They All Laughed (Peter Bogdanovich, 1981)

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Jeff
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They All Laughed (Peter Bogdanovich, 1981)

#1 Post by Jeff » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:12 pm

From Davis DVD:
HBO Video will release the Peter Bogdanovich-directed They All Laughed on October 17th. The 1981 comedy, starring Ben Gazzara, Audrey Hepburn and John Ritter, has the distinction of being the last film Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten worked on prior to her untimely murder. The disc will arrive with a new anamorphic transfer. Extras, if any, haven't been revealed. Retail is $19.98.
I've never seen this. Am I missing anything?

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#2 Post by stroszeck » Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:40 pm

Holy shit! I swear I never thought this one would be released - its way too obscure. Anyways, excellent movie, and actually on the SIGHT AND SOUND poll, Quentin Tarantino rated it as one of the top 10 films of all time. MUST SEE, especially for Ben Gazzara fans. (You could make it a double feature night in late October by watching this and Bogdanovich's SAINT JACK).

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justeleblanc
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#3 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:29 pm

Or a double feature with Bob Fosse's Star 80

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Faux Hulot
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#4 Post by Faux Hulot » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:29 pm

I'm still waiting to see At Long Last Love just once in this lifetime, though at this point I'd probably have to break into Bogdanovich's house to find a copy (and even then...).

(Note to Peter Bogdanovich: I have no plans to break into your house).

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Zumpano
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#5 Post by Zumpano » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:48 pm

I've never seen this. Am I missing anything?
I've had this on VHS for years, but haven't seen it in a few. I remember it as a very light "bumbling detective" comedy that I found more enjoyable than "What's Up Doc?" (note: I have a very low tolerance for Babs). Ritter plays somewhat like a Bogdon stand-in, just minus the ascots and celebrity impersonations. I'd really like to see this again when the DVD comes out.

I've also have always wanted to see "At Long Last Love", and "Nickelodeon".

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#6 Post by pianocrash » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:27 am

S'about time! I would even sit through boggy's commentary, I really would. I can only hope for a colleen camp featurette and/or behind the scenes footage with blaine novak (stoned). I love this movie.

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tryavna
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#7 Post by tryavna » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:22 pm

pianocrash wrote:I would even sit through boggy's commentary, I really would.
I wonder if he provides imitations of himself during his commentaries for his own movies....

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#8 Post by godardslave » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:31 pm

tryavna wrote:
pianocrash wrote:I would even sit through boggy's commentary, I really would.
I wonder if he provides imitations of himself during his commentaries for his own movies....
hehe.

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Lino
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#9 Post by Lino » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:46 am

Specs and artwork are up
Further Details:
HBO has announced a 25th Anniversary edition of They All Laughed which stars Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, John Ritter, and Dorothy Stratten. The set will carry a directors cut of the movie, along with a full length commentary by director Peter Bogdanovich, and a new interview with Peter Bogdanovich by acclaimed director Wes Anderson. You'll be able to own this one from the 17th October, and priced at around $19.98.

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Gordon
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#10 Post by Gordon » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:09 pm

Guh-huh?! Wes Anderson? That's... unusual. I have not seen seen this film, though it sounds somewhat appealing, especially as Robby Müller did the lighting. Tarantino, for good or ill, never recommends a dull movie, so it may be worth a spin. Dorothy Stratten's murder really hurt the film's release, which ended up being very limited and it is a film that is seldom talked about, even in discussions or articles on Boggy, so maybe a reappraisal is in order.

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Lino
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#11 Post by Lino » Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:05 pm

And it is a director's cut of the movie which should prove to be interesting, at least.

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Zumpano
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#12 Post by Zumpano » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:48 pm

I like the cover of my VHS

Director's cut means longer running time?

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pianocrash
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#13 Post by pianocrash » Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:22 am

Since he looks like mr. burns now, I hope to find out
if anderson has taken on any of his mannerisms
(i.e. "excellent", not realizing he is helpless but rich,
constantly mistaking his own strength, etc.).
Should be fun.

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#14 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:09 pm


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Jeff
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#15 Post by Jeff » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:30 am

It's available today. Here is a middling review.

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#16 Post by Lino » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:45 am


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tryavna
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#17 Post by tryavna » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:16 am

A little off-topic, but I actually dreamed last night that I was having a conversation with Admiral Ascot himself! I guess that's a sure sign that you've been watching too many DVDs. (I had just watched some of the extras on Sony's Cary Grant set before bedtime.)

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tavernier
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#18 Post by tavernier » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:31 pm

tryavna wrote:A little off-topic, but I actually dreamed last night that I was having a conversation with Admiral Ascot himself!
That was no dream, that's a fucking nightmare!

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#19 Post by domino harvey » Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:35 pm

just watched this, it's some kind of brilliant.

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#20 Post by Matango » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:37 pm

So considering that Saint Jack is my most viewed and probably favourite DVD (and this from someone with 200 Japanese DVDs and about six American), you think I should give TAL a spin? It just looks kinda cheesy.

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Steven H
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#21 Post by Steven H » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:45 am

Per 80s Discussion Dare I watched this and enjoyed the heck out of it, particularly Gazarra and just the direction in general (so many scenes stick out for me, the UN "chase", skating rink) and how about that first ten minutes or so where you feel like you're watching a spy flick? The goofy detective stuff falls flat though, especially at the Algonquin, and there's a serious "what the hell?" moment at the end with the last bar scene and engagement ridiculousness, but I'll give these a pass for the soundtrack and Blair Novak's hair. This is a great NY movie and all the locations are just fun to soak in. After the film is over you lament the now overuse of mobiles instead of silly hand gestures and winks across city streets to communicate.

The interview with Anderson (how many times did Anderson say "quite"? quite a lot) was informative, especially since Boggy says he had wanted to play the Ritter part himself and all I could think of the whole time was how obviously Ritter seemed to be playing the Ascot King (minus Ascot, but still with those wonderful glasses.) For movies goes who loves movies and penkins, this is the show for you.

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#22 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:40 pm

Glad to hear you enjoyed the film! Great call on singling out the soundtrack, and my favorite scene, the roller rink! This isn't the only film with a Bogdanovich-surrogate, but it's perhaps the most transparent-- maybe even more so than his own actual cameos! I also can't believe Novak never acted again, he's a natural in this film.

For me the ending is incredibly dependent on classical Hollywood traditions (If you love someone, you get married, period) and I guess you either go with the way Bogdanovich pairs off every minor character or you don't-- for me, it seems like the perfect reminder that this film, for all its innovative un-Hollywood style, is classical fantasy at heart.

They All Laughed is essentially just an uncompromisingly optimistic, positive film, its tone clearly influenced by Bogdanovich's blooming love for Stratten during production. I just got his book on her from Half.com and look forward to reading it. From what I can tell based on even his most recent public comments, her murder basically ruined his life, emotionally and creatively, and he doesn't seem to have ever gotten over it. For me it's impossible to watch this film without thinking, "This is the last time several people were ever happy." It's a joyous but perhaps ultimately bittersweet film.

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Steven H
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#23 Post by Steven H » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:53 pm

The way Bogdanovich kept talking about that shot of Stratten towards the beginning of the film with the bus passing behind her, I got the feeling that he's probably watched that one bit of footage a *lot*. According to imdb Blaine Novak (I misstyped and called him Blair) acted again, but I can't imagine they measure up (though this might be worth fast forwarding through.)

The wedding aspect does take on a bittersweet quality like you suggest, but only in retrospect. During the film my right eyebrow nearly arched over my head in bewilderment. Still, very entertaining flick.

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#24 Post by chaddoli » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:02 pm

domino harvey wrote:They All Laughed is essentially just an uncompromisingly optimistic, positive film, its tone clearly influenced by Bogdanovich's blooming love for Stratten during production. I just got his book on her from Half.com and look forward to reading it. From what I can tell based on even his most recent public comments, her murder basically ruined his life, emotionally and creatively, and he doesn't seem to have ever gotten over it. For me it's impossible to watch this film without thinking, "This is the last time several people were ever happy." It's a joyous but perhaps ultimately bittersweet film.
Domino, I love the film as well and I also find it to be his best film (Peter himself thinks so too). I've enjoyed your comments about it and particularly your successful attempt to get more people to watch it.

Bogdanovich's life (both before and after the murder) is fascinating. He is by far the most compelling figure in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. I must warn you that The Killing of the Unicorn is a very, very tough book. But also a beautiful one. I just warn you given your sensitivity to such matters - take a look at the first page of the book if you have it on your shelf.

It was written very soon after the murder (but before he married her younger sister). It was his way of "getting over it" - though you're right he never did or will. The book rubbed a lot of people the wrong way for many reasons such as the graphic violence and the highly, embarrassingly personal point of view. This is really Peter's soul laid bare and a lot of people just wanted to be polite and ignore it.

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#25 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:59 am

I've been working my way through the extras on Daisy Miller and it's sort of stunning that even twenty years after the fact, in an interview about Daisy Miller, he almost starts crying talking about the final scene of that film because of its echo in his real life, and in the commentary he alludes more than once to his feelings of identification with the Barry Brown character in being unable to stop someone's death-- it's hard to hear someone put themselves through the ringer like that.
chaddoli wrote:This is really Peter's soul laid bare and a lot of people just wanted to be polite and ignore it.
I finished it tonight and it's hard to know what to even say about the book. My most prevalent thought while reading it was that Bogdanovich is so unguarded with respect to so many of the details in the book that it's like receiving a 180 page letter from a friend who knows you won't judge him, which certainly is about the last metaphor I'd trot out to describe anyone in Hollywood who may have read this. If anyone has an interest in Bogdanovich, Stratten, or the film strong enough to merit reading a book, I'd certainly recommend it.

Given how well all the actors perform in the movie (unsurprisingly, since all the parts were more or less written for who played them), I did get a kick out of the story about how before they filmed They All Laughed, the cast got together for a meeting with the producer. Bogdanovich was running late and when he arrived, everyone was in a horrible mood (some were even crying) and it turns out the producer had spent like half an hour insulting the entire cast and suggesting that most of them shouldn't even be in the film.

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