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The Religious Affiliation of Movie Producer
Michael Klinger


From: Roman Polanski,
Roman by Polanski, William Morrow and Company: New York City (1984), pages 207-208: The Compton Group had been making so much money of this operation that it was anxious to change its image, so its interests coincided with Gene's and mine. Thanks to this combination of circumstances, two more figures on the fringe of the film industry entered my orbit: Tony Tenser and Michael Klinger, who owned the Compton Group. I flew over to London for exploratory talks with them.

Michael Klinger's father, a Polish Jew, had been a presser in a tailor's sweatshop in London's East End. Thickset and bald, with heavy horn-rims, an ever-smoldering King Edward cigar, and an inexhaustible fund of Jewish jokes, Klinger spoke only a few words of Polish but was fluent in "Jewish," his term for Yiddish. He had been variously employed, in the course of a checkered career, as a sausage salesman, a bouncer, and a nightclub manager.

Tony Tenser, another East End Jew, had adopted a completely different persona. A tall man with a cliped gray mustache, he held himself ramrod straight and could have passed, except when betrayed by certain rare vocal inflexions, for a retired colonel.

Despite their eagerness to make a film with Gene and me, however, neither Klinger nor Tenser would consider If Katelbach Comes. What they wanted was a horror movie. Back in Paris, Gerard and I started work. We completed the script for Repulsion [the film Polanski made for Klinger and Tenser] in seventeen days.

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