Working with Warren is all fun and gains.Faye Dunaway (co-star, 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde")
"You have to have talent and craft, but what he's got above and beyond everyone else is an amazing intellectual ability to analyze what we're trying to achieve. He's also very available emotionally. At one point, he offered to buy ('Bonnie and Clyde') from Warner Bros. and laid on the floor and kicked up a fuss and was very sort of unusual in his approach. They thought maybe he'd sold it to somebody else and agreed to give him what he was fighting for, which was a certain release date. He was outrageous and audacious and bright."
Arthur Penn (director, "Bonnie and Clyde")
"I hesitated about the film because I felt if we did a film with a kind of romantic, picaresque nature, to have it end just 'bing, they're shot, they're dead' was not a sufficient idea. So, I decided to use multispeeds on several cameras, and that was where I could get that sort of balletic quality that became quite famous and much imitated. Warren and I had good faith. Many other producers get it started and drift away. Warren really digs in; he's a collaborator."
Bert Fields (attorney at law)
"We met in Warren's old apartment -- (writer) Elaine May, Warren and I. And characteristic of Warren, all the couches and chairs were filled with books and scripts, so there was no place to go but his bed. Elaine and Warren and I, lying on his bed, fully clothed, made the deal for Elaine to work with him (1978's 'Heaven Can Wait'), and I've represented him from then on for almost 30 years. (1981's) 'Reds,' of course, speaks for itself. And I thought (1991's) 'Bugsy' was remarkable. But what he does better than anyone else is be a friend."
Robert Towne (writer-consultant,
"Bonnie and Clyde," 1975's "Shampoo," "Heaven Can Wait," "Reds," 1994's "Love Affair")
"The films I did the most work on with him were 'Shampoo' and 'Bonnie and Clyde.' It's like Alexander's dying words to his generals when they wanted to know who the empire belonged to, and he said, 'The strongest.' On any given story point, who does it belong to? The strongest. You're going to have to fight, but it will be a fair fight. Very few people are willing to put themselves on the line in terms of a story point or a casting point."
Diane Keaton (co-star, "Reds," 2001's "Town & Country")
"On 'Reds,' it was trying in the sense that we did so many takes, but on the other hand, the results were well worth it. It was kind of a discovery process. Ever since 'Reds,' I like to do a lot of takes. People always said Warren really could've been one of the greatest lawyers in the world. Everyone confides all their thoughts to him because he's so irresistible, and then he mixes it up with his thoughts in this big pot and stirs it up and comes out with an idea. He doesn't necessarily use what you think in the way that you thought he might. But he does incorporate other people's thoughts into his work in a highly creative way."
James Toback (screenwriter, "Bugsy")
"You're never going to find a better case of a word being a bond. He does keep his word and doesn't give it lightly. He subscribes to the 'three intelligences' movie: The best way to make a movie is when you have three intelligences, so you have an extra voice in a vote or an argument, a mediating intelligence. He doesn't write alone, but he comes up with a vast number of ideas. He thinks of every angle and approaches movies as a pure and full collaborative effort."
Annette Bening (wife, co-star, "Bugsy," "Love Affair")
"What stands out for me is his willingness to always go that extra distance to make something better. I remember that sequence when Bugsy is trying to call Virginia Hill, and she's putting the phone down. It's a little montage of him pursuing her and her rejecting him, and that came out of a day when Warren sat down with (producer) Barry Levinson and Jimmy Toback and said, 'We really need something here that keeps the audience interested in their relationship.' The ticking clock, as it were. And he was absolutely right. He's willing to confront things that other people don't care enough to argue about."
Mark Johnson (producer, "Bugsy")
"He knew every aspect of (producing). When we were in production, he sort of backed away as producer. But every step of the editing process and marketing process -- all of that, I learned at his feet. He knows Hollywood and was so precise about how to sell the movie and who should see it and at what point. I remember we ended up having a marketing meeting at his house on Christmas Day because there was a little bit of a crisis about how it was being sold. There was no sense of, 'Let's do it after Christmas.' It was, 'We're doing it now.'"
Vittorio Storaro (director of photography, "Reds," 1987's "Ishtar," 1990's "Dick Tracy," 1998's "Bulworth")
"It was an incredibly different experience working with an actor who is also a director. I found myself looking at things from a new perspective through the eyes of the characters. I tried to write with light and colors to express the various feelings that I picked up from the accord and discord between the two protagonists. Every film that I did with Warren after that was an new adventure."
Bob Fisher contributed to this report.
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