This Dick Cavett Show clip was obviously taped sometime after Peter Bogdanovich‘s The Last Picture Show opened on 10.22.71. Things were never better for Bogdanovich that at this very moment. Anyway, Bogdanovich mentions something I’d never heard before, which is that John Schlesinger wanted to make Sunday Bloody Sunday (a 1.66 Criterion Bluray is coming on 10.23) in black-and-white, but his producers and financiers said no.
Mel Brooks, whose last film at the time was The Twelve Chairs (’70), says that “black and white could be an arty trick…unless it’s truly indigenous to the local and theme and the story…if it’s proper, it’s proper.” Three years later Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, shot in 1930s-style monochrome, would open nationwide. This would only be ten months after Brooks’ Blazing Saddles preemed on 2.7.74.
Robert Altman was also a guest, but his last film at the time — McCabe and Mrs. Miller — had opened on June 24, 1971 and there was no home video release at the time so what was he doing there? Not to talk about Images, which wouldn’t come out for another year or so. Different world back then.
It’s odd to watch Bogdanovich pull out a cigarette and pop it into his mouth — how radically times have changed.