April 1 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Introduced by HFA Film Conservator Julie Buck
At his peak, Peter Bogdanovich was known for his spot-on representations of older Hollywood styles and formats. After the success of his films of the early 1970s, The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc? and Paper Moon, Bogdanovich directed a full-blown Hollywood musical. His choices, on paper, were impeccable; sixteen Cole Porter songs, two of Hollywood’s most popular actors (Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd), lush art deco sets, and slick production values should have resulted in another triumph for the director. Instead, the film bombed at the box office and remains commercially unavailable on video. Part of the trouble stemmed from Bogdanovich’s decision to record the songs live on the set, a mistake of overwhelming proportions given both Reynolds’s and Shepherd’s limited talents for singing and dancing. The film does, however, feature a winning performance from Madeline Kahn, and Bogdanovich continues to name At Long Last Love one of his very best and most underappreciated films.