William Friedkin

William Friedkin is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for directing The French Connection in 1971 and The Exorcist in 1973; for the former, he won the Academy Award for Best Director. Some of his other films include Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., Jade, Rules of Engagement, The Hunted, Bug, and Killer Joe. As mentioned in Friedkin's voice-over commentary on the DVD re-release of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Friedkin directed one of the last episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965, called "Off Season". Hitchcock admonished Friedkin for not wearing a tie while directing. In 1965 Friedkin moved to Hollywood and two years later released his first feature film, Good Times starring Sonny and Cher. Several other "art" films followed, including the adaptation of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band and most notably The Birthday Party, based on an unpublished screenplay by Harold Pinter, which he adapted from his own play. Friedkin, however, did not want to be known as an art house director, but rather for action and serious drama through stories about an America upended by crime, hypocrisy, the occult, and amorality. All of which he mounted up into his films to reflect what was going on in an America that was changing in the wake of Vietnam, the Sexual Revolution, and Watergate. In 1971, his The French Connection was released to wide critical acclaim. Shot in a gritty style more suited for documentaries than Hollywood features, ...

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Blue Chips (1994)

Pete Bell, a college basketball coach is under a lot of pressure. His team isn't winning and he cannot attract new players. The stars of the future are secretly being paid by boosters. This practice is forbidden in the college game, but Pete is desperate and has ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Shaquille O'Neal  •  Nick Nolte  •  Mary McDonnell  •  J. T. Walsh

Pete Bell, a college basketball coach is under a lot of pressure. His team isn't winning and he cannot attract new players. The stars of the future are secretly being paid by boosters. This practice is forbidden in the college game, but Pete is desperate and has ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Shaquille O'Neal  •  Nick Nolte  •  Mary McDonnell  •  J. T. Walsh

Bug (2006)

In Oklahoma, Agnes, a lonely waitress living in an isolated and dilapidated roadside motel, meets Peter, a quiet and mysterious man with whom she establishes a peculiar relationship.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Ashley Judd  •  Michael Shannon  •  Harry Connick Jr.  •  Lynn Collins

In Oklahoma, Agnes, a lonely waitress living in an isolated and dilapidated roadside motel, meets Peter, a quiet and mysterious man with whom she establishes a peculiar relationship.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Ashley Judd  •  Michael Shannon  •  Harry Connick Jr.  •  Lynn Collins

Cruising (1980)

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Karen Allen  •  Paul Sorvino  •  Richard Cox

A serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts. The young police officer Steve Burns is sent undercover onto the streets as a decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Al Pacino  •  Karen Allen  •  Paul Sorvino  •  Richard Cox

Good Times (1967)

Sonny and Cher spoof many Hollywood classic movie scenes.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Sonny Bono  •  Cher  •  George Sanders  •  Norman Alden

Sonny and Cher spoof many Hollywood classic movie scenes.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Sonny Bono  •  Cher  •  George Sanders  •  Norman Alden

Jade (1995)

Someone does a nasty hatchet job on a San Francisco big shot and the Assistant D.A. takes charge of the investigation. Through a web of blackmail and prostitution involving the Governor, an old lover of the law man emerges as a prime suspect and he has to deal with ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  David Caruso  •  Linda Fiorentino  •  Chazz Palminteri  •  Richard Crenna

Someone does a nasty hatchet job on a San Francisco big shot and the Assistant D.A. takes charge of the investigation. Through a web of blackmail and prostitution involving the Governor, an old lover of the law man emerges as a prime suspect and he has to deal with ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  David Caruso  •  Linda Fiorentino  •  Chazz Palminteri  •  Richard Crenna

Rules of Engagement (2000)

A Marine Colonel is brought to court-martial after ordering his men to fire on demonstrators surrounding the American embassy in Yemen.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Guy Pearce  •  Ben Kingsley

A Marine Colonel is brought to court-martial after ordering his men to fire on demonstrators surrounding the American embassy in Yemen.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  Samuel L. Jackson  •  Guy Pearce  •  Ben Kingsley

Sorcerer (1977)

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting several cases of dynamite (which is so old that it is dripping unstable nitroglycerin) across dangerous jungle terrain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Bruno Cremer  •  Francisco Rabal  •  Amidou

Four men from different parts of the globe, all hiding from their pasts in the same remote South American town, agree to risk their lives transporting several cases of dynamite (which is so old that it is dripping unstable nitroglycerin) across dangerous jungle terrain.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Bruno Cremer  •  Francisco Rabal  •  Amidou

The Exorcist (1973)

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12-year-old Regan MacNeil begins to adapt an explicit new personality as strange events befall the local area of Georgetown. Her mother becomes torn between science and superstition in a desperate bid to save her daughter, and ultimately turns to her last hope: ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Ellen Burstyn  •  Jason Miller  •  Max von Sydow  •  Lee J. Cobb

12-year-old Regan MacNeil begins to adapt an explicit new personality as strange events befall the local area of Georgetown. Her mother becomes torn between science and superstition in a desperate bid to save her daughter, and ultimately turns to her last hope: ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Ellen Burstyn  •  Jason Miller  •  Max von Sydow  •  Lee J. Cobb

The French Connection (1971)

Tough narcotics detective 'Popeye' Doyle is in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a huge heroin-smuggling operation.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Fernando Rey  •  Tony Lo Bianco  •  Marcel Bozzuffi

Tough narcotics detective 'Popeye' Doyle is in hot pursuit of a suave French drug dealer who may be the key to a huge heroin-smuggling operation.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Roy Scheider  •  Fernando Rey  •  Tony Lo Bianco  •  Marcel Bozzuffi

The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968)

Rachel arrives in New York from her Amish community intent on becoming a dancer. Unfortunately Billy Minsky's Burlesque is hardly the place for her Dances From The Bible. But the show's comedian Raymond sees a way of wrong-footing the local do-gooders by announcing ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jason Robards  •  Britt Ekland  •  Norman Wisdom  •  Forrest Tucker

Rachel arrives in New York from her Amish community intent on becoming a dancer. Unfortunately Billy Minsky's Burlesque is hardly the place for her Dances From The Bible. But the show's comedian Raymond sees a way of wrong-footing the local do-gooders by announcing ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jason Robards  •  Britt Ekland  •  Norman Wisdom  •  Forrest Tucker

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  William Petersen  •  Willem Dafoe  •  John Pankow  •  Debra Feuer

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  William Petersen  •  Willem Dafoe  •  John Pankow  •  Debra Feuer

The Boys in the Band (1970)

A witty, perceptive and devastating look at the personal agendas and suppressed revelations swirling among a group of gay men in Manhattan. Harold is celebrating a birthday, and his friend Michael has drafted some other friends to help commemorate the event. As the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Leonard Frey  •  Frederick Combs  •  Cliff Gorman  •  Laurence Luckinbill

A witty, perceptive and devastating look at the personal agendas and suppressed revelations swirling among a group of gay men in Manhattan. Harold is celebrating a birthday, and his friend Michael has drafted some other friends to help commemorate the event. As the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Leonard Frey  •  Frederick Combs  •  Cliff Gorman  •  Laurence Luckinbill

The Hunted (2003)

In the wilderness of British Columbia, two hunters are tracked and viciously murdered by Aaron Hallum. A former Special Operations instructor is approached and asked to apprehend Hallum—his former student—who has 'gone rogue' after suffering severe battle stress ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  Benicio del Toro  •  Connie Nielsen  •  Leslie Stefanson

In the wilderness of British Columbia, two hunters are tracked and viciously murdered by Aaron Hallum. A former Special Operations instructor is approached and asked to apprehend Hallum—his former student—who has 'gone rogue' after suffering severe battle stress ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Tommy Lee Jones  •  Benicio del Toro  •  Connie Nielsen  •  Leslie Stefanson

The Guardian (1990)

Phil and Kate select the winsome young Camilla as a live-in nanny for their newborn child, but the seemingly lovely Camilla is not what she appears to be...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jenny Seagrove  •  Dwier Brown  •  Carey Lowell  •  Brad Hall

Phil and Kate select the winsome young Camilla as a live-in nanny for their newborn child, but the seemingly lovely Camilla is not what she appears to be...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jenny Seagrove  •  Dwier Brown  •  Carey Lowell  •  Brad Hall

Rampage (1987)

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Michael Biehn  •  Alex McArthur  •  Nicholas Campbell  •  Deborah Van Valkenburgh

Liberal district attorney decides to seek the death penalty for a man who slaughtered a family at Christmastime, then drank their blood. He escapes, though, and starts killing again.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Michael Biehn  •  Alex McArthur  •  Nicholas Campbell  •  Deborah Van Valkenburgh

The Brink's Job (1978)

In 1950, a group of unlikely criminal masterminds commits the robbery of the century. Led by Tony Pino (Peter Falk), a petty thief fresh out of prison, and Joe McGinnis (Peter Boyle), who specializes in planning lucrative capers, the gang robs Brink's main office ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Peter Falk  •  Peter Boyle  •  Allen Garfield  •  Warren Oates

In 1950, a group of unlikely criminal masterminds commits the robbery of the century. Led by Tony Pino (Peter Falk), a petty thief fresh out of prison, and Joe McGinnis (Peter Boyle), who specializes in planning lucrative capers, the gang robs Brink's main office ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Peter Falk  •  Peter Boyle  •  Allen Garfield  •  Warren Oates

Conversation with Fritz Lang (1975)

American director William Friedkin interviewed Austrian director Fritz Lang on February 21st and 24th, 1975. Lang died August 2nd, 1976.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  William Friedkin  •  Fritz Lang

American director William Friedkin interviewed Austrian director Fritz Lang on February 21st and 24th, 1975. Lang died August 2nd, 1976.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  William Friedkin  •  Fritz Lang

C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf (1988)

The Counter Assault Tactical (C.A.T.) Squad investigates a spy who is supplying plutonium to the Sjambok, a racist South African paramilitary group that is working on a nuclear bomb. The American government, too, is investigating Sjambok, using the top-secret spy ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jack Youngblood  •  Steve James  •  Deborah Van Valkenburgh  •  Miguel Ferrer

The Counter Assault Tactical (C.A.T.) Squad investigates a spy who is supplying plutonium to the Sjambok, a racist South African paramilitary group that is working on a nuclear bomb. The American government, too, is investigating Sjambok, using the top-secret spy ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Friedkin
CAST:  Jack Youngblood  •  Steve James  •  Deborah Van Valkenburgh  •  Miguel Ferrer

Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story of Richard D. Zanuck (2013)

A look at the life and work of legendary film producer Richard D. Zanuck.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurent Bouzereau
CAST:  Steven Spielberg  •  Lawrence Gordon  •  Richard D. Zanuck  •  Clint Eastwood

A look at the life and work of legendary film producer Richard D. Zanuck.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurent Bouzereau
CAST:  Steven Spielberg  •  Lawrence Gordon  •  Richard D. Zanuck  •  Clint Eastwood

Stanley Kubrick in Focus (2012)

Spielberg, Soderbergh, Stone, Friedkin, Scorsese and others tell how Kubrick's directorial style influenced them and how his unique style was developed.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Khammar
CAST:  Steven Soderbergh  •  William Friedkin  •  Steven Spielberg  •  Martin Scorsese

Spielberg, Soderbergh, Stone, Friedkin, Scorsese and others tell how Kubrick's directorial style influenced them and how his unique style was developed.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gary Khammar
CAST:  Steven Soderbergh  •  William Friedkin  •  Steven Spielberg  •  Martin Scorsese
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