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I Knew It Was You2009

Rediscovering John Cazale

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  • 4.3
An exploration into the life of the exceptional but little-known actor John Cazale. Cazale's film career consisted of just five movies, but all of them were Academy Award® nominees for Best Picture; THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER: PART II, THE CONVERSATION, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and THE DEER HUNTER. He is remembered by these colleagues as one of the brightest talents of his day, but yet, just three decades after his promising career ended with his untimely death, Cazale is largely unknown to the general public. I KNEW IT WAS YOU seeks to remedy the disparity of Cazale's success with his relative anonymity.

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2 members like this review

Such a compelling actor: a memorable and impossible to mistake look, a subtle yet poignant acting style, understated delivery--- yet usually had the perfect line, and an impeccable body of work....John Cazale is intriguing, and to hear it from his pretty impressive peers, always had the best ethics about the craft, and attitude about life. He died when I was a child, and I didn't know anything about him other than Pacino got Friedkin to let him read for Dog Day. The real Sal was a teenager; but with their rapport, and his plausible element of fear and desperation, I can't imagine anyone else in the role. He is like Lon Chaney; in that he was so gifted and distinctive that I feel cheated by their deaths...because I can scarcely imagine what else they would have gone on to play. As far as character studies and capturing the subject, this documentary is pretty perfect. It's makers should be proud. They definitely did him justice.

Member Reviews (24)

Such a compelling actor: a memorable and impossible to mistake look, a subtle yet poignant acting style, understated delivery--- yet usually had the perfect line, and an impeccable body of work....John Cazale is intriguing, and to hear it from his pretty impressive peers, always had the best ethics about the craft, and attitude about life. He died when I was a child, and I didn't know anything about him other than Pacino got Friedkin to let him read for Dog Day. The real Sal was a teenager; but with their rapport, and his plausible element of fear and desperation, I can't imagine anyone else in the role. He is like Lon Chaney; in that he was so gifted and distinctive that I feel cheated by their deaths...because I can scarcely imagine what else they would have gone on to play. As far as character studies and capturing the subject, this documentary is pretty perfect. It's makers should be proud. They definitely did him justice.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Totally worth the watch to get to know this actor better. A name we didn't know from someone who created such memorable characters.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

This appreciation of the gone-too-soon, not-remembered-enough actor John Cazale starts out with encomiums from a parade of illustrious colleagues and admirers, and then -- be patient -- gradually admits enough reportage to make you believe them. If you didn't know Cazale, the revelations of the amazing series of films that he acted in and the crucial parts that he played will be welcome smacks upside the head. If you did, you'll certainly be inspired to watch them all over again.

As devoted a companion as Meryl Streep may have been, a pox on her smug puss for doubting the sincerity of my devotion to "The Conversation".

1 member likes this review
9f1f2077d60b214c55e0a0092370f8a6?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0031
top reviewer

I Knew It Was You, I always knew it was him, since Godfather I, he made you say "Who IS that??". That asymetrical "visage"drew your attention, ( if you were really watching.) He brought the stage to the screen without being obvious about it. His eyes were black holes, that smoldered, and he could flinch without flinching. His concentration, and focus were dead serious, he was the raw element, the inconvenient Truth in every scene he played. He won Oscars for people, he gave everything to the Muse, every last cell, and nueron to his characters, right up to the very end. He was unforgetable, it is heartbreaking that this Doc. even had to be made. It should be played to begin a retrospective of all his work at a major Film Fest! You couldn't ask for 5 better films to run in a series. I rest my case!! P.S. In any case, all 5 films should be seen again by everyone, this time with the focus shifted.

1 member likes this review

I was looking for Dog Day Afternoon after reading about the new film on John Wojtowicz and this is what Fandor had to offer.

Thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring , now the face has a name I will never forget.

1 member likes this review

Nice insights from great actors that performed along side him. They explain his depth and how he elevated their performances. Highly recommended to fans of the famous Oscar winning movies he played in.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

People from Boston University make me laugh and break my heart: John Cazale, Jason Alexander, Julianne Moore, and my ex-girlfriend.

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top reviewer

Wyoming...

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top reviewer

Just having seen it, I am struck at so many thoughts and feelings that I cannot put into words about acting, story telling, people and inter relationships that though I cannot do justice to my reaction I can say I am so grateful to have seen this film and had a chance to share what those in it and who made it gave us.

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top reviewer

enjoyable. John did great work.

It is good that it exists. John Cazale was one of the purest "character" actors of his generation. But Cazale is due something much longer and more comprehensive than the mere 40 minutes he is allotted here. It covers just enough in 40 minutes but it will undoubtedly leave any viewer wanting more--quite a parallel to a fantastic life and career cut short.

I love John Cazale !!!!!!!!

"A real sausage fest. Plus it's got that gross Bret Ratner guy. I met him once. He's an ass."

I liked this film a lot, yet when it started pressing on the smoking issue, I felt that was out of place and overblown. Most viewers know what killed this very fine actor. We do not need to be pounded on the head about it. So many filmmakers lack any sense of the subtle. They should read a few good books. Maybe they would grow up.

This is a good film about a great actor.

great interviews

Outstanding short film

Tremendously heartfelt and so moving.

So good I got emotional thinking of all the work we have been denied because of his death.

excellent

The words from these other actors about a dear friend and fellow artists so come from the heart that we feel and miss this John. I recall upon first seeing John Cazale in his Godfather role as Fredo that you could relate to his intense feelings of disappointment to the cards he has been dealt. Type casting is only the beginning, it is actors like John Cazale the once selected for the role can fill it out perfectly so that as an audience member you know exactly what his next words are and what his emotions should be.

Excellent portrait of a great actor who died too soon. I will say though in the five films he made, he became a film icon.

excellent. short but very sweet.

John Cazale was an amazing actor. He is rediscovered in this film, through 5 films he made and amazing interviews by wonderful actors like Al Pacino and others.