End Credits #51: Cinema's 2016 Lost Treasures Curtis Hanson, Arthur Hiller
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2016 taken from my personal notes soon after the events took place:
It's bad enough that so many of our talented and creative motion picture industry professionals are lost to us in their golden years of, say, the late 80s or 90s, but damn it's particularly rough when such a vital contributor to the cinematic arts leaves us far too soon, especially one who was also an articulate and vocal supporter of others' accomplishments. Curtis Hanson has died at age 71. He directed the distinctive and engaging psychological suspense thrillers The Bedroom Window, Bad Influence, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and The River Wild before helming his most critically acclaimed film, 1997's L.A. Confidential. Subsequently, he directed Wonder Boys, Eight Mile, the incredible TV movie Too Big to Fail, and his last in 2012 Chasing Mavericks. Many may not be aware of his various screenwriting credits on noteworthy films for other directors, such as The Silent Partner (for Daryl Duke), White Dog (for Sam Fuller), and Never Cry Wolf (for Carroll Ballard), not to mention his own adaptation of Anne Holden's The Bedroom Window and co-adaptation (along with Brian Helgeland) of James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential. Personally, I will cherish most those times he so eloquently spoke of films he admired, in person (at a tribute to Don Siegel), for a video short-subject (North by Northwest) or on a supplementary feature (In a Lonely Place)... the last title of which describes my feeling right now. Curtis Hanson (March 24, 1945 - September 20, 2016) R.I.P.
Another esteemed director, now sadly no longer with us is Canadian-born Arthur Hiller, dead at the age of 92. Hiller got his start in television in the 1950s, directing episodes of Playhouse 90, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, and The Rifleman. More television came his way in the 60s working on, amongst others, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Route 66 before helming the notable feature film The Americanization of Emily in 1964. He proved himself equally adept at comedy or drama directing dozens of films from the mid to late 60s, through the next three decades. Some of his more prominent directorial titles include Tobruk, The Out of Towners (1970), Love Story, Plaza Suite, The Hospital, Man of La Mancha, The Man in the Glass Booth, W.C. Fields and Me, Silver Streak, The In-Laws, Author! Author! and The Lonely Guy. He will be sorely missed. Arthur Hiller (November 22, 1923 - August 17, 2016) R.I.P.