Family & Companions
An intelligent and dependable British-born director, Michael Anderson apprenticed under the likes of David Lean, Noel Coward (co-directors of 1942's "In Which We Serve") and Peter Ustinov, with whom he co-directed "Private Angelo" (1949), starring Ustinov in the title role. Anderson made a fine impression at the helm of "The Dam Busters" (1954), the true story of the bombing of the Ruhr dams during World War II, then followed with the first film version of "1984" (1955) before his breakthrough work on the Academy Award-winning Best Picture "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956). He produced as well as directed "Shake Hands with the Devil" (1959), a drama set in 1920s Ireland that starred Jimmy Cagney as a medical professor hell-bent on Irish independence. Returning to a World War II setting, Anderson helmed one of his best pictures, "Operation Crossbow" (1965), and followed with "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966, adapted by Harold Pinter), a spy thriller lost amidst the spate of similar 60s films. The well-crafted "Logan's Run" (1976) marked Anderson's first foray into science fiction while "Orca" (1977) proved a disappointing attempt to capitalize on the success of "Jaws" (1975).
Embarking on a career in television, he helmed the miniseries "The Martian Chronicles" (NBC 1980) and received critical acclaim for his direction of the cable movie "Sword of Gideon" (HBO 1986), a fictionalized version of the revenge extracted for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics. After the sci-fi feature "Millennium" (1989), Anderson helmed "La Boutique de l'orfevre/The Jeweler's Shop" (1989), based on a play written by Pope John Paul II. The director then concentrated on the small screen, primarily guiding period dramas and literary adaptations like "Catherine the Great" (TNT, 1991), "The Sea Wolf" (TNT, 1993), "Captains Courageous" (The Family Channel, 1996) and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (CBS, 1997). His first feature in nearly a decade was the straight-to-video release "Summer of the Monkeys" (1998) which proved more suited to the small screen. Anderson's final film was the sequel "The New Adventures of Pinocchio" (1999), starring Martin Landau as Geppetto, after which Anderson quietly retired. Michael Anderson died on April 25, 2018 in Vancouver. He was 98.
Director (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Editing (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Director (TV Mini-Series)
Entered films as office boy at Elstree Studios
First film as assistant director, "The Mill on the Floss"
Served in the 48th Infantry Division of the Royal Signal Corps
Co-directing debut (with Ustinov), "Private Angelo"; also co-scripted with Ustinov (who starred)
Solo directing debut, "Waterfront Women/Waterfront"
Directed "Dam Busters", exciting and intelligent film about blowing up German-held dams on the Ruhr River during World War II; starred Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave
Helmed thought-provoking version of George Orwell's futuristic novel "1984"; cast included Redgrave
Directed Oscar-winning Best Picture "Around the World in Eighty Days", based on the novel by Jules Verne; nominated for Best Director Oscar
Moved to Hollywood
Directed "The Weck of the Mary Deare", starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston; cast also included Redgrave and Harris
Produced and directed "Shake Hands with the Devil", gripping drama of war-torn Ireland of the 1920s; starred James Cagney and included fine English thesps like Redgrave, Cyril Cusack, Sybil Thorndike and Richard Harris
Composed music for "Twelve to the Moon"
Second film with Cooper, "The Naked Edge"
Helmed fine "impossible mission" tale of small band of commandos out to destroy Nazi secret missile stronghold during WWII; third and last association with Todd
Directed "The Quiller Memorandum", spy film starring George Segal as American secret agent investigating neo-Nazis in the 60s; Harold Pinter scripted, adapting from novel "The Berlin Memorandum" by Elleston Trevor
Helmed "The Shoes of the Fisherman", starring Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier
Directed Liv Ullmann in the period drama "Pope Joan"
Helmed the well-acted, if old-fahioned melodrama "Conduct Unbecoming"; starred Michael York
Ventured into sci-fi for "Logan's Run", winner of a special Oscar for its visual effects; York, son Michael Jr and Ustinov acted in it
Directed "Orca", starring Harris
US TV directing debut, NBC miniseries "The Martian Chronicles", based on the Ray Bradbury novel; son Michael Jr had featured role
Nominated for CableACE Award for his direction of the HBO movie "Sword of Gideon"
Missed with feature sci-fi effort, "Millenium" and directed "La Boutique de l'orfevre/The Jeweler's Shop", based on a story by Pope John Paul II
Directed TNT miniseries "Young Catherine", about the early life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
Helmed TNT movie remake "The Sea Wolf", based on Jack London's novel
Directed "Rugged Gold" (Family Channel), set amidst the beautiful scenery of New Zealand
Helmed remake of "Captains Courageous" (Family Channel)
Returned to Jules Verne territory for CBS movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"
First feature in nine years, "Summer of the Monkeys", a family drama better suited to television than the large screen; released straight-to-video