Inconsistent, derivative and criticized as nothing more than a Hitchcock forger, film director Brian De Palma has made a career of making mistakes.
Always inclined to strip his then wife Nancy Allen to garters ‘n’ hose, he balks at being called misogynous, so when he admits to being challenged in high school to recording girls’ sex class lectures, it would behoove him to pay more attention to what was heard on those tapes. His earliest work – H Mom, Greetings and Get To Know Your Rabbit – led to “successful” films like Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1987) and Mission To Mars (2000). While he demeans Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet and script writer Robert Towne (all of whom I admire), De Palma positions himself as a master filmmaker in this simple, straightforward documentary from Noah Baumback and Jake Paltrow, which gives him ample opportunity to rationalize his every sullied misstep.
As a point of clarity, I’ll deal with a few of those missteps! In the convoluted voyeuristic cross-dresser classic, Dressed To Kill, De Palma prides himself, saying “everything works” in reference to him perpetuating the old myths about transvestism, years after director Blake Edwards did the same thing in 1962’s Experiment In Terror! De Palma’s lies are more provable when he acknowledges that he hired porn actress Annette Haven for Body Double (1984) at a time when she’d never considered acting in a Hollywood production, after she’d appeared five years earlier in the pool scene of Blake Edwards’ 10 (1979)! Furthermore, he blames the book for the inconsistencies in his adaptation of James Elroy’s The Black Dahlia about the 1947 murder of struggling actress Elizabeth Short. Well, I’ve read the book and I question the inclusion of hinging the plot on a screening in 1947 of the silent movie The Man Who Laughs. The last silent film was completed in 1935, and we know from Singin’ In the Rain how “silents” were the kiss of death when “soundies” arrived in 1931 but De Palma has a theater operating in Hollywood showing a silent picture twelve years later!!! Then, he stages a scene at a lesbian bar, in 1947, and sure there were such places but no one, and I’ll repeat, NO ONE wanted to be seen attending these places much less as De Palma shows, yelling and waving and drawing attention to themselves at a time where rumors to Thalberg or Jack Warner would result in cancelled contracts! Then, there is Redacted, a movie I like to think of as the “Reefer Madness of Iraqi War Films”! During the promotion of his film Casualties of War De Palma made it crystal clear how the incident of the US soldiers raping the Vietnamese girl was based on an actual event. Then, in Redacted, in his giddiness to impugn American soldiers he has the exact same incident occur, which he claims also actually happened! So which is it, or does he believe all American soldiers are psychotic rapists? His entire career is a fraud! De Palma got wind of trouble between Alfred Hitchcock and his chief scorer, Bernard Hermann, and falls all over himself to snake Hitchcock by offering to use the score intended for either Frenzy or Family Plot in one of his own films! He takes credit for inventing the gaming concept with Scarface but admits he inherited the project from Sidney Lumet!
Brian De Palma, the worst film director who ever lived! See the documentary before disagreeing!