The son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, his father is a Serbian painter and pianist and his mother descended from a rich Austrian Jewish family, Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in America. He was originally an actor in the 1950s, studying his craft with acting teacher Stella Adler (he was only 16 but had to lie about his age and say he was 18 to qualify), and appearing on television and in summer stock. In the early 1960s, Bogdanovich achieved notoriety programming movies at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An obsessive cinema-goer, sometimes seeing up to 400 movies a year in his youth, Bogdanovich prominently showcased the work of American directors such as John Ford, whom he subsequently wrote a book about based on the notes he had produced for the MoMA retrospective of the director, and the then-underappreciated Howard Hawks. Bogdanovich also brought attention to such forgotten pioneers of American cinema as Allan Dwan.
Bogdanovich was influenced by the French critics of the 1950s who wrote for Cahiers du Cinéma, especially critic-turned-director François Truffaut. Before becoming a director himself, he built his reputation as a film writer with articles in Esquire. In 1968, following the example of Cahiers du Cinéma critics Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Éric Rohmer who had created the Nouvelle Vague (“New Wave”) by making their own films, Bogdanovich decided to become a director. With his wife Polly Platt in tow, they packed their bags, took a grocery carriage full of books and loaded them into their car and headed for Los Angeles, skipping out on their rent in the process. Intent on getting into the industry, Bogdanovich’s persistence paid off when he would bug publicists for movie premiere and industry party invites. At one screening, Bogdanovich was viewing a film with film director Roger Corman sitting behind him. The two struck up a conversation when Corman mentioned he liked a cinema piece Bogdanovich wrote for Esquire. It was in this conversation that Corman offered him a directing job which Bogdanovich didn’t even blink before accepting. He went on to work with Corman on Targets and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. Bogdanovich later said of the Corman school of filmmaking, “I went from getting the laundry to directing the picture in three weeks. Altogether, I worked 22 weeks – preproduction, shooting, second unit, cutting, dubbing – I haven’t learned as much since.”
Turning back to journalism, Bogdanovich struck up a life-long friendship with Orson Welles while interviewing him on the set of Mike Nichols’s Catch-22. Bogdanovich played a major role in elucidating Welles and his career with his writings on the actor-director, most notably his book This is Orson Welles (1992). In the early-70s when Welles was having financial problems, Bogdanovich let him stay at his Bel Air mansion for a couple of years.
In 1970, Bogdanovich was commissioned by the American Film Institute to direct a documentary about John Ford for a tribute, Directed by John Ford. The resulting film is considered a classic Hollywood profile documentary. It included candid interviews with the likes of John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, and was narrated by Orson Welles. Out of circulation for years due to licensing issues, Bogdanovich and TCM released it in 2006, featuring newer, pristine film clips, and additional interviews with Clint Eastwood, Walter Hill, Harry Carey, Jr., Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and others.
The 32-year old Bogdanovich was hailed by a critics as a “Wellesian” wunderkind when his best known film, The Last Picture Show, was released in 1971. The film received eight Academy Awards nominations, including Best Director, and won two statues: Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson in the supporting acting categories. Bogdanovich, who had cast the 19-year-old model Cybill Shepherd in a major role in the film, fell in love with her, an affair that eventually led to his divorce from Polly Platt, his long-time artistic collaborator and the mother of his two children.
Bogdanovich followed up The Last Picture Show with the popular hit What’s Up, Doc? (1972), a screwball comedy indebted to Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby (1937) and His Girl Friday (1941), starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Despite his reliance on homage to bygone cinema, Bogdanovich had solidified his status as one of a new breed of A-list directors that included Academy Award winners Francis Ford Coppola and William Friedkin, with whom he formed The Directors Company. The Directors Company was a generous production deal with Paramount Pictures that essentially gave the directors carte blanche if they kept within budget limitations. It was through this entity that Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon (1973) was produced.
Paper Moon, a Depression-era comedy starring Ryan O’Neal that won his 10-year-old daughter Tatum O’Neal an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress, proved to be the high-water mark of Bogdanovich’s career. Forced to share the profits with his fellow directors, Bogdanovich became dissatisfied with the arrangement. The Directors Company subsequently produced only two more pictures, Coppola’s The Conversation (1974), which was nominated for Best Picture in 1974 alongside The Godfather, Part II (1974), and Bogdanovich’s Daisy Miller, a film that had a lackluster critical reception.
An adaptation of the Henry James novella, Daisy Miller (1974) spelled the beginning of the end of Bogdanovich’s career as a popular, critically acclaimed director. The film, which starred Bogdanovich’s lover Shepherd as the title character, was savaged by critics and was a flop at the box office. Bogdanovich’s follow-up, a film of the Cole Porter musical At Long Last Love (1975) starring Shepherd, was panned by critics as one of the worst films ever made and noted as such in Harry and Michael Medved’s The Golden Turkey Awards: Nominees and Winners, the Worst Achievements in Hollywood History (1980). The film also was a box office bomb despite featuring Burt Reynolds, whose star would only rise during the 1970s.
Once again beholden to the past, Bogdanovich insisted on filming the musical numbers for At Long Last Love live, a process not used since the early days of the talkies. The decision was widely ridiculed as none of the leading actors were known for their singing abilities. (Bogdanovich himself had produced a critically panned album of Shepherd singing Porter songs in 1974.) The public perception of Bogdanovich became that of an arrogant director hamstrung by his own hubris.
Bogdanovich turned back again to old triumphs and traditions with Nickelodeon (1976). Nickelodeon, a comedy recounting the earliest days of the motion picture industry and reuniting Paper Moon’s Ryan and Tatum O’Neal with Reynolds. Counseled not to use the critically unpopular Shepherd in the film, Bogdanovich instead used newcomer Jane Hitchcock as the film’s ingénue. Unfortunately, the magic of Paper Moon could not be repeated and the film died at the box office.
After a three-year hiatus, Bogdanovich returned with the critically and financially underwhelming Saint Jack (1979) for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Productions Inc. Bogdanovich’s long affair with Shepherd had ended in 1978, but the production deal making Hefner the film’s producer was part of the settlement of a lawsuit Shepherd had filed against Hefner for publishing nude photos of her pirated from a print of The Last Picture Show in Playboy Magazine. Bogdanovich then launched the film that would be his career Waterloo, They All Laughed, a low-budget ensemble comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and the 20 year-old Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten. During the filming of the picture, Bogdanovich fell in love with Stratten, who was married to Paul Snider. Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich, and when she told Snider she was leaving him, she was killed in a murder-suicide.
They All Laughed could not attract a distributor due to the negative publicity surrounding the Stratten murder, despite its being one of the few films made by the legendary Audrey Hepburn after her provisional retirement in 1967. (The film would prove to be Hepburn’s penultimate role in a theatrically released motion picture.) The heartbroken Bogdanovich bought the rights to the negative so that it would be seen by the public, but the film had a limited release to weak reviews and lost Bogdanovich millions, driving him into bankruptcy. Divorced from the tragic circumstances of its making, though, the film has a small but devoted following, including director Quentin Tarantino, who listed it as one of the Ten Best Films of All Time in the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.
Bogdanovich turned back to his first avocation, writing, to pen a memoir of his dead love, The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten (1960–1980) that was published in 1984. Teresa Carpenter’s “Death of a Playmate” article about Stratten’s murder had been published in The Village Voice, and had won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize. While Bogdanovich never criticized Carpenter’s article in his book, she had lambasted Bogdanovich and Hefner, claiming that Stratten was as much a victim of them as she was of Snider. In particular she criticized Bogdanovich for his “puerile preference for ingenues,” and it’s true that at least three of the actresses on They All Laughed (Colleen Camp, Patti Hansen and Dorothy Stratten) were either current or former lovers of the director. Carpenter’s article served as the basis of Bob Fosse’s film Star 80 (1983), in which Bogdanovich, for legal reasons, was portrayed as the fictional director “Aram Nicholas”.
Bogdanovich’s career as a noted director was over, and though he achieved a modest success with Mask in 1985, his sequel to The Last Picture Show, Texasville (1990), was a critical and box office disappointment. He directed two more theatrical films in 1992 and 1993, but their failure kept him off the big screen for several years. (The former film, Noises Off…, has subsequently developed a strong cult following.) Bogdanovich, drawing from his encyclopedic knowledge of film history, authored several critically lauded texts including Peter Bogdanovich’s Movie of the Week, containing the lifelong cinephile’s erudite commentary on 52 of his favorite films, Who The Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors, and Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors. In 1997, the director entered bankruptcy protection once more and briefly moved in with friends in New York City.
In 2001, Bogdanovich resurfaced with The Cat’s Meow. Returning once again to a reworking of the past, this time the supposed murder of director Thomas Ince by Welles’ bête noire William Randolph Hearst, The Cat’s Meow was a modest critical success but a flop at the box office. Bogdanovich says he heard the story of the alleged Ince murder from director Orson Welles who in turn said he heard it from writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. In addition to helming some television movies, Bogdanovich has returned to acting, with a recurring guest role on the cable television series The Sopranos as Dr. Melfi’s psychotherapist. Bogdanovich directed a fifth season episode of the series.
Bogdanovich’s personal reputation suffered from gossip about his 13 year marriage to Dorothy Stratten’s 19-year-old younger sister Louise Hoogstraten, who was 29 years his junior. Some gossip held that Bogdanovich’s behavior was akin to that of Scottie Ferguson, the James Stewart character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), with the director trying to remold Hoogstraten into the image of her late sister. The marriage ended in divorce in 2001.
In 1998, the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress named The Last Picture Show to the National Film Registry, an honor awarded only to the most culturally significant films.
Bogdanovich hosted The Essentials on Turner Classic Movies but was replaced in May 2006 by TCM host Robert Osborne and film critic Molly Haskell. Bogdanovich is also frequently featured in introductions to movies on the famed Criterion Collection DVDs. He also had a supporting role as a fictional version of himself in the Showtime comedy series Out of Order. He will next appear in The Dream Factory.
In addition to his writing, directing and acting skills, Bogdanovich is notorious for doing impeccable impressions of Hollywood legends, such as Cary Grant, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock and Jerry Lewis (all of whom were/are close friends).
In 2006, Bogdanovich joined forces with ClickStar, where he hosts a classic movie channel, Peter Bogdanovich’s Golden Age of Movies. Bodganovich also writes a blogfor the site.
因为拍摄《最后一场电影》和十九岁的Cybill Shepherd陷入情网，因此和妻子也是事业上的合作伙伴Polly Platt分手，而后者被普遍认为是他几部杰作的幕后英雄。
事业鼎盛时期和科波拉，福烈金合伙成立了轰动一时的“导演影业” The Directors Company，风光无限。
接下来的电影《They All Laughed》成了又一个滑铁卢，他爱上了主演Dorothy Stratten－八零年的花花公子年度玩伴－并与其同居，Stratten那吃软饭的老公知道后亲手杀了她，奸尸后自杀。由于这桩闹得满城风雨的谋杀案，没有发行商愿意发行片子，即使这是奥黛丽赫本主演的最后一部电影。心碎的他自己买下了底片做了有限的发行，结果赔上了数百万美元，导致破产。
八十年代末娶了比他整整小了二十九岁的Louise Hoogstratten为妻，后者正是Dorothy Stratten的妹妹，有些好事者将其与《眩晕》中恋尸癖的史都华相类比。维持了十三年的婚姻后，两人与2001年离婚。
- Targets (aka Before I Die) (1968) (also edited)
- Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (aka The Gill Women of Venus and The Gill Women) (1968)
- The Last Picture Show (1971)
- What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
- Paper Moon (1973)
- Daisy Miller (1974)
- At Long Last Love (1975)
- Nickelodeon (1976)
- Saint Jack (1979)
- They All Laughed (1981)
- Mask (1985)
- Illegally Yours (1988)
- Texasville (1990)
- Noises Off (1992)
- The Thing Called Love (1993)
- The Cat’s Meow (2001)
- Hustle (2004) (made for TV, ESPN)
- The Sopranos (1999-Present)
- Infamous (2006)