This one shocked me…it’s simply terrific

by Martin Hafer

Casting By is an excellent documentary for any movie buff and is well worth seeing. This is because although we love directors, actors and perhaps even producers, folks that love films almost never stop to think about the casting director.  This is the person whose job it is to find talent, appropriate talent, for all the film and television roles. The story primarily focuses on Marion Dougherty and how she created this position while working for Kraft Theater on television and follows her through her brilliant career. This film also focus to a lesser extent on Lynn Stahlmaster who created this sort of role in Hollywood. It’s all very, very informative and it was very touching hearing folks talking so fondly of Marion and crediting so much of their success to her. The only thing you don’t learn is anything about her personal life or those of the other casting directors.

It’s nice to see this film, as often the perception is that Hollywood is very selfish and narcissistic, yet here so many ‘heavy hitters’ make themselves available for interviews and attribute so much of their success to the casting directors and in particular, Marion. Superb and well worth seeing.  And, surprisingly, rather touching.

If you are interested in seeing this excellent documentary, it’s available through Netflix.