The Art of the Sell — Tootsie teaser trailer

These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art.

Sydney Pollack didn’t want to act in Tootsie. He started in the showbiz as an actor, but it had been about twenty years since he’d done anything more than a cameo while he pursued a very successful career as a film director. He was signed to direct Tootsie and figured that would be the extent of contribution. But the star of the film, Dustin Hoffman, suggested that Pollack was the only person suited to play George Fields, the agent with a affectionate yet combative relationship with Hoffman’s character, Michael Dorsey.

For the film’s first trailer, Pollack is also at the forefront. In character as George, Pollack lays out the valuable background that Michael Dorsey is a difficult actor, the sort that prompts casting agents to hurl darts at his photo rather than hire him. Then fully half the trailer is given over to a single shot that lays out the crux of the plot better than any pileup of clips ever could.

“Soon everyone will know that she’s Dustin Hoffman, and he’s Tootsie.”

Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.

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