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Auto Focus (2002)

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

Director:

Paul Schrader
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Kinnear ... Bob Crane
Willem Dafoe ... John Carpenter
Rita Wilson ... Anne Crane
Maria Bello ... Patricia Olson / Patrica Crane / Sigrid Valdis
Ron Leibman ... Lenny
Bruce Solomon Bruce Solomon ... Edward H. Feldman
Michael E. Rodgers ... Richard Dawson (as Michael Rodgers)
Kurt Fuller ... Werner Klemperer
Christopher Neiman ... Robert Clary
Lyle Kanouse ... John Banner
DonnaMarie Recco ... Melissa / Mistress Victoria (as Donnamarie Recco)
Ed Begley Jr. ... Mel Rosen
Michael McKean ... Video Executive
Cheryl Lynn Bowers ... Cynthia Lynn
Don McManus ... Priest
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Autofocus See more »

Filming Locations:

Mecca, California, USA See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

In narration, the Bob Crane character says "Hogan's Heroes" was ended after 186 shows. There were actually 168 episodes of "Hogan's Heroes". 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 »

Alternate Versions

Director Paul Schrader stated at the Toronto International Film Festival that the film originally garnered an "NC-17", but was toned down to get an "R". The problem was a scene where hardcore pornography is seen on a television in the background, as well as a scene where a girl is clearly seen giving oral sex with motions. The version shown at the Film festival was uncut, as the will be the International version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Kennedys Special (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Psycho
Written by Gerald Roslie
Performed by The Sonics
Courtesy of Etiquette Records/Etiquette Productions
By Arrangement with June St. Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hogan's Hardcore Sex Hero
29 May 2005 | by MovieMan1975See all my reviews

Wow, is Greg Kinnear nothing short of amazing in this film or what! An incredible performance as Bob Crane, seriously virtuoso. When, towards the end, he visits his agent and is all messed up, and starts saying "sex is normal. I'm normal" - Kinnear reaches a pinnacle in his young film acting career. I have always felt that actors ascend to the next level of craft and stardom when they breakthrough with a biographical role; see - Denzel Washington in Malcom X, Ben Kingsley in Ghandi, Robert Downey Jr in Chaplin, Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. And now Greg Kinnear has made that leap with Auto Focus, a well-crafted and seductive film by Paul Schrader, Hollywood's last bastion of non-sugar coated filmmakers. Basically the story of Hollywood's most intriguing unsolved murder, Auto Focus also pulls back the curtain on "good guy" Bob Crane's lecherous and painfully discombobulated private and secret life. What is also amazing about this film is how is records the birth of video and the VCR. Bob Crane turns out to be one of the pioneer "users" of this technology. When we see or hear video, video cameras, or VCRs, we probably automatically think of home movies, recording episodes of Star Trek, or the Star Wars prequels' lack of cinematic quality. When Bob Crane heard about video cameras and VCRs, he automatically thought of sex. Though the film makes no mention of it, it is quite prophetic in showing us how the technology of video created hard-core pornography and turned it into a billion dollar industry. If you think about it, nothing has profited more from video than porno, and nothing ever relied so dearly on video like porno. Bob Crane instinctively felt this, though he never was a pornographer, so to speak; he knew that sex and video can go hand in hand. Unfortunately, this was also his downfall. Like most Paul Schrader writ or directed films, by the end you get that queasy feeling, the feeling you get at the end of Goodfellas, the feeling of sadness that this great ride is over and the feeling of emptiness and loss that all that greatness came crashing down. Bob Crane's descent into moral madness can be sickening, especially when juxtaposed with Hogan's Heroes. I almost felt the desire to shower, to cleanse myself after viewing this film. I love movies that produce reactions from me, movies that linger for days. This is one of them.


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