Ted Kotcheff himself once said that he is only a witness of his characters and that he always speaks out in their interest. Such a supporter is what Duddy Kravitz needs. He is eaten from the inside by his ambitions and he is the perfect portrait of a clever yet terribly lost anti-hero. Mordecai Richler wrote the novel on which the film is based and his portrayal of the son of Jewish working class parents, who abuses and swindles each and everyone he meets just to get ahead in life is a truly unscrupulous description of society. Duddy does all this to finally buy his own plot of land, because all he really wants is to get away from the narrow mean streets of Montreal. Witnesses have to be really good observers and Ted Kotcheff is nothing if not an astute observer. He captures the milieu of Duddy’s family with perfect precision and one gets the immediate feeling of really knowing him and his upbringing intimately. Attention is paid to every little detail and the atmosphere really brings Richard Dreyfuss’ energetic play to life. He plays the little crook with such an intensity and charm, that the audience falls for him within seconds, despite all of his shortcomings. –Oldenburg Film Festival
Born in Toronto, Canada, Ted Kotcheff graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time becoming the youngest director in the CBC. After two years there he went to live and work in England, directing in television and the theatre.
He twice won the British Emmy for Best Director, the second time for an extraordinary docudrama about a female derelict entitled, “Edna, the Inebriate Woman” episode of “Play for Today” (1970). The film also won the Best Actress and Best Script Award. Kotcheff’s television work in Great Britain was part of the new wave of working-class actors and drama that changed British theatre and television in the late 1950s. His stage successes include the long-running Lionel Bart musical, “Maggie May.” His film career started in England: Tiara Tahiti (1962), a social comedy starring James Mason and John Mills; Life at… read more
"The dizzying comic energy and intellectual vigor of Mordecai Richler's 1997 satire have largely been drained from director Richard J Lewis