There is a sequence at the beginning of Amanda Ladd-Jones’ documentary about her father, Alan Ladd Jr., where she poses one simple question to a variety of Star Wars fans at a convention: do you know who Alan Ladd Jr. is? Many of these fans, dressed as their favourite characters from one of the most successful film franchises of all time, simply don’t have an answer. Little do they know that Alan Ladd Jr. (or Laddie to his pals) is one of the people they have to thank for the very thing that they love the most.
Alan Ladd Jr. made a career for himself as a film executive and producer, a man whose name is attached to so many classic movies ranging from the 70s to the modern day. To name but a few, Laddie helped bring not just Star Wars to the screen, but also The Omen, Alien, Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire, Police Academy, Thelma & Louise, Braveheart and many more. As both a studio exec and later a producer straight out, Laddie came to represent a type of studio head that is rare to find in Hollywood these days: the kind of backer who protects the filmmakers vision, a producer who made movies simply for the love of movies.
Head on over to Filmhounds to check out the full review, originally published April 23rd 2021.