CURTIS HANSON Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Curtis Lee Hanson                                                               
Born: 24 March 1945 Reno, Nevada, U.S.                                                 
Curtis Lee Hanson (born March 24, 1945) is an Academy Award winning American           
filmmaker. A former photographer, freelance writer of Hollywood-themed articles       
and editor of Cinema magazine, Hanson honed his filmmaking skills by writing           
screenplays for low-budget thrillers before establishing himself as a director         
of Oscar-caliber work.                                                                 
Hanson was born in Reno, Nevada and grew up in Los Angeles, the son of Beverly         
June and William Hanson. His uncle, Jack Hanson, owned "Jax", a popular women's       
clothing store. Dissatisfied with the discipline of going to high school,             
Hanson dropped out. He eventually found his way onto a film set by way of taking       
photos of Faye Dunaway that helped the actress land her seminal role in “Bonnie     
and Clyde” (1967). Hanson used his clout with Dunaway to get onto the set where     
he interviewed director Arthur Penn and star Warren Betty. He then segued into         
the filmmaking side by co-writing "The Dunwich Horror" (1970), a cheaply-executed     
adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s story courtesy of schlock producer Roger Corman.     
Hanson became a director with the genuinely unsettling Tab Hunter cult flick "The     
Arousers/Sweet Kill" (1973), then segued to producing as the associate producer       
(and screenwriter) of "The Silent Partner” (1978), starring Elliot Gould and         
Christopher Plummer.                                                                   
After trying his hand making a kids' adventure ("The Little Dragons" 1980) and a       
teen sex comedy ("Losin' It" 1983, with a young Tom Cruise), Hanson came into         
his own as a suspense specialist in the late 1980s and early 90s. He wrote and         
directed "The Bedroom Window" (1989), a surprisingly good Hitchcock homage, and       
followed up by directing the slick, "Strangers on a Train"-like psychological         
suspense film "Bad Influence" (1990), starring Rob Lowe and James Spader. Hanson       
finally enjoyed a runaway box-office success with "The Hand That Rocks the             
Cradle" (1992), a compelling, expertly acted and cannily directed nanny-from-hell     
thriller that starred a startlingly creepy Rebecca DeMornay. He advanced to the       
genre A-list with "The River Wild" (1994), a tense adventure set in the great         
outdoors that starred Meryl Streep in her action movie debut and featured a top-notch 
supporting cast including Kevin Bacon and David Strathairn.                           
After several years of working in near-obscurity, Hanson found success with The       
Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild. His next film, L.A. Confidential,       
earned him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, with Brian Helgeland, and a           
nomination for Best Director. Hanson released Lucky You starring Eric Bana and         
Drew Barrymore on May 4, 2007 and has The Crimson Petal and the White in               
production about a young prostitute who finds herself in a position of power           
when she becomes the mistress of a powerful patriarch.                                 
A movie buff (almost all of his movies reference or feature films from the             
Golden Age) who claims to be heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, in the           
special features on the Rear Window DVD, he discusses Hitchcock's mastery, and         
how he was inspired by it. He is also featured on the retrospective documentary       
of Nicholas Ray's noir classic In a Lonely Place (1950) giving his analysis on         
it, and it is apparent that the film is among his favorites. He previously             
stated that the film was among many that he watched in preparation for the             
filming of his most famous movie, L.A. Confidential (1997).