From the Directors Company to High Concept
The seventies were supposed to be the glory days of the director, the auteur era. Yet even when the studios were at their weakest, directors such as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Roman Polanski were terrified of them. Paramount did all that it could to turn auteurism into a business plan, but the paranoid auteurs would have none of it. Everyone, from studio chief Robert Evans to Coppola, was trapped in a fantasy of the 1930s. This nostalgia for the classical era gave rise to some of the studio’s greatest hits—Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, The Conversation—but it was only when they put the thirties aside and turned to the present that the studio found a way out of the cul-de-sac. The solution was Saturday Night Fever.
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