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Paul Wendkos and the art of the documentary

November 17, 2009 | 11:49 am

Director Paul Wendkos, who died Nov. 12 at 84, started his career producing and directing documentaries for the U.S. State Department.

In 1968, he talked to a cinema arts class at Madrid University about the role of documentaries. Wendkos was in Madrid to direct "Guns of the Magnificent Seven."

"The importance of the documentary film in today's world of lightning communications cannot be overemphasized," Wendkos said in a short story in the May 16, 1968 edition of The Times. "Everyone can comprehend and respond to a visual demonstration on the screen.

"The task of the intelligent documentary maker is to present his subject in such an interesting and exciting manner that the viewer not only can enjoy the film but learn while watching."

-- Keith Thursby