InitiationAldrich was born in the medium from finance, the bank and the American policy. But, not very interested by its studies political economy, it does not manage to take down its diploma. Thanks to its family which has interests in the studios, it enters in 1941 to RKO like employee of production. He becomes soon second assistant realizer in 1942 what enables him to work with Robert Stevenson, Edward Dmytryk, William Seiter, Jules Dassin and Leslie Goodwins.
During the Second world war, being reformed, it benefits from the lack of labor in Hollywood to reach the station of first assistant realizer on short films. It leaves RKO in 1944 and assists Jean Renoir for the Man of the south . It begins then a career of first Assistant realizer within several majors Hollywood with recognized realizers such Lewis Milestone ( the Influence of the crime , 1946, Triumphal arch , 1948 and the red Pony , 1949), William Wellman ( Convicts of glory , 1946), Richard Fleischer ( Sang and gold ), max Ophuls ( Pris with the trap ) and Abraham Polonsky ( So This Is New York , 1949) Joseph Losey ( M and the Prowler , 1951), Irving Reis like Charles Chaplin ( Fires of the slope ). This first part of career, rich in collaboration, enables him to acquire a solid know-how: “What one learns how not to do is as important as what one learns how to make. One observes the Masters from which Milestone, Losey, Wellman, Dassin, Reis and one learns much… I also worked with very bad realizers that I would not name and in these cases, one promises oneself not to make the errors which they make.”
The career of Aldrich realizer starts with the Télévision. In the same way that it had known to benefit from the requirements as personnel for the studios during the war, it benefits from the difficulties which encounter New Yorkean televisions to find realizers of quality in order to put out of boxes their series S increasingly many and popular. Aldrich agrees to carry out episodes of series for NBC: The Doctor , Furnace Star Playhouse , Clouded Smith . In 1953, Aldrich is seen entrusting by a small production unit of MGM its first cinematographic realization, The Big Leaguer with Edward G. Robinson before turning over on television to carry out episodes of the series China Smith which inspire its second film to him, Alerte in Singapore .
First films, the first successes, first misadventuresThe film is noticed by Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht which entrusts to Aldrich their next production Bronco Apache in 1954. The character of Massaï interpreted by Burt Lancaster is “the Apache last which fights in the world”. Bronco Apache is one of first Hollywood films to take made and causes for the Indians, four years after the broken Arrow and the Door of the devil . Although the end which envisaged the death of Massaï was transformed into happy-end under the pressure of United Artists, the film is in rupture with the Indians renegade or proud warlike of Hollywood and Aldrich will say later that its film “was fifteen years old in advance over its time and took a very firm position compared to the atrocious injustices undergone by the Indians.” The film is particularly noticed and gains a great public success what makes it possible Aldrich to pile up again on the following production of Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht, Vera Cruz .
Vera Cruz which leaves some month after Bronco Apache is an important production for the time, 3 million dollars, but it is turned in a great improvisation. This one will be however rather beneficial with film. Like Bronco Apache , Vera Cruz mark a rupture in the history of the Western. It is the first time that one dares to carry to the screen of the so villainous heroes and violent ones, attracted by the only foreigner and lure of gain to any morals. Even if its character evolves/moves positively, Gary Cooper incarnates there the blackest role of its career. Vera Cruz announces the western of the Années 1960: the Seven Mercenaries , For a handle of dollars and especially the wild Horde . The film again gains an enormous success and Aldrich is from now on perceived like a scenario writer visionary. It has any freedom for its film according to whether it own-produced, In the fourth speed .
After having dynamited the western, Aldrich attacks the Black film by adapting a banal novel of Mickey Spillane which it transforms into apocalyptic nightmare. In the fourth speed ( KIS Me Deadly ) is regarded as the chief of work of Aldrich. One finds there his taste of the violence pushed to the extreme (the film is a succession of murder) and his will to destroy the mythology of the Hollywood hero, here the character of private describes like a sordid fascist with the brutal and cynical methods. Aldrich is also played of conventions when it makes ravel the credits of beginning to back. This work wants to be a denunciation of the Maccarthysme and an american company corroded by the fear, confronted with the nuclear danger. “The film treats atrocious period that this country crossed during McCarthy and of the continuations which it had. McCarthy was not liquidated yet. the lawsuit started at the time where film left but the anguish was still there while we turn. The reference to the maccarthysme was our only theoretical justification to make this film. We did not want to make an adaptation of Spillane. We made use of him to make pass certain comments.” The film is badly included/understood with the the United States but is celebrated in Europe, Aldrich succeeding in the exploit to reconcile on its name Roger Tailleur of Positif and François Truffaut of the Cahiers of the cinema . The film is preserved today at the National Film Registry.
The business success of In the fourth speed makes it possible Aldrich to assemble its production company, Associates and Aldrich in 1955. The first production of the company is the adaptation of a part to success of Brodway, the Large knife with Jack Palance that Aldrich directs for the first time. The film approaches the medium of the cinema, and Aldrich benefits from it to paint the portrait of a producer who endorses all the tares of Hollywood and lownesses of the human nature. The character wants to be a synthesis of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner and Harry Cohn. “It is quite obvious that Rod Steiger and me, we had fun to give some a little.” the film is a commercial failure but gains money the Lion of the Mostra of Venice. In financial problems, Aldrich must sign a two year old contract for the Columbia Pictures dirigéé by Harry Cohn and turns the melodrama, Feuilles of autumn with Joan Crawford. Bound by its contract, whereas it would have wished to age Crawford more, Aldrich cannot give the full measurement of its talent. the film is however greeted with the International festival of film of Berlin where it gains a money Bear.
For the second production of Associates and Aldrich, Aldrich carries out its first Film of war, Attaque and directs Jack Palance again. Aldrich joins again with its violent cinema and without concession. It breaks with the films of war which denounce the war like a nonsense and refuses to show the large spectacle of the war. What interests Aldrich they are the men in the war, and particularly the tension which reigns between them, their traumatisms. He also insists on the cowardice and the careerism of the officers. This film is one of rare films Hollywood not to have received the technical support and material of the US Army. It was very badly accommodated with the the United States, but Aldrich is again encensé in Europe where the film gains the price of criticism in Venice in 1956. Attaque is a provocation of too for Hollywood, and Harry Cohn which had undoubtedly recognized in the character of the producer of the the Large knife (1957) lays off Aldrich which he suspects of being sympathizer gauchist while he delivers his second order for Columbia, Racket in the seam . Rejected by Hollywood which does not do it to him more confidence, Aldrich must be exiled in Europe at the end of the Années 1950.
Á Berlin, it turns for the Hammer Film Productions Tout close to Satan then to Greece and in London, Trahison in Athens . The two films are failure artistic like financial. The films are mutilated by the producers who remove many scenes with the assembly. Aldrich is not at ease in Europe. It encounters great difficulties to direct foreign and polyglot teams. It turns over temporarily to ETAS-Plain to turn El Perdido writes by Dalton Trumbo, produced and interpreted by Kirk Douglas before taking part with Sergio Leone in disastrous and impersonal, Sodome and Gomorrhe . Criticisms, very favorable to Aldrich, start to doubt its talent.
Return of exile, a career in teeth of sawAldrich goes back to the United States in 1962 and starts to work with Which did arrive at Baby Jane? . With this film, Aldrich joins again with the style of its beginnings and explores Hollywood microcosm again. It pushes confrontation between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in extreme cases of cruelty and the madness. The film is accommodated very favorably by the public which makes him a triumph whereas it is whistled by the critics with the Cannes festival. This success leads Aldrich to reform the team of film in Chut… Chut, dear Charlotte (1964) whom it just carries out after its parodic western, Four of Texas (1963). The only film of this period which knew a commercial failure is the Flight of the Phoenix (1966) with James Stewart, however Aldrich is again requested by the studios, and MGM entrusts to him The Dirty Dozen in 1967. It again approaches violence in the war, and especially the exactions of the soldiers. None the heroes is sympathetic nerve. “I tried to say in this context, that they are not only the Germans who take pretext of the war to make particularly atrocious actions, and which Americans and others also act in the same way. The war is dehumanizing. There is no clean war. When somebody is implied in a war, it is it indeed, final point.” The success of film makes it possible Aldrich to acquire its own studios. It repurchases the studios Famous Players-Lasky built in 1913.
After the success of the Twelve Bastards , Aldrich returns on a subject which it fascine, Hollywwod, in the Demon of the women that it carries out for MGM and who is a new pitiless description of manners Hollywood. The film is a failure and Aldrich tries to reinflate its finances by taking again the receipts of Which did arrive at Baby Jane? and Chut… Is Chut, dear Charlotte with Necessary to kill Sister George? (1968). This time the action proceeds in the medium as of television and series. The film is again badly received by the public.
Aldrich, to save its studio, undertakes a new film of war, Trop late for the heroes in 1970. During the war of the Pacific, an American patrol is found trapped behind the Japanese lines. It is again the behavior of the men which interests Aldrich for which the heroic acts is only the fruit of the chance. Cowardice and courage are equal values. The war is again described like dirty, cruel and forces, contrary to the Hollywood films which emphasize heroism and courage. Like preceding films carried out in its studios, the film is a commercial failure. Aldrich then turns to film of gangster, Pas of orchis for Miss Blandish (1971) in whom it can give free court to its taste for the characters violent ones, antipathetic, neurotics and psychopathes. The following year, it finds Burt Lancaster in Fureur apache and the topics developed in Bronco Apache . But this Aldrich time, with against current of the westerns pro-Indians and well thinking of the time, evokes the violence of men in fight for their survival. The film is badly included/understood and shown racism. Aldrich must be solved to sell its studio. It envisaged to turn there from eight to sixteen films over one five years period. In 1973, it only five and will have carried out produces of them which only one ( Which did arrive at Aunt Alice? ). Aldrich however preserves its production company re-elected in Aldrich Company .
Scenario writer of the confrontation, from the body-with-bodies, Aldrich will transpose those in the medium of the vagrants of the Great depression with the Emperor of North (1973) before finding in the sport and Plein the mouth (1974) with Burt Reynolds a subject which is appropriate for its physical cinema. He finds Burt Reynolds the following year in the black whodunnit, the City of the dangers . These two films are public successes, and Aldrich is seen entrusting by Lorimar Productions the realization of the Last gleam of the twilight . But, charcuté with the assembly by the production, the film is a failure. Lorimar however keeps its confidence in Aldrich and product Bande of cops which is a new failure. The violent and coarse tone of film and the police officers is rejected by the critic and the spectators. To find success, Aldrich launches out in Jewish humor, then with the mode, which it transposes in the universe of the westerns in a Rabbi in Far West (1979). For its last film, Two girls with the carpet (1981), on female wrestling, Aldrich successful its last purple passage cinematographic: “it is a mixture of sophistication and brutality, music and howls, choreography and blow of points, blood and strass, elegance and violence, whose success can be regarded as a kind of will esthetic of the scenario writer Robert Aldrich.”
Selective catalog of films
- 1954 : Bronco Apache ( Apache )
- 1954: Vera Cruz
- 1955 : In the fourth speed ( KIS me Deadly )
- 1955: the Large Knife ( The Big Knife )
- 1956: Attack ( Attack! )
- 1956: Sheets of autumn ( Fall leaves )
- 1959: Very close to Satan ( Ten Second to Hell )
- 1959: Treason in Athens ( The Angry Hills )
- 1962: Which did it arrive at Baby Jane? ( What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? )
- 1962: Sodome and Gomorrhe ( Sodom and Gomorrah )
- 1964: Chut… Chut, dear Charlotte ( Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte )
- 1965: Flight of the Phoenix ( The Flight off the Phoenix )
- 1967: The Dirty Dozen ( The Dirty Dozen )
- 1968: the Demon of the women ( The Legend off Lylah Clare )
- 1970: Too late for the heroes ( Too late the hero )
- 1971: No orchis for miss Blandish ( The Grissom Gang )
- 1972: Fury apache ( Ulzanas Raid )
- 1973: Full the mouth ( The Mean Machine/The Longest Yard )
- 1973: the Emperor of North ( The Emperor off the North )
- 1975: the City of the dangers ( Hustle )
- 1977: Band of cops ( The Choirboys )
- 1977: the Ultimatum of the three mercenaries ( Twilight' S last gleaming )
- 1979: a rabbi with the far-west ( The Frisco kid )
- 1981: Two girls with the carpet (… all the marbles )
- '' Robert Aldrich '' on Internet Movie Database
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