Happy Birthday Brian DePalma!
One of cinema’s all-time greats is celebrating a birthday today, a legendary Director with an incredible body of work that continues today.
Brian DePalma was born on September 11, 1940. His incredible career is marked with brilliant films like these:
“Say Hello To My Little Friend!”
It’s a line that has been quoted – and joked about – for decades now, but let’s not forget just how powerfully over-the-top “Scarface” is – an absolutely seminal look at the excess of the 80’s, with an incredible performance by Al Pacino:
And for me one of the greatest films of all time is his adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie”, starring Sissy Spacek:
Piper Laurie, Nancy Allen, Amy Irvin and John Travolta…what an incredible cast – did you know that he and George Lucas had combined casting sessions? What was Lucas up to?
Yes, “Carrie” and “Star Wars” joined forces to find the incredible talent in both films – and there is some great trivia about how and why this happened – you have to read about it here!
One of my other favorite DePalma films is this cult classic:
“Phantom Of The Paradise!”
This is also one of my favorite films of all time, and I’m not alone! There is a terrific new blu-ray edition of this classic 1974 horror musical, which is of course DePalma’s twisted send up of “Phantom Of The Opera”, with an amazingly entertaining soundtrack written by Paul Williams, who also stars in the film!
The new blu-ray edition includes a great conversation between Williams and Oscar-winning “The Shape Of Water” Director Guillermo Del Toro – who is a huge fan of the film as well – check out all of the special features here:
Some of DePalma’s films didn’t do well upon release, but then became classics…
Here is a great example. His paranoid 1981 masterpiece “Blow Out” with John Travolta took a cynical, sobering look at America and our political system – and boy, is it sure prescient now!
“Blow Out” tanked upon release, but is now considered another of his great cinematic achievements – and it may be John Travolta’s best performance ever:
Read more about this neglected gem here, along with DePalma’s “The Fury” and “Dressed To Kill” as well:
One of DePalma’s earlier works is also available on blu-ray – how about Margot Kidder’s incredible performance in “Sisters”?
This psychological thriller cemented DePalma’s reputation as the “new Hitchcock”, and it holds up so well today. Yes, Kidder’s recent death was tragic, but she was mesmerizing in DePalma’s shocker “Sisters’ – see more about it, and her incredible career here:
DePalma made so many films, and not all were hits – yes, there were misfires like “The Bonfire Of The Vanities” and “Mission To Mars”, but here is another obscure gem – the moody erotic thriller “Obsession”:
Cliff Robertson is great as a man haunted by the death of his wife, until he gets a chance at redemption…or does he? I posted a story about some of his lesser known films like “Obsession”, see them here:
And of course, I never even covered this popular film, but it is also a classic:
Yes, he directed “The Untouchables” and he made the first “Mission: Impossible” film with Tom Cruise as well..what a great career – oh, and what about “Carlito’s Way” with Al Pacino? Yes, another great collaboration, along with “Scarface”:
The mark of a brilliant Director is one who just keeps making films, and that is what DePalma has done…there is a great documentary recently released where he takes a candid look at his career, so check that out as well
Happy birthday to this brilliant Director!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized