#DFNYFocus On: Charles Shyer – Screenwriter / Director

(Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride 1 & 2, The Parent Trap)

Q: Which film do you love that might surprise people?

CS: Lindsay Anderson’s “O’ Lucky Man”.  It’s one of the first rock and roll movies – shockingly original.  Malcolm McDowell is brilliant as the lead character (Mick)… who you know is heading for disaster every step of the way.  You feel like reaching into the screen, grabbing him by the lapels and screaming, “Don’t go there!”

Q: If you could pair up any two actors/actresses, living or dead, which two would it be & what kind of film?

CS: Diane Keaton and Cary Grant.

Woody Allen and Carol Lombard.

The reason:  There’s a very good chance the result would be two of the best romantic comedies ever, ever, ever made.

Q: Which film has had the biggest impact on you personally, and why?

CS:  I’m not sure there is one film… I feel “The Apartment”, “All About Eve” and “Back To The Future” are three “perfect” screenplays… And since I think of myself as first, a writer – those screenplays had a huge impact on me.  As far as movies go, I remember walking out of the theatre after seeing “Raging Bull” and saying, “Well… this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. In my life.”

Q: If you could have one prop from any film what would it be?

CS:  Easy.  The crow bar Jim Stark (James Dean) throws over the wall of the Griffith Observatory in “Rebel Without A Cause.”  I also wouldn’t mind having the engraved cigarette case Gloria Swanson gives William Holden in “Sunset Boulevard”… “Mad About The Boy”.

Q: Is there any subject matter which you would not make a film about?

CS: I would never make a film where a character wears a Hazmat Suit.

Charles Shyer’s IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0458884/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

#DFNYFocus is a new series from Daily Flick NY focusing on the personal film tastes of Screenwriters, Directors, Producers and other individuals working in the film industry

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