Lawrence Bender: An Extraordinary Producer

Involved with the movie industry for over two decades, Academy Award-winning Lawrence Bender has also received twenty-nine nominations for Academy Awards, many of which were for Best Picture. Bender has long had a winning combination with writer and director Quentin Tarantino. In fact, only Death Proof, The Hateful Eight, and Django Unchained have missed production under him. Also, as a concerned environmentalist, Lawrence Bender produced An Inconvenient Truth, written by Al Gore. This film won two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song.

A somewhat idiosyncratic person who sleeps on friends’ couches rather than paying for an expensive hotel room, Lawrence Bender contends that he can make better use of the money in hiring another film crew member. Once a dancer until he suffered an injury, and an actor himself, Lawrence Bender is of a creative nature. He describes himself as “…look(ing) at movies differently than other producers. I look for things with movement and character and color….I want to make movies with people who need to say something…movies that come from some inner being.” This interest of Lawrence Bender’s, perhaps, explains his odd, but close relationship with the unpredictable and creative Tarantino. His being Jewish (for which he was mocked as a boy) also explains his interest and involvement in a movie about Jewish soldiers who fight Nazis.

Inglourious Basterds, is a film of Tarantino’s dark genius based on the history of valiant German and Dutch-born Jewish men who volunteered to leave America to parachute into Nazi-controlled Austria in 1938 with the objective of eliminating as many Nazi leaders as they could. Their mission was called “Operation Greenup.” The role of Brad Pitt’s character is based on the courageous Frederick Mayer, who led the OSS soldiers. Another Jewish-American who volunteered to be an Office of Strategic Services agent was Hans Wijnberg. Interestingly, a sub-plot exists with the revenge plan of the Jewish cinema owner who desires the same end as the OSS soldiers. In classic Tarantino style, there are scenes of brutality, burning, and “inglorious” deat