One of the most enjoyable anecdotal aspects of William Friedkin’s new autobiography The Friedkin Connection involves the late Blake Edwards. In 1966, when Friedkin was just getting started as a director on the TV side, he had the privilege of being asked to read the script for a planned feature film version of Edwards’ earlier TV series Peter Gunn. But it’s what happened at a subsequent Monday morning breakfast meeting that really made the difference:
“So what do you think?” Edwards asked.
I chose my words carefully, but I had to say what I felt and accept the consequences. “Blake, I think the script is a piece of sh*t.”
He looked up in shock, his English muffin poised in midair. “What?” He set his muffin down and looked at me directly, not so much mad as confused. “What did you just say?” A bitter smile crossed his lips.