Curtis Lee Hanson (March 24, 1945 – September 20, 2016) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. His directing work included the psychological thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997), the comedy Wonder Boys (2000), the hip-hop biopic 8 Mile (2002), the romantic comedy-drama In Her Shoes (2005), and the made-for-television docudrama Too Big to Fail (2011).
Curtis Lee Hanson
March 24, 1945
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
|Died||September 20, 2016 (aged 71)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Notable work||The Dunwich Horror|
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
The River Wild
In Her Shoes
For his work of L.A. Confidential, Hanson won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1998, for co-writing with Brian Helgeland, alongside with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and for winning the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, and became one of the five directors (alongside Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, and Barry Jenkins) to ever sweep "The Big Four" critics awards (LAFCA, NBR, NYFCC, NSFC). An active member of the Directors Guild of America, he was a member of the Creative Rights Committee, the President's Committee on Film Preservation, and the Film Foundation.
Hanson was born in Reno, Nevada, and grew up in Los Angeles. He was the son of Beverly June Curtis, a real estate agent, and Wilbur Hale "Bill" Hanson, a teacher. Hanson dropped out of high school, finding work as a freelance photographer and editor for Cinema magazine.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2016)
Hanson began screenwriting in 1970, when he co-wrote The Dunwich Horror, a film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story. Hanson wrote and directed his first feature, Sweet Kill starring Tab Hunter, in 1973. Then in 1978, he wrote and produced The Silent Partner, starring Elliott Gould and Christopher Plummer. From the early 1980s into 1990s, Hanson directed a string of comedies and dramas. He directed thrillers, too: many of them deal with people who lose their sense of control or security when facing danger or under threat of death. Some, like the financial executive in Bad Influence and the police officers in L.A. Confidential, unexpectedly walk into violence and disaster.
In the 1990s, Hanson found box-office success with The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild, and received significant critical acclaim for his 1997 film L.A. Confidential, an adaptation of the James Ellroy novel. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and won two — Best Adapted Screenplay (a credit Hanson shared with Brian Helgeland), and Best Supporting Actress (for Kim Basinger). Hanson's later works included In Her Shoes, Wonder Boys, 8 Mile, and Lucky You.
Hanson said that he was heavily influenced by the directors Alfred Hitchcock and Nicholas Ray. In an interview with the New York Times in 2000, Hanson stated that Ray's film In a Lonely Place was among many that he watched in preparation for the filming of L.A. Confidential. In 8 Mile, Kim Basinger's character watches Elia Kazan's Pinky on television. The film is about a mixed-race girl who passes as white; the reference to it in Hanson's film functions as an homage to the themes of racial mixing and boundary-crossing that are features of much of his work.
In 2011, Hanson made Too Big to Fail, based on the 2009 Andrew Ross Sorkin book of the same name about the beginnings of the financial crisis of 2007–2010. The film, produced by Hanson's production company Deuce Three Productions for HBO, featured among its cast William Hurt as Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson, and Cynthia Nixon as his liaison to the press; James Woods as Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers; and Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke. His last film was Chasing Mavericks in 2012, but he was unable to finish the film due to ill health. Michael Apted replaced him as director during the final days of shooting.
|1980||The Little Dragons||Yes||No||Yes|
|1987||The Bedroom Window||Yes||Yes||No|
|1992||The Hand that Rocks the Cradle||Yes||No||No|
|1994||The River Wild||Yes||No||No|
|2005||In Her Shoes||Yes||No||Yes|
|2012||Chasing Mavericks (with Michael Apted)||Yes||No||Yes|
Other film workEdit
|1970||The Dunwich Horror||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Henry Rosenbaum & Ronald Silkosky|
|1978||The Silent Partner||Associate||Yes||No|
|1982||White Dog||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Samuel Fuller|
|1983||Never Cry Wolf||No||Yes||No||Co-writer with Sam Hamm & Richard Kletter|
|1987||Evil Town||No||No||Yes||Footage from unfinished film God Bless Dr. Shagetz|
|2011||The Big Year||Yes||No||No|
|1986||The Children of Times Square||Yes||No||Yes||Television film|
|2002||Greg the Bunny||Yes||No||No||Episode "Piddler on the Roof"|
|2010||Three Rivers||No||Yes||No||Episode "Win–Loss"|
|2011||Too Big to Fail||Yes||Yes||No||Television film|
- Nominated - Critics Award (Deauville Film Festival)
- Grand Prix (Festival du Film Policier de Cognac)
Audience Award (Festival du Film Policier de Cognac)
- Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
- Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Screenplay
- Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture
- Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
- USC Scripter Award
- WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
- Nominated - Palme d'Or
- Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture
- Nominated - Academy Award for Best Director
- Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Film
- Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Direction
- Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay
- Nominated - DGA Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
- Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
- Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
- Nominated - PGA Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture
- Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Film
- Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Director
- Nominated - European Screen International Award
- Weinraub, Bernard (March 24, 1998). "'Titanic' Ties Record With 11 Oscars, Including Best Picture". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- Dagan, Carmel (September 21, 2016). "Curtis Hanson, Director of 'L.A. Confidential,' Dies at 71". Variety. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Curtis Hanson, Oscar-winning director of LA Confidential, dies aged 71". The Guardian. September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- "* Wilbur (Bill) Hanson; Educator". Los Angeles Times. February 16, 1994.
- "Survival Lesson For 'River' Director". The New York Times. October 5, 1994.
- Kappa Delta Sorority (1941). "Angelos". Angelos of Kappa Delta (v. 37, no. 2). ISSN 1064-5837. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
- McLellan, Dennis; Vankin, Deborah (September 20, 2016). "Curtis Hanson dead at 71". Los Angeles Times.
- Lyman, Rick (December 15, 2000). "A Dark Lesson in Trust". The New York Times.
- "Too Big To Fail": The story behind HBO's movie", interview with Curtis Hanson, Marketplace (radio program), May 23, 2011.
- "Curtis Hanson: Oscar-winning writer and director dies at 71". BBC News. September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Bromwich, Jonah Engel (September 21, 2016). "Curtis Hanson, Director of Wicked Noir 'L.A. Confidential,' Dies at 71". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
- "AFI|Catalog". catalog.afi.com. Retrieved September 30, 2021.