Who REALLY directed "Poltergeist?"

Discussion in 'General' started by Ash28M, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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  2. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Did we really need another thread on this topic?

    Anyways, as I've probably mentioned in the past, I believe that this whole argument basically stems from the fact that few people outside of the business actually understand what the role of a "director" is and usually overstate the director's position of power in a movie production. Unless specified in the contract, the producer is the one that gets final cut. The only real difference in this one particular situation is that the Producer was, himself, also a very well known A-list director. If he were anybody else this whole thing would never ever have come up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  3. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    Wow! Thanks for the link--a great read!!!
     
  4. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    We have had 1 previous thread which was a poll started 5 years ago and that didn't contain anything but rumor. I didn't know it was such a touchy subject for you.
     
  5. Richard Anthony

    Richard Anthony Member

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    I have always believed that Tobe Hooper Directed Poltergeist but Steven Speilberg was a Very Hands On Producer. They have both said that this was the case, and I believe it was true. As I watch Poltergeist, I can see alot of Tobe Hooper's Directing Style evident in the Film. It has that 'Horror In The Heartland' Style that Hooper is noted for. I think the contorversy always had to do with the fact that Speilberg is who he is, and that made for a good story.
     
  6. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    It isn't, but even though there may only be one other thread called "Who really directed Poltergeist?" this topic comes up nearly every time the movie Poltergeist is mentioned. (check out "Which Spielberg horror film do you like better?" for instance.) The old thread may not have contained anything but rumor, but your link (while interesting) doesn't really add anything but further speculation either. You may as well have reopened the poll thread.
     
  7. snowbeast323

    snowbeast323 New Member

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    I dunno about you guys but that^^^ makes sense to me
     
  8. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Yeah after reading that link, I believe that it was all Spielberg.
     
  9. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I wouldn't say all Spielberg but he was clearly in charge. Hooper acted more as an assistant director.
     
  10. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    I cannot say that all Hooper's films are good... because most of them are bad. However there is always a theme in his films and that is Unhappy Families. Bad role models and stuff like that (from TCM to Mortuary). The only exception is Poltergeist.

    When Scorsese took over Cape Fear, he had a treatment by Spielberg to work with. Guess what? Nick Nolte had a happy family life! Scorsese was smart enough to change that, making De Niro's role more tragic (he arrives to destroy a family, but because the family was already destroyed to begin with, he unwillingly unites them).

    So there is a lot of Steven in Poltergeist. It is more like a Spielberg film directed by Hooper if that makes any sense.
     
  11. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    If you were to watch every Tobe Hooper film and every Steven Spielberg film then watch Poltergeist without knowing it's history, when asked which of the two men directed the movie what would your answer be?

    To me this always felt like a Spielberg film and that's the reason I believe Spielberg directed the movie.
     
  12. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what it is, and there's absolutely nothing usual about that. People think that all directors are "auteurs" when in reality most often they're merely hired guns assigned by a producer to shoot a script that's already written. Usually, only directors that have achieved a certain stature, have very lenient producers, or remain on an independent low budget level and finance their own films can manage to retain true creative control from the very beginning of pre-production to the tail end of post. Spielberg wrote and produced POLTERGEIST. He chose the shooting locations. He worked on a lot of the pre-production. He even showed up on the set. All of this is true. However, all that does is succeed in making Hooper's actual directing chores that much easier. It does NOT mean that Spielberg actually sat down in the directors chair and called the shots as they were rolling the film. Given how much prep went into the feature, it would have come out looking like a Spielberg movie even if they decided to hire Martin Scorsese instead!

    Also, as far as POLTERGEIST not looking like any other Hooper film: NO Hooper film looks like any other Hooper film!!! Does TCM look like Salem's Lot? Does Salem's Lot look like Lifeforce? Do any of those look like Invaders From Mars? How about Mortuary? :lol: Honest to God, I've never been able to sit down and watch one of his movies and say to myself "Now THIS is Tobe Hooper!" If he's ever had any sort of success as a director it's that he's succeded in remaining undefinable. Now, I don't know what that really says about his talent as a director... maybe he's simply not interested in being labelled an "auteur".
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  13. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Well I always thought it was more Spielberg then Hooper, but after reading that article I have no doubt about it. I'm sure Hooper was there, but from the sounds of it it seems, like Ash said, he was more of an assistant Director to Spielberg. It was Spielberg's baby and he didn't wan to give it up, so he didn't.
     
  14. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Yeah but from that article it sounds like Hooper would set a shot up and then Spielberg would come and change it to his liking. Also he was the one Directing, calling cut and what not not Hooper. Add to the fact that half the crew never met Hooper and it sounds to me like it was a lot more Spielberg then Hooper.
     
  15. Spitfire

    Spitfire Suspiria

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    I've seen this movie many times and this is my opinion on the whole director issue.

    If I hadn't looked at the credits I'd swear Spielberg directed.

    Yes, Tobe Hooper directed most of it . . . cause he wouldn't have been listed as the director otherwise . . . Spielberg also did some directing and his fingerprints are all over the project. You can see tons of little touches here and there.

    This was always Spielberg's project. Tobe was there and directed for the most part, Spielberg overlooked it all and he clearly overpowers the show. This movie wouldn't have looked and played the way it did without Spielberg.

    The final cut is Spielberg's and you can see that in the way it was cut/edited. This was all Steven's; music and all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  16. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    By half of the crew, who do you mean? Bill Varney the sound mixer? Mike Fenton the casting director? Jerry Goldsmith the composer? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think all of those people work on either in "pre" or "post", not on the "production" itself. (Also, again I might be wrong because it's been ages since I was in film school, but as I seem to recall on most sets the director is not the one to actually and literally call "action" and "cut", but his/her assistant, and that may be the reason why so few people recall exactly who gave that order.)
     
  17. Mitbox

    Mitbox Member

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    I agree with maybrick, in Hollywood movies, only the well established directors have "power" over the movie, producers are the ones calling the shots, even executive producers since they put the $$ on the project. Directors job in Hollywood often only comprehends in taking the script into images.
     
  18. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Well plus whoever the mysterious poster is who is feeding them the info that seems to be close to the set. That and it sounds like a lot of the actors hint that its Spieberg but don't want to say it. As for yelling cut or action, I see Directors doing it all the time.
     
  19. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    All these anecdotes do nothing more than prove we really never will know who actually directed the film...and that's probably because no answer is really right or wrong. What you're seeing on screen is a Spielberg script, which is why it makes it much easier to conceive it as a Spielberg film rather than a Hooper one. Take a look at WILLOW...does it really look like a Ron Howard joint, or more like a George Lucas script? POLTERGEIST looks no more like a Spielberg film than Richard Donner's THE GOONIES does. I'd say the common thread is that they all look like trite Hollywood movies we really shouldn't be paying lip service too more than anything else...
     
  20. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, why are we talking about this again? I don't mean to be an asshole, but seriously...these threads only start arguments.

    I've said what I had to say on this issue a while back. I'm not gonna even get involved.

    ~Matt
     

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