Alan J Pakula

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Known for drawing Oscar caliber performances out of his actors while helming suspenseful, moody thrillers, director Alan J. Pakula emerged from the theater world to produce a number of quality films in the 1960s with ... Read more »
Born: 04/07/1928 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Producer (18)

The Pelican Brief 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Consenting Adults 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

See You in the Morning 1989 (Movie)

(Producer)

Orphans 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dream Lover 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sophie's Choice 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Starting Over 1979 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Parallax View 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

Love, Pain and the Whole Damned Thing 1972 (Movie)

(Producer)

Klute 1971 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Sterile Cuckoo 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Stalking Moon 1968 (Movie)

(Producer)

Up the Down Staircase 1967 (Movie)

(Producer)

Inside Daisy Clover 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

Baby, the Rain Must Fall 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 (Movie)

(Producer)

Fear Strikes Out 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (16)

The Devil's Own 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

The Pelican Brief 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Consenting Adults 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Presumed Innocent 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

See You in the Morning 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Orphans 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Dream Lover 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Sophie's Choice 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Rollover 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Starting Over 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Comes a Horseman 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

All the President's Men 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Parallax View 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Love, Pain and the Whole Damned Thing 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Klute 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sterile Cuckoo 1969 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (4)

The Pelican Brief 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Presumed Innocent 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

See You in the Morning 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sophie's Choice 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (3)

Intimate Portrait: Katharine Graham 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Unauthorized Biography: Jane Fonda 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey 1985 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Biography

Known for drawing Oscar caliber performances out of his actors while helming suspenseful, moody thrillers, director Alan J. Pakula emerged from the theater world to produce a number of quality films in the 1960s with director Robert Mulligan, most notably the iconic adaptation of Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962). He went on to produce another six films with Mulligan during the decade before stepping into the director's chair himself for the low-key melodrama "The Sterile Cuckoo" (1969). But with his next picture, "Klute" (1971), Pakula began cementing his reputation as a fine practitioner of the conspiracy thriller while showcasing exemplary performances from his leading actors. He went on to practically define the genre with "The Parallax View" (1974), a box office disappointment at the time that later earned a reputation as one of the best conspiracy thrillers ever made. Pakula rounded out his so-called paranoia trilogy with "All the President's Men" (1976), arguably his finest achievement and one of the best movies of the entire decade. With the tearjerker drama "Sophie's Choice" (1983), he tackled the exceedingly difficult subject of the Holocaust in exceptional fashion while allowing star Meryl Streep to deliver an Oscar-winning performance that long remained the best of her storied career. Later in his career, Pakula began delivering rather underwhelming, but nonetheless financially successful movies like "The Pelican Brief" (1993), which nonetheless helped cap a sterling career highlighted by some the best movies Hollywood had to offer.

Relationships

Hannah Boorstin

Wife
author of "The Last Romantic" about Queen Marie of Romania married on February 17, 1973 had three children from previous marriage

Louis Boorstin

Step-Son
son of Hannah Boorstin and her first husband

Robert Boorstin

Step-Son
served with the US Treasury Department spoke publicly about his battles with depresson son of Hannah Boorstin and her first husband

Anna Brugge

Step-Daughter
daughter of Hannah Boorstin and her first husband

Hope Lange

Wife
married in 1963 divorced in 1969 had three children from a previous marriage

Christopher Murray

Step-Son
born in 1957 son of Hope Lange and Don Murray

Patricia Murray

Step-Daughter
born in 1958 daughter of Hope Lange and Don Murray

Paul Pakula

Father
Polish Jew owned a printing and advertising business in NYC

Jeanette Pakula

Mother
Polish Jew

EDUCATION

Hill School

Pottstown , Pennsylvania 1944
graduated at age 16

Yale University

New Haven , Connecticut 1948
began directing career with plays at the University Club

Bronx High School of Science

Bronx , New York

Milestones

1998

Appeared as interviewee in Lifetime documentary, "Intimate Portrait: Katherine Graham"

1997

Shepherded the troubled "The Devil's Own" production to conclusion; rewarded for his pains by mostly positive reviews

1993

Wrote, directed and produced "The Pelican Brief", adapted form the John Grisham novel

1990

Directed film version of Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent" (also co-wrote with Frank Pierson)

1982

First feature screenplay credit, adapting "Sophie's Choice" from the William Styron novel; received Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay; also directed and produced; star Meryl Streep won Best Actress Oscar

1981

Third outing with Jane Fonda, the thriller "Rollover"

1979

Directed the serio-comic look at divorce "Starting Over", starring Burt Reynolds, Candice Bergen and Jill Clayburgh

1978

Reteamed with Jane Fonda and Jason Robards for the Western "Comes a Horseman"

1976

Received Best Director Oscar nomination for "All the President's Men"; Jason Robards received Best Supporting Actor Oscar

1974

Helmed the underrated political thriller "The Parallax View", starring Warren Beatty

1970

Delivered top-notch detective-thriller-cum-character-study "Klute"; also co-produced; steered Jane Fonda to a Best Actress Oscar

1970

Delivered top-notch detective-thriller cum character-study "Klute" (co-produced)

1968

Feature directorial debut, "The Sterile Cuckoo" (also produced)

1968

Produced final film for Mulligan, "The Stalking Man"

1967

Had box-office hit with "Up the Down Staricase", starring Sandy Dennis

1963

Second Pakula-Mulligan production, "Love With a Proper Stranger", was success

1962

With Mulligan, formed Pakula-Mulligan Productions

1957

Produced first film, the biopic of Jimmy Piersall "Fear Strikes Out", beginning a seven-film collaboration with director Robert Mulligan

1951

Remained Hartman's assistant when he became production head at Paramount

1950

Joined MGM as apprentice to writer-producer-director Don Hartman

1949

Began career as assistant in Warner Bros. cartoon department

1943

Worked as an office boy for agent Leland Hayward for two months before attending college

While continuing his Hollywood career, produced several New York stage productions including "There Must Be a Pony" with Myrna Loy and "Comes a Day", starring George C Scott and Judith Anderson

Directed plays at the Circle Theatre in Los Angeles

Bonus Trivia

.

Pakula was killed in a freak accident when a seven-foot-long metal pipe smashed through his windshield and struck him in the head. His car swerved off the Long Island Expressway near the Melville exit and struck a fence. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

.

Posthumously inducted into the Producers Guild Hall of Fame in 1999.

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