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Polly Platt obituary

7 August 2011 4:08 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Versatile production designer, screenwriter and producer of Hollywood films

Popular legend has it that the new wave of American film-making in the late 1960s and early 1970s was an exclusively masculine phenomenon, a myth bolstered by the hard-living excesses documented in Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. But women were instrumental in many of the movies which defined that era, and few more so than Polly Platt, who has died aged 72 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"I call myself a confused careerist," she said of her switches from production and costume design to writing and producing. She was credited as production designer on the films which brought to prominence her second husband, the director Peter Bogdanovich, notably The Last Picture Show (1971) and Paper Moon (1973), but her contribution extended far beyond that job description. "They discussed every shot," wrote Biskind of the making of The Last Picture Show. »

- Ryan Gilbey

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