2012 | Documentary | 89 minutes | English
This documentary is a celebration of the casting profession. Before the emergence of the super-star casting directors like Marion Dougherty, Lynn Stalmaster, and Juliet Taylor, the actors were all under contract to the major studios. Films back then were cast primarily with actors who were employed by the studio. Type-casting was common and the actors often didn’t look right for the part. Casting By also includes examples of some ingenious casting: Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, Glenn Close in The World According to Garp, and Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. The documentary also points out how outrageous it is that the Academy still downplays the importance of casting directors.
Major participants: Marion Dougherty (Casting Director) / Lynn Stalmaster (Casting Director)
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 94%
- Metacritic Score: 70
Academy Awards: Honorary award for casting (Lynn Stalmaster)
National Board of Review: Listed as one of the top five documentaries in 2013
Sebastopol Film Festival: Winner, Best Documentary
National Alliance for Women in Media: Recognized as an outstanding film depicting women’s achievements in the media
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Director Tom Donahue’s highly entertaining documentary is primarily a tribute to trailblazing New York casting director Marion Dougherty and by extension to the entire, largely unsung profession. CASTING BY is an illuminating close-up of a vital cog in the moviemaking machine.
A look into one of the most invisible, and crucial, of cinematic disciplines. Using the seminal casting director Marion Dougherty as a subject, the film walks us through the intricacies of casting. We know Hoffman, Pacino, Duvall, Caan, and others, but without people like Dougherty, we might not.
The ridiculous amount of sheer star power on hand in Tom Donahue’s CASTING BY is testament to the revered nature of its principle subject, the late, legendary casting director Marion Dougherty. While never recognized with even an honorary Oscar, despite a concerted campaign from the likes of Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro, Dougherty might well be one of the most influential figures in American movies. If movies now seem shallower than ever, it might be because the likes of Marion Dougherty are no longer filling the pool.
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