As Eastwood says, Budd Boetticher deserved this appraisal.
Quite often this sort of documentary about a director or actor can turn into a back slapping exercise with little substance. Thankfully that is not the case here. True enough there's praise aplenty, and as anyone familiar with Boetticher's work will attest, it's praise well warranted, but the doc traces his career from beginning to end without painting him as an auteur saint. It's fascinating stuff, from his adoptive beginnings to how he got into cinema, from bullfighting guru to auteur director, story unfolds with insight and enlightening passages of play. How he got to call Harry "King" Cohn by his first name, how he managed to detract from low budget restrictions to still produce a quality scene, Duke Wayne finding bullfighting a little tough! His irritation with studio cuts, the birth of the Ranown Westerns, his loves, his life and his bad ass attitude, it's all there making for a great viewing experience for the serious film fan.
It's also great to find that Randolph Scott gets much praise, some of the clips shown showcase the strengths of Scott's acting, his work for Boetticher backing up the praise coming his way. With one quote from Paul Schrader about a tuning fork quite simply the best quote I have heard attributed to Scott. Bonus, too, is that the roll call of names involved in the doc are not merely there to sell the idea of Oscar "Budd" Boetticher. Clint Eastwood, Quentin Taratino, Paul Schrader, Taylor Hackford, Peter Bogdanovich & Robert Towne, they have things to say about his craft and it's worth listening too. While there's something thrilling about observing Eastwood and Tarantino sitting together, sharing a passion and genuinely hanging on each others words.And there's the old director himself, telling it from the horses mouth, still in control and not pulling the punches.
A Man Can Do That is a fitting documentary that should be a requisite viewing for fans of Boetticher's work. 9/10
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