Golden Globes Around the World Podcast: Peter Bogdanovich
Last month, HFPA member Silvia Bizio recorded a conversation with director Peter Bogdanovich on the 50th anniversary of his 1971 Golden Globe-nominated drama, The Last Picture Show. With his sudden passing on January 6, 2022, we are presenting this podcast with our sincerest sympathies to Peter’s family and friends as we celebrate his legacy and listen to the colorful stories of his life and career.
Widely regarded as one of the elite group of ‘New Hollywood’ directors emerging in the ‘70s, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and George Lucas, Bogdanovich was also a film historian and former actor who counted icons like John Ford, Orson Welles and John Wayne as friends and mentors. He credits Orson Welles, his close friend of decades, with suggesting The Last Picture Show be shot in black and white and recalls how Welles also encouraged him to fight the studio’s resistance to the title of his 1973 hit film, Paper Moon, starring Tatum O’Neal.
“I was trying to think of a good title and remembered that song that was popular during that period, It’s only a Paper Moon,” he says, endearingly singing part of the song on the podcast. But the studio wasn’t convinced. “So I called Orson in Rome and he said, ‘yeah what do you want, I’m cutting a picture’,” Bogdanovich recounts. “I asked him ‘what do you think of the title ‘Paper Moon’? There was a short pause and he said, ‘that title is so good you don’t even need to make the picture, just put the title out!’ So it was Paper Moon.”
The veteran filmmaker reflects on the golden age of Hollywood with some serious name-dropping. “It was a completely different world,” he tells Bizio. “The studio system had just about died by then and almost all the great people from that system like Howard Hawks and Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne were still around, so I got to know a lot of them and become friends and was in contact with the very beginning of the movie industry in America.”
He also dishes about his nights at the Golden Globes both as a nominee and filmmaker John Cassavetes’ date. “John Cassavetes said to me, ‘we’re going to the Golden Globes’ and I said, ‘but I wasn’t nominated’ and he said, ‘you’re going anyway, it’s a great place to get drunk,’ he says. “John said it’s always fun to go to the Golden Globes, everyone gets drunk and nobody gets pissed off and I don’t drink but he sure got plastered that night!”