Since the end of the 1960s the film world has been treated to a steady stream of iconic directors. Innovative and artistic auteurs whose name’s trip readily off the tongue: Spielberg, Scorsese, Altman, Coppola, Scott and McG (ok, maybe not the last one!).
But, among these legendary names, sits the shadowy figure of another director who has built a legacy of his own throughout these past four and a half decades.
His name is Alan Smithee.
Well, actually, he’s nobody in particular.
Since the late 1960s the name Alan Smithee has been used as the official pseudonym by film directors who’ve wished to divorce themselves from the project which they’ve helmed. Of course, this can be for a variety of reasons from artistic differences, issues of marketing or production, fall-out from the shoot or simply perhaps, a general disappointment at the end result.
Whatever the reasons, it’s surprising quite how many films, in one guise or another, have had the Smithee name roll up on end credits.