One of Hollywood’s most memorable directors passed away today, July 5, 2021. Richard Donner has passed away at the age of 91. An extremely important filmmaker in the construction of cinematic entertainment as we know it today, he is the source of some of the most beloved works of the seventh art of all time. Not as popular as names like Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton, for example, Donner owes nothing to the landmark productions of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Among the director’s collection of filmography is the first major superhero film in cinema, the most beloved youth adventure in cinema, a crime quadrilogy that redefined the genre and one of the most popular horror films. iconic and most disturbing in history; Just to name a few. Would that be okay with you? It is clear that the departure of a director of this stature could not do without our tribute. So, check out a list of our selection of unforgettable films from the career of Richard Donner, an artist who will be forever remembered below.
Richard Donner began his career in 1960 as a director of television shows. There were over 30 series with episodes signed by the filmmaker, among them true American television classics such as James West (1965-1969), FBI (1965-1974), The Fugitive (1963-1967) and Agent 86 (1965-1970). ), for example, all gaining new modern releases. In the cinema, his first success was with this horror film in 1976. The Prophecy became one of the most striking feature films of the genre and tackled a very popular theme at the time: the Antichrist on Earth. In the story, the boy Damien is turned into a motherhood and raised by the family of a wealthy politician. The boy, however, may in fact be the son of the wrong thing. The Prophecy generated two sequels and a remake in 2006.
Superman – The Movie
Two years after the success of The Prophecy, Richard Donner, then a young director in the making, was chosen to bring to the big screen a “serious” adaptation of a famous comic strip. The year was 1978 and the example of such products was the Sixties Batman series, Totally Camp with Adam West. Here the proposition was different and the production slogan was: “you will believe that a man can fly”. With top-notch visual effects, more dramatic appeal, and renowned actors the size of Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman, Superman – The Movie became one of the greatest hits of the era, named after protagonist Christopher Reeve. and goes on for many as the best film of its kind. Donner’s success, however, did not avoid problems when it came to continuing the sequel. The studio and the director diverged in their vision and the filmmaker was fired, another director arrived to finish the job. Years later, the Donner version was released. Tell me if you’ve heard this story before?
During the 1980s, there was a real boom in “fantasy hood and sword adventure” cinema. Epic fantasies were in full swing with works such as Excalibur, Clash of the Titans, Willow, The Legend, among others. In the midst of this, Richard Donner appeared to give his vision in a feature film of the genre in 1985. The Chosen One was Aquila’s Spell, who ended up becoming the most believable and realistic of the Flood, leaving the visual effects aside. to focus in a more grown-up plot of romance and drama. In a dilemma worthy of a poem, a couple suffer from a curse that separates them forever. Who brings it all back is the young thief Gaston, role of a pre-Enjoying Life Adoidado Matthew Broderick (1986). He ends up being saved by Navarre, the role of the equally late Rutger Hauer, a medieval knight accompanied by a beautiful eagle. The animal is none other than his beloved Isabeau, played by Michelle Pfeiffer at the height of her beauty. During the day, the woman turns into an eagle and at night, Navarre turns into a wolf, preventing them from meeting in human form. The curse comes courtesy of the Bishop of Aquila, whom the knight intends to kill.
Richard Donner got busy in 1985, and in the same year that the fantasy film Aquila’s Spell came out, he delivered what would become his most famous and beloved film. The Goonies, produced by Steven Spielberg, has even surpassed the popularity of Superman – The Movie, and would come to redefine adventure cinema for young people. Very influential, it was the film that would give birth to the fashion for productions featuring a group of charismatic children, taking on challenges worthy of superheroes. So in the ’80s everyone wanted their share of this style of film, which continues to be referenced to this day, see the Stranger Things phenomenon. We can say that it all started here. For years, there has been talk of a sequel to The Goonies, which now, unfortunately, will no longer be in charge of the creator of everything Richard Donner.
As we can see, Richard Donner collects success after success in his filmography. It’s one shot after another. What stands out is not the fact that the director has delivered hits of certain cinematographic genres. On the contrary, having delivered works that define such genres. It was the Donner films that made them appear or in a way reshaped them to what they continue to be today. Here is another revolution. Crime Buddy movies were already in existence by the time Lethal Weapon was released in 1987, but none have been as successful and dictate the rules of the game as much as the meeting between family man Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and the mad suicide Riggs (Mel Gibson). So much so that it spawned three sequels – and added some standout characters to its mythology, see Leo (Joe Pesci), Lorna (Rene Russo) and Butters (Chris Rock) and a TV series. It’s another franchise that we talk about in a new issue. Too bad he will have to exist without Giving.
The following year, in Lethal Weapon, Richard Donner teamed up with comedian Bill Murray (at the height of his popularity) for a family fantasy project. And who doesn’t love Bill Murray? As complete as Donner’s filmography was, he needed to work with the comedian to say he had it all done. This is a modern take on the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The idea is to make the cranky Scrooge a high-ranking executive on a TV station that commits the greatest atrocities right on Christmas – of course, visited by famous ghosts from the past, present and future. The film did not have the expected success, but it reappeared as a cult when it was released for video.
Richard Donner has directed many series, some even belonging to the Western genre. But he was missing one of the most famous of the style: Maverick (1957-1962), starring James Garner as a playful cowboy who loved to play poker. But the director did not leave for less and brought the film version of such a series to the big screen. This time with the protagonist played by Mel Gibson, but with the original actor James Garner who returns in a very important role in the story. Adding a lot of humor to the narrative, Maverick was released in 1994 and has become one of the most entertaining comedy westerns in cinema. In addition, he plays one of the lightest roles in the career of muse Jodie Foster, whose friendship with star Gibson continues to this day.
Always reinventing himself and surrounding himself with the big stars of the time, Assassins brought together two big names in the action of the 90s: Richard Donner and Sylvester Stallone. The action star made a name for himself and positioned himself at the top of Hollywood with sky-high salaries in the 1980s and 1990s. So in 1995, with more dramatic appeal and an atmosphere drawn to suspense and the mystery, Assassins had a screenplay of the Wachowski sisters in a pre-Matrix era. Plus, it was one of the very talented Julianne Moore’s first star roles in a mainstream film. She plays the con artist Electra, who finds himself in the midst of a war between professional killers: veteran Robert Rath (Stallone), who seeks to leave this line of work, and arrogant rookie Miguel Bain (Antonio Banderas at the start of his career in Hollywood).
New collaboration between star Mel Gibson and director Richard Donner outside of the Lethal Weapon franchise, the film stars star Julia Roberts in 1997 – who then saw a new turn in her career towards another wave of popularity. This is precisely why Roberts was reluctant to accept the role of a lawyer becoming the target of a paranoid cab driver full of conspiracy theories, as the title suggests, the role of Gibson. The atmosphere of the film is darker and heavier, with intense torture scenes, although it still qualifies for the action genre. But Mel Gibson and Richard Donner ended up convincing Roberts to accept the project, ensuring a beautiful partnership with the star and the director.
After Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Richard Donner will only make two other films as a director. Timeline (2003) is a fantasy, sci-fi adventure about a group of time-traveling archaeologists needing to find a way to survive in 14th century France until they can return to the present. The film stars the late Paul Walker and Gerard Butler. Three years later, Richard Donner delivered his song Swan. 16 Quadras (2006) marked the director’s first partnership with another big action star, already in a new phase of his career. Bruce Willis has developed further into the role of a late career cop who has to get a prisoner 16 blocks to the police station before other criminals and corrupt cops manage to kill him. The fun here is that the film takes place in real time and the plot unfolds in the 118-minute screening of the feature film.
Richard Donner will always be present in the souls of moviegoers, having helped develop the love of cinema through the generations. His contribution to the seventh art will be missed, however, the director leaves a truly unforgettable legacy.
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