Last week, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Arthur Hiller at the age of ninety-two. In 1969, the director forged a close working relationship with actor Alan Arkin on the set of the film Popi, and a decade later the two would reunite for the comedy classic The In-Laws. It was Arkin, in his role as executive producer on The In-Laws, who initially suggested that Hiller direct the film, which went on to become one of the most enduringly popular titles in both of their careers.
In Hiller’s honor, Arkin shared the following remembrance with us:
I had the good fortune to work with Arthur Hiller on what became two of my favorite films. He was a fine, easygoing director and a gentle, warm, kind human being. There was nothing of the authoritarian figure about him. He created an easy, almost effortless collaborative atmosphere on the set, where one always felt cared for, comfortable, and filled with joy. He had a wonderful, rich, creative life with a great deal of success. He lived healthily into his nineties, had a loving and long marriage, and did a lot of good for a lot of people. He will be missed by many, many of us, but what’s important to focus on is that he led a really good life . . . a life to be celebrated.
In the clip below, Arkin speaks on the collaborative process that made The In-Laws such a unique and effortless comedy.