Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes (born August 1, 1965) is an English stage and film director.

His stage career dates back to the mid-1980s, with directorial credits racked up on the West End and with the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Donmar Warehouse (which he was artistic director of from 1992-2002). He's done plenty of productions of [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]], [[Creator/AntonChekhov Chekhov]], and the like, but is particularly well-regarded for his fresh stagings of musicals such as ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'' and ''Theatre/{{Gypsy}}''. His much-acclaimed 1993 revival of ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}'' managed a Broadway transfer in 1998 and was his first production to be seen in the U.S.

Shortly after this, he made his film directorial debut with ''Film/AmericanBeauty'', which netted him a Best Director UsefulNotes/AcademyAward -- one of five Oscars, including Best Picture. His film output is definitely weighted towards OscarBait, but he also has one of the most acclaimed Film/JamesBond films to his credit, ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', in 2012, and went on to direct its sequel, ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', in 2015. Speaking of range, he went from the ''Skyfall'' hit ''directly'' to a [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory stage musical adaptation]] of ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory''.

He was married to Creator/KateWinslet between 2003 and 2010.

!!Common tropes in his work

* BigScrewedUpFamily: Appears in all of his work, regardless if it takes up the majority of the movie or not. This happened all the way from the Burnhams in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' to the brothers Bond and Blofeld in ''Film/{{Spectre}}''.
* SceneryPorn: His collaborations with cinematographers such as Conrad L. Hall, Roger Deakins, Ellen Kuras and Hoyte Van Hoytema really shows, particularly in ''Road to Perdition'', ''Skyfall'' and ''Spectre''.
* CreatorCameo: He made cameos in his first two films. They pretty much go unnoticed, but they're pretty interesting to look at. He appeared as:
** Ricky Fitts' Hand in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' when [[spoiler: He pushes the door to reveal Lester Burnham (Creator/KevinSpacey)'s dead body in the kitchen]].
** John Rooney's henchman in ''Film/RoadToPerdition'' when [[spoiler: Michael Sullivan (Creator/TomHanks) engages in a silent shootout and kills Rooney at the end]].
* SignatureShot: Try watching a Mendes film that doesn't contain a shot where a character stares out into the background, regardless if they're walking, sitting or standing. Even ''Film/{{James Bond}}'' did it in BOTH ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' and ''Film/{{Spectre}}''.
** Also, whenever someone croaks or something crucial happens in his films, what else but to do but CueTheRain
* AwesomeMusic: Don't forget that the fact that Music/ThomasNewman creates amazing music in all of his films (except for ''Film/AwayWeGo'', where Alexi Murdoch's songs play over the film).
* AnyoneCanDie: Every Mendes film contains a pivotal character(s) (ceremoniously or otherwise) kicking the bucket by the bittersweet/depressing third act.
** [[spoiler:Lester Burnham]] in ''Film/AmericanBeauty''
** [[spoiler:John Rooney, Conor Rooney and Michael Sullivan]] in ''Film/RoadToPerdition''
** [[spoiler:Cpl Alan Troy]] in ''Film/{{Jarhead}}''
** [[spoiler:April Wheeler]] in ''Film/RevolutionaryRoad''
** [[spoiler:Silva and M]] in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''
** ''Film/{{Spectre}}'' has [[spoiler:Mr. White [[TakingTheBullet shooting himself]] in the head during the second act. No main character dies at the end, though.]]
** The only film where this trope never happened was in ''Film/AwayWeGo''. It's his least Mendesian film to date. In that film, nobody dies and the tone is unambiguously happy.
* SignatureStyle: Mendes uses a more observant and atmospheric style in his films, often staging his scenes mostly in wides and often leaving the camera running at crucial moments in the scene.

!!Mendes' filmography:
* ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' (1999)
* ''Film/RoadToPerdition'' (2002)
* ''Film/{{Jarhead}}'' (2005)
* ''Film/RevolutionaryRoad'' (2008)
* ''Film/AwayWeGo'' (2009)
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' (2012)
** ''Film/{{Spectre}}'' (2015)