Jeff Kanew

Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Jeff Kanew rose out of creating the promotional trailers for such films as "Rocky" and "All the President's Men" to directing frothy comedies such as "Revenge of the Nerds. " He was less successful in other genres. He ... Read more »
Born: 12/15/1944 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (12)

National Lampoon's Adam and Eve 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1985 - 1987, 1999 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Director

Touched By an Angel 1999 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Director

V.I. Warshawski 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Troop Beverly Hills 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Tough Guys 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Gotcha! 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Revenge of the Nerds 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Eddie Macon's Run 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Natural Enemies 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Black Rodeo 1972 (Movie)

(Director)
Editor (6)

Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy 2005 (Movie)

(Editor)

National Lampoon's Adam and Eve 2002 (Movie)

(Editor)

Eddie Macon's Run 1983 (Movie)

(Editor)

Ordinary People 1980 (Movie)

(Editor)

Natural Enemies 1979 (Movie)

(Editor)

Black Rodeo 1972 (Movie)

(Editor)
Producer (3)

Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy 2005 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

National Lampoon's Adam and Eve 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Black Rodeo 1972 (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (2)

Eddie Macon's Run 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Natural Enemies 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

Jeff Kanew rose out of creating the promotional trailers for such films as "Rocky" and "All the President's Men" to directing frothy comedies such as "Revenge of the Nerds. " He was less successful in other genres. He was still a freshman at Columbia University when he went to work for United Artists in New York as an assistant in the department that produced the trailers for UA films. In 1966, Kanew opened his own shop, Utopia Productions, and before long had created the trailer for "The Graduate" and "Midnight Cowboy" among numerous other films. Expanding, he directed and edited "Black Rodeo," a 1971 feature-length documentary on a less known aspect of the circuit, a rodeo that takes place in Harlem, and won good reviews. Kanew decided to try his luck at feature films in 1977 and sold his company to finance his new venture. His first effort was "Natural Enemies," in which Hal Holbrook was a successful publisher who work up one morning with the urge to murder his entire family. "Natural Enemies," which was released in 1979, did not lead to more directing work right away, but Robert Redford asked Kanew to edit "Ordinary People." Kanew parlayed that assignment into "Eddie Macon's Run," a 1982 effort he also wrote and directed, and which starred John Schneider from "The Dukes of Hazzard." Two years later, came the release of "Revenge of the Nerds," modestly-budgeted, but among the top comedies of 1984 in box office gross. Kanew starred Anthony Edwards, one of the lead nerds (Gilbert), in his next effort, "Gotcha!" about a college kid who gets mixed up in international espionage. The film did not succeed on the same level as "Nerds." In 1986, Kanew brought Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas back together in "Tough Guys," in which they were aging ex-cons, released from prison but not about the spend their days bagging groceries. Kanew's next two films, "Troop Beverly Hills," a Shelley Long comedy, and "V.I. Warshawski," an attempt to create a female private detective franchise with Kathleen Turner both failed at the box office, and he seemed to drop from sight. Kanew did not work in TV often. He did direct one episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in 1986 entitled "Night Fever," in which a criminal tries to induce a comely woman to help him escape, but instead gets his just rewards.

EDUCATION

Columbia University

New York , New York
dropped out in junior year

Milestones

2005

Directed Cameron Douglas in the romantic comedy "Adam and Eve"

2003

Directed the film "Babiy Yar" about the horrific events which occured in Kiev during WWII

1994

Directed episodes of the CBS series "Touched by an Angel"

1991

Directed box office bomb, "V.I. Warshawski"

1986

Directed "Tough Guys" reuniting Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas

1985

Made TV directorial debut, episode of "Alfred Hitcock Presents"

1984

Directed box office smash, "Revenge of the Nerds"

1980

Served as editor on "Ordinary People" for Robert Redford

1979

First feature film as director-writer-editor released, "Natural Enemies"

1977

Sold Utopia Productions; used profits to produce feature films

1970

Directed first feature-length documentary, "Black Rodeo"

1966

Formed own company to do trailers, Utopia Productions

1964

While a college freshman, worked in trailer department at United Artists (date approximate)

Raised in Bethpage, NY on Long Island

Bonus Trivia

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"When I was 20, I wanted to be the youngest filmmaker in the business ... I was 32 and I figured it was now or never." --Jeff Kanew

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"The whole process of making a film is continual compromise. If you have the money to wait till conditions are perfect, and you can get your vision up there just the way you saw it in your head when you were writing it, that's great. But most people end up sort of shifting gears and compromising. And when you get in the cutting room, you look and say 'Now what have I got here?' And that's pretty much what I saw when I was writing it so I feel good about that." --Jeff Kanew

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