[M/tv Logo] The Films of Alan Smithee



Smithee and
Dolores Fangot

I Was Noriega's
Love Slave

The Seme-y
Seams of Seem

in the
Cheap Seats

On the Set
with Smithee
(a diary fragment)


About the

Drop Us a Line

Smithee at
the University
of Pennsylvania

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Movies and TV



A Remarkable Document

Al Dekker

The other night I was browsing in Kim's Videos, wondering why more of Alan's titles were not represented, when I was approached by a disheveled little man. He stared at me intently with the eyes of one who has seen too much, or done too many psychedelics, and handed me a crumpled piece of paper. "Smithee worked with Tenney," he blurted; then he sprinted from the store, knocking over the Universal Horrors reissue rack as he exited.

I knew the name Tenney. Del Tenney directed Roy Scheider's first feature, Curse of the Living Corpse. This 1964 gore cheapie today is best remembered for its method of conception: The director made a list of recent horror movies, determined that the words "curse," "living," and "corpse" occurred in the titles of the most successful films, and decided that a movie called Curse of the Living Corpse would draw record-breaking audiences. The hard work finished, it remained only to write, cast, and direct the thing...

With this bit of history in mind, I unfolded the paper. Immediately I recognized the handwriting of The Master, and I was stunned by what I read. Yes, it indicated that Smithee was familiar with Tenney's method, but it was clear that Smithee's brilliant advance over Tenney's crude beginning could be compared readily to Beethoven's development of Haydn's ideas.

I now present this revelatory document without further comment.

[Droll Visual of Smithee Document]


Copyright © 1996-2003 by Jon Keith Brunelle