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The Peter Bogdanovich story is a Hollywood tale through and through, replete with memorable associations and fantastic success, along with dramatic ups and downs.

Bogdanovich was a teenage actor in New York City who directed and produced an Off-Broadway production of Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife at age 20. He worked as a film critic for such magazines as Film Culture, Movie and Esquire and began interviewing directors in the early ’60s, writing features on Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Fritz Lang, Allan Dwan and more.

He moved to Hollywood in his 20s with no contacts and very little money, but quickly found work with the king of low-budget cinema, Roger Corman. His first major success came in 1971 with The Last Picture Show, which he quickly followed with two more hits, What’s Up, Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973). But then a string of flops tarnished his reputation, even as his skills as a writer and director grew sharper.

Throughout his career, he became close friends with many of his filmmaking idols, and never stopped interviewing and learning from the great directors of the Golden Age of Hollywood. And his love life became tabloid fodder, moving in and out of passionate affairs with close collaborators and leading ladies – the last of which ended in unspeakable tragedy.

In the words of critic Todd McCarthy, “Peter’s career was kind of the ultimate triumph of the film critic, film nerd, and film buff.” His own story is as bold and surprising as any of his movies, and he takes us behind the scenes of both his work and his personal life in Season One of The Plot Thickens.


Allan Dwan: The Last Pioneer Praeger Publishers, 1971
The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock Museum of Modern Art, 1963
The Cinema of Howard Hawks Museum of Modern Art, 1962
The Cinema of Orson Welles Museum of Modern Art, 1961
Fritz Lang in America Greenwood Publishing Group, 1969
John Ford University of California Press, 1978
The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980 William Morrow & Co., 1984
Pieces of Time: Peter Bogdanovich on the Movies, 1961-1985 Arbor House, 1985
Peter Bogdanovich’s Movie of the Week Random House, 1999
Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors Knopf, 1997
Who the Hell’s In It: Portraits and Conversations Knopf, 2004
In the Moment: My Life as an Actor Carroll & Graf, 2004
Bogdanovich’s Picture Shows Scarecrow Press, 1990
My Life Hyperion 1994
This is Orson Welles HarperCollins, 1992
Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think HarperCollins, 2000
The Director’s Event: Interviews with Five American Filmmakers Atheneum, 1970
Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore Benchmark Books, 2006
Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director The University Press of Kentucky, 2020
Peter Bogdanovich: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers Series) University Press of Mississippi, 2017
Picture Shows: The Life and Films of Peter Bogdanovich Limelight, 2004