Monday, January 21, 2013

Michael Winner, 1935-2013

The death was announced to day of British director Michael Winner, who died at the age of 77. His is another of those names I hadn't heard of, but probably should have. Winner started his career in the UK making several movies I've never heard of; the descriptions sound like the sort of low-budget comedy that would play well for a domestic audience, but the comedy wouldn't translate so well across the Atlantic.

Winner came to America in the early 1970s, which is where he made the movie for which he'll probably be best known: Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson, which was popular with the American public, although there are a lot of people (including the critics) who hate it because God forbid a movie should challenge their political world view. (Seriously, one post I came across today referred to the movie as a "right-winger's wet dream". One wonders why the writer didn't like the film.) One other movie of Winner's that I would mention, having blogged about it before, is The Games.

According to the BBC's obituary, Winner had an interesting life outside of film, too, as a restaurant critic and leading a campaign for a memorial for police officers killed in the line of duty.

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