Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sal Gets His Day

One of America's greatest actors, John Cazale, would have turned 79 years old today. The great Cazale has been in the news a lot lately, thirty plus years after his tragic and untimely death, and all I can say is that it it is about bloody time. A recent retrospective at BAM that featured Cazale's films proved a huge success, and even more exciting is I Knew It Was You, a new documentary on the great man featuring interviews with the likes of Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Francis Ford Coppola, Gene Hackman and Robert DeNiro...all who were peers, co-workers, friends and still fans.
I really can't wait to see this film, which is playing today at Sundance before having its HBO premiere in the future.
The fact that Cazale only got the chance to star in five feature films is tragic, but when you consider what the five films were then his career was positively triumphant. With Fredo in the first two Godfather films, Stan in The Conversation, Sal in Dog Day Afternoon, and Stan in The Deer Hunter, Cazale left us with five of the great performances of the seventies in five of the best American films ever made. I've been really happy to see Cazale's name in the news again, as he has always deserved more attention. I am greatly anticipating I Knew It Was You and will report on it as soon as I am able to see it. Oh, and a note to the Academy, stop worrying about including billion dollar blockbusters in the Best Picture race, and start paying tribute to artists, like Cazale, who really made an impact with their work.


Tommy Salami said...

That was always my movie nerd conversation starter; who had a better run than John Cazale. He beat James Dean. Thanks for making me aware of the documentary, I look forward to seeing it.

Will Errickson said...

I saw an ad for the John Cazale retrospective in the New York Times the other day and lamented to my girlfriend we don't live anywhere near New York. Even though I've seen & loved all his stuff it would be great to take part in such an appreciation.