Breaking news: Actor, director Sydney Pollack dies at 73 of cancer

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This just in from The Press Association:

Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay who achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with the gender-bending comedy Tootsie and period drama Out Of Africa, has died of cancer at 73, his publicist said.

From /Film:

Notable films as a director: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (nominated: Best Director 1970), Tootsie (nominated: Best Director/Best Picture 1982), Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, The Yakuza, The Firm, Jeremiah Johnson, Out of Africa (Winner: Best Director/Best Picture 1986).

Equipoise's picture

Watch War Hunt!

We’re going to miss Sydney Pollack. He may have had some iffy titles on his resume but few directors ever make one classic, and he made several (IMO, Tootsie, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Jeremiah Johnson, Three Days of the Condor, at the very least) and several other very good films, such as The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Out of Africa. I still need to see many others, such as The Yakuza, This Property is Condemned, and Castle Keep. I may be the only person who actually liked Bobby Deerfield and The Interpreter.

And as an actor, he was terrific! Starting with his first film as an actor, War Hunt (also Robert Redford’s first film, where I assume they first met), and ending with Michael Clayton. And let’s not forget Tootsie! I wish he’d acted more often.

Anyone who is a Sydney Pollack fan should dig up War Hunt (it’s on DVD now). His role is not big, but it’s great to see him as a young man, just as authoritative as he would come to be later, and it’s an excellent movie besides! Dark, slow, haunting, creepy, it’s a B&W indie film that featured lots of future stars. Besides Pollack and Redford (who is also terrific), it was also Tom Skerritt’s first film. It also features Gavin MacLeod, Charles Aidman (his first speaking role in a film) and a very creepy/spooky John Saxon. It’s set during the Korean War, but it’s much more a psychological character drama than a war movie. It’s far more obscure than it deserves to be and is not mentioned in any of Pollack’s obits (that I’ve seen yet).

We’ll miss ya Sydney. RIP.

HollywoodChicago.com's picture

Thanks for the recommendation!

Thanks for the recommendation, Equipoise! I’ll certainly check out “War Hunt”. It sounds like you know your Sydney stuff. He will certainly be missed.

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