John Frankenheimer

John Michael Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 – July 6, 2002) was an American film and television director known for social dramas. He won four consecutive Emmy Awards in the 1990s for the television movies Against the Wall, The Burning Season, Andersonville and George Wallace, which also received a Golden Globe award. He was considered one of the last remaining directors who insisted on having complete control over all elements of production, making his style unique in Hollywood. His 30 feature films and over 50 plays for television were notable for their influence on contemporary thought. He became a pioneer of the "modern-day political thriller," having begun his career at the peak of the Cold War. Many of his films were noted for creating "psychological dilemmas" for his male protagonists along with having a strong "sense of environment," similar in style to films by director Sidney Lumet, for whom he had earlier worked as assistant director. He developed a "tremendous propensity for exploring political situations" which would ensnare his characters. Movie critic Leonard Maltin writes that "in his time [1960s]... Frankenheimer worked with the top writers, producers and actors in a series of films that dealt with issues that were just on top of the moment—things that were facing us all." Among his credits were The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Birdman of Alcatraz (also 1962), The Train, (1964), Seven Days in May (also 1964) and Ronin (1998). Description above from ...

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All Fall Down (1962)

Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for-nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love affair, this time with an older woman named Echo O’Brien, he really gets his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Eva Marie Saint  •  Warren Beatty  •  Karl Malden  •  Angela Lansbury

Ralph and Annabell Willart are a feuding couple who are constantly bickering over their worthless, good-for-nothing son Berry-Berry. When Berry-Berry begins yet another meaningless love affair, this time with an older woman named Echo O’Brien, he really gets his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Eva Marie Saint  •  Warren Beatty  •  Karl Malden  •  Angela Lansbury

French Connection II (1975)

"Popeye" Doyle travels to Marseilles to find Alain Charnier, the drug smuggler that eluded him in New York.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Gene Hackman  •  Fernando Rey  •  Bernard Fresson  •  Philippe Léotard

"Popeye" Doyle travels to Marseilles to find Alain Charnier, the drug smuggler that eluded him in New York.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Gene Hackman  •  Fernando Rey  •  Bernard Fresson  •  Philippe Léotard

George Wallace (1997)

George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and Mare Winningham also won Emmies for their performances. The film was ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Gary Sinise  •  Angelina Jolie  •  Clarence Williams III  •  William Sanderson

George Wallace is a 1997 television film starring Gary Sinise as George Wallace, the former Governor of Alabama. It was directed by John Frankenheimer, who won an Emmy award for it; Sinise and Mare Winningham also won Emmies for their performances. The film was ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Gary Sinise  •  Angelina Jolie  •  Clarence Williams III  •  William Sanderson

Grand Prix (1966)

The story tells about the confrontation of four first-class racers of Formula 1. Each of the competitors had their own additional motivation to become a champion. Their world is a risk and extreme, fast driving on the highway. The taste of adrenaline is what race ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  James Garner  •  Eva Marie Saint  •  Brian Bedford  •  Yves Montand

The story tells about the confrontation of four first-class racers of Formula 1. Each of the competitors had their own additional motivation to become a champion. Their world is a risk and extreme, fast driving on the highway. The taste of adrenaline is what race ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  James Garner  •  Eva Marie Saint  •  Brian Bedford  •  Yves Montand

Path to War (2003)

A powerful drama of soaring ambition and shattered dreams that takes a provocative insider's look at the way the USA goes to war—as seen from inside the LBJ White House leading up to and during the Vietnam War.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Michael Gambon  •  Donald Sutherland  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Bruce McGill

A powerful drama of soaring ambition and shattered dreams that takes a provocative insider's look at the way the USA goes to war—as seen from inside the LBJ White House leading up to and during the Vietnam War.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Michael Gambon  •  Donald Sutherland  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Bruce McGill

Reindeer Games (2000)

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with his girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself the reluctant participant in a casino heist.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Ben Affleck  •  Gary Sinise  •  Charlize Theron  •  Dennis Farina

After assuming his dead cellmate's identity to get with his girlfriend, an ex-con finds himself the reluctant participant in a casino heist.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Ben Affleck  •  Gary Sinise  •  Charlize Theron  •  Dennis Farina

Ronin (1998)

IntenseAction-packedDarkThrilling

A briefcase with undisclosed contents – sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob – makes its way into criminals' hands. An Irish liaison assembles a squad of mercenaries, or 'ronin', and gives them the thorny task of recovering the case.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Robert De Niro  •  Jean Reno  •  Natascha McElhone  •  Stellan Skarsgård

A briefcase with undisclosed contents – sought by Irish terrorists and the Russian mob – makes its way into criminals' hands. An Irish liaison assembles a squad of mercenaries, or 'ronin', and gives them the thorny task of recovering the case.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Robert De Niro  •  Jean Reno  •  Natascha McElhone  •  Stellan Skarsgård

Seconds (1966)

A secret organisation offers wealthy people a second chance at life. The customer picks out someone they want to be and the organisation surgically alters the customer to look like the intended person, stages the customer's death, gets rid of the intended person ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Rock Hudson  •  Salome Jens  •  John Randolph  •  Will Geer

A secret organisation offers wealthy people a second chance at life. The customer picks out someone they want to be and the organisation surgically alters the customer to look like the intended person, stages the customer's death, gets rid of the intended person ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Rock Hudson  •  Salome Jens  •  John Randolph  •  Will Geer

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

A shipwrecked sailor stumbles upon a mysterious island and is shocked to discover that a brilliant scientist and his lab assistant have found a way to combine human and animal DNA—with horrific results.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Marlon Brando  •  Val Kilmer  •  Fairuza Balk  •  David Thewlis

A shipwrecked sailor stumbles upon a mysterious island and is shocked to discover that a brilliant scientist and his lab assistant have found a way to combine human and animal DNA—with horrific results.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Marlon Brando  •  Val Kilmer  •  Fairuza Balk  •  David Thewlis

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Near the end of the Korean War, a platoon of U.S. soldiers is captured by communists and brainwashed. Following the war, the platoon is returned home, and Sergeant Raymond Shaw is lauded as a hero by the rest of his platoon. However, the platoon commander, Captain ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Frank Sinatra  •  Janet Leigh  •  Laurence Harvey  •  Angela Lansbury

Near the end of the Korean War, a platoon of U.S. soldiers is captured by communists and brainwashed. Following the war, the platoon is returned home, and Sergeant Raymond Shaw is lauded as a hero by the rest of his platoon. However, the platoon commander, Captain ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Frank Sinatra  •  Janet Leigh  •  Laurence Harvey  •  Angela Lansbury

The Train (1964)

As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take all of France's greatest paintings to Germany. He manages to secure a train to transport the valuable art works even as the chaos of retreat descends upon them. The ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Paul Scofield  •  Jeanne Moreau  •  Suzanne Flon

As the Allied forces approach Paris in August 1944, German Colonel Von Waldheim is desperate to take all of France's greatest paintings to Germany. He manages to secure a train to transport the valuable art works even as the chaos of retreat descends upon them. The ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Paul Scofield  •  Jeanne Moreau  •  Suzanne Flon

Dead Bang (1989)

Los Angeles homicide detective Jerry Beck searches for the murderer who killed a police officer on Christmas Eve. The investigation takes Beck inside the violent world of hate groups and white supremacists, who are hatching a deadly plot to attack even more ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Don Johnson  •  Penelope Ann Miller  •  William Forsythe  •  Bob Balaban

Los Angeles homicide detective Jerry Beck searches for the murderer who killed a police officer on Christmas Eve. The investigation takes Beck inside the violent world of hate groups and white supremacists, who are hatching a deadly plot to attack even more ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Don Johnson  •  Penelope Ann Miller  •  William Forsythe  •  Bob Balaban

Andersonville (1996)

This lengthy docudrama records the harrowing conditions at the Confederacy's most notorious prisoner-of-war camp. The drama unfolds through the eyes of a company of Union soldiers captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA, in June 1864, and shipped to the camp in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Frederic Forrest  •  Jarrod Emick  •  Cliff DeYoung  •  Ted Marcoux

This lengthy docudrama records the harrowing conditions at the Confederacy's most notorious prisoner-of-war camp. The drama unfolds through the eyes of a company of Union soldiers captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA, in June 1864, and shipped to the camp in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Frederic Forrest  •  Jarrod Emick  •  Cliff DeYoung  •  Ted Marcoux

The Burning Season (1994)

Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ranch land. The rich and the powerful will stop at nothing, and frequently ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Sônia Braga  •  Raúl Juliá  •  Carmen Argenziano  •  Luis Guzmán

Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ranch land. The rich and the powerful will stop at nothing, and frequently ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Sônia Braga  •  Raúl Juliá  •  Carmen Argenziano  •  Luis Guzmán

Seven Days in May (1964)

A U.S. Army colonel alerts the president of a planned military coup against him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Kirk Douglas  •  Fredric March  •  Ava Gardner

A U.S. Army colonel alerts the president of a planned military coup against him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Kirk Douglas  •  Fredric March  •  Ava Gardner

The Gypsy Moths (1969)

Three skydivers and their travelling thrill show barnstorm through a small midwestern town one Fourth of July weekend.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Gene Hackman  •  Scott Wilson

Three skydivers and their travelling thrill show barnstorm through a small midwestern town one Fourth of July weekend.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Burt Lancaster  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Gene Hackman  •  Scott Wilson

The Rainmaker (1982)

The Rainmaker is a made for TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  James Cromwell  •  Tuesday Weld  •  William Katt

The Rainmaker is a made for TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  James Cromwell  •  Tuesday Weld  •  William Katt

Ambush (2001)

While escorting an elderly man to an undisclosed location, The Driver is confronted by a van full of armed men and is warned that the old man has stolen a large amount of diamonds. The old man claims to have swallowed the diamonds and that the men will likely cut ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Clive Owen  •  Tomas Milian  •  Franklin Dennis Jones

While escorting an elderly man to an undisclosed location, The Driver is confronted by a van full of armed men and is warned that the old man has stolen a large amount of diamonds. The old man claims to have swallowed the diamonds and that the men will likely cut ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Clive Owen  •  Tomas Milian  •  Franklin Dennis Jones

The Fourth War (1990)

Cold War drama about two gung-ho border commanders (Roy Scheider, Jurgen Prochnow) who carry out their own private war against each other on the German - Czechoslovakia border.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Jürgen Prochnow  •  Lara Harris  •  Harry Dean Stanton

Cold War drama about two gung-ho border commanders (Roy Scheider, Jurgen Prochnow) who carry out their own private war against each other on the German - Czechoslovakia border.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Jürgen Prochnow  •  Lara Harris  •  Harry Dean Stanton

The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)

Marooned sailors discover a World War II ship haunted by its late captain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  David Niven  •  Faye Dunaway  •  Alan Alda  •  Mickey Rooney

Marooned sailors discover a World War II ship haunted by its late captain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Frankenheimer
CAST:  David Niven  •  Faye Dunaway  •  Alan Alda  •  Mickey Rooney
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