DVD Article

Auteur, Auteur

Films with two directors -- ''He Said, She Said'' is not the first movie to have more than one person calling ''action''

He Said, She Said, the new film by Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, is attracting tons of attention for the novelty of having been made by two directors. But directorial teams have been making movies — including a few great ones — since the silent era. Here are four films on video that prove that two auteurs can be better than one.

King Kong (1933, Turner)
The movie, if not special effects pioneer Willis O'Brien's simpatico creation, is certainly the eighth wonder of the film world. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack made nature documentaries before coming up with the idea for a gorilla feature; their dream was realized with a bit of science and a lot of enthusiasm. The result is endearing and enduring, and no remake or colorized version will supplant the original. A-

Singin' in the Rain (1952, MGM/UA)
Believe the hype. This musical has it all: the numbers, the talent, the timing, the costumes, the Technicolor. It's also the product of collaborations galore: Directors Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen concocted the nonpareil dance sequences with a sure eye to exploiting Kelly's balletic abilities. Screenwriters Adolph Green and Betty Comden came up with the inventive frame for his art, poking good fun at Hollywood history on the way. And the MGM archives gave their best songs from years of musicals — and most of those were the children of Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. A

The Shop on Main Street (1965, RCA/Columbia)
One of several collaborations between Czech directors Jan Kadár and Elmar Klos, this Oscar-winning film takes place during World War II. Tono, a poor but defiant carpenter, benefits from the largess of the Nazis. Through his brother-in-law (the ''Little Fuhrer'') he inherits a shop that has been taken from a Jewish widow. But as Nazi troops begin to round up the town's Jews, he becomes her protector. The intimate levity of the picture's first half is finally crushed under a landslide of ironies. In black and white, with subtitles. B+

Padre Padrone (1977, RCA/Columbia)
In the beginning Gavino Ledda, son of a Sardinian shepherd, is wrested from school by his father to enter a harsh apprenticeship under his hand. In the end he becomes a famous linguist — and much like his padre. The film, by brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, is washed by a literal yet lyrical beauty, not to mention the dusty colors of the Italian countryside. The two created a striking — if at times overemphatic — story of a father, a son, a legacy of rage, and a hundred other poignant details of peasant life. With subtitles. B

Originally posted Mar 08, 1991 Published in issue #56 Mar 08, 1991 Order article reprints