6.6/10
12,092
152 user 101 critic

Auto Focus (2002)

Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
The life of TV star Bob Crane and his strange friendship with electronics expert John Henry Carpenter.

Director:

6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Light Sleeper (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the aftermath of WWII, a former circus entertainer who was spared from the gas chamber becomes the ringleader at an asylum for Holocaust survivors.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Cristian Motiu
Affliction (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn
Hardcore (1979)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in California's porno pits.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley
Forever Mine (1999)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An affair between a cabana boy and the young wife of a sinister politician triggers a 16-year vendetta between the two men.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta, Gretchen Mol
The Walker (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An escort who caters to Washington D.C.'s society ladies becomes involved in a murder case.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall
Patty Hearst (1988)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the 1970s, Patricia Hearst is abducted by American revolutionaries, but eventually joins their cause instead.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames
Blue Collar (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel), and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night, when they steal away from ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An English couple holiday in Venice to sort out their relationship. There is some friction and distance between them, and we also sense they are being watched. One evening, they lose their ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo
The Canyons (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Nolan Gerard Funk
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Bob Crane
... John Carpenter
... Anne Crane
... Patricia Olson / Patrica Crane / Sigrid Valdis
... Lenny
Bruce Solomon ... Edward H. Feldman
... Richard Dawson (as Michael Rodgers)
... Werner Klemperer
... Robert Clary
... John Banner
... Melissa / Mistress Victoria (as Donnamarie Recco)
... Mel Rosen
... Video Executive
... Cynthia Lynn
... Priest
Edit

Storyline

In 1965, Bob Crane, who had achieved some earlier success as a television supporting actor, was working as a successful morning radio DJ at KNX Los Angeles. Despite enjoying his work, photography (especially of the female form) and drumming, Crane wanted to be a movie star. So it was with some reluctance that he accepted the title starring role in a new television sitcom called Hogan's Heroes (1965), a WWII POW comedy. To his surprise, the show became a hit and catapulted him to television stardom. The fame resulting from the show led to excesses and a meeting with home video salesman and technician John Carpenter, with who he would form a friendship based on their mutual interests, namely excessive sex (for Crane, purely heterosexual sex) and capturing nude females on celluloid. His fame allowed Crane to have as much sex as he wanted, which was incongruent to his somewhat wholesome television friendly image, and the way he portrayed himself to almost everyone except Carpenter and his... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A day without sex is a day wasted.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Autofocus  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$123,761, 20 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,062,066, 26 January 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The leather jacket that Greg Kinnear wears while playing Bob Crane in the Hogan's Heroes (1965) scenes of this movie is the one that Crane actually wore during the shoot of that TV series. Crane's son Robert David Crane loaned the jacket to Kinnear for this movie. Prior to the original "Hogan's Heroes" show, this jacket was worn by Frank Sinatra in Von Ryan's Express (1965). See more »

Goofs

When Crane is being interviewed, the reporter has a Uher 4000 tape recorder on the table. When the reporter starts the interview he only presses one button on the recorder. To record on this model Uher machine, one must press the start and record buttons simultaneously. Also doesn't look like the Power/Speed switch is turned on. See more »

Quotes

Interviewer: You've been married to your high school sweetheart for sixteen years.
Bob Crane: Fifteen, actually.
Interviewer: Fifteen years. How do you do it? What's your secret?
Bob Crane: Three words: Don't... make... waves. As every sailor knows, when one set of waves meets another set of waves, it can set up some chop. And when three sets of waves come together, it can make for some mighty rough sailing. It also helps sometimes to have a harmless safety valve. So when I get tense, I blow off steam. And so, when it comes to my own family,...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Whenever We're Apart
Written by Curt Sobel and Gary Schreiner
Performed by Loverman featuring Klyde Jones
Courtesy of Palisades Music Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Focused drama
5 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

A cautionary tale of the dangers of sexual addiction, `Auto Focus' shows what can happen when a person attempts to lead a double life – in this case, a straight-laced family man by day and a pornography-obsessed playboy by night. In `Auto Focus,' the family man/pornographer turns out to be none other than the well-known actor Bob Crane, the star of TV's `Hogan's Heroes,' who was found murdered in a Scottsdale, Arizona hotel room in 1978 under mysterious and sensational circumstances that included the uncovering of tapes Crane had made of his own sexual experiences. The general public was shocked to discover that a man they had invited into their living rooms every week for six years had been living such an unsavory parallel existence – though those who knew him well were apparently far less shocked by the revelation. Drawing on Robert Graysmith's book `The Murder of Bob Crane' for its inspiration and viewpoint, the film, written by Michael Gerbosi and directed by Paul Schrader, chronicles the rise and fall of this handsome actor, from his days as a successful LA disc jockey and his meteoric rise to fame as star of a hit comedy series, to his growing obsession with promiscuity and pornography, which led to the disintegration of both his personal and professional life - and, ultimately, to his death, most likely at the hands of his buddy-in-sleaze, videographer John Carpenter (though he was never convicted of the murder).

`Auto Focus' certainly does not shy away from revealing many of the salacious details of this true-life story. Schrader deals head-on with the disturbing nature of a mind so all consumed with the subject of sex that all other aspects of life become obliterated and distorted. What's fascinating about Crane – at least in the way he is depicted in this film – is that he seems to have had some sort of self-destructive death wish, for not only does he risk his career by sleeping with countless women, but he insists on leaving behind the evidence by videotaping many of his encounters, and then flaunting his `accomplishments' to others in the Hollywood community. In a way, such a cavalier attitude only underlines the sickness at the core of Crane's soul – which in a perverse, paradoxical way, actually makes Crane a more sympathetic figure than he otherwise might be. An enormous amount of credit for this also goes to Greg Kinnear who does a superb job of not only replicating Crane's style of acting but of showing us the tortured man Crane became in his later years. He was truly a man driven to madness by the demons within him, and we can all identify in some sense with that condition (our demons may not be sexual in nature, but they probably eat away at us just as ravenously as they did Crane). Kinnear gets outstanding support from Willem Dafoe as Carpenter, the Svengali-like figure who lures Crane into his world of photographed sex, and Ron Leibman, as Crane's well-meaning, caring agent who can do little but stand by helplessly as his client throws his career and his life away to feed this devouring passion.

The filmmakers have done an amazing job capturing the sights and sounds of the era in which the film is set. Especially impressive are the scenes recreating `Hogan's Heroes,' with Kurt Fuller, in particular, a standout as Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink). It's also fascinating to see the evolution of videotape technology as portrayed in the film. How many of us knew that such equipment existed for home consumption as early as the mid-60's?

There's a real sadness to the final stretches of the film, made all the more poignant by having the dirge-like musical score run uninterrupted under the action. The effect is that we really get a sense of the total desolation of Crane's life at that point – as he has lost his family, his career, and his self-respect to the master he chose early on to serve. The loss of his life seems almost de rigueur given all that has gone before. `Auto Focus' is not always an easy film to watch, but for its unflinching look at an often-unappetizing subject, it deserves to be seen.


52 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 152 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial