Otto Preminger was one of Hollywood's first truly independent producer/directors. He sought to address the major social, political, and historical questions of his time in films designed to appeal to a wide public. Blazing a trail in the examination of controversial issues such as drug addiction ("The Man with the Golden Arm") and homosexuality ("Advise and Consent") and in the frank, sophisticated treatment of adult material ("Anatomy of a Murder"), Preminger in the process broke the censorship of the Hollywood Production Code and the blacklist. He also made some of Hollywood's most enduring film noir classics, including" Laura" and "Fallen Angel." An Austrian emigre, Preminger began his Hollywood career in 1936 as a contract director. When the conditions emerged that led to the fall of the studio system, he had the insight to perceive them clearly and the boldness to take advantage of them, turning himself into one of America's most powerful filmmakers. More than anyone else, Preminger represented the transition from the Hollywod of the studios to the decentralized, wheeling and dealing New Hollywood of today. Chris Fujiwara's critical biography--the first in more than thirty years--follows Preminger throughout his varied career, penetrating his carefully constructed public persona and revealing the many layers of his work. "
Chris Fujiwara is the author of" Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall" and a film critic for the" Boston Phoenix" and other publications. He is currently at work on a study of the films of Jerry Lewis.