On April 18, the DGA Eastern Region Special Projects Committee hosted a special evening in the Guild’s offices in New York with DGA and Academy Award-winning director Robert Benton.
Following an introduction by Committee Chair Raymond DeFelitta (City Island), Benton sat down with moderator Griffin Dunne (The Accidental Husband) to discuss his long career that began as a screenwriter for Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic Bonnie and Clyde.
Following his success with the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde, in 1972 Benton moved into the director’s chair with the Civil War-era western Bad Company. His subsequent feature films include: The Late Show (1977), Still of the Night (1982), Nadine (1987), Billy Bathgate (1991), Nobody's Fool (1994), Twilight (1998), The Human Stain (2003), Feast of Love (2007), the DGA and Academy Award-nominated Places in the Heart (1984), and the DGA and Academy Award-winning Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
Known for his deft touch in eliciting sterling performances, Benton directed Jane Alexander and Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer), Lindsay Crouse and John Malkovich (Places in the Heart), and Paul Newman (Nobody's Fool) to Academy Award nominations; and Sally Field (Places in the Heart), and Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer) to Oscar wins.
Benton and Dunne kept the audience enthralled, screening clips from Bad Company, The Late Show, Kramer vs. Kramer, Places in the Heart, and Nobody's Fool, then discussing the challenges he faced in the making of each.
Benton joined the DGA in 1971.