James Foley (director)

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James Foley
Born (1953-12-28) December 28, 1953 (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Film director
Years active 1984–present

James Foley (born December 28, 1953) is an American film director. His 1986 film At Close Range was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival.[1] Other films he has directed include Glengarry Glen Ross, based on the both Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play of the same name by David Mamet (actor Al Pacino received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the film), and The Chamber, based on the novel of the same name by best-selling author John Grisham.

Early life[edit]

Foley was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, the son of a lawyer.[2] He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a flagship school of the SUNY system, in 1978.


In 1984, Foley made his directorial debut with Reckless, which starred Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah.[3] He directed Glengarry Glen Ross in 1992.[4] The Corruptor, his action film starring Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg, was released in 1999.[5] His 2003 film, Confidence, starred Edward Burns.[6] He directed Perfect Stranger, a thriller film starring Halle Berry, in 2007.[7]

In 2017, Richard Brody, writing for The New Yorker, was critical of Foley's direction of the film Fifty Shades Darker, stating:

"Some of the greatest Hollywood melodramas (such as Douglas Sirk’s Magnificent Obsession) featured plotlines of an even more extravagant absurdity than that of Fifty Shades Darker. Their extreme artifice became a framework for extreme ideas and extreme emotions, even in an era of extreme public reticence about what goes on in the bedroom. The freedom of the current age of sexual explicitness invites realms of characterization—and of intimate imagination—that the first film in the Fifty Shades series hints at and the second one utterly ignores. Fifty Shades Darker ’s indifference to its characters’ identities, conflicts, and desires is matched by its indifference to its own cinematic substance. The film’s bland impersonality is grotesque; its element of pornography isn’t in its depiction of sex but in its depiction of people, of relationships, of situations that, for all their unusualness, bear a strong psychological and societal resonance. There’s nothing wrong with Fifty Shades Darker that a good director couldn’t fix."[8]




Music videos[edit]

Besides the film Who's That Girl (1987), Foley directed the following music videos for Madonna (under the pseudonym "Peter Percher"):

Foley was also the best man at Madonna's wedding to Sean Penn.



  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1986 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  2. ^ James Foley Biography (1953-)
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (February 3, 1984). "The Screen - Reckless". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Scarano, Ross (July 3, 2014). "Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) - The 100 Best Movies Streaming on Netflix Right Now". Complex. 
  5. ^ Levy, Emanuel (March 11, 1999). "Review: 'The Corruptor'". Variety. 
  6. ^ Fuchs, Cynthia (April 24, 2003). "Confidence (2003)". PopMatters. 
  7. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (April 13, 2007). "Perfect Stranger". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Richard Brody, The New Yorker, Feb 9, 2017. [1].

External links[edit]