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The Line King - The Al Hirschfeld Story
The Line King - The Al Hirschfeld Story
Actors: Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Joan Collins, Jules Feiffer, Robert Goulet
Director: Susan Warms Dryfoos
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 26min

The Line King tells the amazing story of Al Hirschfeld, creator of thousands of famous drawings of stars and celebrities for more than sixty years. Nominated for an Academy AwardŽ for Best Documentary Feature (1996), The ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Joan Collins, Jules Feiffer, Robert Goulet
Director: Susan Warms Dryfoos
Creators: Dick Blofson, Jeffrey Grunther, Susan Warms Dryfoos, Angelo Corrao
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Drama, Art & Artists, Educational, Documentary, Biography
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/22/2004
Original Release Date: 09/27/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 09/27/1996
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

Movie Reviews

Interesting and Beautiful
Mark Anderson | Schaumburg, IL United States | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's not often I write "thank God someone made this" in my notes while reviewing a film. But Susan Dryfoos' "The Line King - The Al Hirschfeld Story" deserves such praise and more.

A lovely biography of entertainment caricaturist Hirschfeld, this film is a fascinating look behind the pen of a man who transcended his genre to become almost an art form unto himself.

Dryfoos thankfully showcases hundreds of drawings throughout the film as entertainers, artists and others discuss a man who described his goal as not to make a subject beautiful, but interesting.

Hirschfeld, of course, being the most interesting character of all. The camouflaged "Nina"s, the barber chair in which he created decades of work, the almost Santa Claus-ish look of the artist - all add up to a man that, if he were imagined by a Hollywood writer, would be deemed wholly unbelievable by cartoonists such as myself.

Myself being a stay-at-home-dad, I was fascinated to learn that he was raised by his father while his mother supported the family. I also connected with his respect for his wife's editorial abilities. My wife is often consulted (OK, harangued) about my latest cartoons and her advice is always spot on, even when I don't like to admit it.

There are a few goofy moments, Hirschfeld's surreal bongo solo and his attempts as using a computer and graphics tablet, but overall the film is a wonder from beginning to end. A fitting tribute to an artist whose work was both interesting and beautiful."
A Title Well Earned
L. J. Anderson | Chicago, IL | 03/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Amid the entertainment super-stars of the twentieth century--Carol Channing, Lauren Bacall, Joan Collins, Barbara Walters, and more--the white-bearded, bright-eyed Al Hirschfeld cuts a humorous and humble figure. This visual historian doesn't make the stars beautiful in his drawings; he makes them interesting. ESP-like, the line of Hirschfeld's pen reveals an essential and vital character within each of the performers he draws, capturing the rare exuberance with amazing specificity: the gestures, the movements, the facial expressions-all become playfully recognizable as the spirit manifest. What the documentary does especially well is show Hirschfeld at work, and talking about the work. He was 90 years old when interviewed in the film, but seems almost childlike in his delight for his life-long passion. Hirschfeld emerges as the century's most beloved cartoonist, truly earning him the title of The Line King."
Everything you ever wanted to know about Mr. Hirschfeld.
L. J. Anderson | 05/11/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As fit as he is talented, Al Hirschfeld has lent his drawing skills to the faces of hundreds of theatrical actors for decades. This very enjoyable documentary captures the life and line of an American treasure. Even the most jaded artists and art lovers cannot deny the importance of Hirschfeld to 20th century American art. This piece proves that. END"