Otto Preminger Goes Independent, Takes Down the Production Code Administration, Fights Censorship, & Doesn't Hold Back His Temper.
Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King with Foster Hirsch
Even the casual Classic Hollywood fan is familiar with at least one Otto Preminger film. Preminger directed and produced one of the best loved films of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the 1944 classic film noir, Laura.
But the stellar career of this Viennese director with the legendarily explosive temper didn’t stop there. And the accomplishments of Otto’s nearly five decades as a filmmaker are nothing short of extraordinary.
Otto Preminger: A Trailblazer
Always ahead of his time, Otto Preminger was one of the first independent producers and directors of Classic Hollywood, casting aside the security of long-term studio contracts for the artistic freedom and rewards that came with risking it all on his own.
In the process, Otto dealt the Production Code Administration and their arbitrary moral code major blows, refusing to conform his films to the Code’s extremely limited definition of what was permissible on screen.
With such films as the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and the political drama Advise and Consent (1962), Otto became a public champion against censorship.
And with his spot-on portrayals of authoritative Nazis in such films as Stalag 17 (1953), Otto Preminger became a familiar face with moviegoers, an accomplishment few directors of his time could claim.
Vanguard of Hollywood Podcast Special: Interview with Foster Hirsch
Join me for episode 56 of Vanguard of Hollywood as I discuss the fascinating life and career of Otto Preminger with film historian and Preminger biographer, Foster Hirsch.
Foster is a professor in the prestigious film studies program at Brooklyn College, and the author of nearly two dozen books. As one of the foremost film interviewers, Foster has conducted insightful and nuanced interviews with such Classic Hollywood luminaries as Maria Cooper Janis, Caroll Baker, Don Murray, Julie Harris, Tab Hunter, and Christopher Plummer. He also possesses an incredibly impressive collection of Greta Garbo owned items.
It’s an episode of Vanguard of Hollywood you don’t want to miss! Be sure to listen in on Wednesday, November 10, when the episode drops.