Ted Kotcheff: “It’s interesting that Hollywood always thinks you came alive when it first took notice of you”

William Theodore Kotcheff (b. 1931) was a guest of honor at the 1983 Brussels Film Festival and while he was there, he put his time and energy into promoting “First Blood” with Sylvester Stallone in the lead. As you’ll notice, Mr. Kotcheff was a thrill to talk to, a fascinating man who knows his job inside out and has enough knowledge and enthusiasm to convince you of the dedication and sincerity he feels towards directing. Just for the record, this photograph was taken on the set of his 1988 comedy “Switching Cannels” with Mr. Kotcheff on the right, and Christopher Reeve, one of the film’s leading actors, in the middle.

Although conducted in a room at the Brussels Sheraton Hotel almost 35 years ago, I feel this conversation with Mr. Kotcheff isn’t really dated, as it may still be valuable when he talks about his craft and looks at it from various angles – with all the credit going to the wonderful storyteller he really is.

And he did direct quite a few interesting films over the years. By the time I met with him, his screen credits included the Western “Billy Two Hats” (1972) starring Gregory Peck, “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” (1974) with Richard Dreyfuss, and the comedies “Fun With Dick and Jane” (1977) teaming George Segal with Jane Fonda, and “Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?” (1978) with George Segal and Jacqueline Bisset.

Several other films followed in the decade to come, and Mr. Kotcheff also worked quite a bit for television. But why not let this accomplished filmmaker speak for himself?!

Canadian-born filmmaker Ted Kotcheff making a point during our interview in Brussels. Photograph: Leo Verswijver

Mr. Kotcheff, how did it all start for you?

I was born in Canada and there I started directing for television – at CBC [1955]. I wanted to be a film director, but at that time there was no film industry in Canada whatsoever. Some of the directors of my generation, like Arthur Hiller and Norman Jewison, decided to go to Los Angeles, but I decided to go to London. One of the reasons was that I had studied English literature at the university, so I had a natural interest in going to England. Since I also wanted to work in the theater, London seemed like a good choice. I’ve lived there for seventeen years and I’ve made there all of my early films.

How important was your television and stage work for your career as a film director?

I was very fortunate when I started working for television. They were still practicing and I was able to experiment a lot. I did a variety of plays for television; some were historical plays, then I did tragedies, comedies, satirical comedies. One was able to try one’s hand and to define oneself as a director. I think that’s very difficult when you’re making films. In my first two years as a director, I think I directed twenty plays. I also worked continually with actors – this is where I think my theater experience is valuable because there you totally concentrate on the actors. So I was able to experiment with directorial techniques in relation to acting. When you make a picture, it costs $ 50,000 a day to shoot, which means there’s just no time to try anything. So as an answer to your question, I think my experience in television and in theater was very valuable.

When you made “First Blood,” did you want to show what a war can do to an individual, or can it be considered as a statement on war in general?

I was especially interested in the long-term effects of war: the unforeseen results of involving yourself in a war, that’s what the film is about. The problem of the returning veterans is certainly there, but that’s really a secondary interest. I always thought it would be interesting to follow this engine of violence one has created, which goes on existing and can damage the people who created this. I think America was severely damaged by the Vietnam War. At first it was a small war taking place a long way from home, and yet it had disastrous effects, on its society, on its economy. I don’t think America has even fully recovered from the effects of that war.

How do you explain the enormous success of “First Blood”?

I think success is the most difficult thing to explain. It’s much easier to explain failure [laughs]. Perhaps it’s because of the violence, although there’s been a reaction to violence in America. Success has probably a lot to do with timing; if “The Deer Hunter” [1978] for example came out now, maybe it would be more successful than it was then – who knows, you know. In America there has been a tremendous change of attitude towards the Vietnam War. The people who worked on the publicity for this film didn’t want any mention of Vietnam in the publicity. They still think Vietnam keeps audiences away. Americans have deep feelings of guilt and shame of the Vietnam War and they don’t want to hear about it. All previous veterans of World War I and World War II got things like university education for free and were supported while at the university, but not the Vietnam veterans, they got no benefits. In fact, that’s what the story is about. A lot of them didn’t get proper hospitalization, they didn’t get proper psychiatric care. So a lot of those veterans were walking around in a very unbalanced state and the Vietnam War was still considered a no-no when it comes to films. In the publicity, they described Rambo as an experienced jungle fighter while he was in fact a Vietnam Green Beret. For the sneak preview, we went to Las Vegas to test the film. The audience got those cards with questions to answer; at the bottom it says ‘any comments.’ A lot of people put in that it was about time that a film dealt with the distasteful and disgraceful way we treated our Vietnam veterans. It seems that it touched that nerve at the right moment. Also I think that the film has a strong quality that always appeals to Americans, that of the individual striking back at the system. America is a very individualistic nation. That might explain the success of the film too. I don’t know, there’s a very long way to search for the answer why a film succeeds and why not. I don’t think I have explained it.

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in Ted Kotcheff’s “First Blood” (1982). He also played the character of Rambo in “Rambo: First Blood, Part II” (1985), “Rambo III” (1988) and “Rambo” (2008)

You had two films released in one month, “First Blood” and “Split Image.” How did you manage to do that?

Let me tell you, October [1982] was a very nervous month for me [laughs]. The release of “Split Image” was delayed due to business reasons and the release of “First Blood” was accelerated. I finished “First Blood” on September 25, and it was in 900 movie houses on October 25. It almost came out immediately. Yet it had a kind of positive result: “Split Image” got wonderful reviews and did no business, while “First Blood” got mediocre reviews and did a tremendous amount of business. So I think I got it at both ends [laughs].

Are press reviews important to you?

Well, I don’t read them anymore. I have friends who read them, and they tell me if they’re good or bad. I’m not denying their importance of course. On a commercial level they can be important for the success of your film, it certainly helps at the box-office. Further, films cost a lot of money and plenty of that has to be gotten back. There are interesting very critics who have something to say, but on the whole I protect myself. I don’t see any necessity to have myself wounded by bad reviews. Throughout the history of filmmaking, there have been some great examples of films that were totally misevaluated by the critics at the time when they were released. Some of my friends who are directors are sometimes absolutely destroyed. I remember my first set of bad reviews… for one day! I got the most horrifying reviews and I hid in my bedroom for three days, locked the door, until I noticed how insane it was! Well anyway, I do think it’s a part of the game: one has to accept it, those are the rules. Once you decide to become a director, you expose yourself to criticism.

Film director Mark Rydell told me a few years ago that a great deal of the American film critics are not too fond of movies. Do you agree with that?

That’s true to a certain extend. A lot of the film critics were not made film critics because they love films. Take a football reviewer, for example, who reviews sports events, and somebody asks him, ‘Hey listen, you gotta do the film reviews this week.’ And next thing, they’re the film critic. Pauline Kael was a theater owner, she had her own movie house in San Francisco. She loved films and she started to write about them. That’s a natural progression. It doesn’t matter if she writes a good or a bad review, she at least shows her interest. But yes, a lot of them are almost backed into it, that is true.

When you were shooting “First Blood,” you were having problems with the stunts, the bad weather, etc. Did the “Twilight Zone” accident have an impact on your film?

Well, I can’t comment on “The Twilight Zone – The Movie” of course, I know nothing about it since I wasn’t there. But I do know that any picture like ours has a lot of difficulties with those dangerous stunts. My heart used to be in my mouth when they were shooting those sequences of the helicopter coming down the canyon. You can’t be too careful and accidents can happen in the simplest circumstances. There’s no film that’s worth a human being’s life, so I asked them to be extremely careful. Do you remember the comedy “Fun With Dick and Jane” [1977]? During a robbery scene, George Segal is pushed up against a wall by the man who charges him. When we started shooting, the man who charges him put his foot on George’s, so George couldn’t step back and fell to the wall. Into the hospital for a week. When you fall back like that, at a cement wall, an accident can happen before you’d realize it. We rehearsed it several times before, nothing went wrong, and then once more and it goes all wrong. You can imagine what the risks are when you’re working in dangerous circumstances. We had a wonderful helicopter pilot – the best one in Hollywood – and we used to go through everything before we started shooting. The conditions under which we shot the film, were horrendous. We started shooting in November and finished in March, in Canada. It was freezing, it was wet because it was raining every day. Of course it was great for the film, for it made it all look cold, uncomfortable and misty. For me, it was no doubt the physically most difficult film I ever directed.

You just mentioned “Fun With Dick and Jane.” How did you manage to cast Jane Fonda, because this film was her comeback, wasn’t it?

She hadn’t been in a lot of movies by then, because she was involved in the Vietnam War. But I always liked her. To me she still was a wonderful comedienne, you know. Not many women were good at comedy at that time. Anyway, I just sent her the script, she liked it and agreed to do it. There was some resistance, though. At that time she was hated in America by a lot of people. One day we were looking for a factory for the aircraft company. When we had found one, we asked if we could use it. That was no problem for them. ‘Who’s in it?’ they asked. ‘George Segal.’ ‘Oh, wonderful! Who else?’ ‘Jane Fonda.’ ‘Jane Fonda?! I’m never gonna let my property be used for a film starring that communist, that traitor!’ [Laughs.] We had our share of problems because she was in the film, but she was worth it. She was wonderful in the film, and wonderful to work with. She introduced me recently to somebody as ‘the man who brought me back into films.’

Why do you think she decided to come back with a comedy, rather than an engaging film?

The story had a certain social criticism: what happens to a couple when they lose their jobs as a result of the recession. It had some value to her, and besides she liked comedy. So that’s what attracted her about it. I also think she wanted to revive her career, the Vietnam War was over, she had abandoned her career in order to devote herself to this. But she thought it was time to return to acting, something she always loved. Also, I think – but I’m not sure – that she needed money to help her husband Tom Hayden with his political career.

You have made many different types of films, different genres. What is crucial to you in order to accept a script and make a film out of it?

My standard is very simple. When it appeals to me very deeply and when it’s a subject that’s entertaining and has something beyond, I don’t mind devoting a year and a half of my life to it. That’s what I try to achieve in all of my films. Of course, these are very subjective criteria but I like to work in the area where the popular overlaps the interesting. People sometimes ask me why I did “First Blood” since it’s way out of line compared to my earlier films. I don’t know, I always liked it from the moment I first read it five years ago. Somehow, it just stuck with me all of the time. Sometimes it’s hard to explain why your initial reaction is so strong.

How do you choose your actors?

I always see the characters without any reality or connection to a real person. That’s how I start reading a script. They’re almost idealized versions. And then you start thinking of who would be right for the part, and also, what are they going to bring? Is it something complementary to the notion you have in your head? Also, that kind of strong quality of each actor is terribly important – in his face, in his behavior and that will add something to the role. I agonize a lot over casting, I see a lot of actors. I have a very good casting director, Lynn Stalmaster, I’ve worked with him on six films. He asks me how I see the part and then we talk about it, sort of interchange. To me that’s one of the most important parts of filmmaking. There’s a great scene in “8 ½” from Federico Fellini: Marcello Mastroianni is casting a film and he goes into his hotel room. His bed is covered with pictures of actors, he lies back and looks at all these faces, what they represent to him. I always thought that was very true.

Did you ever have any problems with your actors?

Yes, sure. I suppose a man who works in an insurance company has problems with his secretary. People have problems, people are human. I don’t think the film industry has any greater share of it than any other business. The drug problem should require some consideration. It scrambled a lot of brains and also ruined quite a few careers, I think. I’m not going into who, of course. It doesn’t affect people in their work, it affects them in their capability to the best of their abilities. I’m very actor-oriented in my direction. I like directing and I like directing actors. I always have a very close relationship with all of my performers and I like to establish a position of trust, so they are able to give their best. That is the whole point of direction, allowing an actor to work and to function at his best. So I don’t have many emotional problems with actors, I’m rather paternalistic and I do actually regard my actors as my children [laughs], I hope that’s not too patronizing. But you have to allow them to be free and children is not a bad image after all, because the actors should be like children at play who are using their fantasy, imagination and they’re pretending all of the time.

In 1965 you made “Life at the Top,” the sequel to “Room at the Top” [1959]. How do you feel about sequels?

When you make a sequel, it makes you feel like you’re cashing in on someone else’s success. I would never do a sequel anymore, there’s some talk of doing a sequel to “First Blood” for example, I wouldn’t even do a sequel to my own film. “Life at the Top” was one my earliest films, I was a very young director and I thought it would be an interesting subject. Also, Jack Clayton, who directed the first film, was a very good friend of mine. Once I committed myself to do this sequel, I decided it should be something different, to make it a film in its own right, not living of the other film. It had to have its own integrity and had to be seen by itself, without any reference to the first film. Don’t forget it’s also quite impossible to imitate someone else’s film.

How do you look back to “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” [1974]? It was one of the first Canadian box-office successes and it was important for Richard Dreyfuss’ career.

“Duddy Kravitz” is one of my favourite films, for many reasons. First of all, the man who wrote the novel and the screenplay, is Mordecai Richler. He’s my oldest friend. When he write the novel, he and I shared an apartment in London. He was an aspiring novelist and I was an aspiring director. When he was writing the novel, we would often drink and talk. I would tell him stories about my childhood and some of them were put in the novel. So there’s something of me in it. When he finished writing it, I was the first person to read the manuscript. I thought it was the finest Canadian novel ever written. I said then that one day I would go back to Canada and make a film out of it. We all laughed – we were in our twenties at the time. About fifteen years later, we made the film. For me it was a very personal accomplishment. Since it was the novel of my best friend, I had a deep compulsion to do it very well, after all this time I didn’t want to fail either my friend or myself. It was also my first film back in my own country. “Duddy Kravitz” was very pleasing from another point of view too. I had been living as a foreigner in England, I had made “Life at the Top” for example in an English setting. Because you’re an outsider, you never get it right. To ideally direct a film, you need to know every sight and smell of the area, you have to feel totally at home. When I got back to Canada, I found out that this theory was right. Nobody could tell me that this world of Duddy Kravitz I was creating wasn’t right, because I knew it inside out. I knew the people, how they talked, how they looked, how they dressed, how they behaved, I knew the colors of that world. It gave me tremendous liberating feeling.

Richard Dreyfuss with Jack Warden who plays his father in “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” (1974)

You’ve made several very interesting films so far, but do you think the audience knows who Ted Kotcheff is?

I don’t think so, and it doesn’t bother me very much. The most important thing is to work, to be able to make films. I get the most pleasure of just going out and shoot a film, early in the morning with the camera crew. You start your daily fantasy. Public reputation critical reaction, all the other things that surround the world of filmmaking, come secondary to me. When you’re known very well, it helps you to make another film, to get the money, to get them cast.

Did you ever had problems to get a film financed?

Yes, I think that’s always a problem. You’re never on safe ground. A lot of directors have difficulties getting a reasonable budget to make a film like they want it. I’ve often tried to make films that weren’t very commercial – “Duddy Kravitz” for example wasn’t a commercial film on the surface, although it did make a lot of money. I had great trouble getting the money for that film. It’s always very expensive to make a film. A low-budget film in America costs now four million dollars, the average cost for a film is eight million. You have to be very persuasive to get that kind of money raised. So anything that helps you – critical reputation, wide-spread knowledge of yourself or whatever, is very important.

Did “Billy Two Hats” [1974] with Gregory Peck start your American career?

I was still living in England when it was made by an English film company, but there were Americans in it and it was set in America. I would say that my American career began with “Duddy Kravitz.” You know what’s interesting, Hollywood always thinks you came alive when it first took notice of you. They thought “Duddy Kravitz” was my first film. I had made “Billy Two Hats” in Israel; they said I could choose the best landscapes, so I looked all over Europe – for financial reasons, we could not make it in America. Spain had been overexposed for this kind of film, Yugoslavia wasn’t quite right, but in Israel I found what I wanted: very similar territory like New Mexico or Arizona which is where the story was set. It was fresh since nobody had really made any pictures there before.

Would you consider yourself a film buff?

Yes, I always loved movies, though I’m not an expert as some critics are. I grew up with movies. There was no television in the thirties, when I was young. My parents used to go three times a week to the movies – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They had double features in those days, my mother and father didn’t have any money for babysitters, so they took me with them. I grew up seeing six pictures a week [laughs]. I’ve seen most of the pictures made in the thirties and forties. When I turn the television set on and see a movie, I usually know how it’s going to end. I’ve seen it when I was seven or eight years old, you see. So I guess I’m a film buff in that sense. I was always fond of the Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder comedies. They had a big effect on me, I like that kind of social satirical comedy. When I was at the university, I saw all of the foreign films for the first time, I remember Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashômon” [1950]  and “Seven Samourai” [1954], and the first films directed by Federico Fellini, like “I vitelloni” [1953]. I still remember when “Citizen Kane” [1941] first came out, these films all opened the possibilities of what cinema could do. And then there was “À bout de souffle” [1960] of course which came much later. I’m not a totally uncritical admirer of Jean-Luc Godard, but I did think it was an amazing film. They all expanded the horizon of cinema.

What do you do when you’re not making films, because there are often long time gaps in between?

I find it very difficult to commit myself to a film. I’m very careful about what I choose to do. When you make a film, it takes at least a year and a half from conception to scripting, shooting and editing and all the rest of it. That’s a year and a half out of your life, so I’m very careful. If you feel you care very much about the film you’re gonna do, then all problems become bearable. If you don’t, then all problems seem like mountains. I don’t function very well as a director unless I care about it deeply. That’s why I have these long gaps before I find something that’s worth putting a year and a half of my time and energy into it. In between I have some time for my hobbies. I was brought up as a musician, my parents wanted me to become a concert violinist and I started playing the violin when I was four years old and I still do it. I also gave concerts, but the last twenty years I didn’t have the time for that kind of thing anymore. The violin is a very demanding instrument, you have at least got to practice two, three hours a day. I only play it for my pleasure now, a friend of mine is a pianist and we play Brahms, Bach and Beethoven. I also like to read.

Do you live in Los Angeles?

Yes, I have a house there, but I find Los Angeles very difficult after living in a city like London. Los Angeles is basically suburban and although it’s a huge city, it’s not a metropolis. I have a small apartment in New York, so I’m slowly moving to New York now. I like big cities and the pleasure they provide: opera, theater, good restaurants, things like that. You know, I once saw Orson Welles on TV when he made a picture in Hollywood, “The Other Side of the Wind,” about the relationship between an old director and a young director, played by John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich. God, I wonder what happened to that film… anyway, it never came out. So when he came back to Los Angeles, they interviewed him for television. There was this young reporter, asking him, ‘Mr. Welles, how thrilling it is to have you back in Hollywood. You’ve been away now for more than thirty years. How does it feel to be back?’ Orson Welles had this big cigar, and said [speaks very slowly], ‘I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be back in the filmmaking capital of the world. There’s no place more congenial to the making of film than Hollywood. There’s only one thing, when I get through shooting, I’d like to spend the evening in London.’ [Laughs.] That’s the way I feel about New York.

Actress Rosenda Monteros, born in 1935, one of Mr. Kotcheff’s leading players in “Tiara Tahiti” (1962)

One more question, do you know what has become of Mexican actress Rosenda Monteros, your leading lady in “Tiara Tahiti” [1962]?

Well, I have no idea! I had seen her in “Nazarín” [1959], a Luis Buñuel film, I thought she was great, and that’s why I cast her. She disappeared from then on, I’ve never seen her or heard from her again. Recently I met Ivan Foxwell, the producer of that film, and had asked him if he knew where she is now. It’s very strange, she was very beautiful, a very good actress, she made only a few films and then – gone.

Brussels (Belgium),
January 1983

FILMS

TIARA TAHITI (1962) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Ivan Foxwell SCR Geoffrey Cotterell, Ivan Foxwell (novel by Geoffrey Cotterell) CAM Otto Heller ED Antony Gibbs MUS Philip Green CAST James Mason, John Mills, Claude Dauphin, Herbert Lom, Rosenda Monteros, Jacques Marin, Libby Morris, Madge Ryan, Roy Kinnear

LIFE AT THE TOP (1965) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD James Woolf SCR Mordecai Richler (novel by John Braine) CAM Oswald Morris ED Derek York MUS Richard Addinsell CAST Laurence Harvey, Jean Simmons, Honor Blackman, Michael Craig, Donald Wolfit, Robert Morley, Margaret Johnston, Edward Fox

TWO GENTLEMEN SHARING (1969) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Barry J. Kulick SCR Evan Jones (novel by David Stuart Leslie) CAM Billy Williams ED Derek York MUS Stanley Meyers CAST Robin Philips, Judy Geeson, Ester Anderson, Hal Frederick, Norman Rossington, Rachel Kempson, Ram John Holder, Hilary Heath

WAKE IN FRIGHT (1971) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD George Willoughby SCR Evan Jones (novel ‘Wake in Fright’ by Kenneth Cook) CAM Brian West ED Anthony Buckley MUS John Scott CAST Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson, Peter Whittle, Al Thomas, John Meillon

BILLY TWO HATS (1974) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Norman Jewison SCR Alan Sharp CAM Brian West ED Thom Noble MUS John Scott CAST Gregory Peck, Desi Arnaz Jr., Jack Warden, David Huddleston, Sian Barbara Allen, John Pearce, Dawn Little Sky, Vince St. Cyr

THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ (1974) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD John Kemeny SCR Mordecai Richler, Lionel Chetwynd (novel by Mordecai Richler) CAM Brian West ED Thom Noble CAST Richard Dreyfuss, Micheline Lanctôt, Jack Warden, Randy Quaid, Joseph Wiseman, Denholm Elliott, Henry Ramer

FUN WITH DICK AND JANE (1977) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Peter Bart, Max Palevsky SCR Mordecai Richler, David Giler, Jerry Belson (story by Gerald Gaiser) CAM Fred J. Koenekamp ED Danford B. Greene MUS Ernest Gold CAST George Segal, Jane Fonda, Ed McMahon, Dick Gautier, Allan Miller, Hank Garcia, John Dehner, Walter Brooke, Sean Frye, Anne Ramsey, Jay Leno

WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? (1978) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD William Aldrich SCR Peter Stone (novel ‘Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe’ by Nan Lyons, Ivan Lyons) CAM John Alcott ED Thom Noble MUS Henry Mancini CAST George Segal, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Morley, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Philipe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Luigi Proietti, Joss Ackland

NORTH DALLAS FORTY (1979) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Frank Yablans SCR Ted Kotcheff, Frank Yablans, Peter Gent (novel by Peter Gent) CAM Paul Lohmann ED Jay Kamen MUS John Scott CAST Nick Nolte, Charles Durning, Mac Davis, Dayle Haddon, Bo Svenson, John Matuszak, Steve Forrest, G.D. Spradlin, Dabney Coleman

SPLIT IMAGE (1982) DIR – PROD Ted Kotcheff SCR Scott Spencer, Robert Kaufman, Robert Mark Kamen (story by Scott Spencer) CAM Robert C. Jessup ED Jay Kamen MUS Bill Conti CAST Michael O’Keefe, Karen Allen, Peter Fonda, James Woods, Elizabeth Ashley, Brian Dennehy, Ronnie Scribner, Pamela Ludwig

FIRST BLOOD (1982) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Buzz Feitshans SCR Sylvester Stallone, William Sackheim, Michael Kozoll (novel by David Morrell) CAM Andrew Laszlo ED Joan E. Chapman MUS Jerry Goldsmith CAST Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney, Jack Starrett, Michael Talbot, Chris Mulkey, David Caruso, Bruce Greenwood

UNCOMMON VALOR (1983) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD John Milius, Buzz Feitshans EXEC PROD Ted Kotcheff SCR Joe Gayton CAM Stephen H. Burum ED Mark Melnick MUS James Horner CAST Gene Hackman, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, Patrick Swayze, Gail Strickland, Harold Sylvester

JOSHUA THEN AND NOW (1985) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Robert Lantos, Stephen J. Roth SCR Mordecai Richler (also novel) CAM François Protat ED Ron Wisman MUS Philippe Sarde CAST James Woods, Gabrielle Lazure, Alan Arkin, Michael Sarrazin, Linda Sorenson, Alan Scarfe, Ken Campbell, Kate Trotter

SWITCHING CHANNELS (1988) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Martin Ransohoff SCR Jonathan Reynolds (play by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur) CAM François Protat ED Thom Noble MUS Michel Legrand CAST Kathleen Turner, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson, George Newbern, Al Waxman

WINTER PEOPLE (1989) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Robert H. Solo SCR Carol Sobieski (novel by John Ehle) CAM François Protat ED Thom Noble MUS John Scott CAST Kurt Russell, Kelly McGillis, Lloyd Bridges, Mitchell Ryan, Jeffrey Meek, Don Michael Paul, Lanny Flaherty, Eileen Ryan

WEEEKEND AT BERNIE’S (1989) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Victor Drai, Bruce McNall SCR Robert Klane CAM François Protat ED Joan E. Chapman MUS Andy Summers CAST Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser, Don Calfa, Catherine Parks, Eloise DeJoria, Gregory Salata, Ted Kotcheff (Jack Parker)

FOLKS! (1992) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Victor Drai, Malcolm R. Harding SCR Robert Klane CAM Larry Pizer ED Joan E. Chapman MUS Michael Colombier CAST Tom Selleck, Don Ameche, Anne Jackson, Christine Ebersole, Wendy Crewson, Michael Murphy, Robert Pastorelli

THE SHOOTER (1995) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Silvio Muraglia, Paul Pompian SCR Yves André Martin, Billy Ray, Meg Thayer (story by Yves André Martin) CAM Fernando Argüelles ED Ralph Brunjes MUS Stefano Mainetti CAST Dolph Lundgren, Maruschka Detmers, Assumpta Serna, Gavan O’Herlihy, John Ashton, Simón Andreu, Alexandra Kotcheff, Thomas Kotcheff

SHATTERED GLASS (2003) DIR Billy Ray PROD Adam Merims, Craig Baumgarten, Tove Christensen, Gayle Hirsch SCR Billy Ray (article by Buzz Bissinger) CAM Mandy Walker ED Jeffrey Ford MUS Mychael Danna CAST Hayden Chrtstensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Rosario Dawson, Melanie Mynskey, Mark Blum, Ted Kotcheff (Marty Peretz)

BARNEY’S VERSION (2010) DIR Richard J. Lewis PROD Robert Lantos SCR Michael Konyves (novel by Mordecai Richler) CAM Guy Dufaux ED Susan Shipton MUS Pasquale Catalano CAST Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Speedman, Dustin Hoffman, Jake Hoffman, Ted Kotcheff (Train Conductor), David Cronenberg, Bruce Greenwood, Richard J. Lewis

TV MOVIES

I’LL HAVE YOU TO REMEMBER (1961) DIR Ted Kotcheff TELEPLAY Clive Exton CAST Ruth Dunning, Stephen Murray

THE DESPERATE HOURS (1967) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Daniel Melnick TELEPLAY Clive Exton (play by Joseph Hayes) CAST George Segal, Yvette Mimieux, Teresa Wright, Michael Conrad, Arthur Hill, Mart Hulswit, Graham Jarvis

AT THE DROP OF ANOTHER HAT (1967) DIR Ted Kotcheff CAST Michael Flanders, Donald Swann

OF MICE AND MEN (1968) DIR Ted Kotcheff EXEC PROD David Susskind SCR John Hopkins (novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ [1937] by John Steinbeck) CAST George Segal, Nicol Williamson, Will Geer, Don Gordon, Moses Gunn, Joey Heatherton, Donald Moffat, John Randolph, Dana Elcar

RX FOR THE DEFENSE (1973) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Robert Berger TELEPLAY (created by Ernest Kinoy) CAST Tim O’Connor, Mancy Malone, Ronny Cox, Fritz Weaver, Kathryn Walker, Milton Seizer, Charles Durning

WHAT ARE FAMILIES FOR? (1993) DIR Ted Kotcheff CAM Paul Benison CAST Paul Ash, Louis Del Grande, Chris Turner

LOVE ON THE RUN (1994) DIR Ted Kotcheff, Julia Lee PROD N. John Smith TELEPLAY Jim Cruickshank, James Orr CAM Ron Orieux ED Geoffrey Rowland MUS Ken Harrison CAST Anthony Addabbo, Len Cariou, Blu Mankuma, Nada Despotovich, Noelle Beck, Robert Wisden, Byron Lucas

FAMILY OF COPS (1995) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Peter Bray TELEPLAY Joel Blasberg CAM François Protat ED Ron Wisman MUS Peter Manning Robinson CAST Charles Bronson, Angela Featherstone, Sebastian Spence, Kate Trotter, John Vernon, Simon MacCorkindale, Lesley-Anne Down, Daniel Baldwin

A HUSBAND, A WIFE AND A LOVER (1996) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Margot Winchester, Patricia Clifford TELEPLAY Daniel Freudenberger CAM Michael Storey ED James Lahti MUS Jonathan Goldsmith CAST Judith Light, Jay Thomas, Linda Sorensen, Robin Dunne, Rachel Wilson, William Russ, Gerry Mendicino

BORROWED HEARTS (1997) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Mary Kahn TELEPLAY Earl W. Wallace, Pamela Wallace CAM Michael Storey ED Ralph Brunjes MUS John Welsman CAST Roma Downey, Eric McCormack, Hector Elizondo, Shawn Thompson, Janet Bailey, Kevin Hicks, Barbara Gordon

THE RETURN OF ALEX KELLY (1999) DIR Ted Kotcheff PROD Jan Peter Meyboom TELEPLAY Joe Cacaci, Graham Flashner (story by Joe Cacaci) CAM François Protat ED Jeff Warren MUS Tony Kosinec, Asher Ettinger CAST Matthew Settle, Cassidy Rae, Barry Flatman, Wanda Cannon, Jeff Topping, Ron White, Joel Keller, Allan Royal