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I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2010)

John Cazale , Steve Buscemi , Richard Shepard  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cazale, Steve Buscemi, Steve Cazale, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro
  • Directors: Richard Shepard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Oscilloscope
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Z1OHGE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,410 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary from Director Richard Shepard
  • The American Way is a 1962 short, directed by Marvin Starkman and featuring a young Cazale.
  • The Box is another short, directed by Starkman and features Cazale as the director of photography
  • Extended Interviews with Al Pacino and Israel Horovitz

  • Editorial Reviews

    I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale is a must for any film fan. The documentary by Richard Shepard examines the short but brilliant career of American actor John Cazale, who starred in just five films before his death at age 42 of lung cancer. But what five films they were: The Conversation, The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter, which was released after Cazale's death. He was perhaps best known for his roles in the Godfather films, as Fredo Corleone, the weak, overwhelmed brother who resents being seen as the burden he is. I Knew It Was You refers to the famous line uttered by Al Pacino's Michael Corleone to his brother Fredo--a line that seals Fredo's fate and sends chills up the spine of the viewer. As I Knew It Was You shows, Cazale's amazing acting ability was to take a "less showy" and weak character like Fredo--one that most actors would shy away from playing--and embrace him and make him completely memorable. The interviews in I Knew It Was You are fascinating, including a long one with Pacino, who relates what it was like to work with Cazale in both Godfather films as well as Dog Day Afternoon. Pacino reveals that one of Cazale's famous lines in Dog Day Afternoon was an improvisation, and one that Pacino confesses he barely could resist bursting out laughing at. When the two bungling bank robbers played by Cazale and Pacino are regrouping about their strategy to get out of the situation they are in, Pacino's character, Sonny, tries to calm down the anxious Sal (Cazale) by promising that when they get out, they can go to "any country you want. What country do you want to go to?" And Cazale's Sal, without missing a beat, thinks for a moment and says, "Wyoming." The final scene made it into the film and Pacino says, "That's exactly what it was like to work with him--he took his craft very seriously, came up with things like that, and he made you better." Other great interviewees include film historian Mark Harris, who also wrote the lovely introduction in the boxed set, and Meryl Streep, who first met Cazale when they were acting in Shakespeare in the Park in New York in the '70s and fell deeply in love, until Cazale's death. No fan of American film, especially of its golden age in the '70s, will want to miss this amazing appreciation of an amazing actor. --A.T. Hurley

    Product Description

    I Knew it Was You is a portrait of the acting craft of John Cazale and a tour through the movies that defined a generation.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars You broke our hearts Fredo ... August 21, 2010
    Is there another actor that so completely defines a generation of great filmmaking ? When one considers the art of film and acting its impossible not to be moved in someway by the brilliant work of John Casale .
    This documentary examines the life of an actor who completely takes his audience by the hand and makes the journey possible . Casale provided a subtle and complete counter balance to the fine acting of more histrionic players like De Niro ,Streep,Hackman ,Brando , Duvall and of course Pacino .

    A remarkable career that included six of the greatest movies of all time Casale portrayed moody and often unlikable characters but with such elegance and range that one cannot help but feel his journey .

    John Cazale stands with the elite character actors like Lee J. Cobb and John Gielgud and this fine documentary shares memories of his costars and fellow filmakers who apprieciate the nuance of such work .

    A fitting tribute and celebration of one of the finest and tragically short careers in film .
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars John Cazale Lives December 13, 2010
    I loved this documentary. It was well done and the extended interviews are the real meat of this production which runs about 45 minutes, with extras it is over an hour. The amount of information about this wonderful actor is enlightening and shows the tragedy of this man's short life. Given that Pacino and Gene Hackman and other younger actors who didn't work with him speak so highly of the actor who played Sal in Dog Day Afternoon and Fredo in The Godfather movies, makes a very real life case that this was a genius who was taken from us. I cannot think of a better documentary about the insights into great acting. My only hope is that this brief piece of film inspires filmgoers to really see fine acting not just in the movies, but in the avant garde where Cazale lived, as shown by the delightful film shot by Fluxus artist Peter Moore, The American Way (also included in full in this package). Bravo to the makers of this work!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Not a feature-length doc, but worth watching December 26, 2013
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    If you have a special place in your heart for Fredo in "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II," or for Sal in "Dog Day Afternoon," or Stosh in "The Deer Hunter," then you'd probably enjoy hearing his fellow actors try to describe the remarkable way this actor (who only worked in five films in six years before succumbing to cancer) brought a level of invention, commitment and heart to the set that gently caused all the actors around him to bring their "A" game. Just shy of 40 minutes, it doesn't fill a feature-film slot, but it's the right length for the material. Not sure why Amazon lists the running time as 104 minutes, it's actually 39. Enjoy.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Actor's Actor November 1, 2011
    By Leonie
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    "I Knew it was You" is a touching, informative, and inspiring doco. I'm an acting student and watched it in a class at school and bought it for a friend as a birthday present but I will definitely have to buy another copy for myself to own!!!
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    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great story about a great actor. July 6, 2012
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    If you are and actor or just love watching films this film is for you. This documentary is one that I watch off and on and a great addition of my library.
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