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John Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 – July 6, 2002) was an American film and television director.

He started out wanting to be an actor but then changed his mind while working with the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force. After being discharged, he started out directing live-action films during the "Golden Age of Television" (like Sidney Lumet), before directing his first film in 1957, The Young Stranger. Though he tackled a variety of film genres (except romantic comedy), he was best known for his action films and thrillers, at least for his theatrical films, and was known for his use of unusual camera angles and his work with Depth of Field and Rack Focus shots. When his work in Hollywood dried up in the 80's and 90's, he went back to television, and won several Emmy awards for the miniseries or movies he directed.

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Films directed by John Frankenheimer include:


  • Production Posse: Worked with Burt Lancaster on five films, and also worked several times with Whit Bissell, Edmond O'Brien and Richard Anderson, among others.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The Island Of Dr Moreau, partly because he took over for a director that had been fired, and partly because he and Val Kilmer didn't get along.
    • The Train also had him replace another director, along with difficult weather and the shoot dragging on far longer than it was supposed to, plus having to engineer a scene where the main character gets shot in the leg after Burt Lancaster really did injure his leg.
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  • What Could Have Been: Was actually considered at one point to play James Bond.

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