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

March 10, 2009

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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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