Thursday, March 26, 2015

Theodore J. Flicker vs. J. Edgar Hoover

Beginning in 1980, David Ewing has worked as a producer and editor for all three network news divisions (ABC, NBC, CBS), as well as for CNN and PBS. He's currently working for NBC News in Washington.

But this weekend, at the Annapolis Film Festival, the Annapolitan will be appearing on behalf of his own documentary project. World premiering Saturday March 28th, Ewing's one-hour Murder of a Movie is all about the fate that befell a 1967 satire ahead of its time.

From the festival program notes:

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the controversial Paramount Pictures comedy-thriller The President’s Analyst. The film begins with a delightful look at director Theodore J. Flicker’s (a.k.a. Ted Flicker) early career in comedy and experimental theater with Chicago’s nascent Second City. Weeks after the release of The President’s Analyst, it was abruptly removed from theaters, not to be seen again for years. See what happens when the conflicting agendas of Hollywood and the FBI are played out during the turbulent ‘60s.

The 4 p.m. screening, which will be preceded by a 2 p.m. showing of the James Coburn cult classic, will serve as a memorial of sorts for Flicker. The filmmaker, who also co-created the TV series Barney Miller, passed away last fall at age 84 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Flicker did a bit of acting here and there, playing for example the Devil in a 1967 episode of Night Gallery. He also, in the early days, owned and operated an improvisational theater in New York City.

In the wake of the FBI LA office getting hold of the Analyst script and J. Edgar Hoover targeting the film, despite positive reviews and good box office, the filmmaker and his wife Barbara lost their house. Hoover reputedly took exception with the way he was portrayed in the film by Walter Burke.

[Photo of Ewing via:]

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