Academy Award-winning director William Friedkin, long recognized for his technical brilliance, has had a career marked by tremendous successes and great failures. Among his successes are two very popular and highly regarded films, The French Connection and The Exorcist, both considered classics of their respective genres.
Friedkin, who worked his way up in a Chicago television station from mailroom employee to director of local live broadcasts while still in his teens, began directing features in 1967. His films include The Night They Raided Minsky's, screen adaptations of Pinter's The Birthday Party and the popular off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band, Sorcerer, The Brink's Job, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., The Guardian, Rampage, Blue Chips, Jade, and Rules of Engagement.
This well-written, insightful study of Friedkin's films, which is based on nearly 100 interviews with the director and his colleagues, pays particular attention to the evolution of his cinematic style and choice of subject material. New to the second edition, in addition to many small changes and updates of the book's existing material, are three chapters covering the last five years of Friedkin's work—which includes the much-publicized re-release of his director's cut of The Exorcist.
"The definitive work on its subject.”
"Clagett traces Friedkin's filmic evolution, his visual search for the essential nature of things, and his inborn fatalism.”
"Meticulously researched...giving bot only the flavor of the film but also insight into Friedkin's characteristics obsession with realism, authenticity, and gritty clarity of vision.”
—Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review Annua