Director’s Cut: My Life in Film - ECW Press

Director’s Cut: My Life in Film

Kotcheff, Ted

  • With six decades in show business, legendary director Ted Kotcheff looks back on his life

    Born to immigrant parents and raised in the slums of Toronto during the Depression, Ted Kotcheff learned storytelling on the streets before taking a stagehand job at CBC Television. Discovering his skills with actors and production, Kotcheff went on to direct some of the greatest films of the freewheeling 1970s, including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Wake in Fright, and North Dallas Forty. After directing the 1980s blockbusters First Blood and Weekend at Bernie’s, Kotcheff helped produce the groundbreaking TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. During his career, he was declared a Communist by the U.S. government, banned from the Royal Albert Hall in London, and coped with assassination threats on one of his lead actors.

    With his seminal films enjoying a critical renaissance, including praise from Martin Scorsese and Nick Cave, Kotcheff now turns the lens on himself. Witty and fearless, Director’s Cut is not just a memoir, but also a close-up on life and craft, with stories of his long friendship with Mordecai Richler and working with stars like Sylvester Stallone, James Mason, Gregory Peck, Ingmar Bergman, Gene Hackman, Jane Fonda, and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as advice on how to survive the slings and arrows of Hollywood.


  • Ted Kotcheff resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Laifun, and their two children, Alexandra and Thomas. Josh Young is the co-author of five New York Times bestsellers, including books by Howie Mandel, Bob Newhart, and Jim Belushi. Mariska Hargitay is an Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actor, producer, and director.

  • Published: March 2017

    ISBN: 9781770413610

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 420


“It is a fascinating, startling thing to look over the films Ted has made and realize that he never met a genre he couldn’t conquer. He deserves to be considered as only a very few are: Spielberg and . . . the mind goes blank, because no one other than Steven has successfully ventured into such different terrain, created such a varied body of work, much like his idol Billy Wilder. Ted gave me a shot at the life I wanted; he handed me the greatest role I ever imagined, he set my life on a course that I had only dreamed of, I adored and adore him. I only regret we worked on only one film instead of ten.” — Richard Dreyfuss, Academy Award winning actor

“I love the book. Clear, concise, full of fun and deceptively brilliant: in among the show business anecdotes is buried a real procedural on the art of directing.” — George Segal, Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning actor