Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Robert Clark, R. I. P.

KOTV.com - The News On 6: "Film director Robert Clark, best known for the beloved holiday classic ``A Christmas Story,'' was killed with his son Wednesday in a car wreck, the filmmaker's assistant and police said.

Clark, 67, and son Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed in the accident in Pacific Palisades, said Lyne Leavy, Clark's personal assistant.

The two men were in an Infiniti that collided head-on with a GMC Yukon around 2:30 a.m. PST, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a police spokesman. The driver of the other car was under the influence of alcohol and was driving without a license, Vernon said.

The driver, Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles, remained hospitalized and will be booked for investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter after being treated, Vernon said. A female passenger in his car also was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released, police said."

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Several years ago I interviewed him for Mystery Scene then he got interested in a story of mine so we kicked it around a bit for some phone calls. In the way of Hwood nothing came of it but he was a man easy with a laugh and more than happy to share credit for his success wih others. He especially praised the writers he'd worked with. A fucking drunken driver and as an alcoholic I say that with no small amount of hypocrisy but true rage anyway. What a terrible waste.
--Ed Gorman

Anonymous said...

One other thing about Bob Clark and I know many many people will disagree with me. His Sherlock Holmes Murder By Decree is my favorite of all the Holmes pictures. Largely, I suppose, because the milieu pretty much talleys with Jack London's pieces on London, especially Whitechapel where London had a breakdown. It's not perfect, few things are, but the Plummer-Mason relationship was unique and there was just enough of the old Hammer films ambience to give it a horrorific edge. I think it was Pauline Kael who dismissed it pornographic violence which I always thought which I always thought was odd given the way she usually championed Sam Peckinpah.

--Ed Gorman

James Reasoner said...

I love the film A CHRISTMAS STORY because I love the Jean Shepherd stories it's based on. Clark did a great job of adapting them. I don't think I've seen MURDER BY DECREE, which Ed mentions above, but it sounds like I need to.

Bill Crider said...

If you look back over Clark's career, you can see he directed a wide variety of movies, from Porky's to Murder by Decree. And of course A Christmas Story is a Crider family favorite.

Brent McKee said...

And as usual, the drunk driver survives with "minor injuries." As Ed said, what a terrible waste.

Robert Clark did a lot of work up here in Canada in the says when the government would throw tax credits at any group of dentists who had a script and a director. A lot of the movies he was best known for - Murder by Decree, Black Christmas, Tribute the two Porky's movies he did, and A Christmas Story - were done in Toronto. The tax credit program was decried at the time because it churned out films like Porky's and eventually discontinued, but in hindsight people have fond memories of Porky's and Murder By Decree which is more than can be said for much of what came before or after.

Benjie said...

Concerning A Christmas Story, about 10 years ago, I had the chance to read Jean Sheperd's collection of shorts In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. While the collection expanded on some of the images, and you could see where the ideas came from, I found Clark's adaptation to be much more intriguing. As a matter of fact, it even made some of the stories more interesting. My sister and her family still hold this movie in great reverence - maybe even higher on the Christmas list than It's a Wonderful Life. My wife, on the other hand, doesn't hold my esteem for this movie. So I guess I'll never get to fulfill my dream of seeing the sequel(another of Clark's works) My Summer Story.

Bill Crider said...

I haven't seen the sequel, either. I should put it in the Netflix queue.