Tuesday, May 27, 2008

RIP, Sydney P.

The list is long... I've seen a lot of them, but not all of them.

My favorite? Probably Three Days of the Condor (RT:89), which I can watch all the way through, over and over again. Unlike The Way We Were (RT: 61), which I also love, but I usually stop watching at the beach scene - though I will sometimes skip to the scene outside The Plaza, just to hear Babs say, "She's a lovely girl, Hubble."

But that list...I never stopped to count the number of movies he made with Redford. Yeesh.

This Property is Condemned (1966, RT: 64) - Robert Redford, Tennessee Williams, and Natalie Wood (did you know the screenplay was co-written by Francis Ford Coppola? Me neither.)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972, RT: 100) - RR and the great outdoors
The Way We Were (1973, RT: 61) - and Babs
Three Days of the Condor (1975, RT: 89) - and Faye
The Electric Horseman (1980, RT: 59) - and Jane
Out of Africa (1985, RT: 61) - and, what should have been lastly, Meryl
Havana (1990, RT: 17) - and Lena Olin (after Streep, they should've known there was only one direction to go, and up it wasn't)

And then there are the non-Redford movies...

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; Absence of Malice; Tootsie; The Firm...

And then there are the movies he produced (most recently with his producing partner Anthony Minghella, who died two months ago, also from cancer):
Bright Lights, Big City; The Fabulous Baker Boys; Presumed Innocent; White Palace; Dead Again; Leaving Normal; Searching for Bobby Fisher; on and on... just this month he produced Recount, which is showing on HBO. And The Reader, based on the fantastic novel by Bernard Schlink, and directed by Stephen Daldry, is in production now.

Add to that, from all accounts, he was a genuinely nice guy. Peter Travers of The Rolling Stone had this to say: "[he was] one of true gents in a movie industry notable for the absence of what Sydney had—humor, warmth and a non-showy way of letting his talent out."

He will be missed.

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