April 22, 2021
Alan Ladd Jr greenlit Star Wars, Alien, The Omen and many more – winning the lasting admiration of countless directors and actors. Now, his daughter has made a heartfelt celluloid tribute to the producer
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies review – Star Wars film boss get his name up in lights
Here is a highly watchable documentary about Hollywood executive Alan Ladd Jr: an old gold Hollywood profile leavened with top-notes of family strife and reconciliation. Ladd, famously, was the studio boss at 20th Century Fox who got Star Wars through when the corporate brass wanted to pull the plug; but as this film shows, there was quite a lot more to him than that.
As his name indicates, Ladd was the son of troubled he-man Actor Alan Ladd (This Gun for Hire, Shane) and it’s safe to say they didn’t have the best of relationships: as a gawky teenager, Ladd Jr didn’t fit in with his father’s attempts to project a wholesome family image and can be seen scowling in the background of publicity photos as his younger siblings were pushed front and centre. The film’s director, Ladd Jr’s daughter Amanda Ladd-Jones takes this theme pretty seriously, as well she might; she talks in voiceover about feeling abandoned as a kid by her work-obsessed father, and Ladd himself relates his voracious moviegoing appetite to his isolation.
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