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I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009)

A portrait of the acting craft of John Cazale and a tour through the movies that defined a generation.

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

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Fredo Corleone / Stan / Sal / Stan (archive footage)
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Himself
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Robyn Goodman ...
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Israel Horovitz ...
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Storyline

John Cazale was in only five films - The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather, Part Two, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter - each was nominated for Best Picture. Yet today most people don't even know his name. I KNEW IT WAS YOU is a fresh tour through movies that defined a generation. Written by Reiss, Stacey

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16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conheço Este Cara - A História de John Cazale  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Cazale's brother Steve Cazale convinced Meryl Streep to be interviewed for this documentary. See more »

Crazy Credits

Steve Buscemi tells a brief anecdote. See more »

Connections

References Marie Antoinette (2006) See more »

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An Important Actor from an Important American Period
20 January 2011 | by (theumpteenthtimes.com) – See all my reviews

The biggest shock to me when viewing I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale was coming to the realization that this actor, who I had been watching over and over again in some of my favorite films ever, had actually only made five films. Five! The greatest period of American Cinema is undoubtedly the "Hollywood Renaissance," spanning from the introduction of "Easy Rider" up until the blockbuster phenomenon created by films like "Jaws" and "Star Wars," and all five films John Cazale appeared in were made during this creative period in which writers and directors had more to say about what happened in a film than the studio heads. "The Godfather," "The Conversation," "The Godfather Two," "Dog Day Afternoon," "and "The Deer Hunter," the five films that make up the John Cazale catalog, are some of the greatest and most memorable films ever made in this country. And if you don't know who John Cazale is by name, then perhaps you know him by at least one of the five characters he played on screen, most likely the frail, weakest son of the Corleone family in The Godfather, "Fredo."

Just about anyone and everyone that ever acted or worked with Cazale appears in this documentary, including Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, Gene Hackman, Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Sidney Lumet, Carol Kane, Jon Savage, Richard Dreyfuss, Israel Horovitz, Olympia Dukakis and Meryl Streep, who we learn had a longstanding love affair with Cazale and was with him until he died of lung cancer at 42. Younger actors like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Rockwell and Steve Buscemi, who grew up watching Cazale's films, also contribute, helping to articulate Cazale's relevance. With this caliber of contributors, this film quickly gets to the crux of who Cazale was as actor, as well as a human being. And though this documentary is only an hour long (It was made for HBO), it is still a dense, powerful story of a man, an actor, that was able to make a permanent mark on American Cinema that will resonate for as long as movies exist.

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