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Remembering William Friedkin: ’70s Maverick’s Death Defying Tales Making ‘The French Connection,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Sorcerer,’ To Live & Die In LA’ & Others In No Holds Barred Q&A
EDITOR’S NOTE: William Friedkin’s passing is a gutting experience for anyone lucky enough to have sat as he reminisced over his classic movies, with measures of regret for the recklessness, humor, and keen observations of why Hollywood’s Auteur Era gave way to the global blockbuster, and whatever it is we have today as two guilds strike seeking transparency, and residuals for writers and actors. This interview was originally published August 6, 2015 under the title ’70s Maverick Revisits A Golden Era With Tales Of Glory And Reckless Abandon. I am feeling a bit gutted by Friedkin’s passing. I looked forward to a long interview with him for his Venice-bound Showtime remake of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. After spending time with Billy and his elegant wife Sherry Lansing at Peter Bart’s 90th birthday where the back and forth between them proved the highlight of the evening, I wanted them to write a column for Deadline. On anything. None of that can happen now, and Deadline can only offer condolences to Sherry. And to Deadline readers who are Friedkin fans, a replay of this bracingly honest look at his career, done as he got a reissue of Sorcerer, the adaptation of the Georges Arnaud novel that first was filmed as 1953’s The Wages of Fear. The whole interview is presented as originally published nearly a decade ago.