The Last Hard Men
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1 item from 2011

Walter Seltzer obituary

5 April 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Shrewd film publicist who later achieved success as a producer

A masochistic Hollywood decree insists that press agents must be depicted on screen as loathsome toadying creatures, and movie moguls as vulgar, mercenary despots. Walter Seltzer, who has died aged 96, was both a press agent and a producer, but he failed to conform to either of the self-perpetuating stereotypes. As a press agent he was persuasive rather than pushy; as a producer, he believed in consensus decision-making.

Undoubtedly his greatest achievement as a press agent was in his promotion of Marty (1955), a gentle, small-scale study of the mundane with no star names. Seltzer believed so much in the Harold Hecht/Burt Lancaster production that the promotional campaign for the film was more expensive than the film itself: $400,000 compared to $343,000. Among Seltzer's tactics was his sending prints of the film to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, »

- Ronald Bergan

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