Paul Schrader

Paul Joseph Schrader (born July 22, 1946) is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. He first became widely known for writing the screenplay of Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). He later continued his collaboration with Scorsese, writing or co-writing Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader has also directed 24 films, including Blue Collar (1978), Hardcore (1979), American Gigolo (1980), Cat People (1982), Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), Light Sleeper (1992), Affliction (1997), and First Reformed (2017); the latter earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Schrader's work frequently depicts troubled men struggling through an existential crisis that is then punctuated by a violent, cathartic event. Raised in a strict Calvinist family, Schrader attended Calvin College before electing to pursue film studies at UCLA on the encouragement of film critic Pauline Kael. He then worked as a film scholar and critic, publishing the book Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer (1972) before making the transition to screenwriting in 1974. The success of Taxi Driver in 1976 brought greater attention to his work, and Schrader began directing his own films beginning with Blue Collar (co-written with his brother, Leonard Schrader). His three most recent films have been described by Schrader as a loose trilogy: First Reformed (2017), The Card Counter (2021), and Master Gardener ...

2 3

Adam Resurrected (2008)

Before the war, in Berlin, Adam was an entertainer- cabaret impresario, magician, musician-loved by all until he finds himself in a concentration camp, confronted by Commandant Klein. Adam survives the camp by becoming the Klein's "dog", entertaining him while his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Jeff Goldblum  •  Willem Dafoe  •  Derek Jacobi  •  Ayelet Zurer

Before the war, in Berlin, Adam was an entertainer- cabaret impresario, magician, musician-loved by all until he finds himself in a concentration camp, confronted by Commandant Klein. Adam survives the camp by becoming the Klein's "dog", entertaining him while his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Jeff Goldblum  •  Willem Dafoe  •  Derek Jacobi  •  Ayelet Zurer

Affliction (1998)

A small town policeman must investigate a suspicious hunting accident. The investigation and other events result in him slowly disintegrating mentally.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nick Nolte  •  James Coburn  •  Sissy Spacek  •  Willem Dafoe

A small town policeman must investigate a suspicious hunting accident. The investigation and other events result in him slowly disintegrating mentally.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nick Nolte  •  James Coburn  •  Sissy Spacek  •  Willem Dafoe

American Gigolo (1980)

Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Richard Gere  •  Lauren Hutton  •  Judith Ransdell  •  Hector Elizondo

Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Richard Gere  •  Lauren Hutton  •  Judith Ransdell  •  Hector Elizondo

Auto Focus (2002)

A successful TV star during the 1960s, former "Hogan's Heroes" actor Bob Crane projects a wholesome family-man image, but this front masks his persona as a sex addict who records and photographs his many encounters with women, often with the help of his seedy ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Greg Kinnear  •  Willem Dafoe  •  Rita Wilson  •  Maria Bello

A successful TV star during the 1960s, former "Hogan's Heroes" actor Bob Crane projects a wholesome family-man image, but this front masks his persona as a sex addict who records and photographs his many encounters with women, often with the help of his seedy ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Greg Kinnear  •  Willem Dafoe  •  Rita Wilson  •  Maria Bello

Blue Collar (1978)

Fed up with mistreatment at the hands of both management and union brass, and coupled with financial hardships on each man's end, three auto assembly line workers hatch a plan to rob a safe at union headquarters.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Richard Pryor  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Yaphet Kotto  •  Ed Begley Jr.

Fed up with mistreatment at the hands of both management and union brass, and coupled with financial hardships on each man's end, three auto assembly line workers hatch a plan to rob a safe at union headquarters.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Richard Pryor  •  Harvey Keitel  •  Yaphet Kotto  •  Ed Begley Jr.

Cat People (1982)

After years of separation, Irena and her minister brother, Paul, reunite in New Orleans in this erotic tale of the supernatural. When zoologists capture a wild panther, Irena is drawn to the cat -- and the zoo curator is drawn to her. Soon, Irena's brother will ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nastassja Kinski  •  Malcolm McDowell  •  John Heard  •  Ruby Dee

After years of separation, Irena and her minister brother, Paul, reunite in New Orleans in this erotic tale of the supernatural. When zoologists capture a wild panther, Irena is drawn to the cat -- and the zoo curator is drawn to her. Soon, Irena's brother will ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nastassja Kinski  •  Malcolm McDowell  •  John Heard  •  Ruby Dee

Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist (2005)

Haunted by terrible acts the Nazis forced him to participate in, the disenchanted Father Lankester Merrin focuses his energies on helping with an archaeological dig in the northern part of Kenya. There, the crew uncovers a church that predates Christian missions ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Gabriel Mann  •  Clara Bellar  •  Billy Crawford

Haunted by terrible acts the Nazis forced him to participate in, the disenchanted Father Lankester Merrin focuses his energies on helping with an archaeological dig in the northern part of Kenya. There, the crew uncovers a church that predates Christian missions ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Stellan Skarsgård  •  Gabriel Mann  •  Clara Bellar  •  Billy Crawford

Hardcore (1979)

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in search for his runaway teenage daughter who’s making porno films in the pits of Los Angeles.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Peter Boyle  •  Season Hubley  •  Dick Sargent

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in search for his runaway teenage daughter who’s making porno films in the pits of Los Angeles.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Peter Boyle  •  Season Hubley  •  Dick Sargent

Light Sleeper (1992)

A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Susan Sarandon  •  Dana Delany  •  David Clennon  •  Mary Beth Hurt

A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Susan Sarandon  •  Dana Delany  •  David Clennon  •  Mary Beth Hurt

Dying of the Light (2014)

Evan Lake, a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé uncovers evidence that Lake's nemesis, the terrorist Banir, has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nicolas Cage  •  Anton Yelchin  •  Alexander Karim  •  Irène Jacob

Evan Lake, a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé uncovers evidence that Lake's nemesis, the terrorist Banir, has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Nicolas Cage  •  Anton Yelchin  •  Alexander Karim  •  Irène Jacob

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

A fictional account of the life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima, combining dramatizations of three of his novels and a depiction of the events of November 25th, 1970.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Ken Ogata  •  Go Riju  •  Masato Aizawa  •  Masayuki Shionoya

A fictional account of the life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima, combining dramatizations of three of his novels and a depiction of the events of November 25th, 1970.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Ken Ogata  •  Go Riju  •  Masato Aizawa  •  Masayuki Shionoya

Light of Day (1987)

Cleveland siblings rise with a rock band while coping with personal problems.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Michael J. Fox  •  Gena Rowlands  •  Joan Jett  •  Michael McKean

Cleveland siblings rise with a rock band while coping with personal problems.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Michael J. Fox  •  Gena Rowlands  •  Joan Jett  •  Michael McKean

Patty Hearst (1988)

The true story of a rich girl who was abducted by American revolutionaries in the 1970's. Her time spent with her captors made her question herself and her way of life and she joined forces with the cause that her abductors were fighting for. This created a US ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Natasha Richardson  •  William Forsythe  •  Ving Rhames  •  Frances Fisher

The true story of a rich girl who was abducted by American revolutionaries in the 1970's. Her time spent with her captors made her question herself and her way of life and she joined forces with the cause that her abductors were fighting for. This created a US ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Natasha Richardson  •  William Forsythe  •  Ving Rhames  •  Frances Fisher

Forever Mine (1999)

A hotel cabana boy falls for the wife of a powerful politico. But when she confesses to the affair, her husband determines to end it forever.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Joseph Fiennes  •  Ray Liotta  •  Gretchen Mol  •  Vincent Laresca

A hotel cabana boy falls for the wife of a powerful politico. But when she confesses to the affair, her husband determines to end it forever.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Joseph Fiennes  •  Ray Liotta  •  Gretchen Mol  •  Vincent Laresca

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

An Italian diplomat's son follows and seduces English lovers in Venice.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Christopher Walken  •  Rupert Everett  •  Natasha Richardson  •  Helen Mirren

An Italian diplomat's son follows and seduces English lovers in Venice.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Christopher Walken  •  Rupert Everett  •  Natasha Richardson  •  Helen Mirren

Touch (1997)

Down-and-out former preacher Bill Hill witnesses stranger Juvenal save a woman from her abusive husband by defusing the latter's anger — and ending his wife's blindness. Determined to profit from Juvenal's mystical powers, Bill asks an old friend, Lynn Faulkner, to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  LL Cool J  •  Gina Gershon  •  Conchata Ferrell  •  John Doe

Down-and-out former preacher Bill Hill witnesses stranger Juvenal save a woman from her abusive husband by defusing the latter's anger — and ending his wife's blindness. Determined to profit from Juvenal's mystical powers, Bill asks an old friend, Lynn Faulkner, to ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  LL Cool J  •  Gina Gershon  •  Conchata Ferrell  •  John Doe

Tales from the Script (2009)

Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon"), John Carpenter ("Halloween"), Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption"), William Goldman ("The Princess Bride"), Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver"), and dozens of other Hollywood screenwriters share hilarious anecdotes and penetrating ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Hanson
CAST:  John Carpenter  •  Frank Darabont  •  Steven E. de Souza  •  Antwone Fisher

Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon"), John Carpenter ("Halloween"), Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption"), William Goldman ("The Princess Bride"), Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver"), and dozens of other Hollywood screenwriters share hilarious anecdotes and penetrating ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Hanson
CAST:  John Carpenter  •  Frank Darabont  •  Steven E. de Souza  •  Antwone Fisher

Milius (2013)

The life story of ‘Zen Anarchist’ filmmaker John Milius, one of the most influential storytellers of his generation.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joey Figueroa  •  Zak Knutson
CAST:  John Milius  •  Steven Spielberg  •  George Lucas  •  Harrison Ford

The life story of ‘Zen Anarchist’ filmmaker John Milius, one of the most influential storytellers of his generation.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Joey Figueroa  •  Zak Knutson
CAST:  John Milius  •  Steven Spielberg  •  George Lucas  •  Harrison Ford

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013)

Mike Epps, Richard Pryor Jr. and others recount the culture-defining influence of Richard Pryor - one of America's most brilliant, iconic comic minds.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marina Zenovich
CAST:  Whoopi Goldberg  •  Richard Pryor  •  Robin Williams  •  Dave Chappelle

Mike Epps, Richard Pryor Jr. and others recount the culture-defining influence of Richard Pryor - one of America's most brilliant, iconic comic minds.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marina Zenovich
CAST:  Whoopi Goldberg  •  Richard Pryor  •  Robin Williams  •  Dave Chappelle

The Canyons (2013)

The discovery of an illicit love affair leads two young Angelenos on a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Lindsay Lohan  •  Gus Van Sant  •  James Deen  •  Nolan Gerard Funk

The discovery of an illicit love affair leads two young Angelenos on a violent, sexually charged tour through the dark side of human nature.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Paul Schrader
CAST:  Lindsay Lohan  •  Gus Van Sant  •  James Deen  •  Nolan Gerard Funk
2 3