Case Number 25300: Small Claims Court


PBS // 2012 // 120 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 16th, 2013

The Charge

The man who sold the world.

The Case

Inventing David Geffen is a two-hour episode of American Masters that appeared in 2012 on PBS. It's a fascinating look at a guy who lied about going to UCLA just so he could land a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency to set him on the path to rule the world. He was the ultimate impresario of "fake it until you make it" and a fierce negotiator who loved rock and roll. He conquered music, film, and everything else in entertainment anyone could imagine.

Geffen's life reads like a who's who of the industry's finest. This Brooklyn kid who made himself west and graduated from Santa Monica College went on to produced Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Jackson Browne, furthered the success of The Eagles and Aerosmith, was responsible for the release of John Lennon's Double Fantasy, taught business at Yale, financially backed Broadway shows like Dreamgirls, produced cult classic films like Beetlejuice and Risky Business, co-founded Dreamworks Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and has since gone on to be a prolific philanthropist for AIDS research and the arts in schools.

This PBS Blu-ray has a crisp clean 1.78:1/1080i high definition transfer that looks vibrant and filmic, with a full DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, even though it's essentially a television doc. Archival material varies in quality, but this is a treasure trove of rock and film history. Bonus material consists of twenty-five additional minutes of interviews excised from the show.

Far from a puff piece, Inventing David Geffen allows this impressive man a chance to share his story, exorcise some demons, and inspire hope in those who feel strongly about following their own passions.

The Verdict

Guilty of dreaming big and delivering bigger.

Review content copyright © 2013 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 88

Perp Profile
Studio: PBS
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)

* English (SDH)

Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Interviews

* IMDb