Open main menu

Martin Brest (born August 8, 1951) is a retired American film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Martin Brest
Born (1951-08-08) August 8, 1951 (age 68)
EducationNew York University (BFA)
American Film Institute (MFA)
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1972–2003
Notable work
Midnight Run
Hot Dogs for Gauguin
Beverly Hills Cop
Scent of a Woman



Brest was born in the Bronx, New York, and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1969, from New York University's School of the Arts in 1973 and from the AFI Conservatory with an M.F.A. degree in 1977.


His major studio debut was Going in Style (1979), which starred George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg, the first of several films to mix action and comedy. Brest was then hired to direct WarGames (1983), which starred Matthew Broderick, but he was fired during production and replaced with John Badham.[1]

Brest got his big break with Beverly Hills Cop (1984), starring Eddie Murphy. The film grossed over $300 million worldwide and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Brest's next film was the action-comedy Midnight Run (1988), starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin; it was another critical and commercial success. The film, and De Niro's performance, earned Golden Globe nominations.

His work on Scent of a Woman (1992) earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. The film also won Golden Globes for Al Pacino and screenwriter Bo Goldman. In addition, the film got four Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Adapted), and Best Actor, with Al Pacino winning the last prize.

Brest's next film, Meet Joe Black (1998), starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins, was a remake of 1934's Death Takes a Holiday. The film received mixed reviews and had a disappointing American box office return of $44,619,100, though it fared much better overseas, taking in an additional $98,321,000 for a worldwide total of $142,940,100.[citation needed]

Most recently, Brest wrote and directed Gigli (2003), starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. During filming, production company Revolution Studios took creative control from him, resulting in a radically revised and re-shot version of the original film being released. It became one of the most notorious films of its time, with a scathing critical reception (several critics called it one of the worst movies of all time)[2] and disastrous box office performance. He has not directed another film since Gigli.[citation needed]

In 2009, his New York University student film, Hot Dogs for Gauguin, was one of 25 films chosen by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress to "be preserved as cultural, artistic and/or historical treasures".[3]


Year Title Director Producer Writer Editor Actor Role Notes
1972 Hot Dogs for Gauguin Yes No Yes Yes Yes Man on Ferry Short
1977 Hot Tomorrows Yes Yes Yes Yes No Directorial Debut
1979 Going in Style Yes No Yes No No
1980 Saturday Night Live Yes No No No No Segment Hot Dogs for Gauguin
1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High No No No No Yes Dr. Miller
1984 Beverly Hills Cop Yes No No No Yes Beverly Palms Hotel Checkout Clerk Uncredited
1985 Spies Like Us No No No No Yes Drive-In Security Guard
1988 Midnight Run Yes Yes No No Yes Airline Ticket Clerk Uncredited
1992 Scent of a Woman Yes Yes No No No
1993 Josh and S.A.M. No Yes No No No
1998 Meet Joe Black Yes Yes No No No
2003 Gigli Yes Yes Yes No No



  1. ^ Allmovie.comArchived copy at WebCite (June 23, 2007).
  2. ^ Cieply, Michael; Eller, Claudia (7 August 2003). "A Battle-Scarred Revolution". LA Times.
  3. ^ "Michael Jackson, the Muppets and Early Cinema Tapped for Preservation in 2009 Library of Congress National Film Registry".

External linksEdit