Biography of Peter Bogdanovich (1939-VVVV)

Director of North American cinema, born on July 30, 1939 in Kingston.


Peter Bogdanovich appears in the artistic firmament as a unique case of cinephile compulsive, which served as the criticism before becoming director, and whose books on classic filmmakers have given almost more fame than his own film work. Author of numerous papers on Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Allan Dwan, Howard Hawks or John Ford, translated into several languages and internationally, has been an active defender of the extraordinary quality of classic Hollywood and, along with Kevin Brownlow British film, one of the personalities that most made by rediscovering viewers films of unsurpassed quality that remained semiolvidados.

That emotional preference for old, visible film also in his role as director, has its roots in childhood of Bogdanovich, when he went with his father to the showrooms to contemplate double programs. At the age of fifteen, encouraged by his mother, was admitted to a prestigious Academy of interpretation, the Theater Studio, whose teachings he attended almost daily to the cinemas of the place. After graduating, and unemployed fixed, manages to survive thanks to the help of his family and modest income who reported him his sporadic collaborations in magazines; in 1959, he got mounted its first theatrical production, which was a moderate critical success, and three years later becomes editor in template of the film magazine Esquire, which conducts several interviews with directors such as John Ford or Howard Hawks. The quality of their products, and extraordinary skills showing for the film analysis, will drive to the Museum of modern art in New York to hire him as a film consultant.

Fascinated by the figure of Orson Welles, and especially for his film Citizen Kane, decides to leave in 1964 to Hollywood. Animated by Frank Tashlin, Director of many films starring the comedian Jerry Lewis, choose integrated in producer Roger Corman, to learn the craft from the bottom, playing the most varied tasks. Thus, Peter Bogdanovich works as screenwriter, actor, Assistant of direction, second operator, Editor, sound engineer or director of second unit on the hell's Angels.

His first work as a director will be just as picturesque. Roger Corman needed to arrange a Russian sci-fi movie for distribution in the United States, and instructed Bogdanovich which filmed new women, absent from the original film scripts. To address problems like the looks of, it resorted to plot trick that they could see the men of history, but were invisible in the eyes of others. This mode will result in Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women the, which will open the doors permanently to become director. Corman, who had contracted for two days to the legendary performer of horror Boris Karloff, Frankenstein actor, among other titles would provide that opportunity is also. Taking advantage of the situation, and in the record time of 11 days, Peter Bogdanovich wheel hero loose anda, where narrates the parallel stories of a young serial killer and an actor on the verge retirement which decides to leave the film, linked by a thin link that will not be patent to the end of the film.

The last film with Peter Bogdanovich would heighten his fame. Filmed in black and white, was the bitter portrait of a population of the deep North America whose citizens left to consume his existence without any horizon, jaded skeptics for the future and the present. Set at the beginning of the 1950's, the film opens and closes with the image of the inside of a movie theater, even though in the end it is in ruins as a metaphor for death itself of the people. Life and film returned, therefore, to be present at this title, as before in the hero loose anda, in a clear sign of what will be a usual constant of his filmography.

Inspired by the great classic comedies of Hollywood, those that were personalities of the likes of Buster Keaton, Mack Sennett or Howard Hawks, then filmed me what, doctor?, where the usual plot tangle just complicated to reach levels egregious. Starring Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand, who was also one of the peak of the project, it contained countless film fans winks that not interfered the understanding of viewers. His frantic pace caused real astonishment at the time by posing hot tribute to a form already in disuse of filmmaking.

His next big success came with Paper Moon, filmed in black and white. This film, set in the middle of the 1930s Depression, told the story of a small con man who by circumstances of random is forced to endure the company of a girl who will end up being his partner of wrongdoing, role played by child actress Tatum O'Neal that captivated the hearts of the international public.

A rebellious Miss, adaptation of a short story from Henry James, and At long last love however accounted for two small braking unstoppable career, at the time that marked his reunion with the actress Cybill Shepherd, one of the authentic muses in Bogdanovich's filmography. With Nickelodeon it would return big, to reconstruct the origins of cinema including memories and stories that had been told by pioneers such as Raoul Walshand Allan Dwan. But the numerous concessions that had to do with the producers, after two previous failures, ended up not to leave satisfied Bogdanovich, who decided to make a full turn his career with a low budget film, Saint Jack, the King of Singapore, a film that although he was awarded at the Festival of Venice, was not too successful publicwhich ended up causing a small creative crisis in Peter Bogdanovich.

In 1980 a tragedy would further tarnish his life and his career as a director: the murder of his girlfriend Dorothy Stratten. This fact will keep you four years away from the cinema, he returns with a custom film, to the greater glory of the actress and singer Cher: mask. Based on the true story of a child affected by a rare disease, brought with it countless controversies arising from manipulations carried out by producers on the soundtrack, which originally had four tracks of the singer Bruce Springsteen (among them the mythical "Born in the USA") and which were replaced by Bob Seger without the consent of Peter Bogdanovich.

This film will be the last undisputed success so far in his career, by more feature films as Texasville (return twenty years later to the places of the last film) or that thing called love (one of the titles where would know the actress Sandra Bullock) have shown a filmmaker in fullness of power, with a current speech and a way of understanding the indebted to the classic film but that he always looks to the future.


Director. Cortometrajes.1972: Chaplin Montage.

Largometrajes.1968: Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (additional sequences); The hero is on the loose. 1971: Directed by John Ford; The last film. 1972: I what, doctor? 1973: Paper Moon. 1974: A rebellious young lady. 1975: At long last love. 1976: Nickelodeon.1979: Saint Jack, the King of Singapore. 1981: Everyone laughed. 1985: Mask. 1988: Infielmente yours. 1991: Texasville.1992: what function ruin! 1993: That thing called love.


BOGDANOVICH, Peter. The Killing of the Unicorn. Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980. (New York: William Morrow, 1984).

GIACCI, Vittorio. Peter Bogdanovich. (San Sebastián: Festival international film San Sebastián/Filmoteca Vasca, 1997).

HARRIS, T. J. Bogdanovich Pictures Shows. (Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, 1990).

PASSEK, Jean-Luc et to the. Dictionary of cinema. (Librairie Larousse, 1986), (Spanish version of Miguel Urabayen Cascante (Madrid: Rialp, 1991).)

LANDLORD, Juan Carlos et to the. Dictionary of Directors (Madrid: Ediciones JC, 1992).