Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peter Yates

Movie director Peter Yates died this weekend at 81 after a career that included "Bullitt," "Eyewitness," "The Dresser," "Suspect," and "The Hot Rock."

Regarding the latter, I'm shocked that remake-crazy Hollywood hasn't remade that ensemble comedy crime caper. Not that I'm anxious for them to do so, considering the creative pedigree of the original, which starred Robert Redford, George Segal, Ron Liebman, Paul Sand, Zero Mostel, and Moses Gunn, with a script by William Goldman from a novel by Donald Westlake. "The Hot Rock" has long been on my Movies You Might Not Know list.

In addition to that diverse filmography, Yates was also responsible for "Breaking Away," a wonderful movie about small-town America, friendship, bicycle racing, and class distinction. NPR's Linda Holmes wrote a loving tribute to that classic. It's now streaming on Netflix, including this scene, in which Dennis Christopher gets some unexpected help during his training regimen...