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John Milius

John Milius

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Also Known As: John F Milius, John Frederick Milius Died:
Born: April 11, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, producer, script assistant, actor, gun dealer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A self-described Zen anarchist, writer-director John Milius was called far worse by friend and foe - everything from a self-styled fusion of Hemingway and Genghis Khan to the Hermann Goering of film directors. Such pat labels, however, failed to convey the depth and emotion on display in a Milius film, despite his unquenchable thirst for militarism and glorification of violence. Whether taking audiences on a journey into man's heart of darkness during the Vietnam War or depicting the uncommon friendship of two plebian soldiers from the Roman Empire, Milius made some of Hollywood's most memorable and hackle-raising films and television series. While his gun-toting, right-wing politics remained largely at odds from mainstream Hollywood, Milius nonetheless carved out a substantial - albeit, lonely - niche that allowed him to maintain his trademark individualism, while pushing his brash contrarian views.

A self-described Zen anarchist, writer-director John Milius was called far worse by friend and foe - everything from a self-styled fusion of Hemingway and Genghis Khan to the Hermann Goering of film directors. Such pat labels, however, failed to convey the depth and emotion on display in a Milius film, despite his unquenchable thirst for militarism and glorification of violence. Whether taking audiences on a journey into man's heart of darkness during the Vietnam War or depicting the uncommon friendship of two plebian soldiers from the Roman Empire, Milius made some of Hollywood's most memorable and hackle-raising films and television series. While his gun-toting, right-wing politics remained largely at odds from mainstream Hollywood, Milius nonetheless carved out a substantial - albeit, lonely - niche that allowed him to maintain his trademark individualism, while pushing his brash contrarian views.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Motorcycle Gang (1994) Director
2.
  Flight of the Intruder (1991) Director
3.
  Farewell to the King (1989) Director
4.
  Red Dawn (1984) Director
5.
  Conan The Barbarian (1982) Director
6.
  Big Wednesday (1978) Director
7.
  The Wind and the Lion (1975) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Milius (2013)
2.
 Riding Giants (2004) Himself
5.
 Deadhead Miles (1982) 2nd state trooper
6.
 Heart of Darkness (1999) Interviewee
8.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1951:
Moved from St. Louis to L.A. with his family at age seven upon his father's retirement from a successful career as a shoe manufacturer (date approximate)
:
As a student at USC, made his first short student film, "Marcello, I'm So Bored", a spoof of Italian art-house films
:
Won an International Student Film Festival Award for an animated short
1967:
Began career as assistant to Lawrence Gordon at American International Pictures (AIP)
1968:
Feature screenplay debut, "The Devil's Eight", a prison drama (co-written by Willard Huyck)
1968:
Involved in the formation of Zoetrope Studios
1971:
Hired by actor George Hamilton to rewrite some scenes for "Evel Knievel" for $1000 a day; Milius rewrote the entire screenplay
1973:
Feature directing debut, "Dillinger" (also wrote)
1974:
TV writing debut, wrote story and scripted "Melvin Purvis: G-Man", an ABC-TV period gangster telefilm
1975:
Founded A-Team production company
1979:
First executive producer credit, Paul Schrader's "Hardcore"
1979:
Co-wrote (with Francis Ford Coppola) his most acclaimed project, Coppola's "Apocolypse Now"
1983:
First credit as producer, "Uncommon Valor"
1985:
TV directing debut, "Opening Day", an episode of the CBS revival of "The Twilight Zone"
1987:
Provided the story for "Viking Bikers From Hell", an episode of NBC's crime drama "Miami Vice"
1994:
TV-movie directing debut, "Motorcycle Gang", an installment of Showtime's "Rebel Highway" series of remakes of American International Pictures drive-in fare
1996:
Signed deal with TNT to direct and write a four-hour miniseries about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders
2005:
Co-produced and wrote for the HBO epic series "Rome"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama series
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Whitman School: Steamboat Springs , Colorado -
Los Angeles City College: Los Angeles , California - 1966
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1968

Notes

Once a devoted surfer, Milius sometimes claims to have been born in Malibu, California rather than St. Louis, Missouri as stated in Quigley's "Motion Picture Almanac" and Honig & Rodek's "100001: Die Showbusiness-Enzyklopadie".

"I was known as crazy," says John Milius whose first film was "Dillinger", "and everyone was afraid I was going to do something terrible, like shoot somebody or something on the first day. I remember that I had gotten myself into a state of pneumonia and was sure I was dying. I'd heard about people who chickened out [of directing], and I didn't want to be remembered as someone who froze at the controls. So I convinced myself that I could last for three days without dying. I got out there on the first day--a big crowd scene had been arranged, and it had been rehearsed--and all I had to do was say, 'Roll' and 'Cut.' It was easy."--from "Remembering the First Time", AMERICAN FILM, April 1989.

Admittedly influenced by directors John Ford ("for his personal views, his concern with people rather than events") and Akira Kurosawa ("for the look of his films"), Milius began his career as a screenwriter.

"I'm not a director," he insists, "but a writer who became a director in self-defense."--John Milius quoted in PR for "Farewell to the King" (1989).

"'The hunter does not exist without the prey,'" Milius says, "'nor does the prey without the hunter.'" In his films hunter and pursued mirror each other. They depend on each other to create the legend that alone will give them tenuous immortality. They wish to be seen as great men. They will become legends by exceptional acts. As the great men they will transcend the essential absurdity of the one act that can ensure their fame--dying. By becoming mythic figures, long-remembered, they make their death worthwhile. What Milius shows is the process by which they build the myth." --From "The Movie Brats" by Michael Pye & Lynda Myles (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979).

"At Warners he converted his office into an imitation of a command post under siege, with guns and military equipment lying casually around. For the first time he posted the name A-Team on his door. He talked of his hunting exploits, of some mystical need to experience the reality of blood and death in hunting animals rather than driving to the supermarket to pick up a cellophane-wrapped package of meat. The talk of war and blood did not, however, give him a warrior past. John Milius, samurai, never passed the medical examination for the U.S. armed forces."

From "The Movie Brats" by Michael Pye & Lynda Myles

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Renee Fabri. Married January 7, 1967; divorced.
wife:
Celia Kaye. Actor. Married February 26, 1978.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Styx. Shoe manufacturer.
mother:
Elizabeth Milius.
son:
Ethan Jedediah Milius. Mother Renee Fabri.
son:
Marco Alexander Milius. Mother Renee Fabri.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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