When Juvenal, a presumed miracle worker, appears on the scene Bill Hill attempts to exploit him but his plans go astray with the untimely intervention of August Murray and the developing ... See full summary »
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
When Crane is heading into his agent's office building early in the film, he passes a blue U.S. Mail box. Mailboxes of this era were red white and blue. See more »
I think it's perfect for me. I mean, this character Hogan, he's quick on his toes, he's hip, he's a con artist. I don't wanna jinx it, but I think it's what I've been working toward my whole career!
Really? You've been working towards a Holocaust comedy?
Please, not in front of the children! They look up to me!
They're small. They look up to everyone.
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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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