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The Religious Affiliation of Film and TV Producer
Bert Schneider

Bert Schneider, a Reichian, was a film and television producer. He received the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for his 1974 film Hearts and Minds (1974). Schneider received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1967 for his musical comedy series "The Monkees" (1966), which satirized the popularity of The Beatles. Schneider was also the producer of: Broken English (1981); Days of Heaven (1978); Tracks (1976); The Gentleman Tramp (1975); and the executive producer of The Last Picture Show (1971).

Schneider was the producer or executive producer of a few films starring featuring popular actor Jack Nicholson: A Safe Place (1971); Five Easy Pieces (1970); Easy Rider (1969). Schneider was the executive producer of Head (1968), which was written and produced by Jack Nicholson. Schneider was also the executive producer of Nicholson's directorial debut, Drive, He Said (1971). Nicholson intended Drive, He Said to push the boundaries of sexuality in Hollywood movies. This was a consistent impulse for Jack Nicholson during the 1960s and 1970s, and was also a concept that Schneider embraced. Both Nicholson and Schneider were adherents of Reichianism, a belief system in which sexuality was a central aspect.

From: Patrick McGilligan, Jack's Life: A Biography of Jack Nicholson, W.W. Norton & Company: New York (1994), pages 211-212:

[1978] The change in public attitudes and the increase in unmarried sex in the late 1960s were real, but they also provided a cheap and easy excuse for guys who came to power in their thirties to imagine they had invented what people were doing all along, especially in Hollywood circles.

Bert Schneider, who carried the most prestige among the BBS crowd, had embraced Movement politics to an extent that others in Hollywood did not. [BBS was a production company that Schneider had formed, with which Jack Nicholson made a number of films.] Bert's political passions lent more than a patina of credibility to his frequent proclamations denouncing "sexual exclusivity" and the "bourgeois nature of male-femal monogamy."

Jack had his own set of thoughts, highly developed and equally sophisticated, but different from and in most ways more conservative than Bert's. But Bert also subscribed to the theories of Wilhelm Reich, and he and Jack tended to validate each other.

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Webpage created 8 October 2005. Last modified 8 October 2005.
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