Stephen Frears

Stephen Arthur Frears (born 20 June 1941) is an English director and producer. He has directed numerous acclaimed films since the early 1980s, including My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Grifters (1990), High Fidelity (2000), The Queen (2006), Philomena (2013), Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), and Victoria & Abdul (2017). He has received two nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director. Frears is also known for his work on various television programs, including Fail Safe (2000), The Deal (2003), Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013), A Very English Scandal (2018), State of the Union (2019), and Quiz (2020). He has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, with one win. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph named Frears among the 100 most influential people in British culture.

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High Fidelity (2000)

CleverEnjoyableSmartFunny

When record store owner Rob Gordon gets dumped by his girlfriend, Laura, because he hasn't changed since they met, he revisits his top five breakups of all time in an attempt to figure out what went wrong. As Rob seeks out his former lovers to find out why they ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  John Cusack  •  Iben Hjejle  •  Todd Louiso  •  Jack Black

When record store owner Rob Gordon gets dumped by his girlfriend, Laura, because he hasn't changed since they met, he revisits his top five breakups of all time in an attempt to figure out what went wrong. As Rob seeks out his former lovers to find out why they ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  John Cusack  •  Iben Hjejle  •  Todd Louiso  •  Jack Black

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

In 18th century France, Marquise de Merteuil asks her ex-lover Vicomte de Valmont to seduce the future wife of another ex-lover of hers in return for one last night with her. Yet things don’t go as planned.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Glenn Close  •  John Malkovich  •  Michelle Pfeiffer  •  Swoosie Kurtz

In 18th century France, Marquise de Merteuil asks her ex-lover Vicomte de Valmont to seduce the future wife of another ex-lover of hers in return for one last night with her. Yet things don’t go as planned.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Glenn Close  •  John Malkovich  •  Michelle Pfeiffer  •  Swoosie Kurtz

Fail Safe (2000)

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Walter Cronkite  •  Richard Dreyfuss  •  Noah Wyle  •  Brian Dennehy

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Walter Cronkite  •  Richard Dreyfuss  •  Noah Wyle  •  Brian Dennehy

Liam (2000)

A morality tale of xenophobia, religious prejudice, mob violence, poverty, and their effect on two children in Liverpool during the Depression. When a shipyard closes, Liam and Teresa's dad loses his job. Liam, who's about 8, making his first Holy Communion, gets a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Ian Hart  •  Claire Hackett  •  Anthony Borrows  •  David Hart

A morality tale of xenophobia, religious prejudice, mob violence, poverty, and their effect on two children in Liverpool during the Depression. When a shipyard closes, Liam and Teresa's dad loses his job. Liam, who's about 8, making his first Holy Communion, gets a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Ian Hart  •  Claire Hackett  •  Anthony Borrows  •  David Hart

Mary Reilly (1996)

A housemaid falls in love with Dr. Jekyll and his darkly mysterious counterpart, Mr. Hyde.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Julia Roberts  •  John Malkovich  •  George Cole  •  Michael Gambon

A housemaid falls in love with Dr. Jekyll and his darkly mysterious counterpart, Mr. Hyde.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Julia Roberts  •  John Malkovich  •  George Cole  •  Michael Gambon

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

A British-Pakistani man renovates a rundown laundrette with his male lover while dealing with drama within his family, the local Pakistani community, and a persistent mob of skinheads.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Saeed Jaffrey  •  Roshan Seth  •  Daniel Day-Lewis  •  Gordon Warnecke

A British-Pakistani man renovates a rundown laundrette with his male lover while dealing with drama within his family, the local Pakistani community, and a persistent mob of skinheads.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Saeed Jaffrey  •  Roshan Seth  •  Daniel Day-Lewis  •  Gordon Warnecke

Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)

Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with everybody - except each other! Things become interesting when Sammy's father, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Shashi Kapoor  •  Ayub Khan-Din  •  Frances Barber  •  Claire Bloom

Sammy and Rosie are an unconventional middle-class London married couple. They live in the midst of inner-city chaos, surround themselves with intellectual street people, and sleep with everybody - except each other! Things become interesting when Sammy's father, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Shashi Kapoor  •  Ayub Khan-Din  •  Frances Barber  •  Claire Bloom

The Grifters (1990)

A young short-con grifter suffers both injury and the displeasure of reuniting with his criminal mother, all the while dating an unpredictable young lady.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Anjelica Huston  •  John Cusack  •  Annette Bening  •  Jan Munroe

A young short-con grifter suffers both injury and the displeasure of reuniting with his criminal mother, all the while dating an unpredictable young lady.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Anjelica Huston  •  John Cusack  •  Annette Bening  •  Jan Munroe

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

Stephen Frears directs this biographical drama focusing on controversial British playwright Joe Orton, revealed in flashback after his murder by lover Kenneth Halliwell. Born in 1933 in Leicester, in the English Midlands, John 'Joe' Orton moves to London in 1951, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Gary Oldman  •  Alfred Molina  •  Vanessa Redgrave  •  Frances Barber

Stephen Frears directs this biographical drama focusing on controversial British playwright Joe Orton, revealed in flashback after his murder by lover Kenneth Halliwell. Born in 1933 in Leicester, in the English Midlands, John 'Joe' Orton moves to London in 1951, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Gary Oldman  •  Alfred Molina  •  Vanessa Redgrave  •  Frances Barber

Dirty Pretty Things (2002)

An urban hotel in London is a gathering and flash point for legal and illegal immigrants attempting to cobble together their lives in a new country. The immigrants include Senay, a Turkish woman, and a Nigerian doctor named Okwe who is working as a night porter at ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Chiwetel Ejiofor  •  Audrey Tautou  •  Benedict Wong  •  Sophie Okonedo

An urban hotel in London is a gathering and flash point for legal and illegal immigrants attempting to cobble together their lives in a new country. The immigrants include Senay, a Turkish woman, and a Nigerian doctor named Okwe who is working as a night porter at ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Chiwetel Ejiofor  •  Audrey Tautou  •  Benedict Wong  •  Sophie Okonedo

Hero (1992)

Bernie Laplante is having a rough time. He's divorced, his ex-wife hates him and has custody of their son, the cops are setting a trap for him, then to top it all, he loses a shoe whilst rescuing passengers of a crashed jet. Being a thief who is down on his luck, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Dustin Hoffman  •  Geena Davis  •  Andy García  •  Joan Cusack

Bernie Laplante is having a rough time. He's divorced, his ex-wife hates him and has custody of their son, the cops are setting a trap for him, then to top it all, he loses a shoe whilst rescuing passengers of a crashed jet. Being a thief who is down on his luck, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Dustin Hoffman  •  Geena Davis  •  Andy García  •  Joan Cusack

Gumshoe (1971)

A would be private eye gets mixed up in a smuggling case.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Albert Finney  •  Billie Whitelaw  •  Frank Finlay  •  Janice Rule

A would be private eye gets mixed up in a smuggling case.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Albert Finney  •  Billie Whitelaw  •  Frank Finlay  •  Janice Rule

Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

Eccentric 70-year-old widow purchases the Windmill Theatre in London as a post-widowhood hobby. After starting an innovative continuous variety review, which is copied by other theaters, they begin to lose money. Mrs Henderson suggests they add female nudity ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Bob Hoskins  •  Will Young  •  Christopher Guest

Eccentric 70-year-old widow purchases the Windmill Theatre in London as a post-widowhood hobby. After starting an innovative continuous variety review, which is copied by other theaters, they begin to lose money. Mrs Henderson suggests they add female nudity ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Bob Hoskins  •  Will Young  •  Christopher Guest

Me! I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978)

A repressed night-school teacher, secretly homosexual, struggles to cope with his demanding, eccentric mother.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Neville Smith  •  Carol MacReady  •  Thora Hird  •  Derek Thompson

A repressed night-school teacher, secretly homosexual, struggles to cope with his demanding, eccentric mother.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Neville Smith  •  Carol MacReady  •  Thora Hird  •  Derek Thompson

Saigon: Year Of The Cat (1983)

The year is 1974, and Barbara Dean (Judi Dench), a British assistant manager in a foreign bank in Saigon, begins a relationship with American Bob Chesneau (Frederic Forrest). She quickly realises that he works for the CIA and he knows that the fall of South Vietnam ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Frederic Forrest  •  Chic Murray  •  E.G. Marshall

The year is 1974, and Barbara Dean (Judi Dench), a British assistant manager in a foreign bank in Saigon, begins a relationship with American Bob Chesneau (Frederic Forrest). She quickly realises that he works for the CIA and he knows that the fall of South Vietnam ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Frederic Forrest  •  Chic Murray  •  E.G. Marshall

Doris and Doreen (1978)

A series of pink forms has Doris and Doreen fearing for their cushy jobs.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Patricia Routledge  •  Prunella Scales  •  Pete Postlethwaite

A series of pink forms has Doris and Doreen fearing for their cushy jobs.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Patricia Routledge  •  Prunella Scales  •  Pete Postlethwaite

Here's Looking at You, Boy (2007)

Documentary on the history of gay and lesbian film.  (more)

DIRECTION:  André Schäfer
CAST:  John Waters  •  Wieland Speck  •  Rosa von Praunheim  •  Ingrid Caven

Documentary on the history of gay and lesbian film.  (more)

DIRECTION:  André Schäfer
CAST:  John Waters  •  Wieland Speck  •  Rosa von Praunheim  •  Ingrid Caven

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)

Muhammad Ali’s historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors. When Ali was drafted into the Vietnam War at the height of his boxing career, his claim to conscientious objector status led to a controversial legal battle that rattled the U.S. judicial system ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Christopher Plummer  •  Danny Glover  •  Frank Langella  •  Ed Begley Jr.

Muhammad Ali’s historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors. When Ali was drafted into the Vietnam War at the height of his boxing career, his claim to conscientious objector status led to a controversial legal battle that rattled the U.S. judicial system ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Christopher Plummer  •  Danny Glover  •  Frank Langella  •  Ed Begley Jr.

Philomena (2013)

EmotionalHeartbreakingIntenseUplifting

A woman searches for her adult son, who was taken away from her decades ago when she was forced to live in a convent.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Steve Coogan  •  Michelle Fairley  •  Mare Winningham

A woman searches for her adult son, who was taken away from her decades ago when she was forced to live in a convent.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Judi Dench  •  Steve Coogan  •  Michelle Fairley  •  Mare Winningham

Black Christmas (1977)

A bittersweet drama on a familiar theme - the frictions forced to the surface during a Christmas family get-together - Michael Abbensetts' Black Christmas is an understated and affecting study of relationships, unexpressed pain and a tormented nostalgia for a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Janet Bartley  •  Norman Beaton  •  Linda Goddard  •  Stefan Kalipha

A bittersweet drama on a familiar theme - the frictions forced to the surface during a Christmas family get-together - Michael Abbensetts' Black Christmas is an understated and affecting study of relationships, unexpressed pain and a tormented nostalgia for a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stephen Frears
CAST:  Janet Bartley  •  Norman Beaton  •  Linda Goddard  •  Stefan Kalipha
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