PAUL WILLIAMS' DEALING: "BRIAN GOT ME THAT JUST BY RECOMMENDING ME"
CORRECTION: DIRECTOR WILLIAMS DID INDEED COLLABORATE WITH DE PALMA ON PHANTOM
Thanks to the fine folk at the Swan Archives for sending in a correction to my original post, in which I stated that the Paul Williams who directed Lithgow in Dealing was not the Paul Williams who collaborated with De Palma on Phantom Of The Paradise. It turns out that both Paul Williams' worked on Phantom-- the one who directed Dealing, Out Of It, and The Revolutionary also co-produced Phantom Of The Paradise with Edward Pressman ("A Pressman/Williams Production"). The text has been corrected below-- I apologize for the error.
In an interview with Back Stage's Jenelle Riley, John Lithgow reveals that Brian De Palma led to his first screen role in Paul Williams' Dealing: Or The Berkeley-To-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues, which was released in 1972. Williams, not to be confused with the Paul Williams who played Swan in De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, actually did co-produce De Palma's Phantom along with Edward Pressman, the latter of which produced Dealing. Williams had previously made two films starring Jon Voight: Out Of It and The Revolutionary, the latter of which also featured De Palma's friend Jennifer Salt. Lithgow told Riley that it was while he was at Columbia that De Palma noticed him and recommended him to Williams for the film:
My first screen role was a movie called "Dealing," and, actually, Brian was involved. I had known him briefly when I was in college; he was in Columbia and we met each other. He saw me act and he recommended me to another filmmaker, and that was "Dealing." Brian got me that just by recommending me. And my second film, "Obsession," was directed by Brian; that was the first of three. He's wonderful. He just loves actors. He's responsible for so many great actors starting out; DeNiro was one of his first, and so many others.
Dealing was based on a book co-written by Michael Crichton and his brother Douglas Crichton under the pseudonym "Michael Douglas." It also featured De Palma regular Charles Durning, as well as Barbara Hershey.