Alan J Pakula
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.