Curtis Lee Hanson
March 24, 1945
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
|Died||September 20, 2016 (aged 71)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|The Hand That Rocks the Cradle|
The River Wild
In Her Shoes
Curtis Lee Hanson (March 24, 1945 – September 20, 2016) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. His directing work included the psychological thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997), the comedy Wonder Boys (2000), the hip-hop biopic 8 Mile (2002), the romantic comedy-drama In Her Shoes (2005), and the made-for-television docudrama Too Big to Fail (2011).
Hanson won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1998, for co-writing L.A. Confidential with Brian Helgeland, with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and for the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. An active member of the Directors Guild of America, he was a member of the Creative Rights Committee, the President's Committee on Film Preservation, and the Film Foundation.
Hanson was born in Reno, Nevada, and grew up in Los Angeles. He was the son of Beverly June Curtis, a real estate agent, and Wilbur Hale "Bill" Hanson, a teacher. Hanson dropped out of high school, finding work as a freelance photographer and editor for Cinema magazine.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2016)
Hanson began screenwriting in 1970, when he co-wrote The Dunwich Horror, a film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story. Hanson wrote and directed his first feature, Sweet Kill starring Tab Hunter, in 1973. Then in 1978, he wrote and produced The Silent Partner, starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer. From the early 1980s into 1990s, Hanson directed a string of comedies and dramas. He directed thrillers, too: many of them deal with people who lose their sense of control or security when facing danger or under threat of death. Some, like the financial executive in Bad Influence and the police officers in L.A. Confidential, unexpectedly walk into violence and disaster.
In the 1990s, Hanson found box-office success with The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild, and received significant critical acclaim for his 1997 film L.A. Confidential, an adaptation of the James Ellroy novel. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and won two — Best Adapted Screenplay (a credit Hanson shared with Brian Helgeland), and Best Supporting Actress (for Kim Basinger). Hanson's later works included In Her Shoes, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile, and Lucky You.
Hanson said that he was heavily influenced by the directors Alfred Hitchcock and Nicholas Ray. In an interview with the New York Times in 2000, Hanson stated that Ray's film In a Lonely Place was among many that he watched in preparation for the filming of L.A. Confidential. In 8 Mile, Kim Basinger's character watches Elia Kazan's Pinky on television. The film is about a mixed-race girl who passes as white; the reference to it in Hanson's film functions as an homage to the themes of racial mixing and boundary-crossing that are features of much of his work.
In 2011, Hanson made Too Big to Fail, based on the 2009 Andrew Ross Sorkin book of the same name about the beginnings of the financial crisis of 2007–2010. The film, produced by Hanson's production company Deuce Three Productions for HBO, featured among its cast William Hurt as Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, and Cynthia Nixon as his liaison to the press; James Woods as Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers; and Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke. His last film was Chasing Mavericks in 2012, but he was unable to finish the film due to ill health. Michael Apted replaced him as director during the final days of shooting.
Other film work
|1970||The Dunwich Horror||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Henry Rosenbaum & Ronald Silkosky|
|1978||The Silent Partner||Associate||Yes||No|
|1982||White Dog||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Samuel Fuller|
|1983||Never Cry Wolf||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Sam Hamm & Richard Kletter|
|1987||Evil Town||No||No||Yes||Footage from unfinished film God Bless Dr. Shagetz|
|2011||The Big Year||Yes||No||No|
|1986||The Children of Times Square||Yes||No||Yes||Television film|
|2002||Greg the Bunny||Yes||No||No||Episode 'Piddler on the Roof'|
|2010||Three Rivers||No||Yes||No||Episode 'Win-Loss'|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Yes||Yes||No||Television film|
Nominated- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or Movie
Nominated- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
- Weinraub, Bernard (March 24, 1998). "'Titanic' Ties Record With 11 Oscars, Including Best Picture". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- Dagan, Carmel (September 21, 2016). "Curtis Hanson, Director of 'L.A. Confidential,' Dies at 71". Variety. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Curtis Hanson, Oscar-winning director of LA Confidential, dies aged 71". The Guardian. September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- "* Wilbur (Bill) Hanson; Educator". Los Angeles Times. February 16, 1994.
- "Survival Lesson For 'River' Director". The New York Times. October 5, 1994.
- Kappa Delta Sorority (1941). "Angelos". Angelos of Kappa Delta (v. 37, no. 2). ISSN 1064-5837. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
- McLellan, Dennis; Vankin, Deborah (September 20, 2016). "Curtis Hanson dead at 71". Los Angeles Times.
- Lyman, Rick (December 15, 2000). "A Dark Lesson in Trust". The New York Times.
- "Too Big To Fail": The story behind HBO's movie", interview with Curtis Hanson, Marketplace (radio program), May 23, 2011.
- "Curtis Hanson: Oscar-winning writer and director dies at 71". BBC News. September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- "AFI|Catalog". catalog.afi.com. Retrieved September 30, 2021.