A leading craftsman of dynamic, large-scale Hollywood movies, John McTiernan first made his mark as a prolific writer and director of commercials. His first feature, "Nomads," was well received at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival and directly led to his first major studio action flick, "Predator" (1987). Set against a jungle backdrop beautifully photographed by McTiernan and his cinematographer Donald McAlpine, the film pitted a bickering interracial group of soldiers against an invisible alien enemy in a situation that was seen as a Vietnam allegory. "Predator" firmly established McTiernan's Hollywood bona fides, which he not only confirmed but exceeded with his next blockbuster, "Die Hard" (1988), the surprise action hit that catapulted TV star Bruce Willis into the feature big leagues. McTiernan exhibited firm command of the genre with his soon-to-be signature Blitzkrieg action, extraordinary stunts and expert timing. Though McTiernan had his share of flops - "Last Action Hero" (1993) and "Rollerball" (2002) chief among them - he managed to cement his status as one of Hollywood's most prominent action film directors. But that prominence crumbled to the ground in 2006 when he was charged with lying to the FBI in the infamous Anthony Pellicano case and spent years appealing his conviction, only to be sentenced to prison years later. Despite his criminal troubles, McTiernan's career as an action director remained impeccable.