David and I are very big fans of director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich. We've seen him several times over the years at various appearances in Los Angeles but we've never had a chance to talk to him. Sunday night, we were finally given that chance at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Bogdanovich was there two nights and luckily, I was able to get home from my classes in Arizona in time to catch the films and the discussion. He signed our books and was extremely gracious. I'm thankful that we were able to have the chance to talk to him if even for a second. I always enjoy listening to him speak and to hear the stories that only he can tell.
He did a wonderful impression of Jimmy Stewart. This is the story he told:
“What is it we like about the movies? I was sitting with Jimmy Stewart one time and we got on to the subject of movies and the effect they have on people. And Jimmy told me this story: “We were shooting a picture in Colorado. We broke for lunch, and it was the usual terrible box lunch. And this guy, an older fella, who’d been watching us, he comes over to me and says, ‘You Stewart?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You said a poem once in a picture. That was good.’ And I said, ‘Thank you very much.’ That was all he said and he walked away. And I knew just what scene he meant – it was a scene in a picture made 20 years before, and it was just about a minute, and he’d remembered it all these years. And I thought, that’s the wonderful thing about movies. Because if you’re good, and God helps you, and you’re lucky enough to have a personality that comes across, then what you’re doing is, you’re giving people little… tiny… pieces of time… that they never forget.” Isn’t that a great description of movies?” -Peter Bogdanovich
The funny thing is that immediately after he told that story, they ended the discussion and I jumped up and had him sign a copy of his book, Pieces of Time. I was the first one he signed for. Funny how things work sometimes.