Film director and actor Sydney Pollack died today at age 73.
His list of films read like a Hollywood roll call. They include:
This Property Is Condemned with Natalie Wood and Robert Redford, Castle Keep with Burt Lancaster and Peter Falk, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? with Jane Fonda, Jeremiah Johnson with Robert Redford, The Way We Were with Redford and Barbra Streisand, The Yakuza with Robert Mitchum and Brian Keith, Three Days of the Condor with Redford and Faye Dunaway, Bobby Deerfield with Al Pacino, The Electric Horseman with Redford and Fonda, Absence of Malice with Paul Newman and Sally Field, Tootsie with Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange, Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Redford, Havana with Redford and Lena Olin, The Firm with Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, and more.
Pollack had a gentle way with actors, probably because he started as an actor himself and never gave it up. He studied under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.
My favorite scene from Out of Africa is when Denys Finch Hatton plays Mozart for the chimpanzees.
That’s all any director wants, isnt it? To bring some Mozart to the monkeys.
Sydney Pollack, you will be missed.