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Bogdanovich: Murphy’s Final Performance ‘Intense’

13 Aug, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey


Famed director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?) had plans to do several films with late actress Brittany Murphy, after starring with his friend during her final film appearance. She died unexpectedly Dec. 20, 2009.

Both had the same manager, and after seeing the work she put in the drama/thriller Abandoned, Bogdanovich said he thought they could do more together.

“I was a little worried about her,” Bogdanovich said. “She was very thin but had fun doing the work. She was extremely professional, very prepared. It was an intense role, and she had so much tension to deal with. She was a very fine and dedicated actress.

“It’s tragic to think it’s her last picture. We lost a great actress.”

Anchor Bay Entertainment streets the film Aug. 24 on DVD ($26.97) and Blu-ray Disc ($34.98). Murphy stars as a young woman who brings her boyfriend to the hospital for a simple outpatient procedure. When she returns to take him home, he’s vanished without a trace. Bogdanovich plays a staff psychiatrist who pronounces the woman unstable, which doesn’t stop her, especially after a stranger comes asking for a ransom in exchange for the boyfriend’s whereabouts.

Bogdanovich said he was surprised at how quickly and efficiently director Michael Feifer (The Perfect Student) put the film together.

“He was very pleasant to work with, and the film is an unpretentious, exciting and suspenseful piece of work,” he said. “And Brittany is brilliant in it. She makes it a tight, well-wound thriller.”

A fan of DVD who’s just starting to look into Blu-ray, Bogdanovich said he’s excited Warner Home Video chose to give his 1972 comedy What’s Up, Doc? a high-def release this month, and he’d like to see his 1979 drama Saint Jack be the next to get a Blu-ray release.

While it’s been three years since he last sat in the director’s chair (2007’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream), Bogdanovich said he has several films in the works and could start directing again as early as next spring.

“It takes forever to get something off the ground today,” he said.

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