Polly Platt, a belated appreciation

You may or may not know who Polly Platt is / was, but  Platt was a dynamic creative force in Hollywood from the late 1960s through the 1990s.  She was married to (and then famously divorced from) acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich and was production designer (and, as many people believe, contributed significantly more creatively) on all of his early 1970s masterpieces/hits (“Targets,” “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up Doc?,” “Paper Moon”).  She wrote the screenplay for Louis Malle’s controversial English language debut film “Pretty Baby.” She was the art director on “Terms of Endearment” and co-produced many of James L. Brooks’s films, including “Broadcast News” and “War of the Roses.”  She was the producer of Cameron Crowe’s classic “Say Anything.”  And, she was responsible for plucking Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson out of nowhere, producing their  stunningly hilarious debut “Bottle Rocket” in 1996.

Her marriage to and divorce from Bogdanovich was fictionalized in the conventional, but clever Hollywood satire from 1984 “Irreconcilable Differences” (with Shelley Long playing the Platt character and Drew Barrymore playing her daughter).

Platt sadly died in July 2011, but her contribution to American film over the last 50 years can not be underestimated.  For more on the Platt story, please read Peter Biskind’s classic book on 1970s Hollywood “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” and more significantly, Rachel Abramowitz’s exhaustive look at women in Hollywood from the 1960s through the new millenium, “Is That a Gun In Your Pocket?”

Below are trailers for her greatest films:
The Last Picture Show (1971)

Say Anything (1989)

Bottle Rocket (1996)

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