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Auto Focus (Widescreen Special Edition) (2002)

Greg Kinnear , Willem Dafoe , Paul Schrader  |  R |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello, Rita Wilson, Ron Leibman
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Michael Gerbosi, Robert Graysmith
  • Producers: Alicia Allain, Brian Oliver, James Schamus, Larry Karaszewski, Patrick Dollard
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087F7Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Auto Focus (Widescreen Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Five deleted scenes with optional director commentary
  • "Murder in Scottsdale" featurette
  • Making-of featurette
  • Weblink

Editorial Reviews

Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello. The wild story of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane's adventures in pornography filmmaking and shady acquaintances, culminating in his still unexplained murder in an Arizona motel room in 1978. 2002/color/107 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Performances. Incisive Portrait of Compulsion. March 21, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Autofocus is the story of actor Bob Crane's rise to popularity as Colonel Hogan on Hogan's Heroes through his fall from grace in Hollywood and eventual murder, based on the Book 'The Murder of Bob Crane' by Robert Graysmith. Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear) is a supremely likable guy with a family and a popular prime time sitcom, but also with a penchant for pornography and casual sex when he meets a man named John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe) on the set of Hogan's Heroes. Carpenter was a sales representative for Sony's cutting edge technologies when they were developing VTR technology, a precursor to videotape. Crane, a lifelong photography enthusiast, was quite taken with this new technology. Also being a huge fan of pornography, he took the opportunity that VTR provided to make an astounding number of pornographic 'home movies' of anyone who would let him. Bob Crane's philandering and sexual obsession, often encouraged and facilitated by John Carpenter, became pathological and seemingly out of his own control, eventually costing him his first marriage and damaged his ability to get roles in Hollywood. Bob Crane was murdered in 1978 . The movie asserts the most popular hypothesis as to who committed the crime. But the circumstances surrounding his murder actually remain unclear.
Greg Kinnear gives the performance of his life as the affable, compulsive Bob Crane. I only know Bob Crane from television, but, based on what I've seen, Kinnear nailed Crane's mannerisms perfectly. Willem Dafoe is superb as bright, needy, and sleazy John Carpenter. Rita Wilson is admirable in her supporting role as Bob Crane's first wife Anne. Maria Bello plays his second wife, actress Patricia Olson.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long night's journey into addiction April 19, 2003
Format:DVD
"You tell them Bob Crane is normal. Tell them sex is normal." -- Bob Crane in "Auto Focus"
Sex addictions typically invite a smile, and maybe envy. "Auto Focus," which chronicles the traveling sexual misadventures of the television star Crane, is a very funny movie, but, to its credit, inspires none of the latter emotion. If Bob Crane's life was perfectly normal, as Crane seemed to believed for a time, than "normal" is one hell of a raw, tiring deal.
In a year of virtuoso male performances, Greg Kinnear was overlooked for his portrayal of the "Hogan's Heroes" star, but Kinnear delivers the performance of his still young career. He has Crane's look, his bemusement, his bewilderment, his shallowness and his greed.
But at the outset of "Auto Focus," Crane is still a LA radio disc jockey and a bit of a goof -- a "cut up" as he calls it -- and still a reasonably devoted-if-vacant family man.
And then Crane lands the "Hogan's" gig. He meets the 1960s version of a tekkie in John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), who hangs around stars and peddles new gadgets, like the Sony Video Tape Recorder. Crane, it turns out, is a gadget man himself. Together, they use the VTR to record one another having sex with women.
Carpenter is the creep to end all creeps, but Crane is so locked into being affable that he bypasses the unseemliness for Carpenter's universal interests in naked women and booze. When he starts drumming late nights at a strip club, it's clear that his high school sweetheart-turned wife, Anne (Rita Wilson) won't be seeing him much any longer. There is one break when Crane discovers Carpenter is probably gay -- "It was a group grope!" Carpenter pleads -- but the rift is mended when Crane's home VTR player breaks, and only one man can fix it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slave to passion self-destructs November 1, 2002
I am old enough to remember when Hogan's Heroes first made its appearance on national television. The unusual comedy series regarding a German POW camp was fluff and few thought otherwise. Bob Crane portrayed the central character in a casual and easygoing manner. He reminded no one of the great actors of his generation. To be blunt, Director Paul Schrader's newly released movie highlights the life of someone who normally would be long forgotten. Auto Focus depicts Bob Crane as a practicing Catholic who fails to heed his church's warning that one must shun the occasions of sin. Crane takes one bite of the apple of temptation and is almost instantaneously unable to exercise any significant control over his sexual appetites. One need not be a religious person to concede that Crane became a slave to passion and no longer the master over his own destiny. There is one unavoidable fact about any form of addiction: the addict neglects the important people and other responsibilities in their life. Bob Crane was no exception to the general rule.
Greg Kinnear aptly portrays Crane as an obsessed man who strictly adhered to the motto "a day without sex is a wasted one." He meets the somewhat parasitical John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe) who introduces him to the numerous females eager to sleep with a famous actor. Both men share a common interest in taking pictures of their exploits. This inevitably does little to aid Crane's career which is premised upon his marketed image as a clean cut all-American husband and father figure. Crane psychologically and existentially disintegrates into a pitiful creature undeserving of respect. We know something bad is going to happen. It's merely a question of when and where.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Say it aint true Bob, please (: but regardless, I'm still a big fan
I originally wanted to give this a 2.5 star rating but Greg Kinner nailed the performance so well, and I think the other actors did too. Read more
Published 4 months ago by N22Tango
1.0 out of 5 stars Movie
Terrible movie. No great story line. Not interesting at all. Turned it off before it was over. Wouldn't watch again.
Published 5 months ago by S
2.0 out of 5 stars Ignorant Of Dramatic Qualities
The best I can say about this would be that there are a bevy of beauties and if you are unfamiliar with the sordid details of Bob Crane's life (as I suspect most people still are)... Read more
Published 6 months ago by That's Life
5.0 out of 5 stars Auto Focus is terrific!
Greg Kinnear made a great Bob Crane, all the supporting players (especially those playing Crane's castmates on Hogan's Heroes) were excellent, and Crane's relationship with tech... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Visioneer
3.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography?
What I read about this film does not seem to support this being an autobiography, at all. Am I missing something? Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by Daniel Cascaddan
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too focused...
`Auto Focus', a whole, feels a little half-hearted. It gives us an overview of this man, but never really gets in deep enough to make a serious impact. Read more
Published on December 8, 2011 by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Bio
I saw this film when it came out in the theaters. I think there were maybe 3 other people in the theater. I am a big Paul Schrader fan and I love this film. Read more
Published on June 5, 2011 by Randy Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars This film seriously dents Paul Schrader's reputation .................
It's not funny, it's not dramatic, it's not insightful, it's not entertaining. It is boring and pointless. I kept checking the dvd menu to see how much time was left. Read more
Published on April 15, 2011 by MovieMusic
4.0 out of 5 stars "If There's Gonna Be An Inspection, I've Got Things To Hide..." - The...
Although this movie has been out for a few years, now, it's still the only go-to for fans of the late actor, Bob Crane. Read more
Published on December 6, 2010 by Rhonda Poynter
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I don't know about you guys, but I've got things to hide."
AUTO FOCUS:

This is without question one of the most well crafted movies I have ever seen. Read more
Published on February 26, 2010 by Leif A. Ostgard
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