Walter Hill

"Nobody - not even George Lucas - invested more in the Melvillian ideal of a pure, mythic cinema than Walter Hill. He goes back far enough to have scripted films for Sam Peckinpah and John Huston, and maybe their taste for distilled machismo rubbed off." - Tom Charity (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Walter Hill

Director / Screenwriter / Producer
(1942- ) Born January 10, Long Beach, California, USA

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Action, Action Thriller, Western, Crime, Crime Thriller, Drama, Odd Couple Film, Sports Drama, Revisionist Western, Police Detective Film, Thriller, Biopic
Key Collaborators: Freeman A. Davies (Editor), Ry Cooder (Composer), Lawrence Gordon (Producer), Lloyd Ahern II (Cinematographer), John Vallone (Production Designer), Carmel Davies (Editor), James Remar (Character Actor), Keith Carradine (Leading Actor), Larry Gross (Screenwriter), Joel Silver (Producer), Andrew Laszlo (Cinematographer)

"In his long career, Walter Hill has primarily been associated with the action genres of post-classical American cinema. Veering between mainstream commercialism (48 Hrs. (1982), Brewster's Millions (1985)) and a more personal art cinema (The Driver (1978), Wild Bill (1995)), Hill's movies display a recurring thematic concern with masculine identity and male codes of honour, loyalty and betrayal. With few exceptions. women are relegated to the margins of Hill's fictional worlds, while romance, where it exists, usually interrupts the drive toward narrative goals." - Elayne Chaplin (Contemporary North American Film Directors, 2002)
“Made his directorial debut with the hard-boiled Depression-era saga, Hard Times (1975), and went on to establish himself as one of Hollywood's premier writers and directors of action films.” - The Virgin International Encyclopedia of Film, 1992
"Solid writer-director of mostly mainstream action films, but with a few cult items under his belt. If Hill has any stylistic predilection, it's for extremely fast, graphic, violent action that literally explodes onscreen." - Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, 1995
“Despite receiving only modest recognition from mainstream critics, Walter Hill has proven to be one of the more versatile filmmakers in the United States over the last three decades, with a series of explosive films to his credit… Skilled at mixing genres, Hill's teaming of Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte for the comedy action movie 48 Hrs. (1982) led to his most commercially successful film.” - William Sean Wilson (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"In the early years of his career, Walter Hill was one of the most promising young Hollywood directors. But, after the disappointing box-offices of his best work, he appears to have been seduced by the success of 48 HRS into more conventional, anonymous material." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"For Hill, the American South is easily the most fascinating part of America; three of his films bear witness to this preoccupation - Hard Times, The Long Riders and Southern Comfort. Hill's early ambition was to be a comic-book illustrator and the brevity and lurid immediacy of this type of literature is a feature of his work, particularly The Warriors, a gangland film spiced with equal parts of classical epic and wild fantasy… Whatever his films' actual setting, they have at their centre the conventions and characters of the Western. Hill's style thus owes more to such masters of the action film as Walsh, Hawks and Ford than to contemporaries like Coppola and Scorsese." - The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema, 1983
“Walter Hill's long suit as a director appears to be his effective staging of scenes of violent action. His characters, whether chasing or being chased, move as if propelled by an inner motor that never stops.” - Ted Sennett (Great Movie Directors, 1986)
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Hard Times (1975), The Driver (1978) ✖︎, 48 Hrs. (1982)
Worth a Look
The Warriors (1979), The Long Riders (1980), Southern Comfort (1981), Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
Approach with Caution
Streets of Fire (1984), Extreme Prejudice (1987), Trespass (1992), Wild Bill (1995), Last Man Standing (1996), Undisputed (2002)
Not Recommended
Brewster's Millions (1985), Red Heat (1988), Johnny Handsome (1989), Supernova (1999)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
✖︎ 1,000 Noir Films
    The Driver
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