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Don Siegel Overview:

Director, Don Siegel, was born Donald Siegel on Oct 26, 1912 in Chicago, IL. Siegel died at the age of 78 on Apr 20, 1991 in Nipomo, CA .

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Dirty Harry (1971, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 2, 2018 From The Stop Button

Dirty Harry only has one significant problem. It has a bunch of little problems, but it gets past those–sometimes manipulatively, sometimes just nimbly thanks to director Siegel and star Clint Eastwood–but the big one. It can’t overcome the third act. Villain Andy Robinson (I can’t forget to talk ab... Read full article


The Beguiled (1971, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Dec 1, 2017 From The Stop Button

While The Beguiled is a thriller, the film keeps the thrills exceptionally grounded. The film’s set during the Civil War, with wounded Yankee sniper Clint Eastwood taking refuge at a girls school in Confederate territory. The school is quite literally set aside from the war. The war is outside the g... Read full article


Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Apr 16, 2017 From The Stop Button

Two Mules for Sister Sara opens playfully. Then it gets serious. Then it gets playful. Then it gets serious. Then it gets playful. Director Siegel never lets it keep one tone for too long, not until the end, when he shows what happens when you take it all too seriously. After a hundred minutes of oc... Read full article


"Charley Varrick" and : The Last of the Independents

By Rick29 on Mar 21, 2013 From Classic Film & TV Cafe

Why hasn't received his due recognition as an important American filmmaker? He certainly directed his share of influential films (e.g., Dirty Harry) and socially significant ones (e.g., Invasion of the Body Snatchers). And yet, although acclaimed in Europe, he lacks the auteur status best... Read full article


The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross (1964, )

on Jul 7, 2011 From The Stop Button

can compose no matter what ratio, so his shots in The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross are all fine. There’s a lack of coverage and the edits are occasionally off, but it’s a TV show (an episode of “The Twilight Zone”); it’s expected. And Siegel does get in the occasional fantastic shot... Read full article


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Don Siegel Facts
He originally intended for Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) to end with the hero, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) on the highway shouting to the motorists, "You're next! You're next!" but Allied Artists wanted a happier ending that assured the audience the hero's efforts had not been in vain. Siegel subsequently added the opening with Miles in the hospital recounting his story to the other two doctors, who find out at the end of the film that the pod people are real and contact the FBI.

Siegel and producer Walter Wanger had been desperately trying to persuade the warden of San Quentin Prison to allow the use of the facility to film Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), but the warden had adamantly refused. After the final meeting in the prison, when the warden had said there was nothing Siegel or Wanger could do to persuade him to allow filming there, Siegel turned to speak to his assistant, Sam Peckinpah. When the warden heard Peckinpah's name, he asked, "Are you related to Denver Peckinpah?" Sam replied that Denver was his father. It turned out that Denver Peckinpah was a well-known jurist in northern California who had a reputation as a "hanging judge" and the warden had long been an admirer of his. He immediately granted the company permission to shoot the movie in San Quentin.

Siegel and screenwriter Stephen Geller (The Valachi Papers (1972), Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)) once collaborated on a script of "The First Deadly Sin" (based on the novel), to be directed by Siegel. The project fell through, however, and a different version was filmed several years later.

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