Auto Focus (2002)

“I think it’s perfect for me. I mean, this character Hogan, he’s quick on his toes, he’s hip, he’s a con artist. I don’t wanna jinx it, but I think it’s what I’ve been working toward my whole career! ” – Bob Crane

Number of Times Seen – Twice (12 Aug 2006 and 3 Feb 2021)

Brief Synopsis – Biopic about radio host turned TV star Bob Crane and how stardom led to his downfall.

My Take on it – Intriguing idea that just isn’t realized well enough.

The cast is great and Greg Kinnear does a superb job in the lead role portraying Crane.

He lets us understand how much he craved more attention both on and off the set and how it eventually led him to places he never would have expected to go.

The fact that parts of this story are based on speculation is a bit problematic because of the way that they try to “fill in the blanks.”

The film is able to show the way that stardom can sometimes affect one’s judgement especially when they might be getting lots of attention from fans and critics alike.

The film shows how his friendship with an amateur photographer and sound specialist John Carpenter (played by Willem Dafoe) both allowed him to feel free yet also caused him so many personal problems at the same time.

The film fails to truly explore this character on a much deeper level because parts of the story feel far too superficial in the way things are presented here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The leather jacket that Greg Kinnear wears while playing Bob Crane in the Hogan’s Heroes (1965) scenes of this movie is the one that Crane actually wore during the shoot of that TV series. Crane’s son Robert David Crane loaned the jacket to Kinnear for this movie. Prior to the original “Hogan’s Heroes” show, this jacket was worn by Frank Sinatra in Von Ryan’s Express (1965). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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