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Q: Why Has Alan Smithee Directed So Many Bad Movies?

A: Look carefully and you’ll notice that Alan Smithee’s name shows up on almost every piece of embarrassing garbage out there. Bad movies, bad television, bad anything! But who exactly is this shameless Alan? The truth is, he’s a bit of everyone. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but usually we have to “fess up and take the blame.”

Not so in Hollywood, where directors have been using the pseudonym “Alan Smithee” — an anagram of “the alias men” — to hide from their mistakes since 1968. At least 40 films, music videos, and adapted-for-TV movies have been credited to the infamous Mr. Smithee, making him one of the most prolific helmers in the movie biz.

So what are some of the highlights? Some of the gems in his portfolio include Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” music video, and the Scott Baio heartwarmer I Love N.Y. Like him or not, you’ve got to admit: that Smithee’s got range.

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