Adrian Lyne

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Adrian Lyne
Born (1941-03-04) 4 March 1941 (age 81)
Peterborough, England
EducationHighgate School
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • film producer
Years active
  • 1976–present
SpouseSamantha Lyne (m. 1974)
RelativesOliver Lyne (brother)

Adrian Lyne (born 4 March 1941)[1] is an English film director, writer and producer. Having begun his career directing 1970s television commercials, Lyne made well-received short films which were entries in the London Film Festival. He started making feature length films in 1980 and is known for sexually charged stories and characters, often using stylised light.[2][3]

He is best known for directing Flashdance, 9½ Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Jacob's Ladder and Indecent Proposal. For directing Fatal Attraction, Lyne received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director.[4]

Early life[edit]

Lyne was born in Peterborough, Northamptonshire (now Cambridgeshire) and raised in London.[1] He was educated at Highgate School in North London;[5] together with his younger brother, Oliver Lyne (1944–2005), a classical scholar and academic at the University of Oxford.[6] Their father was a teacher at the school.[5]


An avid moviegoer during his school days at Highgate, he was inspired to make his own films by the work of French New Wave directors like Jean Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. Lyne was among a generation of British directors in the 1970s, including Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Tony Scott and Hugh Hudson, who would begin their career making television commercials before going on to have major success in films.[7] Their techniques in making commercials were admired and copied by major names in the film industry, with Lyne stating: "I remember making this advertisement up in Yorkshire when I got a message that Stanley Kubrick had called. He'd seen an ad I'd made for milk in which I'd used a particular type of graduated filter. He wanted to know exactly which filter I'd used."[7] Two of Lyne's early short films, The Table (1973) and Mr Smith (1976), were entries in the London Film Festival. Lyne made his feature filmmaking debut in 1980 with Foxes, a look at the friendship of four teenage girls growing up in the San Fernando Valley, starring Jodie Foster.

His next film, 1983's Flashdance, was an innovative blend of rock 'n' roll, new dance styles, and visual imagery. Lyne's visuals (reminiscent of his 1970s UK commercials for Brutus Jeans), wedded to Giorgio Moroder's score, propelled the story of an aspiring ballerina (Jennifer Beals, in her film debut) who works in a factory by day and dances in a club at night.[7] The film generated over $200 million worldwide and was the third highest-grossing film of 1983.[8] The film was also nominated for four Academy Awards, with the theme song, "What a Feeling", winning the Oscar for Best Song. In 1986, Lyne attracted controversy with 9½ Weeks. Based on a novel by Elizabeth McNeill, the tale of a sexually abusive relationship starred Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Although considered too explicit by its American distributor, and cut for U.S. release, it became a huge hit abroad in its unedited version.

Lyne's fourth film was Fatal Attraction, which generated over $320 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 1987.[9] Based on James Dearden's British erotic thriller Diversion, the story of a happily married lawyer (Michael Douglas) who tries to break off an affair with an attractive single woman (Glenn Close), only to have her become obsessed with him and endanger his family, the film struck a chord with audiences. Deemed "the zeitgeist hit of the decade" by Time magazine, Fatal Attraction earned six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Glenn Close), Best Supporting Actress (Anne Archer), Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

In 1990, Lyne directed Jacob's Ladder. Written by Academy Award-winner Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost) and starring Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello, the film takes audiences on a journey through Vietnam veteran Jacob Singer's (Robbins) post-war life where apparent reality is interleaved with nightmarish hallucinations, leading to a twist ending. With Indecent Proposal, Lyne examined how the sexes look at relationships and money. Starring Robert Redford, Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal became a worldwide box office hit.[10]

Lyne's version of Lolita, based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov and starring Jeremy Irons, was filmed for theatrical release in 1997, but American distributors shied away from it due to its controversial subject matter. The film premiered on Showtime and was so well-received that national theatrical distribution soon followed. His next film, Unfaithful, was loosely based on Claude Chabrol's La Femme Infidèle. The movie stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane in a story of a marriage threatened by infidelity and murder. Lane received much praise for her performance, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Twenty year gap[edit]

After Unfaithful, Lyne did not direct another movie for nearly twenty years.

In 2012, Lyne was in talks to direct a film adaptation of the John Grisham novel The Associate.[11] In 2015, there was talk of him directing Nicole Kidman in an adaptation of the 2013 A.S.A. Harrison novel Silent Wife.[12] The next year, Michael Douglas and Halle Berry were connected to another Lyne project called Silence.[13] As of 2022 nothing has come out of any of those projects.

Return to directing[edit]

He most recently directed the erotic thriller Deep Water, based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith.[14] Disney's 20th Century Studios released the film on Hulu in the United States and on Amazon Prime Video in other countries.[15] It is Lyne's first directorial effort in 20 years, and the first erotic film released by Disney since Color of Night in 1994.[16][17]


As director:

As writer:


  1. ^ a b "Adrian Lyne". British Film Institute. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Adrian Lyne & Nicole Kidman Team For Hot AFM Pic 'Silent Wife'". Deadline. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Come Back to the Cinema Plex, Adrian Lyne". Musée magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2022. Your films gather characters' dysfunctions and mend their gloomy lives through the delicate haze of soft and natural lighting
  4. ^ "1988 | | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences".
  5. ^ a b Highgate School Register 7th Edn 1833–1988, Ed. Patrick Hughes & Ian F Davies 1989
  6. ^ Currie, Bruno (1 April 2005). "Professor Oliver Lyne: Olympian Balliol classicist". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Delaney, Sam (23 August 2007). "The British admen who saved Hollywood". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  8. ^ Litwak, Mark (1986). Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood. New York: William Morrow & Co. p. 91. ISBN 0-688-04889-7.
  9. ^ "Fatal Attraction". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  10. ^ "Indecent Proposal". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  11. ^ Trumbore, Dave (13 April 2012). "Adrian Lyne May Direct the Adaptation of John Grisham's THE ASSOCIATE". Collider. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Adrian Lyne & Nicole Kidman Team for Hot AFM Pic 'Silent Wife'". 30 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Michael Douglas & Halle Berry to Star in Adrian Lyne's 'Silence' – Cannes". 13 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Adrian Lyne Deep Water Ana de Armas, Ben Affleck Patricia Highsmith novel – Deadline". August 2019.
  15. ^ Palmer, Roger (13 December 2021). ""Deep Water" Moving To Hulu". What's on Disney Plus. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Full Frontal Nudity From the Company That Patented the Cute Wiggly Tush - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 3 April 1994.
  17. ^ "New Regency Bringing Adrian Lyne Back To Directing With 'Deep Water;' Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas In Talks For Patricia Highsmith Adaptation". August 2019.

External links[edit]