John Boorman

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Renowned for pushing actors and crews to their very limit in order to achieve transcendent results, director John Boorman was a committed filmmaker who refused to settle into fixed genres while remaining as commercially ... Read more »
Born: 01/17/1933 in Surrey, England, GB

Filmography

Director (23)

Queen And Country 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

The Tiger's Tail 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

In My Country 2005 (Movie)

(Director)

The Tailor of Panama 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

The General 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Picture Windows 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Director

Beyond Rangoon 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Lumiere Et Compagnie 1995 (Movie)

featured director (Director)

Two Nudes Bathing 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

I Dreamt I Woke Up 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Where the Heart Is 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Hope and Glory 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

The Emerald Forest 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Excalibur 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Exorcist II: The Heretic 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Zardoz 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

Deliverance 1972 (Movie)

(Director)

Leo the Last 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Hell in the Pacific 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

Point Blank 1967 (Movie)

(Director)

Having A Wild Weekend 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

Queen and Country (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (18)

Queen And Country 2015 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Tiger's Tail 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

In My Country 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Tailor of Panama 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

The General 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)

Angela Mooney Dies Again 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Beyond Rangoon 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)

Two Nudes Bathing 1994 (Movie)

(Producer)

Where the Heart Is 1990 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hope and Glory 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Emerald Forest 1985 (Movie)

(Producer)

Nemo 1982 (Movie)

(Producer)

Angel 1981 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Excalibur 1981 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Exorcist II: The Heretic 1977 (Movie)

(Producer)

Zardoz 1974 (Movie)

(Producer)

Deliverance 1972 (Movie)

(Producer)

Queen and Country (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (14)

Queen And Country 2015 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Tiger's Tail 2008 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Tailor of Panama 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The General 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Beyond Rangoon 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Two Nudes Bathing 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I Dreamt I Woke Up 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Where the Heart Is 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hope and Glory 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Excalibur 1981 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Zardoz 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Leo the Last 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Point Blank 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Queen and Country (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Actor (7)

Dreamers 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Chris & Don: A Love Story 2008 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Intimate Portrait: Jamie Lee Curtis 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

I Dreamt I Woke Up 1991 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hope and Glory 1987 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Long Shot 1977 (Movie)

The Director (Actor)

Biography

Renowned for pushing actors and crews to their very limit in order to achieve transcendent results, director John Boorman was a committed filmmaker who refused to settle into fixed genres while remaining as commercially unpredictable as he was artistically fascinating. Routinely dismissing realism in favor of fantasy and myth, Boorman often focused on mankind's unrelenting battle against nature. After getting his start in British television, he moved on to features, directing the gritty, realistic crime thriller, "Point Blank" (1967), which stood the test of time as one of his finest pieces of work. Perhaps his greatest contribution to cinema was "Deliverance" (1972), a dark, intense action thriller that featured great performances from its four leads while containing one of the most notorious rape scenes in film history. Though he spent the remaining part of that decade indulging himself with misfires like "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (1977), he completely immersed himself in myth and archetypal imagery for "Excalibur" (1981), one of the best movies about King Arthur and Camelot ever made. Following the dreamlike drama "The Emerald Forrest" (1985) and the surprisingly simple "Hope and Glory" (1987), Boorman went off the radar with several forgettable projects until he directed "The General" (1998), a critically hailed crime drama filmed in glorious black and white, which he followed with the fully engaging spy dramedy, "The Tailor of Panama" (2001). Abstract, dreamlike and surrealistic, a Boorman film was always original and consistently displayed a cinematic virtuosity that often triumphed over substance.

Relationships

Ivy Boorman

Mother

Christel Boorman

Wife
German-born married in 1957 designed costumes for "Zardoz" and "The Emerald Forest"

George Boorman

Father
of Dutch parentage

Katrine Boorman

Daughter
appeared in father's "Zardoz", "Excalibur", and "Hope and Glory"

Telsche Boorman

Daughter
born in Ireland graduated from Sorbonne University married to publisher Lionel Rotcage, with whom she has one daughter, Daphne co-wrote the screenplay for "Where the Heart Is" (1990) with Boorman won 1995 Cesar for script "Gauzon maudit", co-written with Josiane Balasko

Charley Boorman

Son
born c. 1967 made first film appearance at age three as Jon Voight's son in "Deliverance" co-starred in father's "The Emerald Forest" and "Hope and Glory"

EDUCATION

Jesuit Salesian School

Milestones

2005

Produced and Directed "Country of My Skull" starring Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche

2001

Helmed "The Tailor of Panama" based on the John Le Carre novel

1998

Named Best Director at Cannes Filme Festival for "The General" (also wrote screenplay); black-and-white film (first since his debut feature) reteamed him with actor Jon Voight

1998

Helmed "Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman" (aired on AMC in November)

1995

Returned to tropical environs and political realities for "Beyond Rangoon"

1995

US TV directing debut, "Two Nudes Bathing" segment of Showtime's "Picture Windows"

1994

Named Commander of the British Empire

1991

Made a remarkable one-hour film, "I Dreamt I Woke Up", a personal essay-meditation on cinema, landscape and myth made for a BBC Scotland series, "The Director's Place"

1990

Became a co-editor and contributor to PROJECTIONS, an annual British film journal (date approximate)

1987

Scored a hit with "Hope and Glory", an autobiographical tale of growing up in Britain during "the Blitz"; served as narrator, in addition to directing, writing and producing; received three Oscar nominations

1985

Became governor of British Film Institute

1985

Had box office success with "The Emerald Forest"; completely convincing performance by director's son Charley as the kidnapped son raised by rain forest Indians

1981

Achieved dream project, a film based on Arthurian legend, "Excaliber"

1977

Bombed horribly with sequel, "Exorcist II: The Heretic"

1974

Wrote and directed "Zardoz", an unconventional piece of science fiction starring Sean Connery

1972

Made a strong recovery directing "Deliverance"; first credit as producer but would produce all pictures from here on; received two Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director

1968

First screenwriting credit, "Leo the Last", starring Marcello Mastroianni; also directed; a hit in France, it was a box-office disaster in Britain and America

1968

Reteamed with Marvin for "Hell in the Pacific", also starring Toshiro Mifune

1967

US directing debut, "Point Blank", a gangster film starring Lee Marvin; subsequently hailed as a genre landmark

1966

Made documentary on D.W. Griffith, "The Great Director," for BBC

1965

Feature film directing debut, "Having a Wild Weekend/Catch Us If You Can"

1960

Moved to BBC-TV, where he became head of the Documentary Film Unit in Bristol

1958

Moved to Southern Television; began producing documentaries

1955

Began working for Independent Television News as assitant editor; while there launched ITN magazine program "Day by Day"

1951

Served in British Army

Left school at age 16, going into partnership with a friend to open what became a thriving dry-cleaning business

Served as Chairman of the National Film Studios of Ireland

Bonus Trivia

.

"All my films use the Arthurian legend as a template; it happens to a large extent unconsciously." --John Boorman in Film Comment, July-August 1995.

.

"People often ask me, 'Why do you take these difficult projects--the jungle, battling rivers?' and I give various answers. But the real answer is that the only way I'm able to achieve momentarily this kind of transcendence we're talking about is when I'm making a picture in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, when I'm extended to the very limits. Then, from time to time, I'm able to reach that condition where I'm not looking at myself; I'm unselfconscious and fearless. That to me is the ultimate joy of filmmaking, when I occasionally reach that level.

.

"I had spent my childhood on rivers and with boats, so I handle these things fairly well, but when we started shooting the canoe sequence in 'Deliverance', when it came to it to get these actors into these boats and do this stuff, I reached a level where I could canoe those rapids myself with absolute confidence. I just knew I could do it and I did. I would always canoe the stretch of rapids first so that the actors could see that even I could do it. That's one example." --John Boorman, interviewed by Gavin Smith, Film Society of Lincoln Center (1995)

.

Asked whether he was flattered or agitated by the Mel Gibson vehicle "Payback" (1999), which is a remake of his "Point Blank": "When I was trying to get 'Point Blank' made with Lee Marvin, I had the producer send him the script and when I met with him (afterward), I said, 'What do you think?' He said, 'It's terrible, but the character's fascinating.' We had a number of meetings and one night, about two in the morning, he said to me, 'Well, here's what I'll do. I'll do the picture with you on one condition ...' He took the script and threw it out the window, and it fell to the ground where, apparently Mel Gibson picked it up."I take the view that I made the remake and Mel Gibson is doing the original." --John Boorman to Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1998

.

On James Dickey during the "Deliverance" shoot: "He was drunk all the time, and he was losing his distinction between fact and fantasy. He said to me, 'Everything in that book happened to me.' Well, when I saw him get into a canoe, I realized it wasn't true." --Boorman in GQ, October 1998.

.

"I prepared that picture ['A Simple Plan']. I cast it. I did rewrites with the author ... and then Paramount canceled it two weeks before we were to start shooting. ... the studio decided to make 'A Simple Plan' after all, and then decided to start production much earlier than I could possibly do it, and they brought in someone else to direct it [Sam Raimi]. He only had four weeks to prepare. He used my cast, my script, my locations ... People say a director has done 70 percent of the work on a film before shooting starts--so I feel it's as much my film as his." --John Boorman quoted by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith in their syndicated column "Hollywood", October 14, 1998

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