Archive of films Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker / Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker

Austria / USA
1991, 115 min

Section: Tribute to Otto Preminger
Year: 2016

A classically conceived and informationally rich portrait of one of America’s essential 20th century filmmakers. Narrated by Preminger’s appreciative acting standby Burgess Meredith, the controversial gentleman of rather kingly (over)bearing is discussed with admiration by filmmakers and actors, including James Stewart, George C. Scott, Deborah Kerr, and Frank Sinatra.


This traditionally conceived and extremely interesting audiovisual summation of Otto Preminger’s artistic career unfolds along two lines. One involves his frequent acting collaborator Burgess Meredith (popularly known as Rocky Balboa’s mentor Mickey), who takes the role of narrator retelling Preminger’s life story as compiled from various biographical sources (mainly the director’s autobiography). The other involves firsthand accounts from numerous filmmakers, including Peter Bogdanovich and Saul Bass, and, of course, actors: George C. Scott, James Stewart, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra, and Vincent Price, among others. Tom Tryon, who starred in The Cardinal, refers to Preminger as the worst human being he’s ever met, while Scott enthusiastically expresses his gratitude to the director for providing the initial impulse to his career. Yet all of them agree on Preminger’s artistic prowess and his infectious energy, which always drove him forward regardless of any and all complications. As he himself claimed, “Only the risks are worthwhile.”

Karel Och


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About the film


Section: Tribute to Otto Preminger
Director: Valerie A. Robins
Screenplay: Thomas J. Wiener
Dir. of Photography: Paul C. Golberg
Editor: Gary J. Woodruff
Producer: Valerie A. Robins
Production: Otto Preminger Films, ORF
Sales: Hollywood Classics

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