Auto Focus 2002

Amazon Instant Video

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(10) IMDb 6.6/10

From the writer of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader directs Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe in a provocative drama about the colourful life and mysterious death of legendary television actor Bob Crane. Crane (Kinnear) became well known as the star of the hit comedy series Hogan's Heroes.

Kurt Fuller,Michael Rodgers
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Paul Schrader
Starring Kurt Fuller, Michael Rodgers
Supporting actors Maria Bello, Ron Leibman, Greg Kinnear, Rita Wilson, Willem Dafoe
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
As a teenager, I loved watching HOGAN'S HEROES, a late 1960's sitcom starring Bob Crane. Ah, the innocence of youth.
AUTO FOCUS depicts the professional self-immolation of Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear). And caused by what? Drugs? Booze? Gambling? Twinkie over-indulgence? Nope, just sex. Lots and lots of it. (Come to think of it, isn't that every teenage boy's fevered fantasy?)
As the film opens, Bob is a talented, radio talk-show host on the Los Angeles airwaves. His (apparently) happy family includes a pretty wife and kids. They're devout Catholics, going to Mass every Sunday.
Bob's agent (Ron Liebman) lands him the starring role as Colonel Hogan in the WWII prisoner-of-war farce, HOGAN'S HEROES. It's during this period that Bob befriends John Carpenter (William Dafoe), an obsequious salesman who haunts the studio lot trying to interest stars in the emerging technology of home video taping/playback. Bob, an avid photographer, is hooked. John, a sexual satyr, introduces Crane to his world of promiscuous women. Bob's growing fame as Col. Hogan attracts even more. For Crane, a typical night on the town with pal John soon involves having sex with multiple partners, all the action recorded with still or video cameras for Bob's later enjoyment. Crane even begins a torrid affair with the Hilda character (Marla Bello) of HOGAN'S HEROES. (Remember Klink's secretary, Hilda? She was a Babe.) Needless to say, Bob's marriage fails. And then things get progressively worse.
Kinnear is wonderfully creepy and as the self-destructive Hero who jeopardizes everything he holds dear just because he can't keep it zipped. (As Crane asserts, "A day without sex is a day wasted.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laura H on 26 Dec. 2003
Format: DVD
This dark biopic charts the career of Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear) from cheeky disc-jockey in 1964, desperate to break in to serious films and be the new Jack Lemmon; through the high-life years he spent in the title role in 60’s US tv smash, ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ to his untimely death. Kinnear is well cast in the role of the initially insecure but amiable Hogan, who believes that likeability is 90% of the battle, which is good news as he sees himself as the typical likeable guy, always wanting to make an impression. Kinnear manages admirably to break down the image that his hard-to-beat performance as Jack Nicholson’s gay neighbour in the vastly under-rated, ‘As Good As It Gets,’ by putting everything into his portrait of Crane. Even in scenes where he is filming ‘Hogan’s Heroes,’ he manages to convey both the part he is playing and the actor he is playing in tandem through his quietly expressive face. Bob is ultimately a good man, tee-total, devoted to his family although not spending enough time with them through work, who has a small skeleton in the pornographic magazines he keeps in the garage (due to an interest in photography, he tell his wife.) It is his friendship with John Carpenter (Carpy) played with restrained magnificence by the gorgeous Willem Dafoe, that sees Bob slowly fall off the rails. Carpy is a technical expert, working for Sony, doing a good line in selling expensive hi-fi’s and video tape recorders to the rich and famous. Pretending to be a fan of the show, he takes Bob to a local strip club, where Bob, apprehensive at first, is soon adopted as drummer by the resident band, accompanying the girls’ routines.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Saturnicus VINE VOICE on 11 May 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A biopic on the story of the unsolved murder of Hogan's Heroes star, Bob Crane. Bob lead the double life of happy, family man but behind the scenes he was well into sex. With him, it was an addiction. His companion was the VCR guy, John Carpenter, later arrested for the murder.Both were dedicated photography buffs and wasted no time by photographing their sexual exploits and watching them afterwards. The film tracks Bob's rise to fame through his famous TV series which ran for six seasons, and his decline afterwards when it became known, through his open indiscretions, that he was bad news.
His decline is marked by his hallucinations and blackouts, but there may have been drugs involved, though this is not openly shown in the film. However, there is the odd suggestion, if you look closely.
Sadly, Bob resorted to working on stage in dinner theatre, and believing himself to be broke, degenerated and sank lower and more desperate, ably depicted in the film. It was later explained in the excellent extras on the DVD, that he was in for a 25% cut of the profit from "Heroes" amounting to 22.5 million dollars.
His first wife, Anne, divorced him and he married his co-star from "Heroes" but that marriage failed as well.
It is interesting to track the invention of video and its progressing effect on photography. Greg Kinnear and Daniel Dafoe, give stirring performances as the two main characters, the efforvescent Crane, and the insecure Carpenter. Carpenter makes much of Bob's fame to "pull the birds", but comes across as a lonely man, fired because he was colour-blind. They would not get away with that nowadays.
Bob Crane, was undoubtedly addicted to sex, now regarded as an illness. Finally he is battered to death in his sleep and Carpenter was arrested.
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