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Creator / John Milius

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Milius with his two favorite things: guns and cigars.

John Frederick Milius (born April 11, 1944) is an American screenwriter and director. His writing credits include the first two Dirty Harry films and also Apocalypse Now. He also wrote and directed The Wind and the Lion, Conan the Barbarian, and Red Dawn.

Growing up, Milius dreamed of joining the military. And in the late 1960s he attempted to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and volunteer for Vietnam duty, but he was rejected due to his chronic asthma (Milius admits that being rejected by the military probably fueled his fascination with war). Milius considered becoming a historian or an artist, but after stumbling upon a theater showing a week of Akira Kurosawa films, he decided he wanted to make movies. Milius enrolled in the University of Southern California film school (one of his classmates was a young George Lucas). Thus began the filmmaking career of John Milius.


Milius is known for being openly conservative, which makes him a minority in Hollywood. For five years he was a member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors along with Charlton Heston. His movies tend to be Rated M for Manly (Sam Elliott once said of Milius “He doesn’t write for pussies and he doesn’t write for women. He writes for men.”) with lots of violence, feats of strength, and bravery bordering on recklessness. Revenge is also a common theme in Milius' writing, with heroes often seeking vengeance over an injustice they have suffered. Milius was also a passionate surfer for most of his life, but gave it up when he turned fifty.

His influences include Akira Kurosawa, Jack Kerouac, Carl Sandburg, Herman Melville, Costa-Gavras, John Ford, Sergio Leone, Gillo Pontecorvo, and Michael Mann.


It's also worth mentioning that Milius, who is a longtime friend of the Coen Brothers, was the inspiration for the character of Walter in The Big Lebowski.

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"He doesn't write for pussies and he doesn't write for women, he writes for men because he is a man."


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