Tag Archives: Peter Bogdanovich

Film Director Joseph H. Lewis On Why Films, Hollywood & L.A. Changed For The Worse

Observations On Hollywood Trash

Director Joseph H. Lewis

Peter Bogdanovich early in his career was a film writer for magazines. Over the years he interviewed many people in the film industry and continued to do so even after becoming a successful director himself.  The interviews with directors are compiled in a great book: Who The Devil Made It Conversations With Legendary Film Directors by Peter Bogdanovich (Knopf; 1997).

He interviewed director Joseph H. Lewis (1907-2000) an adept filmmaker best known for his 1950 movie Gun Crazy, a precursor to Arthur Penn’s landmark film, Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

Bogdanovich asked Lewis in 1994, to “define the change that had happened in Hollywood.”

Lewis was able to clearly answer him:

“Yes, I define it one way. When I was a little boy I worked at MGM: I loaded film; from there I became an assistant camera boy; from there, an assistant cutter; from there, the head of a cutting department; from there I became a director. These things don’t happen today. A guy comes up and, yes, he has a script- he wrote it; he’ll let them do it, providing he can direct it. And they go for it.” Continue reading