W.d. Richter


Screenwriter

About

Birth Place
New Britain, Connecticut, USA
Born
December 07, 1945

Biography

Versatile writer and sporadic producer-director of offbeat genre features of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Richter debuted as a screenwriter and associate producer with "Slither" (1973), a quirky yet popular caper/road movie starring James Caan. The success of this film propelled him to the front ranks of Hollywood screenwriters and, for awhile, Richter was one of the industry's highest paid ...

Family & Companions

Susan Booth
Wife
Married on June 22, 1968.

Biography

Versatile writer and sporadic producer-director of offbeat genre features of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Richter debuted as a screenwriter and associate producer with "Slither" (1973), a quirky yet popular caper/road movie starring James Caan. The success of this film propelled him to the front ranks of Hollywood screenwriters and, for awhile, Richter was one of the industry's highest paid writers.

Richter's next several projects were affectionate genre pastiches. "Peeper" (1975) was a failed satire of 40s detective movies. He collaborated with director Peter Bogdanovich on "Nickelodeon" (1976), a heartfelt if uneven tribute to the early days of Hollywood filmmaking starring Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds and Tatum O'Neal. Richter also scripted Philip Kaufman's creepy remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1978) as the paranoid fantasy of a West Coast conspiracy theorist. His sympathetic interpretation of "Dracula" (1979), starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, received mixed reviews.

Richter's earnest screenplay for "Brubaker" (1980), a popular prison reform movie starring Robert Redford, earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He dabbled in light romantic comedy with "All Night Long" (1981) starring Gene Hackman and Barbra Streisand. Richter made his directorial debut with "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" (1984), a madcap, tongue-in-cheek sci-fi "serial" starring Peter "Robocop" Weller, Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd. Though largely incoherent to most, the film has developed a fervent cult following. Richter did not receive another screen credit for seven years until he produced and directed "Late For Dinner," an offbeat comedy drama about the aftermath of a cryonics experiment. He returned to screenwriting with a horror film, "Needful Things" (1993) where he faced the frightening task of adapting Stephen King's 736-page novel to the screen.

Life Events

1973

Feature debut as screenwriter and associate producer, "Slither"

1984

Feature directorial debut, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" (also produced and wrote)

1986

Worked on screenplay adaptation of "Big Trouble in Little China"; did not receive screen credit

Videos

Movie Clip

Nickelodeon (1976) - Ask For A German Bagel Ambitious Floridian Buck (Burt Reynolds), following a goofy lead to his second New York gig, enters a bakery that turns out to be a low-rent movie company (Gustav and Bertil Unger the twin proprietors), which gets raided by their bigger rivals, in Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon, 1976.
Nickelodeon (1976) - That Crab Is Pure Genius! Lawyer Harrigan (Ryan O'Neal), swept into the entourage of early-movie magnate Cobb (Brian Keith), becoming a screenwriter (supplanting Arnold Soboloff, and Don Calfa as "Waldo") then meeting Kathleen (superodel Jane Hitchcock in her only major movie role), in Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon, 1976.
Nickelodeon (1976) - Did You Say Court? From a prologue about early cinema, befuddled lawyer Harrigan (Ryan O'Neal), Jack Perkins his client, before the judge (Sidney Armus), then fleeing down an alley into the movie business, and a quick bit by Brian Keith, in Peter Bogdanovich's Nickelodeon, 1976.
Brubaker (1980) - Leave The Ears Following the final credit for director Stuart Rosenberg, Robert Redford, under the name Collins, at prison intake, meets Jon Van Ness as wise-guy Zaranska, Everett McGill as scary trusty Caldwell, Yaphet Kotto as Coombes, Val Avery running the barracks and David Keith on air guitar, early in Brubaker, 1980.
Brubaker (1980) - R-E-S-P-E-C-T The big reveal, title character Robert Redford has been known as inmate Collins, announcing he’s the title character when death-row inmate Walter (Morgan Freeman in his first movie role!) grabs already banged-up prisoner Bullen (David Keith), Yaphet Kotto and Joe Spinell standing back, in Brubaker, 1980.
Brubaker (1980) - Can You Hear Me Now? Title character Robert Redford is the new warden who, until now, had been under-cover as an inmate, speaking to his charges with his trusty staff (Matt Clark, Joe Spinell, Yaphet Kotto) in support, and receiving state officials, Jane Alexander as Lillian Gray, Murray Hamilton her boss Deach, in Brubaker, 1980.
Slither (1973) - Climb Into The Potato Cellar Several minutes in but still short of the opening credits, newly paroled Dick (James Caan) and Harry (Richard B. Shull) arrive at the latter's derelict country home, trouble ensuing, in Slither, 1973, directed by Howard Zieff.
Slither (1973) - What Are You Up On? After a bad first hitch-hiking attempt, parolee Dick (James Caan) meets Kitty (Sally Kellerman), having trouble with a cop (Wayne Storm), in Slither, 1973, directed by Howard Zieff from W.D. Richter's original screenplay.
Slither (1973) - Consider Me Harry Professional MC Barry (Peter Boyle) at a gig for the Polish-American Veterans, spouse Mary (Louise Lasser) and new ex-con pal Dick (James Caan) in the audience, then discussing information gained from their deceased mutual friend, in Slither, 1973.

Trailer

Family

Walter Oswald Richter
Father
Hedwig Richter
Mother

Companions

Susan Booth
Wife
Married on June 22, 1968.

Bibliography