Philip Kaufman

Philip Kaufman (born October 23, 1936) is an American film director and screenwriter. Although not noted for directing a large number of films, the films he has worked on have been recognized for their intelligence and independence. He is noted for directing films of eclectic subjects, ranging from realism to fantasy, and often incorporating satire or subtle humor as part of his “artistic signature.” He was born in Chicago, Illinois. Kaufman has been considered a “risk taker.” He has successfully adapted novels of widely different types – from Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being to Michael Crichton’s Rising Sun; from Tom Wolfe’s heroic epic The Right Stuff to the erotic writings of Anais Nin’s Henry & June. According to film historian James Welsh, his candid treatment of adult relationships in Henry & June was considered an “artistic breakthrough by an unconventional filmmaker who was willing to take a chance and put his career on the line.” His greatest success was the blockbuster film The Right Stuff, where he directed and wrote the screenplay. It earned eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. And his best films have always had his personal imprint, “stressing values of individualism and integrity,” and always being "clearly American."

Henry & June (1990)

While traveling in Paris, author Henry Miller and his wife, June, meet Anais Nin, and sexual sparks fly as Nin starts an affair with the openly bisexual June. When June is forced to return to the U.S., she gives Nin her blessing to sleep with her husband. Then, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Fred Ward  •  Uma Thurman  •  Maria de Medeiros  •  Kevin Spacey

While traveling in Paris, author Henry Miller and his wife, June, meet Anais Nin, and sexual sparks fly as Nin starts an affair with the openly bisexual June. When June is forced to return to the U.S., she gives Nin her blessing to sleep with her husband. Then, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Fred Ward  •  Uma Thurman  •  Maria de Medeiros  •  Kevin Spacey

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Slow movingMindlessClever

Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed, as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Donald Sutherland  •  Brooke Adams  •  Leonard Nimoy  •  Veronica Cartwright

Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed, as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Donald Sutherland  •  Brooke Adams  •  Leonard Nimoy  •  Veronica Cartwright

Quills (2000)

DepressingDisturbingEmotionalSuspenseful

A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis de Sade lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest. The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Geoffrey Rush  •  Kate Winslet  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Michael Caine

A nobleman with a literary flair, the Marquis de Sade lives in a madhouse where a beautiful laundry maid smuggles his erotic stories to a printer, defying orders from the asylum's resident priest. The titillating passages whip all of France into a sexual frenzy, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Geoffrey Rush  •  Kate Winslet  •  Joaquin Phoenix  •  Michael Caine

Rising Sun (1993)

When a prostitute is found dead in a Los Angeles skyscraper occupied by a large Japanese corporation, detectives John Conner and Web Smith are called in to investigate. Although Conner has previous experience working in Japan, cultural differences make their ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Sean Connery  •  Wesley Snipes  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

When a prostitute is found dead in a Los Angeles skyscraper occupied by a large Japanese corporation, detectives John Conner and Web Smith are called in to investigate. Although Conner has previous experience working in Japan, cultural differences make their ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Sean Connery  •  Wesley Snipes  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

The Right Stuff (1983)

EpicFast pacedAdventurous

A chronicle of the original Mercury astronauts in the formation of America's space program: Alan Shepherd, the first American in space; Gus Grissom, the benighted astronaut for whom nothing works out as planned; John Glenn, the straight-arrow 'boy scout' of the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Sam Shepard  •  Scott Glenn  •  Ed Harris  •  Dennis Quaid

A chronicle of the original Mercury astronauts in the formation of America's space program: Alan Shepherd, the first American in space; Gus Grissom, the benighted astronaut for whom nothing works out as planned; John Glenn, the straight-arrow 'boy scout' of the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Sam Shepard  •  Scott Glenn  •  Ed Harris  •  Dennis Quaid

Twisted (2004)

Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard feels pressure to prove herself -- and what better way than by solving San Francisco's latest murder? However, as Shepard and her partner, Mike Delmarco, soon discover, the victim ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Ashley Judd  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Andy García  •  David Strathairn

Recently promoted and transferred to the homicide division, Inspector Jessica Shepard feels pressure to prove herself -- and what better way than by solving San Francisco's latest murder? However, as Shepard and her partner, Mike Delmarco, soon discover, the victim ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Ashley Judd  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Andy García  •  David Strathairn

Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012)

BoringWeird

Writer Ernest Hemingway begins a romance with fellow scribe Martha Gellhorn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Clive Owen  •  Rodrigo Santoro  •  Robert Duvall

Writer Ernest Hemingway begins a romance with fellow scribe Martha Gellhorn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Clive Owen  •  Rodrigo Santoro  •  Robert Duvall

Fearless Frank (1967)

A country boy arrives in Chicago, gets killed by some gangsters, and returns to life with superhuman powers in this satirical look at movie genres.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Jon Voight  •  Monique van Vooren  •  Joan Darling  •  Severn Darden

A country boy arrives in Chicago, gets killed by some gangsters, and returns to life with superhuman powers in this satirical look at movie genres.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Jon Voight  •  Monique van Vooren  •  Joan Darling  •  Severn Darden

Goldstein (1965)

GOLDSTEIN, the feature film debut of talented director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Quills), is an early example of American independent filmmaking from the early 1960s. A fable about an old man with an odd effect on those he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman  •  Benjamin Manaster
CAST:  Lou Gilbert  •  Ellen Madison  •  Tom Erhart  •  Ben Carruthers

GOLDSTEIN, the feature film debut of talented director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Quills), is an early example of American independent filmmaking from the early 1960s. A fable about an old man with an odd effect on those he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman  •  Benjamin Manaster
CAST:  Lou Gilbert  •  Ellen Madison  •  Tom Erhart  •  Ben Carruthers

The White Dawn (1974)

Three stranded 1890s whalers (Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms, Louis Gossett Jr.) corrupt the culture of their Eskimo saviors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Warren Oates  •  Timothy Bottoms  •  Louis Gossett Jr.  •  Joanasie Salamonie

Three stranded 1890s whalers (Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms, Louis Gossett Jr.) corrupt the culture of their Eskimo saviors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Warren Oates  •  Timothy Bottoms  •  Louis Gossett Jr.  •  Joanasie Salamonie

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)

The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces to rob the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, but things do not go as planned.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Cliff Robertson  •  Robert Duvall  •  Luke Askew  •  R. G. Armstrong

The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces to rob the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota, but things do not go as planned.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Cliff Robertson  •  Robert Duvall  •  Luke Askew  •  R. G. Armstrong

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

Slow movingRomanticComplexReal

Successful surgeon Tomas leaves Prague for an operation, meets a young photographer named Tereza, and brings her back with him. Tereza is surprised to learn that Tomas is already having an affair with the bohemian Sabina, but when the Soviet invasion occurs, all ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Daniel Day-Lewis  •  Juliette Binoche  •  Lena Olin  •  Derek de Lint

Successful surgeon Tomas leaves Prague for an operation, meets a young photographer named Tereza, and brings her back with him. Tereza is surprised to learn that Tomas is already having an affair with the bohemian Sabina, but when the Soviet invasion occurs, all ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Daniel Day-Lewis  •  Juliette Binoche  •  Lena Olin  •  Derek de Lint

The Wanderers (1979)

The streets of the Bronx are owned by '60s youth gangs where the joy and pain of adolescence is lived. Philip Kaufman tells his take on the novel by Richard Price about the history of the Italian-American gang ‘The Wanderers.’  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Ken Wahl  •  John Friedrich  •  Karen Allen  •  Toni Kalem

The streets of the Bronx are owned by '60s youth gangs where the joy and pain of adolescence is lived. Philip Kaufman tells his take on the novel by Richard Price about the history of the Italian-American gang ‘The Wanderers.’  (more)

DIRECTION:  Philip Kaufman
CAST:  Ken Wahl  •  John Friedrich  •  Karen Allen  •  Toni Kalem

Algren (2014)

Algren will spotlight the hard-knock life and authentic creative legacy of one of the most underrated writers of the twentieth century, Nelson Algren. Algren's brutally honest portrayal of the American underclass and his hard-nosed lifestyle became his pathway to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Caplan
CAST:  Russell Banks  •  Billy Corgan  •  Andrew Davis  •  William Friedkin

Algren will spotlight the hard-knock life and authentic creative legacy of one of the most underrated writers of the twentieth century, Nelson Algren. Algren's brutally honest portrayal of the American underclass and his hard-nosed lifestyle became his pathway to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Caplan
CAST:  Russell Banks  •  Billy Corgan  •  Andrew Davis  •  William Friedkin

Fog City Mavericks (2007)

Fog City Mavericks: The Filmmakers of San Francisco is a compelling exploration of the legendary filmmakers who call the San Francisco Bay Area home including George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Chris Columbus and producer Saul Zaentz. The special ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Leva
CAST:  George Lucas  •  Francis Ford Coppola  •  John Lasseter  •  Sofia Coppola

Fog City Mavericks: The Filmmakers of San Francisco is a compelling exploration of the legendary filmmakers who call the San Francisco Bay Area home including George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Chris Columbus and producer Saul Zaentz. The special ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Leva
CAST:  George Lucas  •  Francis Ford Coppola  •  John Lasseter  •  Sofia Coppola

Friedkin Uncut (2018)

An introspective insight into the life and artistic journey of William Friedkin, an extraordinary and offbeat director of cult films such as The French Connection, The Exorcist, Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A. and Killer Joe. For the first time Friedkin ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francesco Zippel
CAST:  Quentin Tarantino  •  Juno Temple  •  Matthew McConaughey  •  Gina Gershon

An introspective insight into the life and artistic journey of William Friedkin, an extraordinary and offbeat director of cult films such as The French Connection, The Exorcist, Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A. and Killer Joe. For the first time Friedkin ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Francesco Zippel
CAST:  Quentin Tarantino  •  Juno Temple  •  Matthew McConaughey  •  Gina Gershon

Emotional History: The Making of 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' (2006)

Milan Kundera's rambling novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, though greatly admired, was thought by Hollywood studio executives to be "unfilmable." Director Philip Kaufman and producer Saul Zaentz proved them wrong. Emotional History follows Kaufman and Zaentz ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Leva
CAST:  Philip Kaufman

Milan Kundera's rambling novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, though greatly admired, was thought by Hollywood studio executives to be "unfilmable." Director Philip Kaufman and producer Saul Zaentz proved them wrong. Emotional History follows Kaufman and Zaentz ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Leva
CAST:  Philip Kaufman