Michael Tommy Hodges
29 July 1932
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
Michael Tommy Hodges (born 29 July 1932) is an English screenwriter, film director, playwright and novelist. His films as writer/director include Get Carter (1971), Pulp (1972), The Terminal Man (1974) and Black Rainbow (1989); as director, his films include Flash Gordon (1980), Croupier (1998) and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003).
His theatre plays include Soft Shoe Shuffle (1985) and Shooting Stars and Other Heavenly Pursuits (2000), which was adapted for BBC radio. Other radio plays include King Trash (2004). His first novel, Watching The Wheels Come Off, was published first in French by Rivagse/Noir (Quand Tout Se Fait La Malle) in 2009 then in English in 2010. In 2018 his trio of novellas ('Bait', 'Grist' & 'Security') was published by Unbound.
Retrospectives of his work in television and cinema: NFT (London) 1980; MOMA (New York) 1990; American Cinematheque (LA) 1990; Munich (Germany)1999. Another retrospective at the NFT (London) is planned for May, 2020. He was awarded the degree of 'Doctor of Letters" by the University of the West of England Bristol in 2005.
Life and work
After qualifying as a chartered accountant and serving out his two years' National Service on the lower deck of a Royal Navy minesweeper, Hodges got a job in British television as a teleprompter operator. This allowed him to observe the workings of the studios, and gave him time to start writing scripts. One of these was Some Will Cry Murder, written for ABC’s Armchair Theatre series. Although never performed, it served to get him enough writing commissions to quit his job as a technician.
After that, he quickly progressed to producer/director status, with series such as Sunday Break for ABC Television, World in Action for Granada Television and the arts programmes Tempo and New Tempo for Thames Television. He wrote, directed and produced two filmed thrillers, Suspect (1969) and Rumour (1970), again for Thames Television. These films formed the basis for the creation of Euston Films, the influential television production company that continued into the 1980s. These two films also led to Hodges being asked to write and direct Get Carter (1971), which has been described as "one of the great British gangster films of all time." Hodges worked with Carter star Michael Caine again in Pulp (1972), before proceeding to make films such as the Michael Crichton adaptation The Terminal Man (1974) and the space opera Flash Gordon (1980). Some of Hodges later films include A Prayer for the Dying (1987), Croupier (1998) and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003).
Interspersed with his cinema work are some interesting and critically successful television films, including The Manipulators (1973), Squaring The Circle (1984; scripted by Tom Stoppard), Dandelion Dead (1994; scripted by Michael Chaplin), and The Healer (1994; scripted by G. F. Newman).
- Get Carter (1971)
- Pulp (1972)
- The Terminal Man (1974)
- Damien: Omen II (1977 – screenplay)
- Flash Gordon (1980)
- And the Ship Sails On (1983 – English version of Fellini's film)
- Morons from Outer Space (1985)
- A Prayer for the Dying (1987)
- Black Rainbow (1989)
- Croupier (1998)
- I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003)
- The Tyrant King (1968)
- Rumour (1969)
- Suspect (1970)
- The Manipulators (1972)
- Missing Pieces (1982)
- Squaring the Circle (1984)
- W.G.O.D. (1985)
- Florida Straits (1986)
- Dandelion Dead (1994)
- The Healer (1994)
- Murder by Numbers (2001 – documentary)
- Steven Paul Davies: Get Carter And Beyond: The Cinema Of Mike Hodges, Batsford, 2003, ISBN 0-7134-8790-9
- Douglas Keesey: Neo-Noir: Contemporary Film Noir From Chinatown to The Dark Knight Kamera Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84243-311-9
- Steve Chibnall & Robert Murphy: British Crime Cinema, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 978-0-415-16870-0
- Steve Chibnall: Get Carter (British Film Guides #6), I.B. Tauris, 2003, ISBN 978-1-86064-910-3
- Geoff Mayer: Guide to British Cinema (Reference Guides to the World's Cinema) Greenwood Press, 2003 ISBN 978-0-313-30307-4
- Interview with Mike Hodges
- Interview with Mike Hodges 2000
- The Telegraph, Film-makers on film-Mike Hodges 2004
- The National: Get Carter turns 40
- Interview with Mike Hodges 2010
- The Michael Klinger Papers; Interview with Mike Hodges by Tony Klinger and Andrew Spicer