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Auto Focus Details


The life and sordid, untimely death of star Bob Crane are explored by director Paul Schrader in this biopic, which marks one of the few times the filmmaker has not scripted his own film. Auto Focus chronologically traces the meteoric rise of Crane's show business career, beginning with his early success as a jokey deejay on Los Angeles morning radio in the early '60s. A devout family man, Crane lives in Southern Californian comfort with his wife Anne (Rita Wilson) and their young children, relishing the modicum of celebrity his job provides him. His life begins to change, however, when his agent Lenny (Ron Leibman) proposes that he take a breakthrough role on the CBS POW-camp sitcom . Initially reluctant to take the job, Crane signs on with the production and, to his and everyone else's surprise, the show becomes a smash hit. With celebrity comes a new set of friends, and Crane falls in with audio-visual guru John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), a Sony sales rep who spends his days setting up home entertainment systems for the Hollywood elite, and his nights cruising strip clubs for anonymous sexual encounters. Already a pornography buff, Crane starts using his fame to secure him and Carpenter an endless parade of affairs, which they videotape and then obsessively review. It isn't long before Anne demands a divorce, and Crane marries his Carpenter's co-star Patti Olsen (aka Sigrid Valdis, here played by Maria Bello), who's more accepting of his escapades. When the sitcom is canceled, however, Crane has trouble securing acting jobs, and recedes further and further into his life of amateur porn with Carpenter. Auto Focus premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals before its art-house run in the fall of 2002. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

  • Release date:April 11, 2003


Greg Kinnear
as Bob Crane
Willem Dafoe
as Johnny Carpenter
Rita Wilson
as Anne Crane
Maria Bello
as Patricia Crane
Ron Leibman
as Lenny
Kurt Fuller
as Werner Klemperer/Klink
Ed Begley, Jr.
as Mel Rosen
Michael E. Rodgers
as Richard Dawson
Michael McKean
as Video Executive
Christopher Neiman
as Clary
Bruce Solomon
as Feldman
Lyle Kanouse
as John Banner/Schultz
Nikita Ager
as Julie


Paul Schrader
Todd Rosken
Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski
Pat Dollard
Alicia Allain
Robert Graysmith
Book Author
Michael Gerbosi
Fred Murphy
G. Marq Roswell
Musical Direction/Supervision
Angelo Badalamenti
Musical Direction/Supervision
Kristina Boden
James Chinlund
Production Designer
Seth Reed
Art Director
Rick Hess
Executive Producer
James Schamus
Executive Producer
Trevor Macy
Executive Producer
Gene Serdena
Set Designer
Julie Weiss
Costume Designer
Aaron Barsky
First Assistant Director
Wendy Kurtzman
Rob Hinderstein
Prosthetic Makeup Effects
Rob Hinderstein
Makeup Special Effects
Joel Harlow
Prosthetic Makeup Effects
Joel Harlow
Makeup Special Effects