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Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 6, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA Profession: Producer ...
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NOTES

Not to be confused with an American producer Barry Levinson (born New York City, 1932; died in London, October 23, 1987), active mostly in Europe.

On Warren Beatty's comment that you don't finish a film, you abandon it: "At some point you have to hand it over. It's always tough. 'The Natural' is the only one that plays in my head, because I never really thought I finished it. We were so rushed to get the movie out. The sad thing is, it was supposed to be the first TriStar movie, and they were adamant, saying 'You've got to come out May 15,' or whatever the hell the date was. After we finally turned the thing over, they decided to make 'Where the Boys Are '84' the first TriStar movie. So it was locked and they threw another movie in front of it." --Barry Levinson in Premiere, January 1997.

"I'm closest to the Baltimore movies because thay are parts of my life and growing up. In many ways, they are the most painful ones to do because you put yourself on the line. Not just in terms of your work but you've invested something that's deeper in terms of your soul. Therefore you're more vulnerable. You get angry if you read something that can attack that. I've always remembered the comment in Variety about 'Avalon'--it said the movie has no reason to exist. I said to myself, 'There are 350 movies a year that get made and they don't say it about them. 'Avalon'? That's dealing with a number of issues about the flight to suburbia, the influence of television, the break-up of the family. It has no reason to exist?' I never got over that. It just completely drove me crazy." --Barry Levinson quoted in San Francisco Examiner, September 28, 1997.

As my past has infiltrated my movies through the years, I have been criticized for making some of my characters too Jewish and others not Jewish enough. When "Diner" came out, in 1982, someone complained: "I didn't know that some of the guys were Jewish until the end of the movie. It should be more clear." After "Avalon," in 1990, people asked, "Why didn't they celebrate Jewish holidays?" Or, more pointedly, "They didn't look Jewish enough." This is difficult to respond to, since my Uncle Ben looked like Harry James. In fact, he once told me that on a trip to New York, he'd gotten great seats in a nightclub because the maitre d' thought he WAS Harry James.

I had a great uncle who looked like Santa Claus -- a Santa who spoke only Yiddish." --From "Barry Levinson: Baltimore, My Baltimore" in The New York Times, November 14, 1999.

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