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Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes (born 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

* ShowDontTell: A lover of this cardinal rule of cinema, Mendes' style of storytelling has often been compared to Creator/AlfredHitchcock and Creator/OrsonWelles and BOY, you can see why. We don't think we need to tell you that he does this a lot. Just look at his films, ESPECIALLY ''Film/RoadToPerdition''.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Don't expect a Mendes film to not have this trope because it 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: Appears in all of his films. It's even better when he worked with cinematographers such as Conrad L. Hall, Roger Deakins and just recently, Hoyte Van Hoytema.
* CharacterDevelopment: His characters usually contain arcs which drive the story. ''Film/AmericanBeauty'', ''Film/RoadToPerdition'', ''Film/RevolutionaryRoad'' and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' are great examples of how they change throughout the course of the film.
* CreatorCameo: Mendes made cameos in (sadly, 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 Creator/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 unambigously happy.
* SignatureStyle: Basically the condensed version of this trope list: [[HumansAreFlawed Flawed and]] [[BlackAndGreyMorality morally ambiguous characters]], wide shots of interior and exterior landscapes, [[BigScrewedUpFamily families (literal and metaphorical) falling apart]], use of Creator/ThomasNewman as composer, [[TheFilmofTheBook occasionally makes films based on books]] (Yes, Road to Perdition counts.), [[ShowDontTell reliance on visual storytelling]] and [[AnyoneCanDie killing off crucial characters]].

!!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)