Peter Hyams

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Peter Hyams
Born (1943-07-26) July 26, 1943 (age 77)
New York City, New York, U.S.
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, cinematographer
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)
George-Ann Spota
(m. 1964)
Children3, including John Hyams

Peter Hyams (born July 26, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter and cinematographer known for directing Capricorn One (which he also wrote), the 1981 science fiction-thriller Outland, the 1984 science fiction film 2010: The Year We Make Contact (a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey), the 1986 action/comedy Running Scared, the comic book adaptation Timecop, the action film Sudden Death (both starring Jean-Claude Van Damme), and the horror films The Relic and End of Days.

Hyams would later joke, "O.J. Simpson was in [Capricorn One], and Robert Blake was in Busting (Hyams' first feature). I’ve said many times: Some people have AFI Lifetime Achievement awards, some people have multiple Oscars, my bit of trivia is that I’ve made films with two leading men who were subsequently tried for the first-degree murder of their wives."[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Hyams was born in New York City, New York, the son of Ruth Hurok and Barry Hyams, who was a theatrical producer and publicist on Broadway. His maternal grandfather was Sol Hurok, the Russian Jewish impresario. His stepfather was blacklisted conductor Arthur Lief. His sister is casting director Nessa Hyams.[2] His son John Hyams is also a film director.

Television[edit]

Hyams studied art and music at Hunter College and Syracuse University, before working as a producer/anchorman for WHDH-TV. During 1966 while working for a CBS owned station in New York, he served three months as a news correspondent in Vietnam. He worked in Boston then in January 1968 he joined WBBM-TV as an anchorman and reporter to replace Fahey Flynn.[3] A contemporary report described him as a "glamor type".[4]

During his time with CBS (where he worked from 1964 to 1970), he began to shoot documentary films.

Screenwriter[edit]

Hyams moved to Los Angeles in 1970 where he sold his first screenplay, T.R. Baskin, to Paramount Pictures in 1971. Herbert Ross directed the film and Hyams produced.[2][5][6]

Directing[edit]

Hyams made his directorial debut with an ABC Movie of the Week for Aaron Spelling, Rolling Man (1972) starring Dennis Weaver. Hymans worked on it solely as director, with the script being written by the producers.[7]

Hyams followed it directing another TV movie which he also wrote, Goodnight, My Love (1972), about a private eye and a dwarf. The film was very acclaimed.[8]

Hyams optioned a novel Going All the Way which he intended to adapt and direct but it was not made.[9]

The praise for Goodnight My Love meant Hyams was able to get finance for his debut feature as writer-director, Busting (1974), a buddy cop movie starring Elliott Gould and Robert Blake. He followed it with Our Time (1974), a romance with Pamela Sue Martin, which he directed only.

Hyams made Peeper (1975), for the producers of Busting with Michael Caine and Natalie Wood. It was a financial failure and Hyams' career was at a low ebb. He wrote the script Hanover Street which he could have sold outright but Hyams insisted on directing. He wrote the screenplay for the Charles Bronson thriller Telefon (1977), doing a draft for Richard Lester (who ended up not directing the film). It was rewritten extensively.[10]

Capricorn One[edit]

Hyams had written the script for Capricorn One (1977), a number of years earlier. It was a conspiracy thriller about a faked mission to Mars. Paul Lazarus managed to raise finance with Hyams as director and the film was his first hit.

This was followed by the less successful Hanover Street (1979) which starred Harrison Ford.

Hyams did a rewrite of Ted Leighton's screenplay for the Steve McQueen film The Hunter (1980) which he was to direct. However he dropped out after clashes with McQueen.[11]

He wanted to do a Western but was unable to get finance so he then wrote and directed the science fiction cult classic Outland (1981), which starred Sean Connery in a 'High Noon' scenario set on Io, one of Jupiter's moons.

Hyams directed the thriller The Star Chamber (1983), starring Michael Douglas, also rewriting the script.

MGM[edit]

For MGM Hyams produced, directed, and wrote the screenplay for 2010 (1984), collaborating closely with author Arthur C. Clarke (2010).

Hyams also co-authored with Clarke The Odyssey File: The Making of 2010, published 1985, a collection of their email correspondence which illustrates their fascination with the then pioneering medium, and its use for them to communicate on an almost daily basis while planning and producing the film.

Hyams directed an episode of Amazing Stories, "The Amazing Falsworth".

Hyams had a hit with a buddy cop film, Running Scared (1986) at MGM with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal.

He followed it with The Presidio (1988) another buddy action film, starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon. In between he executive produced the 1980s cult kids movie The Monster Squad (1987).

Less popular was Narrow Margin (1990), a remake of the 1952 film, and the comedy Stay Tuned (1992).

Jean-Claude Van Damme[edit]

Hyams had a big hit with the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Timecop (1994). The director and actor subsequently reteamed on Sudden Death (1995) which did less well. Hyams did The Relic (1997).

The blockbuster End of Days (1999) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is the highest-grossing film in Hyams' career, grossing over $200 million at the worldwide box-office but met with negative reception.

Hyams followed with The Musketeer (2001), a new version of the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas, which was a minor box office success.

However, his next film, A Sound of Thunder (2005), a science-fiction movie, had serious difficulties during its production (including the bankruptcy of the original production company during post-production), performed particularly badly at the box office worldwide and was poorly received by critics.

He directed an episode of the series Threshold (2005).

In 2007, it was reported that he would direct the remake of his own Capricorn One;[12][13] instead he directed the remake of the 1956 film noir Beyond a Reasonable Doubt[14] starring Michael Douglas, which was released in 2009, was a box office flop, and panned by critics.

Reunion with Van Damme[edit]

He also contributed the cinematography to his son John's effort, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, the third official Universal Soldier sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.

Hyams directed the thriller Enemies Closer which began filming in late 2012. It marked his fourth (third directorial) collaboration with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

O.J.: Made in America[edit]

Hyams was interviewed by Ezra Edelman in the latter's documentary O.J.: Made in America, which touched on Hyams' former friendship with O.J. Simpson, whom he had directed in Capricorn One. In his interview, Hyams revealed his initial belief that Simpson was innocent of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, but began to have doubts following the DNA evidence that suggested otherwise. He said he felt particularly betrayed when Simpson continued to insist that he was innocent when Hyams' friend Alan Dershowitz, who was also one of Simpson's lawyers, also began to voice his doubts about Simpson's innocence. Following Simpson's acquittal, Hyams claimed that he found the African American celebration to be particularly offensive and hurtful, and later severed his ties with Simpson.

Personal life[edit]

On December 19, 1964, he married George-Ann Spota, with whom he has three sons.[15] His first son Chris Hyams is the CEO of the job search website Indeed. His second son John Hyams is also a film director; Peter performed cinematography duties on his son's film Universal Soldier: Regeneration. His third son Nick Hyams works as a battle rap promoter and host under the name Lush One.[16]

Trademark[edit]

Hyams is known for being his own cinematographer on the movies he directs since 1984.

As a reference to his wife's family, there's a minor character named Spota in many of his films, including those which he only wrote (such as 1980's The Hunter); the exceptions being A Sound of Thunder (although there was a market called "Spotas"), End of Days (although there was a bar called "Spotas"), Narrow Margin, Running Scared, 2010, Hanover Street and Peeper.[17]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer DoP Ref.
1971 T.R. Baskin Yes Yes
1974 Busting Yes Yes
Our Time Yes
1975 Peeper Yes
1977 Telefon Yes
1978 Capricorn One Yes Yes
1979 Hanover Street Yes Yes [18][19][20]
1980 The Hunter Yes
1981 Outland Yes Yes [18][21][22]
1983 The Star Chamber Yes Yes [18][23][24]
1984 2010 Yes Yes Yes Yes [18][25][26]
1986 Running Scared Yes Executive Yes [18][27][28]
1987 The Monster Squad Executive
1988 The Presidio Yes Yes [18][29]
1990 Narrow Margin Yes Yes Yes [18][30][31]
1992 Stay Tuned Yes Yes [18][32][33]
1994 Timecop Yes Yes [18][34][35]
1995 Sudden Death Yes Yes [18][36]
1997 The Relic Yes Yes [18][37][38]
1999 End of Days Yes Yes [18][39][40]
2001 The Musketeer Yes Yes [18][41][42]
2005 A Sound of Thunder Yes Yes [18][43][44]
2009 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Yes Yes Yes [45][18]
Universal Soldier: Regeneration Yes
2013 Enemies Closer Yes Yes [46]

Television[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Narrator Notes
1972 Rolling Man Yes TV movie
Goodnight, My Love Yes Yes
1985 Amazing Stories Yes Episode "The Amazing Falsworth"
2005 Threshold Yes Episode "Trees Made of Glass: Part 2"
2020 Airlines of the World Yes Episode "American Airlines"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peter Hyams Film by Film" Empire accessed 29 Dec 2020
  2. ^ a b Ford, Luke. "Director Peter Hyams". Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  3. ^ CBS PICKS 2 TO SUCCEED FAHEY FLYNN Chicago Tribune 27 Jan 1968: s_a8.
  4. ^ News Plays Big Role on Television Wolters, Larry. Chicago Tribune 19 May 1968: f10.
  5. ^ https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/interview-with-peter-hyams
  6. ^ MOVIE CALL SHEET: Role for Candice Bergen Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 29 Dec 1970: i8.
  7. ^ SCRIPTS AT ISSUE: TV Producers, Writers Fighting Beigel, Jerry. Los Angeles Times 20 Jan 1972: g18.
  8. ^ "Directors Special: Peter Hyams Film by Film", Empire Magazine accessed 30 July 2014
  9. ^ Pssst -- Here Come the Superspies: The Superspies By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 16 Jan 1972: D9.
  10. ^ http://www.money-into-light.com/2016/08/an-interview-with-peter-hyams-part-1-of.html
  11. ^ FILM CLIPS: Student Success a Wrap for Disney SCHREGER, CHARLES. Los Angeles Times 12 May 1979: b5.
  12. ^ Peter Hyams To Remake Capricorn One. Posted by Sean on February 9, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  13. ^ page at the Wayback Machine (archived January 1, 1996(Timestamp length)) of Capricorn Two?. Posted by Clint Morris on February 9, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  14. ^ Beyond a Reasonable Doubt at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  15. ^ Peter Hyams biography at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  16. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0404890/
  17. ^ "Platinum Celebs". Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Peter Hyams Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Hanover Street". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Hanover Street". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Outland". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Outland". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  23. ^ "The Star Chamber". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  24. ^ "The Star Chamber". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  25. ^ "2010". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  26. ^ "2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Running Scared". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Running Scared". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  29. ^ "The Presidio". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Stay Tuned". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  31. ^ "Narrow Margin". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Stay Tuned". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  33. ^ "Stay Tuned". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  34. ^ "Timecop". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Timecop". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  36. ^ "Sudden Death". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  37. ^ "The Relic". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  38. ^ "Top Grossing Movies of 1997". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  39. ^ "End of Days". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Top Grossing Movies of 1999". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  41. ^ "The Musketeer". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  42. ^ "Top Grossing Movies of 2001". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  43. ^ "A Sound of Thunder". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  44. ^ "Top Grossing Movies of 2005". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  45. ^ "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  46. ^ "Enemies Closer". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 24 October 2014.

External links[edit]