Director Bob Clark Dies
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, director Bob Clark was killed in a car accident when his car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Most people will remember Bob as the director and co-writer of the classic comedy A Christmas Story (1983). It’s one of those sentimental movies that everyone seems to like watching once a year. I rate it right up there with The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Aside from A Christmas Story’s warm nostalgia, Bob is also the director of a few other childhood favorites of mine. There is of course Porky’s (1982). Up until last year Porky’s was Canada’s highest grossing movie. Yes, it was a Canadian production. I’ve been so taken with Porky’s over the years that I even wrote an academic paper on it when I was a film studies student at Carleton University. At the moment I can’t quite remember what I had to say about it though.
Porky’s is truly the seminal teen comedy, standing head and shoulders above it’s followers and imitators: Revenge of the Nerds (1984) and American Pie (1999).Â All these films share the common theme, a Joeseph Campbell Hero’s Journey to lose one’s virginity. According to legend, Porky’s was based in part on the director’s own experiences growing up, and he shares a co-writing credit on the film.
Another of Bob’s classic oeuvres is the teaming of Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton in the musical comedy Rhinestone (1984). Not only is this one of Sylvester’s more interesting artistic detours, the film also shows him flexing his screenwriting muscles once again. I’m somewhat fond of this movie because I’m the treasurer and vice-president of The China Sylvester Stallone Fan Club. We do frequent screenings of Sly movies followed by serious discussions of the films. Rhinestone was very well received and got high marks from the club for story, directing and screenplay.
Bob Clark was 67.