FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR ON 'BLOW OUT'/'SCARFACE'/'BODY DOUBLE'/'WISE GUYS'/'THE UNTOUCHABLES'
Joe Napolitano passed away July 23 in Los Angeles, following a battle with cancer, Variety reports. He was 67. Napolitano was a respected TV director who spent the early part of his career as first assistant director on feature films, where he worked most prominently on every Brian De Palma picture between 1981 and 1987: Blow Out, Scarface, Body Double, Wise Guys, and The Untouchables. He also worked with De Palma on the Bruce Springsteen music video, Dancing In The Dark (1984). Napolitano discussed the making of Body Double for the Carlotta Ultra Collector's Box of the film, which was released in France last December.
In her 1984 book on the making of Body Double (Double De Palma), Susan Dworkin describes Napolitano as one of the three major figures on the set (aside from De Palma). Napolitano "had worked with Brian on Blow Out and Scarface and knew him as well or better than anyone else on the production," Dworkin writes. "Short and good-looking, with an uptilting mouth always ready to grin, Joe was responsible for seeing to it that Brian got exactly what Brian wanted. Howard Gottfried called him by the affectionate Yiddish diminutive 'Yossele' because he gave the impression of being such a sweet guy, a regular pussycat."
Following Wise Guys, which had co-starred Danny DeVito, Napolitano worked as first assistant director on DeVito's directorial feature debut, Throw Momma From The Train.
Napolitano can be seen shadowing De Palma on the sets of Body Double and The Untouchables in the two pics below: