May 27, 2008, - 1:53 pm

Sydney Pollack: So-So Director Was Great in “Tootsie,” But Whitewashed Islam From Terror Plot Film

By Debbie Schlussel
The entire entertainment world is abuzz with news of the death of director/producer/actor Sydney Pollack at the age of 73 from cancer.
Frankly, he was a highly over-rated director. He did some good films, like “The Firm,” “Tootsie,” and “Three Days of the Condor,” and some okay films, like the highly-overrated, pan-Communist, “The Way We Were,” and the annoying, “Out of Africa.” But his real star turn was in front of the camera, in his co-starring role as Dustin Hoffman’s agent in “Tootsie,” in his best scene ever–below. And a lot of his movies were dreck, chick flick stock, and standard left-wing pap. I like the other Sidney–Sidney Lumet–far better.


In the dreck/left-wing pap category, foremost in my mind is “The Interpreter,” which Pollack executive produced and directed, and from which he whitewashed all references to Islam. As I wrote in my review of the movie, when it was originally written the script was about the plot of Arab Muslim terrorists to murder thte leader of their country at the U.N. But the whole thing was changed to Black Africans with AIDS who try to murder their leader (but, hey, no racism, right?) in order to not offend Muslims. The movie stank anyway, but stank far more with the stench of Pollack’s PC machinations.
Pollack’s last role was in the awful “Made of Honor,” currently in theaters. But like I said, his best role–his best scene–is the one above from “Tootsie.”

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6 Responses

I never evan heard of him.

PrincessKaren on May 27, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Just a heads up, it’s spelled Sydney, not Sidney.

AlternativeThought on May 27, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I know you have a lot of archives, and you do sometimes reference movies from the 70s, 80s and 909s that are worth seeing. I hope that something you will provide lists of some of these movies that are worth seeing, especially if they are off the beaten track.

c f on May 27, 2008 at 6:44 pm

The man hasn’t been dead for 48 hours and you write this drivel. Debbie Schlussel, you are one class act.
[A: GEE, SORRY, I DIDN’T GET THE “OFFICIAL 48 HOUR WAITING PERIOD FOR TRUTH MEMO.” WHEN IS IT OKAY TO WRITE ABOUT HIM, A YEAR FROM NOW, WHEN HE’S NO LONGER IN THE NEWS AND IT’S NOT TIMELY? HERE’S A TIP: IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T READ IT. NO-ONE’S PUTTING A GUN TO YOUR HEAD TO READ THIS SITE, YET YOU REPEATEDLY COME BACK FOR MORE, LIKE A CRACK JUNKIE, AND KEEP COMPLAINING LIKE A JILTED LOVER.
FYI, I HAVE A RULE FOR COMMENTS ON THIS SITE: IF YOU GRATUITOUSLY INSULT ME, YOU’RE BANNED. YOU’VE VIOLATED THAT RULE ON MANY OCCASIONS, BUT I KEPT YOU UNBANNED ONLY B/C PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH YOU SO MUCH THAT YOU GENERATE COMMENTS FROM OTHERS. BUT I’M RETHINKING IF EVEN THAT IS WORTH HAVING YOU AROUND. SO, SHOULD I KEEP YOU OR BAN YOU? ONE MORE INSULT TOWARD ME, AND YOU’RE GONE. SIMPLY NOT WORTH IT. DEFENDING OBAMA IS ONE THING, ATTACKING ME IS ANOTHER. THIS SITE IS A DICTATORSHIP, NOT A DEMOCRACY. DS]

Audacious on May 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm

audacious: What’s your problem? Pollack was a mediocre lefty director. In my opinion, none of his movies was any good–the worst being “The Way We Were”. Barbra Streisand cannot be made into an appealing, attractive woman. No way, no how.
Would waiting 72 hours please you?

lexi on May 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm

He was good acting in the billiard room scene as Ziegler in Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick worked hard with him on that scene to get it right. God I miss Kubrick.

johndoe on May 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

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