Monday, May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack 1934-2008

Attention must be paid to the man who holds sway over the green light. He probably hit his directorial peak in 1982 with Tootsie, but Sydney Pollack's record as a producer has always sparkled, especially during more recent years. Thanks in part to Pollack, we have, in addition to the subject of my last post (HBO's Recount), an invaluable quartet of projects from the last two decades:
Update 27 May 08, 12:28 / I should've concentrated on Pollack's cameo in Death Becomes Her, where he plays an emergency-room doctor who makes the gruesome discovery that Meryl Streep -- who is acting perfectly healthy -- has a broken neck and should probably be dead. He can't even find the heartbeat. It's a wonderful little comic turn, in which Pollack descends into utter shock, trailing breathless "uhs" as he's trying to reconcile diagnoses with facts.

"I tell you what, kids, it's, uh, odd thing here. Your wrist, uh, far as I can tell, is, uh, fractured in three places. Uh, and you've shattered, uh, two vertebrae, though I can't be certain without an X-ray. The bone protrusion through the skin -- that's not a good sign. Your body temperature is below 80, and your, your, your heart's stopped beating."

8 comments:

Hurlywood said...

i couldn't/can't believe it.

J.J. said...

I know. I didn't even know he was sick.

Middento said...

I was stunned also. And thanks for the shout-out to him as a producer. I thought of doing something similar, so I'm glad you did, haha.

elgringo said...

Five words: Three Days of the Condor.

J.J. said...

Yes, of course. The way he sets up that final scene -- what a whallop it packs.

cattleworks said...

Yeah, I didn't know he was sick, either.
They replayed part of a 1990 interview with him on Fresh Air and it was neat hearing him talking about how he got his directing start, nudged along by Burt Lancaster, who saw him work as an acting coach for some actors.

Nuts.

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