Curtis Hanson

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
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 ... Read more »
Born: 03/24/1945 in Reno, Nevada, USA

Filmography

Actor (18)

Adaptation 2002 (Movie)

Orlean's Husband (Actor)

Kevin Bacon: Am I Me? 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Change of Heart 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Nowhere Man 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Fade to Black 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Homewrecker 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Praying Mantis 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Goonies 1985 (Movie)

Mr Perkins (Actor)

Off Sides 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Reunion 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Dead by Sunset (TV Show)

Actor

Killing at Hell's Gate (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Innocent Man (TV Show)

Actor
Director (15)

Chasing Mavericks 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Lucky You 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

In Her Shoes 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

8 Mile 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Wonder Boys 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

L.A. Confidential 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

The River Wild 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Bad Influence 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

The Bedroom Window 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Losin' It 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

The Little Dragons 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Sweet Kill 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

The Children of Times Square (TV Show)

Director

Too Big to Fail (TV Show)

Director
Producer (9)

Chasing Mavericks 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Big Year 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lucky You 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

In Her Shoes 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

8 Mile 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Wonder Boys 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

L.A. Confidential 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Little Dragons 1979 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Silent Partner 1977 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)
Writer (8)

Lucky You 2007 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

L.A. Confidential 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

White Dog 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Bedroom Window 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Never Cry Wolf 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Silent Partner 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sweet Kill 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Dunwich Horror 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

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 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.

Relationships

William Hanson

Father
Died 1994

Beverly Hanson

Mother

Jack Hanson

Uncle
Owned Jax, a popular clothing shop for women Underwrote Hanson's Cinema magazine

EDUCATION

dropped out of high school

Milestones

2012

With Michael Apted, co-directed sport drama "Chasing Mavericks"

2011

Directed and produced HBO film "Too Big to Fail"

2007

Helmed "Lucky You," a drama set in the high-stakes world of professional poker co-starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore

2005

Directed the adaptation of Jennifer Weiner's novel "In Her Shoes," starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette

2002

Directed and produced "8 Mile," a film starring Eminem loosely based on the rapper's life

2000

Helmed the screen adaptation of Michael Chabon's novel "Wonder Boys," starring Michael Douglas

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

1994

Stock soared with commercial success of "The River Wild," starring Meryl Streep

1992

Helmed surprise hit thriller "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle"

1990

Directed "Bad Influence," starring Rob Lowe and James Spader

1989

Wrote and directed the surprisingly good homage to Hitchcock "The Bedroom Window"

1986

Made TV debut as writer-director of "The Children of Times Square," an ABC TV-movie about a teen runaway

1983

Helmed "Losin' It," starring Tom Cruise

1978

Made producing debut as associate producer on "The Silent Partner" (also screenwriter)

1973

Directorial debut, "The Arousers/Sweet Kill" (also wrote screenplay), starring Tab Hunter

1969

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

Became a photographer and freelance writer of articles about Hollywood

Grew up in Reseda, CA in the San Fernando Valley

Edited Cinema magazine

Dropped out of high school

Befriended by writer-director-actor John Cassavetes, who invited Hanson to his garage to watch him edit his films

Interviewed various legendary Hollywood figures including John Ford, Vincente Minnelli, Dalton Trumbo, and William Wellman

Bonus Trivia

.

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" (1992)

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