Peter Bogdanovich


Peter Bogdanovich ComSE (July 30, 1939 – January 6, 2022) was an American director, writer, actor, producer, critic and film historian. Part of the wave of “New Hollywood” directors, Bogdanovich’s career started as a film journalist until he got hired to work on Roger Corman‘s The Wild Angels (1966), with Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd. After the success of the film, he got a chance to direct his own film Targets (1968), with Boris Karloff; a critical success. He later gained wider popularity for his critically acclaimed drama The Last Picture Show (1971), with Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, and Cybill Shepherd; which earned eight Oscar nominations including Academy Award for Best Director.

He followed up with the screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc? (1972), with Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, and Madeline Kahn; which was a major box office success and is considered to be one of the best comedy films of all time and another critical and commercial success Paper Moon (1973), with Ryan O’Neal and Tatum O’Nesl; which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Director nomination. His following three films have been all critical and commercial failures; Daisy Miller (1974), with Shepherd, Barry Brown, Leachman, Mildred Natwick, Eileen Brennan; At Long Last Love (1975), with Burt Reynolds, Shepherd, Kahn, Duilio Del Prete, Brennan, John Hillerman, and Mildred Natwick; and Nickelodeon (1976), with Reynolds, Brian Keith, Stella Stevens, and John Ritter.

He took a three-year hiatus before making a comeback with cult films Saint Jack (1979), with Ben Gazzara, Denholm Elliott, and George Lazenby; and They All Laughed (1981), with Audrey Hepburn, Gazzara, Ritter, Colleen Camp, Patti Hansen, and Dorothy Stratten. After his girlfriend Dorothy Stratten’s murder, he took another four-year hiatus from filmmaking and wrote a memoir on her death titled The Killing of the Unicorn before making a comeback with Mask (1985), with Cher, Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz, and Laura Dern; a critical and commercial success. His next film Illegally Yours (1989), with Rob Lowe, Camp, Kenneth Mars, and Kim Myers; was no so successful.

He later went on to direct films such as Noises Off (1992), with Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Ritter, Marilu Henner, Nicollette Sheridan, Julie Hagerty and Mark Linn-Baker; The Thing Called Love (1993), with Samantha Mathis, River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney, and Sandra Bullock; The Cat’s Meow (2001), with Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, Edward Herrmann, Cary Elwes, Joanna Lumley, and Jennifer Tilly; and She’s Funny That Way (2014), with Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, Shepherd, Austin Pendleton, Lumley, Richard Lewis, Rhys Ifans, and Jennifer Aniston.

As an actor, he is known for his roles in HBO series The Sopranos and Orson Welles‘ last movie The Other Side of the Wind (2018), with John Huston, Oja Kodar, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Bob Random, Lilli Palmer, Edmond O’Brien, Mercedes McCambridge, Cameron Mitchell, Paul Stewart, Gregory Sierra, Tonio Selwart, Dan Tobin, Joseph McBride, and Dennis Hopper; which he also helped to finish. He also received a Grammy Award for Best Music Film for directing Tom Petty documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream (2007).

As an accomplished film historian, he has directed documentaries such as Directed by John Ford (1971), about 4 time Academy Award winning filmmaker John Ford; and The Great Buster (2018), about silent screen comedian and filmmaker Buster Keaton; and published over ten books which some of them include in-depth interviews with his friends such as Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. Bogdanovich’s works had been an influence on several filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Rian Johnson, David Fincher, Edgar Wright, Safdie brothers, David O. Russell, Andy Muschietti, Sofia Coppola,Wes Anderson, and Noah Baumbach.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968) – credited as Derek Thomas, filmed additional footage for a Russian science fiction film
  • Targets (1968)
  • Directed by John Ford (1971) – documentary
  • The Last Picture Show (1971)
  • What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
  • Paper Moon (1973)
  • Daisy Miller (1974)
  • At Long Last Love (1975)
  • Nickelodeon (1976)
  • Saint Jack (1979)
  • They All Laughed (1981)
  • Mask (1985)
  • Illegally Yours (1988)
  • Texasville (1990)
  • Noises Off (1992)
  • The Thing Called Love (1993)
  • The Cat’s Meow (2001)
  • Runnin’ Down a Dream (2007) – documentary
  • She’s Funny That Way (2014)
  • The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) – documentary

Other notable New Hollywood filmmakers: