A mild mannered film critic is dumped by his wife and his ego is crushed. His hero persona is the tough guy played by Humphrey Bogart in many of his movies and the apparition of Bogart begins showing up to give him advice. With the encouragement of his two married friends, he actually tries dating again, with less than satisfactory results, until he relaxes.
American director/choreographer Herbert Ross divided his time between Broadway and the American Ballet Theatre in the 1950s and 1960s. Ross also choreographed numerous live television programs, and handled the dance sequences of such films as Carmen Jones (1954), Inside Daisy Clover (1963) and Dr. Doollittle (1967). His first screen directorial job was Goodbye Mr. Chips, an overblown 1969 remake of a well-regarded 1939 MGM feature. Ross’ subsequent cinema reputation rested on his ability to transfer popular stage plays to the screen, as witness The Owl and The Pussycat (1970), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and California Suite (1978). While he was expert in cinematizing the plays of Neil Simon, Ross was critcally lambasted for his conformist approach to Woody Allen’s Play it Again Sam (1972), though this film was one of Allen’s biggest moneymakers. Ross also directed a brace of Neil Simon screenplays, The Goodbye Girl (1977) (which won an Oscar for star Richard Dreyfuss) and Max Dugan Returns… read more
PBS broadcasts its 3½-hour doc tonight and tomorrow; Keaton’s memoir is on shelves now.