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October 22, 1965 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-10-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Preminger in Limelight With 'Bunny Lake Is Missing'


(Copyright, 1965, JTA, Inc.)

for Franklin D. Roosevelt at the
White House. It was on Broadway
that he first portrayed a Nazi vil-
lain in "Margin for Error" (which
he also directed), a role repeated
by him later on the screen opposite
Milton Berle. Upon his return to
Hollywood, he was twice again
seen as a Nazi officer in "The
Pied Piper" and "Stalag 17," sand-
wiched into his notable work as a
film director.
"Laura" originally was panned
by the press but not shunned by
the public and gradually became
his earliest great screen success.
He was one of the first to realize
that mass production was outmod-
ed. So, he set up his own company
with offices in New York and in
1950 surprised the industry by
carrying through his controversial
"The Moon Is Blue," though the
motion picture code administra-
tion r e f used its seal on moral
grounds. To s t r e s s his indepen-
dence, he added "The Man With
the Golden Arm" to his roster of
Jones" catapulted him to the top.
During recent years, Premin-
ger has assumed a secure posi-
toin as a trailblazer in the selec-
tion of unconventional stories
and in the discovery of fresh

HOLLYWOOD — Otto Preminger
claims that his motion pictures are
individual statements of an indivi-
dual film maker who works free of
major studio interference com-
pletely independent and relies only
on his own judgment. The strong-
willed pr o duc er- director of
"Exodus," whose latest film, "Bun-
ny Lake Is Missing," now at the
2Mercury in Detroit, presented his
odd views on the cinema during
a press luncheon at Beverly Hills'
swanky "Bistro" this weekend.
Preminger maint a i n s that he
selects his own stories, takes a
hand in the treatment and screen
play development and the physical
preparation to principal photogra-
hy. He welcomes suggestions from
his art director, his cameraman
and his film editor, but emphatical-
ly states that he himself makes the
decisions. To Preminger, a movie
should be the unique work of one
artist, as is a painting or a musi-
cal composition.
No wonder the Israelis were a
bit disturbed when Preminger
ruled supreme during the produc-
tion of "Exodus." He caught up
with their sentiments when, upon
completion of photography in the
Holy Land, he sent a wire to Asher
Hirshberg in the Ministry of Com- Hebrew Corner
merce and Industry in Jerusalem,
stating laconically that he was re-
turning the power to the govern-
ment of Israel.
The self-styled Prussian, who
In Eretz Israel members of different
is actually the son of a Jewish
and communities live together
lawyer from Vienna, amuses religions
with Jews. Among these communities
himself with his image of an un- there is one of whom very little is
heard; for the members of this com-
yielding despot who makes his munity
are not many: they are the
female stars break down in front Samaritans.
The number of Samaritans today is
of the camera to shed bitter small-300 souls. Of them only several
tears. He actually never loses his dozen (literally "tens") live in Israel.
recent years a Samaritan community
temper, if he doesn't want to lose In
has been formed in Holon.
The situation of the Samaritans in
it deliberately in order to move
the country is good, but their brothers
his performers emotionaly, but in
Jordan suffer. The Jordanians regard
his sardonic humor often has them as Jews and hate them. The Samar-
observe the precepts of the Torah.
been misinterpreted.
Their festivals do not differ greatly
At 17 bowing as Lysander in Max from the Jewish festivals.
their head stands a "high priest."
Reinhardt's stage production of "A In At
his keeping (literally "hands") is to
- L_
found a very ancient book of the
Midsummer Night's Dream" in be
Bible written in the Hebrew language.
— Vienna, he early showed a flair for
On the eve of Pesach all the members
the community arose, man and wom-
directorial work when presenting of
an, old man and child and went forth
in Austria such American plays as on the way. As their forefathers who
went forth thousands of years ago from
"Men in White" and "The Front Egypt—they
too took with them knap-
Page." In 1935, he decided to pre- sacks on their back, clothes, tents and
f 7?
with them too Torah
cede Hitler by leaving Vienna. On scrolls and journeyed
to Mount Gerizim,
Broadway, he directed "Libel" for which is situated near the city of
Shechem (today in the state of Jordan).
Gilbert Miller, then did two un- For
Mount Gerizim is the mountain of
successful f i l m s for Twentieth- blessing according to the tradition of
community. They go up
Century Fox. Returning to New there year by year
in order to sacrifice
York, he guided "Outward Bound" the Paschal offering.
column. Pub-
which became such a critically ac- lished by the Brit Ivrit Olamit,
am! IR Els velt
sented as a command performance

The Samaritans'
Israel Community



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talent. His productions have
been accomplished in an interna-
tional fashion, most of them film-
ed away from Hollywood in its
actual story setting. "Anatomy
of a Murder" was made on loca-
tion in Michigan; "Exodus"
photographed in Israel; "Advise
and Consent" shot against the
background of a contemporary
Washington. "The Cardinal" was
filmed in New England, Vienna,
Rome and in Georgia. Hawaii
provided the setting for "In
Harm's Way."
"Bunny Lake Is Missing" is the
first Otto Preminger film made in
England since "Saint Joan," the
ill-fated epic of some years ago.
But while "Saint Joan" was pro-

duced within the confines of a mo-
tion picture studio, every scene of
"Bunny Lake Is Missing" was
photographed in actual locations
around metropolitan London of
today. Screen rights to Evelyn
Piper's suspense novel, dealing
with the mysterious disappearance
from a nursery school of a four-
year-old child, were acquired by
Preminger seven years ago. But
Preminger was not satisfied with
the treatment until the British
husband-wife screen writing team,
John and Penelope Mortimer,
transferred the locale to England.
Preminger decided not to use
any studio space for "Bunny Lake
Is Missing" and photograph every
scene, exteriors as well as interiors,
in real places, especially in pic
turesque corners of baroque Lon-
don such as the quadrangular old

mews, a stone's throw from Trafal-
gar Square.
"Bunny Lake Is Missing" has no
specific message. It is a mystery
yarn out-Hitchcocking the most
nightmarish dreams of Hitchcock,
starring Sir Laurence Olivier, Carol
Lynley and newcomer Keir Dullea
(of "David and Lisa"). British
favorites such as Noel Coward,
Martita Hunt, Clive Revill, Finlay
Currie and the former German
star of pre-Hitler days, Lucie Man-
neheim, appear in cameo roles.
Preminger said he is already
working on his next motion pic-
ture project, "Hurry Sundown," a
story of the American South, also
to be filmed in its original setting.
This will have a definite message.

Friday, October 22, 1965-11


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