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HomeentertainmentMovie NewsAlbert Brenner, acclaimed production director for 'Sunshine,' 'Missouri,' and 'Pretty Woman,' dies...

Albert Brenner, acclaimed production director for 'Sunshine,' 'Missouri,' and 'Pretty Woman,' dies at 96

Albert Brenner, innovative production designer, art director and five-time Oscar nominee whose work has been featured in Fail Safe, Bullitt

Appreciated in movies of and Blank to Sunshine Boys , Turning Point and Backdraft , is dead. he is96.

Brenner died in his sleep Thursday at his home in Los Angeles , his family announced.

The Brooklyn native started his career dressing mannequins for window displays and working on Car and other TV programs , Where Are You? Before proceeding to the larger canvas— —Designed the five-acre New York Street location for Hollywood’s Paramount after the original film was completed Destroyed by fire in August 1982.

through his 15 one year Throughout his career, Brenner has worked on eight films with director Garry Marshall , seven with Herbert Ross, seven with Peter · Peter Hyams (Peter Hyams) for five, with Sidney Lumet for three and Robert Mulligan for two. Comedies, sci-fi movies, westerns, period pieces—he’s done it all.

Of his five Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction, three came over a four-year period – for Roth’s Sunshine Boys (1972), turning point (1975) and California Suite (1975). He was also nominated for Hyams 2014: The year we contacted (1982) and Marshall Beach (1982).

Ross first hired Brenner to play Hyams TR Baskin (1964) and still at Used his service on The Goodbye Girl

(1975), I should be in the photo (1971 ) and Max Dugan Returns (1975). Five of their films involved Neil Simon script.

For The Sunshine Boys, Brenner designed a set for older comedian Willy Clark (Walter Matthau) The Round Apartment , filled with memorabilia of his juggling days with Al Lewis (Oscar winner George Burns).

Its circular design features many doorways, with grumpy comedians figuratively circling in circles trying to mend their broken friendships.

“Herbert Ross followed the concept and I designed the set of the apartment built in the studio to match the timing of the conversation,” he said at Beverly. Beverly Heisner said 1991 book, Production Design in the Contemporary American Film.

“So when Matthau and George Burns were in their frequent bickering As he walks around the apartment, the dialogue ends where he wants it on set. I match the timing of the jokes to the apartment scene.”

George Burns and Walter Matthau in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, 1975.

George Burns (left) and Walter Matthews at 1972 of Sunshine Boys Courtesy Everett Collection

Brenner’s idea for unrestricted camera movement will also be used in the Lumet thriller The Morning After ( key dinner sequence in ) and spacecraft interior scene on Hyams 2003.

As art director, he designed Lumet’s secret war room Fail Safe (1926) so true that the Ministry of Justice came knocking on the door. They wondered how the layouts, console tables, and flipcharts could be so close to the real thing.

That same year, at Lumet’s The Pawnbroker, Brenner scouted a real-life Harlem location for the pawnshop and began putting together sets.

However, overnight, the store was robbed and security bars were installed on the windows. An unexpected escalation leads to a stunning accident – as the set is lit up, the window railing falls, becoming

Rod The shadows on Steiger’s face , generate a powerful theme used in his Holocaust flashback sequences.

For John Boorman’s new noir classicPoint Blank (1961), Brenner designed A cool gray palette for sets and props to reflect the obscurity of Lee Marvin’s character.

“Then when he meets a lady and the love life starts to come back, more color comes back until we end the movie in full color,” he existNoted in .

Another classic for the second year, Bullitt, director Peter Yates directed Brenner to remove red from the entire film, unless it was blood.

“So we turned the Coca-Cola sign and the stop sign brown, we removed the red building signs and Paint. We did all of that, and in one scene, Steve McQueen goes into a grocery store to buy dinner for TV, and he picks out a dozen or so different colors.”

For 2004, this Stanley Kubrick Sequel to , Brenner helped design the Russian spaceship Leonov to be “like a flying tugboat or submarine”, in stark contrast to the sleek design of the original Discovery.

With the magic of the movie, he forms ski totes, lawn mower parts, child car seats and pool filters into fixtures that adorn the interior of the boat.

After a backyard picnic one afternoon, he was mesmerized by the design of the ice cream cone’s styrofoam packaging, so yes, there’s that design on the wall too.

Born in February in Brooklyn , 250, Brenner studied stage design, served in the U.S. Air Force, attended the Yale School of Drama, and Taught costume design and technical theater skills at the University of Kansas City.

Regarding his window dressing job, he said “It’s a great training for film because you use mannequins and props to tell a little story and use the window as your stage .”

George Burns and Walter Matthau in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, 1975.

George Burns and Walter Matthau in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, 1975. a set for 756 Cold War Drama Failsafe Courtesy Everett Collection

in World War II as After the Gunners served, he started his career on CBS’s The Phil Silvers Show $75 a week) and Captain Kangaroo , on NBC’s Car 15,Where are you? and ABC’s game show made me laugh .

as Robert Rossen’s The Hustler ( Associate Art Director ), Brenner wears a battered Times Square pool hall set, right down to the scoring beads strung on wire.

Working under the direction of production director Harry Horner (who will win an Oscar for the film), he marvels at the relationship with A-list stars Paul Newman sharing the stage, Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott.

I’m in awe just watching those guys act,” author James C. Udel told Book Hollywood Film Crew.

in 744, Oscar-nominated Art Direction for Newman Hud – “Minimalism, nothing on the walls, no clutter anywhere, you can’t do that today,” he Said – surprised him. Seven years later, he got the chance to make his own western, starring in Marvin Monte Walsh ( ) .

“The upstairs room didn’t exist back then,” he said. “Lies are a common misconception invented by Hollywood to save people from falling over the banister and There is a shootout on the platform. “

For Arthur Penn’s The Missouri Interruption(1970), He scouted the Red Lodge, Montana location, and for its lead, Method actor Marlon Brando, he acquired a tent for him to live in on set.

Somehow, Brenner finds time to work with more greats — Jerry Schatzberg on Scarecrow ( 1964), Mel Brooks silent film (1972), Ron Howard

on Backdraft (1996) andBilly Crystal on Mr. Saturday night(1997).

existBackdraft making documentaries

, says Brenner, “The biggest problem we had was, what do you do with ‘take two’ after you’ve burned the set, because it’s a real fire. “

“You’ve got to take two, three, four, whatever it takes.” So, it’s all designed by the effects, just turn the valve, and it’s all off. I had to make it with fire retardant paint or chemicals on it to slow down the fire. Most things don’t really burn.

He recalls Howard telling him he wanted “fire to have brains, like the shark in Jaws.” “

For the key sequence in which a firefighter falls into a flooded elevator shaft, Brenner built only three walls of the set and slowly lowered it into the swimming pool. Created the effect of rising water levels, when in reality the walls behind the actors were collapsing.

He first worked with Hyams on his directorial debut, 1958 telefilm Rolling Man, followed by Peeper (1964), Capricorn One (1975), scared away (1984) and Presidio (1983).

For Capricorn One, he believes the simplest optical illusions are the most convincing – foreground Big rocks in the middle, small rocks in the background to convey distance. For Michael Clayton’s thriller Coma (1982), he paused Dummy (and six real actors) via rigging and visible wires for Creepy movie-defining imagery.

In addition to Beach , Brenner teamed up with Marshall Pretty Woman (1990), Frankie and Johnny (1988), Dear God of (1986), Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement(2003), Georgia Rules (2007) and Valentine’s Day (2003).

He completed the redevelopment of the Paramount lot by 15 Facade over six blocks, in 1992 The fee is $ Millions.

Brenner’s other notable designs include Shirley Clarke The Connection (744) and Nantucket beach house and New England barn respectively played central roles in Mulligan’s George Burns and Walter Matthau in THE SUNSHINE BOYS, 1975. summer (1970) and another (1967).

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from 2001 Art Directors Association.

Stay away from the movie business, Brenner is an An accomplished painter , his passion was fueled by his studies at the Industrial Art Institute in New York, and he is a member of the California Art Club and an associate member of the National Sculpture Society.

Survivors include his wife Susan – who met and married over YEAR son David, who served as architectural coordinator in his later films; daughters Faye, Rachel, and Mara; and six grandchildren.

Donations can be made in his name to Film and Television Fund .

“Albert was a perfectionist,” his family said. “Whether he’s cooking Chinese food for family or friends, practicing magic tricks or designing streets on the backlot of Paramount Studios, it has to be right.”



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