Allan Arkush (born April 30, 1948) is an American director and producer of films, television and videos. He is a collaborator of Joe Dante.

Allan Arkush
Born (1948-04-30) April 30, 1948 (age 71)
OccupationFilm director, television director, television producer
Years active1970–present

Early lifeEdit

Arkush grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[1] He graduated in 1966 from Fort Lee High School. His experiences there served as the inspiration for Rock 'n' Roll High School. He attended New York University Film School from 1967-70. His senior film, Septuagenarian Substitute Ball, starring John Ford Noonan, won 3rd prize at the National Student Film Festival-1970. At NYU, his teacher and faculty adviser was Martin Scorsese "whose knowledge and passion changed my life". While at NYU, he worked at The Fillmore East-1968-71 as an usher, stage crew member and in the psychedelic light show "Joe's Lights"-1970-73, performing with artists including The Who, Grateful Dead, Santana, Allman Bros, Miles Davis, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Virgil Fox and Fleetwood Mac in NYC and London.

He returned to NYC in 1973 where drove a taxi. He moved to LA on October 4, 1973. He got his start in the film industry working (with the assistance of Jon Davison and Jonathan Kaplan) in the trailer department for Roger Corman's New World Pictures.-1974-1979, where he met Dante.They cut trailers and TV spots for movies as diverse as Death Race 2000, Crazy Mama, Amarcord, TNT Jackson, Small Change, Eat My Dust and at least 100 others. He co-directed Corman-produced films Hollywood Boulevard, Deathsport, 2nd-Unit on Grand Theft Auto for Ron Howard, and finally directed his dream movie, Rock 'n' Roll High School, starring The Ramones.[2] At that point, as Corman put it "If you do a good job you never have to work for me again", which is exactly what happened.

Feature films that followed include the dud, Heartbeeps and the cult favorite Get Crazy and CaddyShack 2. His music videos for Dokken, Elvis Costello, Christine McVie and Bette Midler/Mick Jagger earned 5 MTV Nominations.

He directed tv series including Fame and St. Elsewhere. He directed a quarter of all the episodes of Moonlighting and received an Emmy Nomination for "I Am Curious Maddie"- the series' highest rated episode. He directed 15 TV pilots and sold 10. The most successful was Crossing Jordan (director/executive producer) which lasted 117 episodes. He directed 250 TV episodes and produced another 200.

His TV work includes The Temptations for which he won an Emmy Award and DGA nomination, Ally McBeal (the "Dancing Baby" episode, yielding another Emmy nomination), Shake, Rattle and Rock! (the prequel to Rock n Roll High School), and Elvis Meets Nixon. He directed Young at Heart with Olympia Dukakis and Frank Sinatra making him the only director to direct both Frank Sinatra and Joey Ramone. He was the director/executive producer of the TV series Heroes. He directed 11 episodes, including "Second Coming" which won the Emmy for best Special Effects.

Other highlights are Nashville & Hellcats which he directed and executive produced the pilot series. His most recent work is A Series Of Unfortunate Events- "The Hostile Hospital" episodes which earned him a DGA Nomination and Another Life, both for Netflix.

Arkush contributes commentary to the web series Trailers From Hell.

He is a member of the DGA Mentor Program, and teaches the Narrative Workshop at The AFI.

He has been married for 38 years to Joanne Palace Arkush and has 2 daughters: Allison (sculpture, ceramics) and Jacqueline (wood worker/sculptor).




  1. ^ Coutros, Evonne. "Hoboken Story, Made in Toronto", The Record (Bergen County), March 12, 1995. Accessed June 30, 2010.
  2. ^ Allan Arkush Biography (1948-), Film Reference
  3. ^ "Arkush's work on Salem". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-09.

External linksEdit