Tim Purtell
October 12, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Otto Preminger

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Foster Hirsch
publisher
Knopf
genre
Movies, Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a B+

As a director, Preminger has long been saddled with the myth of the great early film (1944’s Laura), followed by supposedly lesser noir (Angel Face), bad musicals (Porgy and Bess), and overblown epics (Exodus), interspersed with censorship-busters (The Man With the Golden Arm). Foster Hirsch argues in Otto Preminger persuasively for the auteur’s reliable cinematic clarity and intelligence. And he maintains sympathy for the man despite testimony from a gaggle of actors who were targets of his on-set rages. Opines one of Preminger’s wives: ”Otto was certainly variegated.” This bio should spark a revaluation of a variegated, underrated career.

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