Sunday, May 18, 2008


His was a name that gave Hollywood actors, writers, camera
men and others a chill of fear: Otto!
It could only be one person: Otto Preminger, aka Otto the Terrible.
Now, I've just finished reading Foster Hirsch's big new biography of Preminger, Otto, The Man Who Would Be King and I've found it to be an in-depth, fascinating read.
Otto was known for his tantrums. And Hirsch speculates that the root of Otto's legendary temper was buried deep in his indulged Austrian childhood. Otto's loving, benevolent parents produced a child who simply Knew He Was Very Special and who grew up to become a great Hollywood producer and director and a master promoter of his own plays and movies.
Preminger was also a proud American and a very proud (though non-observant) Jew who successfully brought Leon Uris' "Exodus" to the screen. A shrewd businessman, he always brought his films in on-time and under budget.
Among Preminger's more notable movies are classics such as Laura, Anatomy Of A Murder, The Man With The Golden Arm, In Harm's Way, Advise And Consent and his last, underrated film, The Human Factor.
He was a formal, imposing figure whose persona masked a kinder, softer side: a passionate lover, a devoted father, a loyal friend, a dedicated defender of artistic freedom and a knowledgeable epicurean and world-traveller.
His story is worth the read.
Otto truly was Bigger Than Life!

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