The other day I posted a trailer of a doc about director William Friedkin which revealed him to be a most bracing public personality. Today I’m posting two clips of Friedkin, one historical and one hysterical. The first is Friedkin’s acceptance speech for his Oscar win in 1972 for ‘The French Connection’. The second is an interview with Friedkin done about twenty years or so later in which he discusses Gene Hackman and his antipathy toward each other while making that film as well as his belief that slapping actors in the face is…an okay thing to do, I guess. The Oscars clip has a lot of fun stuff in it; a typically faux self-effacing Jack Lemmon intro, a luscious Natalie Wood looking awfully like a luscious Ali McGraw, a dapper Frank Capra whose celebrity had recently been revitalized by the publication of his hit autobiography ‘The Name Above The Title’; shots of three of the five nominated directors present (Peter Bogdanovich, Norman Jewison and Friedkin–John Schlesinger and Stanley Kubrick were safely tucked away in Europe) and finally Friedkin’s admirably terse acceptance speech. The speech obviously doesn’t give us much of a view of the ‘unleashed’ Friedkin but the second clip more than makes up for it. More Friedkin in the coming days…


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