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  • Who is Henry Jaglom?

  • Blood and Wine

  • Man Trouble

  • Stay Hungry

  • Black Widow

  • No Good Deed

  • Always... But Not Forever

  • Leaving Las Vegas

  • The King of Marvin Gardens

  • Five Easy Pieces

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Bob Rafelson Biography

  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter, Producer
  • Born: Feb 21, 1933
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

The nephew of famed playwright [[Performer~P107575~Samson Raphaelson~samsonraphaelson]], American director Bob Rafelson decided to forego the expensive education planned for him and take up cross-country vagabondage instead. He worked in a rodeo at 15, became an ocean-liner deckhand two years later, and a jazz drummer a year after that. He entered Dartmouth College, after which he worked as a deejay on an Armed Forces radio outlet. As a writer, Rafelson toiled in numerous New York-based TV shows, then travelled westward to try his luck in Hollywood. His breezy, patchwork writing style was perfectly suited to the [[Performer~P4797~Beatles~thebeatles]]-like TV sitcom [[Feature~V175189~The Monkees~themonkees[tvseries]]] (1966-67), wherein Rafelson worked as writer, director, and coproducer (with [[Performer~P110282~Bert Schneider~bertschneider]]). In concert with then-partner [[Performer~P104455~Jack Nicholson~jacknicholson]], Rafelson penned the script for the surrealistic Monkees feature film [[Feature~V21796~Head~head]] (1968), which he also directed. The film was suitable impetus to the Columbia Pictures higher ups to bankroll another Rafaelson-Nicholson collaboration. [[Feature~V17654~Five Easy Pieces~fiveeasypieces]] (1971), was an intensely personal and somewhat autobiographical study of a young man (Nicholson) whose alienation with the status quo causes him to chuck the security of his musical career and his wealthy family for a life of drifting. The critics loved [[Feature~V17654~Five Easy Pieces~fiveeasypieces]], but were less enthusiastic about the 1972 Rafelson/Nicholson concoction, [[Feature~V27434~King of Marvin Gardens~thekingofmarvingardens]], in which Nicholson played the establishment figure, while fellow 1970s icon [[Performer~P18703~Bruce Dern~brucedern]] played the dreamer. [[Feature~V46740~Stay Hungry~stayhungry]] (1976) was a story of bodybuilding juxtaposed with the changes in the New South, boasting an early leading role for [[Performer~P110501~Arnold Schwarzenegger~arnoldschwarzenegger]] -- and the first-ever nude scene for costar [[Performer~P89714~Sally Field~sallyfield]]. Critics of [[Feature~V46740~Stay Hungry~stayhungry]] called Rafelson on the carpet for his credit-grabbing attempts to become an "auteur" director, even though these same critics had applauded Rafelson's auterism in his earlier productions. With [[Feature~V38842~The Postman Always Rings Twice~thepostmanalwaysringstwice]] (1981) -- again with Nicholson as star -- Rafelson lost much of his critical support for having the audacity to turn out a purely commercial product. Actually, Rafalson's improvisational style had gotten slicker as he gained more experience. Bob Rafelson's most recent film was [[Feature~V33511~Mountains of the Moon~mountainsofthemoon]] (1990) a lavish but still distinctly Rafelsonesque period piece about a 19th century "anti-establishment" rugged individualist, explorer Sir Richard Burton. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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