

The three movies have one thing in common - they are all very character driven and he manages to breathe life into the characters like few other directors. His films are tough, funny, exciting and very watchable and yes admittedly, probably more aimed at the male members of the audience.

Q: When did I pick Mr Alrich as my "favourite"?
A: After seeing the superb "Kiss Me Deadly" - a tough, mean, violent sonofabitch of a movie if ever there was one. Basically, your classic Robert Aldrich offering.

So here's the deal people, I've given you my choice, I now want to hear whom you consider to head your list of favourite director. I don't care which country he/she comes from, but I'd like to know if anyone out there holds Mr Alrich in the same esteem as I do.

Take One, Scene One....

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