The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)

Genres - Visual Arts, Theater  |   Sub-Genres - Biography  |   Release Date - Sep 27, 1996 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

This is a documentary of the life of artist Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003). While there might still be some debate as to whether caricatures are art, anyone who has seen Hirschfeld's elegant depictions of stage personalities over the years would unequivocably classify them as such, equal or superior to anything by 19th century caricaturist Rene Daumier. This movie, which took nearly ten years to film, follows the chronology of Hirschfeld's life closely. It includes many interviews with Hirschfeld himself, his second wife, and his beloved daughter Nina. His drawings had appeared in The New York Times since the 1920s, and they covered the entire modern history of theater in New York City, a fact which is underscored in this documentary. American actors have long known that one sign of their having begun to "make it" as stage actors, was a published caricature by this charming man.