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Curtis Hanson

Curtis Hanson

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Also Known As: Curtis Lee Hanson, Curtis Lee Hanson Died:
Born: March 24, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Reno, Nevada, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, freelance writer, editor, photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A former high school dropout who became a photographer and editor at Cinema magazine, writer-director Curtis Hanson honed his filmmaking skills by writing screenplays for low-budget horror flicks before directing eventually Oscar-caliber films. As with seemingly everyone of his age who wielded a camera, Hanson had his start penning "The Dunwich Horror" (1970) for the definitive mentor, Roger Corman, before directing "Sweet Kill" (1973) for the low-brow producer. In the 1980s, he graduated to compelling, Hitchcockian thrillers like "The Bedroom Window" (1987) and "Bad Influence" (1990), which paved the way for his true breakthrough film, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" (1992), a tense psychological thriller that became his first bona fide box office hit. Following a quality action adventure movie, "The River Wild" (1994), Hanson reached true artistic heights with his lush adaptation of James Ellroy's "L.A. Confidential" (1997), widely considered to be the best crime noir since "Chinatown" (1974). From there, he made a quirky, uneven, but ultimately endearing adaptation of Michael Chabon's "Wonder Boys" (2000), before drawing a convincing performance from rap star Eminem in "8 Mile" (2002). Though...

A former high school dropout who became a photographer and editor at Cinema magazine, writer-director Curtis Hanson honed his filmmaking skills by writing screenplays for low-budget horror flicks before directing eventually Oscar-caliber films. As with seemingly everyone of his age who wielded a camera, Hanson had his start penning "The Dunwich Horror" (1970) for the definitive mentor, Roger Corman, before directing "Sweet Kill" (1973) for the low-brow producer. In the 1980s, he graduated to compelling, Hitchcockian thrillers like "The Bedroom Window" (1987) and "Bad Influence" (1990), which paved the way for his true breakthrough film, "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" (1992), a tense psychological thriller that became his first bona fide box office hit. Following a quality action adventure movie, "The River Wild" (1994), Hanson reached true artistic heights with his lush adaptation of James Ellroy's "L.A. Confidential" (1997), widely considered to be the best crime noir since "Chinatown" (1974). From there, he made a quirky, uneven, but ultimately endearing adaptation of Michael Chabon's "Wonder Boys" (2000), before drawing a convincing performance from rap star Eminem in "8 Mile" (2002). Though he stumbled with his next two projects, "In Her Shoes" (2005) and "Lucky You" (2007), Hanson was able to keep critics guessing while maintaining his status as one of Hollywood's most diverse directors.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Lucky You (2007)
3.
  In Her Shoes (2005) Director
4.
  8 Mile (2002) Director
5.
  Wonder Boys (2000) Director
6.
  L.A. Confidential (1997) Director
7.
  River Wild, The (1994) Director
9.
  Bad Influence (1990) Director
10.
  Bedroom Window, The (1987) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Adaptation. (2002) Orlean's husband
3.
 I Think I Cannes (1999)
4.
 Take My Advice: The Ann & Abby Story (1999) Bennett Royce
5.
 Change of Heart (1998) Judge Thompson
6.
 Praying Mantis (1993) George
7.
 Fade to Black (1993) Museum Guard
8.
 Homewrecker (1992) Admiral Torborg
9.
 Last Innocent Man, The (1987) Clerk
10.
 Goonies, The (1985) Mr Perkins
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Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Reseda, CA in the San Fernando Valley
:
Dropped out of high school
:
Became a photographer and freelance writer of articles about Hollywood
:
Edited <i>Cinema</i> magazine
:
Interviewed various legendary Hollywood figures including John Ford, Vincente Minnelli, Dalton Trumbo, and William Wellman
:
Befriended by writer-director-actor John Cassavetes, who invited Hanson to his garage to watch him edit his films
1970:
As Curtis Lee Hanson, co-scripted first feature (with Henry Rosenbaum and Ronald Silkosky) "The Dunwich Horror," an AIP thriller executive produced by Roger Corman
1973:
Directorial debut, "The Arousers/Sweet Kill" (also wrote screenplay), starring Tab Hunter
1978:
Made producing debut as associate producer on "The Silent Partner" (also screenwriter)
1983:
Helmed "Losin' It," starring Tom Cruise
1986:
Made TV debut as writer-director of "The Children of Times Square," an ABC TV-movie about a teen runaway
1989:
Wrote and directed the surprisingly good homage to Hitchcock "The Bedroom Window"
1990:
Directed "Bad Influence," starring Rob Lowe and James Spader
1992:
Helmed surprise hit thriller "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"
1994:
Stock soared with commercial success of "The River Wild," starring Meryl Streep
1997:
Scored major critical success for directing "L.A. Confidential" (also co-produced and co-wrote with Brian Helgeland); received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director; won award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2000:
Helmed the screen adaptation of Michael Chabon's novel "Wonder Boys," starring Michael Douglas
2002:
Directed and produced "8 Mile," a film starring Eminem loosely based on the rapper's life
2005:
Directed the adaptation of Jennifer Weiner's novel "In Her Shoes," starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette
2007:
Helmed "Lucky You," a drama set in the high-stakes world of professional poker co-starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore
2011:
Directed and produced HBO film "Too Big to Fail"
2012:
With Michael Apted, co-directed sport drama "Chasing Mavericks"
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Notes

When Hanson got the opportunity to direct his script of "The Bedroom Window", he had to first secure membership in the Directors Guild of America. To this end, he sought the endorsement of three DGA members "whom I admired as filmmakers and as men," he says. His signatories were John Cassavetes, Don Siegel and Sam Fuller.

"They were three directors whose movies and careers meant a lot to me. I felt that the three of them--Cassavetes, the maverick independent; Don Siegel, the consummate studio director; and Sam Fuller, who worked in both worlds--were always able to make original, personal movies," Hanson says. "I hoped that a little of their good fortune would rub off on me." --from the press kit for "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"

"One of my great joys is that Elliot Gould, with whom I eventually became close, took 'The Silent Partner' and screened it for Hitchcock. The prick didn't invite me, I might add. But he called me immediately afterward saying, 'Hitch loved the movie!'" --Curtis Hanson quoted in Venice, September 1997.

"Rather than being a director for hire as I have been on most of my films, 'L.A. Confidential' is that one project where I've been able to cash in the chips I've earned from being lucky enough to have had a couple of financially successful films and saying, 'Okay, now this is the film that I want to make.' It's my most personal movie. Whether it achieves any popular acceptance or not is less important to me. That's not why I made it." --Hanson in Venice, September 1997.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Hanson. Elementary school teacher. Died in 1994.
mother:
Beverly June Hanson. Realtor.
uncle:
Jack Hanson. Clothing shopowner. Owned Jax, a popular clothing shop for women; underwrote Hanson's CINEMA magazine.

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