Sydney Pollack Doesn’t Have a Director Credit for ‘Amazing Grace’: The Long, Strange Story

Producer Alan Elliott has been nothing if not dogged in his pursuit of finishing and releasing Sydney Pollack’s 1972 documentary “Amazing Grace.” But until now he has not told the whole story about some of the wrangling that went on behind the scenes in order to get the movie made.

Back in 1972, a year after their massive hit “Woodstock,” Warner Bros. exec Ted Ashley set out to produce another music documentary with the help of Pink Floyd producer Joe Boyd, director of music services at Warner Bros. So Boyd set out to find someone to shoot the Aretha Franklin concert movie in Watts, which required someone who understood how to shoot multiple cameras with sync sound.

Boyd wanted to hire James Signorelli as his director of photography, who shot “Super Fly” and went on to shoot the first 35 years of commercials for “Saturday Night Live,” until Ashley talked up the
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