The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)

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The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story: Directed by Susan Warms Dryfoos. With Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Cy Coleman. The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people – many in the entertainment industry – over a span of more than sixty years.

“Amid the entertainment super-stars of the twentieth century—Carol Channing, Lauren Bacall, Joan Collins, Barbara Walters, and more—the white-bearded, bright-eyed Al Hirschfeld cuts a humorous and humble figure. This visual historian doesnu0026#39;t make the stars beautiful in his drawings; he makes them interesting. ESP-like, the line of Hirschfeldu0026#39;s pen reveals an essential and vital character within each of the performers he draws, capturing the rare exuberance with amazing specificity: the gestures, the movements, the facial expressions—all become playfully recognizable as the spirit manifest. What the documentary does especially well is show Hirschfeld at work, and talking about the work. He was 90 years old when interviewed in the film, but seems almost childlike in his delight for his life-long passion. Hirschfeld emerges as the centuryu0026#39;s most beloved cartoonist, truly earning him the title of The Line King.”


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