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Robert Benton on “Kramer vs. Kramer,” 30 Years Later (Premium Hollywood)

March 10, 2009


Robert Benton has seen more than one cinematic revolution in his time. He and his late screenwriting partner, David Newman, were major players in two films that forever changed movies: 1967’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” which brought European New Wave aesthetics into mainstream American cinema and permanently altered the portrayal of violence in American pop-culture, and 1978’s “Superman,” which created the big-budget superhero flick and convinced the world Christopher Reeve could fly. But as the writer and director of a little movie without violence, groundbreaking special effects, or even a whole lot of controversy, Robert Benton actually helped change real life with 1979’s “Kramer vs. Kramer,” about a careerist father (Dustin Hoffman) raising his son alone after being left suddenly by his wife.

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