BEHIND THE SCENES OF OTTO PREMINGER by Willi Frischauer

BEHIND THE SCENES OF OTTO PREMINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As comprehensive a biography of Otto Ludwig Preminger as you'll want to read by a friend since Austrian days in the '30's. The demanding, budget-conscious, censorship-challenging OP has produced and/or directed 35 American films -- among them Laura, The Moon is Blue, The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He's ""a director with the personality of a producer"" (according to Andrew Sarris in Interviews with Film Directors) -- one who is known to indulge in the tantrums usually reserved for temperamental actors. From director of plays at the Theater in der Josefstadt in his native Vienna, to a ""well-groomed, expensive stallion in the Zanuck stable,"" to becoming his own man as an independent -- Preminger is presented as both cineaste and character. The causes celebres in his past -- the secret liaison with Gypsy Rose Lee; his marriage to a non-Jew while filming Exodus in Israel -- are given a soft focus. The man, who many say was playing himself when he portrayed a Nazi commandant ""with remarkable fidelity"" in Stalag 17, emerges as a tough cookie who made a fortune. . .and one of the few remaining originals in the post-Hollywood world of mass production. Little wonder then that the bald pate is really resplendent.

Pub Date: June 5th, 1974
Publisher: Morrow