December 22, 2008

THOUGH SCOUT MADE A MORE CONVINCING HAM....

Robert Mulligan (Brian Baxter, 12/23/08, The Guardian)

[F]ew critics could deny the integrity of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), the power of Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965) or dispute the popular success of Summer of '42 (1971) or Mulligan's sensitive understanding of human relationships. His technique was understated and secure and his fine work with actors ensured that many - Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis and Steve McQueen included - returned to work with him.

Born in New York city to a policeman father, Mulligan described his upbringing as "Bronx Irish". His brother was the actor Richard Mulligan, who played Burt Campbell in the US sitcom Soap. Robert intended to be a priest until the second world war interrupted his studies and he found himself in the marines, emerging, aged 20, into a changed world with new-found ambitions. He joined the New York Times as a messenger and moved to CBS in a similar, lowly capacity. Within three years, he had graduated to direction and worked on television series including Suspense, The Alcoa Hour and The Philco Television Playhouse. Within a decade he had directed hundreds of shows and married actress Jane Lee Sutherland. "Nobody knew what they were doing," he said of television work. "It was the ones with the cool heads who succeeded."

Inevitably, Hollywood beckoned, so Mulligan and producer Alan Pakula made their debuts with Fear Strikes Out.


...than Tony Perkins did a ballplayer.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2008 8:09 PM
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