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Peter Bogdanovich once named his five favourite films of all time

Among the most talented filmmakers to emerge during the New Hollywood movement, Peter Bogdanovich had an incredible directorial run during which he made several unforgettable masterpieces. Including the likes of The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, Bogdanovich’s contributions to the history of American cinema can never be erased.

Although Bogdanovich initially studied acting, he went on to become a film journalist and worked with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as a film programmer. Studying the works of directors like Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and others, he amassed a vast knowledge about film art before carving out his own journey.

Inspired by the pioneers of the French New Wave who managed to transition from film criticism to filmmaking, Bogdanovich followed his dreams and ended up finding critical acclaim and widespread success. His films are studied by scholars to this day, while his writings on cinema are also very insightful.

In an interview, Bogdanovich was asked to name five of his favourite films of all time, and he cited works by directors such as Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges, among others. “I always think of Renoir whenever I make any picture… Renoir is my favourite director,” Bogdanovich declared.

The Awful Truth is a great screwball comedy,” he added. “It’s what they call a remarriage comedy. They split up for a stupid reason, and then the rest of the picture is how they get back together. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, and Leo McCarey was one of the great comedy directors. He’s the one who put Laurel and Hardy together, among other great things he did.”

Check out the full list below.

Peter Bogdanovich’s favourite films:

  • Twentieth Century (1934)
  • The Awful Truth (1937)
  • French Cancan (1954)
  • The Lady Eve (1941)
  • The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

During his lifetime, Bogdanovich maintained a very close friendship with Orson Welles and was influenced by Welles’ work to a great extent. While naming one of his favourite films, he shared a personal anecdote about Welles’ connection to the work.

Bogdanovich revealed: “Twentieth Century is a show business theatre story, and Barrymore gives an extraordinary performance. Orson Welles told me that whenever he and Larry Olivier did a comedy, after seeing it, that he and Larry both were just doing Barrymore in the 20th Century.”

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