Saturday, November 15, 2008

Otto Preminger Lecture 11/13/2008

What I learned at the Otto Preminger lecture (and from Kevin in general)...

1) Otto Preminger employed Dalton Trumbo to write the movie Exodus (1960), even though Trumbo was blacklisted.

2) Leonard Maltin once said something to the effect of: Otto the director should tell Otto the actor not to overact.

3) Otto did two all black musicals, both starring Dorothy Dandridge. Carmen Jones (1955) and Porgy & Bess (1959).

4) It's speculated amongst film historians that Dana Andrews was Otto's favorite actor. They made 5 films together.

5) Otto often kept the camera on groups of people. He was an objective filmmaker and trusted the audience's intelligence to form opinions of their own. You'll see very few reaction shots in Preminger films.

6) Otto was all about realism. He also liked to cast real life people in their real life roles in his movies. For example, the conductor Shorty Rogers and his band Shorty Rogers and His Giants were in the film The Man with the Golden Arm (1956).

7) Jean Simmons had 4 weeks left of her RKO contract with Howard Hughes and had to make Angel Face (1953) against her wishes. Otto was hired since he was very efficient. Simmons cut her hair in protest.

8) In the film Laura (1944), an artist had done a painting that was to be used as a central point in the film. When Otto took on the project, he got rid of that painting and had Gene Tierney photographed. The photo was painted over to make it look like a real painting.

9) Martin Luther King, Jr. was asked by Otto to play a cameo role in Advise & Consent (1962). He was interested, but ultimately declined due to negative publicity that ensued from the offer.

Below is a picture of Kevin (left), me (middle) and Bob (right) shortly before the lecture started. Close friends Frank and Blythe attended too. The lecture turned out great. Kevin managed to provide a lot of information in just an hour. He showed clips from Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder and Fallen Angel and had a kick-ass Powerpoint presentation. Go Kevin!


  1. Wow! Thanks for the post, Raquel! I also can't thank you enough for all the time you took showing me how to capture those images directly from all my Otto Preminger DVDs. Because of that, this was definitely my favorite Powerpoint presentation I have ever put together. Thanks for remembering to bring your camera to commemorate the occasion, too. I think we photograph pretty well here, don't you? :-)

  2. No need to worry child, S&TSG will be included in the NW boxset slated for early Feb :D It also looks like your lecture was cool!

  3. Thanks for sharing these very interesting facts from Preminger's career.

    By the way, I've tagged you for the Alphabet Meme. If you've no time for it, please don't concern yourself. But if you're interested, the links an explanation are up at The Self-Styled Siren:

  4. Sarah - Yay!

    Jacqueline - Thank you but I've already been tagged by Ibetolis at Film for the Soul. My Alphabet Meme is scheduled for 11/21.

  5. Thank you for posting this. I have recently come to love Preminger's films. I didn't notice the lack of reaction shots, so that is cool. :) Can never get too much of class films!


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