skip navigation
Joan Micklin Silver

Joan Micklin Silver

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Bernice Bob's Her... Set in the summer of 1919, this film stars Veronica Cartwright and Shelley... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Crossing Delancey DVD Amy Irving plays a single New Yorker with too many options for love in the... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Charms For The Easy Life... Like mother, like daughter. In "Charms for The Easy Life" (2002), Academy Award... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Between The Lines DVD When a publishing mogul buys a Boston underground newspaper and promises changes... more info $14.99was $19.95 Buy Now

A Fish In The Bathtub DVD Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara make their big-screen debut together in this story... more info $14.99was $19.95 Buy Now

4 Film Collector's Set: Lifetime - Volume 2... "Lifetime Movies Collectors Set" is a powerful collection of four riveting... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Joan Micklin Died:
Born: May 24, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Omaha, Nebraska, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A consistently effective director, Joan Micklin Silver has created films that have been noted for their emotional depth, fine acting (often by unknown performers) and deftly drawn characters.Born and raised in the Midwest, Silver graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and soon married. In 1967, she and her family moved from Ohio to NYC where she began her career writing educational films. Producer Linda Gottlieb hired Silver to work on the script about the wives of prisoners-of-war during the Vietnam era. The result "Limbo" (1972) was a modest feature, one of the first to confront repercussions of an unpopular war, but its overt melodrama undercut its intensity. Attempting to move behind the camera, Silver ran up against rejection; it was virtually unheard of a female working as a Hollywood director in the early 1970s. With her husband Raphael, Silver formed Midwest Film Productions. Her maiden effort behind the camera was the keenly observed immigrant tale, "Hester Street" (1975). Made for under $400,000 and rejected by distributors, the black-and-white feature was eventually released by Raphael Silver and earned $5 million as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carol Kane.Her follow-up,...

A consistently effective director, Joan Micklin Silver has created films that have been noted for their emotional depth, fine acting (often by unknown performers) and deftly drawn characters.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Silver graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and soon married. In 1967, she and her family moved from Ohio to NYC where she began her career writing educational films. Producer Linda Gottlieb hired Silver to work on the script about the wives of prisoners-of-war during the Vietnam era. The result "Limbo" (1972) was a modest feature, one of the first to confront repercussions of an unpopular war, but its overt melodrama undercut its intensity. Attempting to move behind the camera, Silver ran up against rejection; it was virtually unheard of a female working as a Hollywood director in the early 1970s. With her husband Raphael, Silver formed Midwest Film Productions. Her maiden effort behind the camera was the keenly observed immigrant tale, "Hester Street" (1975). Made for under $400,000 and rejected by distributors, the black-and-white feature was eventually released by Raphael Silver and earned $5 million as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carol Kane.

Her follow-up, "Between the Lines" (1977) examined the workings of an underground newspaper. Like much of Silver's work, it divided critics and audiences into two distinct camps, those who loved it and those who didn't. The relatively unknown cast featured future stars Jeff Goldblum, John Heard, Jill Eikenberry and Stephen Collins. Heard toplined the film over which Silver battled with United Artists, "Chilly Scenes of Winter", which focused on a man trying to win back his ex-girlfriend. The studio changed the ending and released it under the title "Head Over Heels" in 1979 to a mixed reception. Although it finally saw the light in its original form in 1982, that version also did not set any box-office records. The writer-director earned her first notable commercial success with "Crossing Delancey" (1988), the story of a love affair between a sophisticated New York literary type (Amy Irving) and a reticent Lower East Side pickle seller (Peter Riegert). Silver tried another frothy comedy with "Loverboy" (1989) which cast Patrick Dempsey as a pizza delivery boy who is a sexual hit with lonely women, but the film's execution was barely on par with TV sitcoms. Her "Big Girls Don't Cry...They Get Even" (1992) was a modest comedy about a young girl's reaction to the effects of a blended family.

Silver seemingly had better luck on the small screen. Her adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (PBS, 1976) was a charming short that captured the author's spirit. She also helmed the PBS "Wonderworks" entry "How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days" (1984) and guided Mary Tyler Moore and Robert Preston in the superior romantic comedy "Finnegan Begin Again" (HBO, 1985). In 1991, Silver directed the "Parole Board" episode of "Prison Stories: Women on the Inside" (HBO) and the following year attracted some controversy with "A Private Matter" (HBO), based on the real-life story of a children's show host (Sissy Spacek) who decides to abort her baby when she discovers the fetus is deformed because of medication she was taking. As writer and director, she earned critical praise for her remake of the 1960s Rod Serling drama "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" (Showtime, 1997), a drama about a Jewish family struggling during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Silver's husband, Raphael (Ray) has produced several of her films (the two switched functions on "On the Yard" 1978). Their daughter Marisa made a promising directorial debut at age 24 with "Old Enough" (1984), which was produced by her sister, Dina. A third daughter, Claudia, has acted as well as directed.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Hunger Point (2003) Director
2.
3.
  Invisible Child (1999) Director
4.
  Fish in the Bathtub, A (1999) Director
6.
  Private Matter, A (1992) Director
7.
  Prison Stories: Women on the Inside (1991) Director ("Parole Board")
9.
  Loverboy (1989) Director
10.
  Crossing Delancey (1988) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 50 Years of Action! (1986) Herself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1967:
Moved from Cleveland, OH to NYC with family
:
Began film career writing educational films
:
Worked as a freelance writer for VILLAGE VOICE
1972:
First produced feature screenplay, "Limbo"
1972:
Film directing debut, "The Immigrant Experience" (30-minute short commissioned by Learning Corp. Of America; also wrote)
:
Formed Midwest Film Productions with husband, Raphael D Silver
1975:
Feature directing debut, "Hester Street"; also wrote; produced by husband
1976:
Wrote and directed the short film "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" for PBS' "The American Short Story"
:
With Julianne Boyd, co-conceived the stage musical "A...My Name Is Alice"; also directed
1978:
First feature as producer, "On the Yard" (directed by husband)
1979:
United Artists changed ending of "Chilly Scenes of Winter"; recut and released film under the title "Head Over Heels" (finally released with original ending and title in 1982)
1980:
Directed the Off-Broadway production, "Album"
1985:
Helmed the made-for-cable film "Finnegan Begin Again" (HBO), starring Mary Tyler Moore
1988:
Returned to New York Jewish milieu with the feature "Crossing Delancey"
:
With Julianne Boyd, co-created the musical sequel "A...My Name Is Still Alice"
1992:
Directed the controversial TV-movie "A Private Matter" (HBO)
1997:
Won acclaim for helming the remake of "In the Presence of Mine Enemies" (Showtime)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Sarah Lawrence College: Bronxville , New York - 1956

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Raphael D Silver. Producer; director. Married June 28, 1956; formed Midwest Film Productions with Silver.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Dina Silver. Producer.
daughter:
Marisa Silver. Director; screenwriter.
daughter:
Claudia Silver. Actor; director; screenwriter.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute