Movie director: Politically themed movies are on the outs

The 1966 comedy starring Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner was the story of a Soviet submarine that accidentally runs aground in the United States.

Jewison says, “I don’t think anybody has the courage to make that kind of a film and I think we should because I think we live in a world where people should live together.”

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The Canadian, seven-time Academy Award nominee says movie studios are more concerned with churning out action-packed, 3-D blockbusters — complete with “1,000 gallons of gasoline to blow up the street” — that play well before international audiences.

“I think we should make films that bring us together, that have some meaning, that have some raison d'être to be there besides making money,” he sighs. “I don’t know whether these are the right times for thoughtful films.”

After more than five decades in the movie biz, the affable director and producer has his share of tales from throughout the years. He recalls a chance encounter with Robert F. Kennedy, when he told the New York senator about his soon-to-be-made 1967 movie, “In the Heat of the Night.”

“This could be a very important film, Norman,” Jewison says Kennedy replied when he described the plotline about a black police detective investigating a murder in a racist Mississippi community.

Then, Jewison says Kennedy told him, “ ‘Timing is everything — in politics, in art, and in life itself.’ And I never forgot that.”