Producer Martin Bregman, the elegant New York smoothie who basically built a career out of producing five Al Pacino movies and five starring Alan Alda, has passed at age 92. The Pacinos were Serpico (’73), Dog Day Afternoon (’75), Scarface (’83), Sea of Love (’86) and Carlito’s Way (’93). The Aldas were The Seduction of Joe Tynan (’79), The Four Seasons (’81), Sweet Liberty (’86), A New Life (’88) and Betsy’s Wedding (’90).
To me Bregman was always the consummate, well-connected gentleman producer with a deep voice who gave great on-camera interviews, especially about the making of Scarface. Brooklyn-born and Bronx-reared, he was a classic New York “industry” personality — as much of a staple of a New York filmmaking attitude (make things happen, finesse the unions, grease the right palms) as Sidney Lumet. He seemed cut from the same (or at least a similar) cloth as producer and talent agent Jerry Weintraub, who also hailed from Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Bregman started in insurance and real estate, and then sashayed into the entertainment biz as a nightclub agent and a personal manager, eventually representing Pacino, Alda, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, et. al. He also produced Phillip Noyce‘s The Bone Collector (’99) and The Adventures of Pluto Nash (’02), an Eddie Murphy vehicle. In ’05 Bregman also produced a Carlito’s Way prequel that his son Michael wrote and directed.
A sharp producer who hails from the east and has been around: “Bregman played it pretty close to the vest. He was a tough guy who could deal with the goombahs who for many years controlled the city streets that were needed for outdoor locations in New York. He had the connections. Nobody fucked with him. And he was widely respected by left coasters for being the insider who got the job done.”