Saturday, May 29, 2010
#192: Movie Star
You see, Death Of A Gunfighter was the first ever Alan Smithee movie. With the working title of ‘Patch’ movie had been offered to director Don Siegel, who was rapidly becoming hot after a long and illustrious career, that had seen him direct possibly the best Elvis movie, along with Steve McQueen, Widmark and, most recently, the first of five collaborations with Clint Eastwood, a collaboration that placed them both on the movie making map as major players. Siegel passed on the movie and recommended a young director that he knew and thought that was the end of it.
From this movie Smithee went on to direct many more films, some crap and some not so crap. Generally when a movie was taken away from a director by the studios, they took their name off the finished product and attached Smithee both as a protest and as a sign that the movie was plagued by troubles and issues. David Lynch’s Dune became an Alan Smithee film after it was recut and issued as a ‘Directors Cut’. Both The Insider and Heat, directed by Michael Mann, are Alan Smithee films when you see it on television. Other Smithee films include Scent Of A Woman, Meet Joe Black and shit like Morgan Stewart's Coming Home. Even Showgirls became an Alan Smithee film, but as it’s one of the worst movies made it’s understandable.
Alan Smithee retired soon after he released his last movie, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn, but if I’ve always thought that someone should change their name, officially, to Alan Smithee and claim credit for all of that celluloid. Think of the career you could then boast!