Appreciation: Robert Wise

The standard critical line on director ROBERT WISE, who died last week in Los Angeles at 91, was that his films lacked personality, those visual signatures and obsessive themes that set true auteurs apart from studio hacks for hire. He also had the critical misfortune to direct the Oscar-winning Sound of Music, that melting pile of Alpine slush that was for a long time the most popular movie ever released. But Wise, who broke in as a film editor--earning praise for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and unjustified calumny for recutting The Magnificent Ambersons after Welles abandoned it--mastered over the years every...

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