A PEEK AT THE NOTORIOUS, UBIQUITOUS SMITHEE AND HIS OEUVRE
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 07/19/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"On the far end of the movie-making spectrum, an infamous, prolific filmmaker is exposed in "DIRECTED BY ALAN SMITHEE."
According to official screen credits, Smithee has directed 47 films, written 5 screenplays, acted in three movies, produced one film, and was the production designer on yet another.
Alan Smithee films in all forms have grossed over $100 million. This up-close, short (only 50 minutes), look at the most mysterious pseudonym in Hollywood, reveals Alan Smithee as a director, producer, writer and star who doesn't give interviews, has never been seen at the Oscars and has never appeared on TV -- because he doesn't exist.
That's right. The omnipresent director is not real. He's the official nom d' auteur for filmmakers who are ashamed of the final release print for one reason or another.
"Directed by Alan Smithee," which recently aired on cable TV's American Movie Classic tells the story of an industry's infighting, power-struggles, and betrayals that has led many directors to dis-own a film and use "directed by Alan Smithee" as his/her credit.
Interviews with Tony Kaye, John Singleton, Martha Coolidge, and Arthur Hiller are featured.
The real dirt and infights are barely hinted at. Perhaps some enterprising filmmaker, or is that muckraker, will do justice to this entertaining subject."
Jim M. | Springfield MA | 03/12/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The story of the Alan Smithee directing credit could have been a great documentary. And, this documentary starts out well, with clips shown of many films that resulted in the Alan Smithee credit.
But, over 75% of DIRECTED BY ALAN SMITHEE is about director Tony Kaye and the making of AMERICAN HISTORY X. That is an interesting story, but since it didn't even result in an Alan Smithee credit, what is it doing on this DVD???
If the film had gone case by case through all the films for which the Alan Smithee credit was taken, to say why the directors were upset, that would have been a fascinating film. But as the film stands now, it belongs more as an extra on the AMERICAN HISTORY X DVD than on a DVD related to the Alan Smithee credit.
Those interested in learning more about Alan Smithee, this isn't the DVD for you.