One of my favorite films of all time is ‘The Sound of Music.” It holds a special place in my heart and of course I’m not alone – it’s one of the most beloved movies in history. Because of the number of times I’ve seen the film, the name of its director, Robert Wise, is happily burned into my memory. In the years since then, I’ve been drawn to many of his other movies, including another classic musical, “West Side Story.”
But Wise directed 40 films in his career – most of them, in fact, NOT musicals. There were mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi and horror films. This book explores each of those films with a brief plot synopsis, behind-the-scenes stories and special interviews with cast members and others who were involved in the production. They paint a picture not only of Robert Wise the director but also Robert Wise, the man. There’s even an unexpected and delightful Foreword by actor Gavin MacLeod (yes, “The Love Boat” TV Captain!), who appeared in an earlier Wise film, and a heartfelt Introduction by Wise’s nephew, Douglas E. Wise.
From the origins of the story idea to the screenwriting process, from casting stories to pre-production and filming tales, information about post-production to the film’s premiere, author J.R. Jordan’s extensive research shines through on each page.
The book is a must-read for movie buffs and should be a part of anyone’s film history book collection. It’s also a fascinating look at the earlier days of Hollywood. Not only is Robert Wise an important part of filmmaking history, this book should also be part of movie history literature.