Harold Becker

Harold Becker (born September 25, 1928) is American film and television director, producer, and photographer, associated with the New Hollywood movement and best known for his work in the thriller genre. He studied art and photography at the prestigious Pratt Institute and began his career as a designer and stills photographer. He segued to directing TV commercials and short films, including the award-winning Ivanhoe Donaldson. His directorial debut conducting a feature film was with the drama The Ragman's Daughter (1972). His second feature was the acclaimed The Onion Field (1979), a dark cop thriller starring John Savage and James Woods, a remarkable role that brought him recognition from the public and several award nominations as Best Supporting Actor in the role of a dangerous and menacing cop killer. In the 1980's, Becker is a solid director who can work many different genres: the comedy The Black Marble (1980); the military drama Taps (1981) where he directed youngsters Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise alongside veteran George C. Scott; the sports-themed film Vision Quest (1985); two musical videos for Madonna; the heavy drug drama The Boost (1988) again collaborating with Woods; and the neo-noir Sea of Love (1989) where he resurrected the career of Al Pacino. The box-office suspense Malice (1993), the political thriller City Hall (1996) and the action Mercury Rising (1998) compose Becker's career in the 1990's directing big Hollywood stars and ...

City Hall (1996)

The accidental shooting of a boy in New York leads to an investigation by the Deputy Mayor, and unexpectedly far-reaching consequences.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  John Cusack  •  Bridget Fonda  •  Danny Aiello

The accidental shooting of a boy in New York leads to an investigation by the Deputy Mayor, and unexpectedly far-reaching consequences.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  John Cusack  •  Bridget Fonda  •  Danny Aiello

Sea of Love (1989)

Seen-it-all New York detective Frank Keller is unsettled - he has done twenty years on the force and could retire, and he hasn't come to terms with his wife leaving him for a colleague. Joining up with an officer from another part of town to investigate a series of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Ellen Barkin  •  John Goodman  •  Michael Rooker

Seen-it-all New York detective Frank Keller is unsettled - he has done twenty years on the force and could retire, and he hasn't come to terms with his wife leaving him for a colleague. Joining up with an officer from another part of town to investigate a series of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Ellen Barkin  •  John Goodman  •  Michael Rooker

Taps (1981)

Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Timothy Hutton  •  Ronny Cox  •  Sean Penn

Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Timothy Hutton  •  Ronny Cox  •  Sean Penn

Vision Quest (1985)

After deciding he needs to do something meaningful with his life, high school wrestler Louden Swain sets out on a mission to drop weight and challenge the area's undefeated champion, which creates problems with his teammates and health. Matters are complicated ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Matthew Modine  •  Linda Fiorentino  •  Ronny Cox  •  Charles Hallahan

After deciding he needs to do something meaningful with his life, high school wrestler Louden Swain sets out on a mission to drop weight and challenge the area's undefeated champion, which creates problems with his teammates and health. Matters are complicated ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Matthew Modine  •  Linda Fiorentino  •  Ronny Cox  •  Charles Hallahan

Mercury Rising (1998)

Renegade FBI agent Art Jeffries protects a nine-year-old autistic boy who has cracked the government's new "unbreakable" code.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Bruce Willis  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Miko Hughes  •  Chi McBride

Renegade FBI agent Art Jeffries protects a nine-year-old autistic boy who has cracked the government's new "unbreakable" code.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Bruce Willis  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Miko Hughes  •  Chi McBride

Domestic Disturbance (2001)

Frank Morrison is a divorced father with a 12-year-old son, Danny. His ex-wife Susan and son Danny now live with Rick Barnes, Susan's new husband. Danny, who has a reputation for telling lies, accuses his stepfather of committing a murder. Initially, no one ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  John Travolta  •  James Lashly  •  Rebecca Tilney  •  Debra Mooney

Frank Morrison is a divorced father with a 12-year-old son, Danny. His ex-wife Susan and son Danny now live with Rick Barnes, Susan's new husband. Danny, who has a reputation for telling lies, accuses his stepfather of committing a murder. Initially, no one ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  John Travolta  •  James Lashly  •  Rebecca Tilney  •  Debra Mooney

Malice (1993)

A tale about a happily married couple who would like to have children. Tracy teaches infants, Andy's a college professor. Things are never the same after she is taken to hospital and operated upon by Jed, a "know all" doctor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Bill Pullman  •  Bebe Neuwirth

A tale about a happily married couple who would like to have children. Tracy teaches infants, Andy's a college professor. Things are never the same after she is taken to hospital and operated upon by Jed, a "know all" doctor.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Nicole Kidman  •  Alec Baldwin  •  Bill Pullman  •  Bebe Neuwirth

The Ragman's Daughter (1972)

Based on the Alan Sillitoe short story. Tony, a worker at a cheese factory, is also a petty thief. He moves from robbery after robbery until he meets Doris, the daughter of the local ragman. Slowly, he falls in love with her and must decide whether he will stay a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Simon Rouse  •  Victoria Tennant  •  Patrick O'Connell  •  Leslie Sands

Based on the Alan Sillitoe short story. Tony, a worker at a cheese factory, is also a petty thief. He moves from robbery after robbery until he meets Doris, the daughter of the local ragman. Slowly, he falls in love with her and must decide whether he will stay a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Simon Rouse  •  Victoria Tennant  •  Patrick O'Connell  •  Leslie Sands

The Black Marble (1980)

When alcoholic homicide investigator Valnikov is transferred to a burglary case that seems to involve a creepy dogcatcher, he's also given a new partner -- the pragmatic Sgt. Natalie Zimmerman, who's experiencing a midlife crisis and does not welcome Valnikov's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Robert Foxworth  •  Paula Prentiss  •  Harry Dean Stanton  •  Barbara Babcock

When alcoholic homicide investigator Valnikov is transferred to a burglary case that seems to involve a creepy dogcatcher, he's also given a new partner -- the pragmatic Sgt. Natalie Zimmerman, who's experiencing a midlife crisis and does not welcome Valnikov's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Robert Foxworth  •  Paula Prentiss  •  Harry Dean Stanton  •  Barbara Babcock

The Onion Field (1979)

An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  John Savage  •  James Woods  •  Franklyn Seales  •  Ted Danson

An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  John Savage  •  James Woods  •  Franklyn Seales  •  Ted Danson

The Boost (1988)

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to turn. His friend, Joel, introduces him to cocaine to give Lenny that needed ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Sean Young  •  James Woods  •  John Kapelos  •  Kelle Kerr

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to turn. His friend, Joel, introduces him to cocaine to give Lenny that needed ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Sean Young  •  James Woods  •  John Kapelos  •  Kelle Kerr

Sighet, Sighet (1967)

Elie Wiesel, a survivor from Sighet, a town from which a thousand Jews were deported to the ovens of Auschwitz, returns, unknown and unseen, a silent witness to the town where he was born and grew up.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, a survivor from Sighet, a town from which a thousand Jews were deported to the ovens of Auschwitz, returns, unknown and unseen, a silent witness to the town where he was born and grew up.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Elie Wiesel

Blind Gary Davis (1964)

A short documentary on the "Harlem Street Singer," blues artist Rev. Gary Davis. Features footage of his neighborhood, Davis talking about his upbringing, and two performances including "Death Don't Have No Mercy." Benefiting from New York's folk revival in the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Rev. Gary Davis

A short documentary on the "Harlem Street Singer," blues artist Rev. Gary Davis. Features footage of his neighborhood, Davis talking about his upbringing, and two performances including "Death Don't Have No Mercy." Benefiting from New York's folk revival in the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Harold Becker
CAST:  Rev. Gary Davis