Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
Win Premiere Tickets
To see Mission: Impossible in Vienna.
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

BOOK DETAILS
Released
16 April 2013
Author
William Friedkin
Publisher
Harper

LATEST BOOK REVIEWS
Young Winstone
3 Star Empire Rating
Quentin Tarantino FAQ
3 Star Empire Rating
Art Of Inside Out, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Sick In The Head
4 Star Empire Rating
Shining: Studies In The Horror Film, The
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Charlie Chaplin Archives, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Saturday Night Live: The Book
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Budapest Hotel, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Becoming Richard Pryor
5 Star Empire Rating
75 Years of Marvel
5 Star Empire Rating

The Friedkin Connection


submit to reddit

Review
Anyone who's ever read, seen or heard an interview with the great William Friedkin will know that the man is a veritable walking wardrobe of anecdotes. So it’s no surprise that his long-awaited memoir is a delight — funny, self-effacing, and packed with tales of a career that, by his own admission, has scaled the highest heights and plumbed the deepest depths. The Exorcist, unsurprisingly, gets the brunt of the attention, with three chapters dedicated to it, while much time is also spent on The French Connection (Friedkin’s account of going to the airport to pick up Fernando Rey, only to realise he’d cast the wrong guy, is brilliant). But it’s in recollections of many of his lesser works and his early days growing up in Chicago that Friedkin really engages. At times he is painfully honest — the chapter on Sorcerer, his wildly ambitious reimagining of The Wages Of Fear, is simply entitled Hubris, while elsewhere he talks of friendships destroyed by stubbornness and bloody-mindedness (he hasn’t talked to Lalo Schifrin for over 40 years following a contretemps over the Exorcist score). Throughout, he admits to making mistakes — the chapter on Cruising, where he butts heads with a truculent Al Pacino, is fascinating, while in his foreword he gleefully admits to passing on the chance to produce Star Wars and manage Mike Tyson — and there’s a sense of regret that envelopes his career post-Exorcist, redeemed only by his marriage to Sherry Lansing, a newfound love of directing opera, and recent films (Bug, Killer Joe) that have seen a new lease of creative life.

It’s written with verve and an engaging Chicago-brand bluntness, but there’s also a sense that, no matter how self-excoriating he may be here, Friedkin is somewhat pulling his punches. At the beginning of the book, he admits to leaving out more salacious recollections, and his love life doesn’t figure at all until he meets his wife in 1991. There are also intriguing references to a seemingly endless list of insalubrious cohorts with names right out of Dick Tracy, like The Torch and Uncle Mort, which are never satisfactorily expanded upon. But it’s hard not to admire a man who starts the book with a quote from Elia Kazan on the arrogance of directors, then immediately follows it with a quote from himself. How’s that for a slice of Friedkin gold?


Reviewed by Chris Hewitt

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Friedkin Connection (2013)
Empire Star Rating

New York publishers HarperCollins contacted me and asked if I was interested to write a review...

New York publishers HarperCollins contacted me and asked if I was interested to write a review for William Friedkin's new book THE FRIEDKIN CONNECTION. My response; 'If Billy wants me to, I'll consider it', they confirmed he suggested me...I considered, and then a coupe of days later the adventure arrived. I wanted to loose myself in this self penned work with my mind clear, away from everything else. I like to set the atmosphere right,so I spent a couple of days in a nice hotel right beside th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bleedingcritic at 21:28, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Please Explain! With Arnold Schwarzenegger...
Plus Emilia Clarke on pranks, smiles and 'The Robot'

Terminator Genisys: Empire's Verdict
It wants your clothes and your (re)boots

100 Greatest Movie Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains exclusively revealed!

Bonfire Of The Vanities: When Personal Projects Go Wrong
15 hubristic horrors that went straight to movie jail

Podcast 167: Emily Mortimer, Robert Sheehan, Corin Hardy
It's the live Edinburgh special round 2!

Hollywood Jackanory: Stars Reading Things Out Of Context
From Ian McKellen vs. One Direction to Hugh Jackman vs. baking innuendos

Before And After: How 10 Books Changed On Their Way To Becoming Movies
...And how their authors reacted

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)