John G. Avildsen

John Guilbert Avildsen was an American film director. He won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1977 for Rocky. Other films he directed include Joe, Save the Tiger, Fore Play, The Formula, Neighbors, For Keeps, Lean on Me, The Power of One, 8 Seconds, Inferno, Rocky V and the first three The Karate Kid films. Avildsen was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Ivy (née Guilbert) and Clarence John Avildsen. He was educated at The Hotchkiss School and New York University. After starting out as an assistant director on films by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger, John Avildsen received his first success with the low budget feature Joe (1970) which received critical acclaim for star Peter Boyle and moderate box office business. This was followed by another critical success, Save the Tiger (1973), that was nominated for three Oscars, winning Best Actor for star Jack Lemmon. Avildsen's greatest success was Rocky (1976), garnering ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Picture and Best Director. He later directed what was expected to be the series' final installment, Rocky V (1990). His other films include Cry Uncle! (1971), Neighbors (1981), The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), Lean on Me (1989) and 8 Seconds (1994). Avildsen was the original director for both Serpico (1973) and Saturday Night Fever (1977), but was fired over disputes with producers Martin Bregman and Robert Stigwood, respectively.

2

Happy New Year (1987)

Small time crooksters Nick and Charlie have an elaborate plan to rob an exclusive jewelers store. Using a variety of disguises and posing as rich old men and women they begin the set-up, but then Nick falls for the owner of a neighboring antique store and things ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Peter Falk  •  Charles Durning  •  Tom Courtenay  •  Tracy Brooks Swope

Small time crooksters Nick and Charlie have an elaborate plan to rob an exclusive jewelers store. Using a variety of disguises and posing as rich old men and women they begin the set-up, but then Nick falls for the owner of a neighboring antique store and things ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Peter Falk  •  Charles Durning  •  Tom Courtenay  •  Tracy Brooks Swope

8 Seconds (1994)

This film chronicles the life of Lane Frost, 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion, his marriage and his friendships with Tuff Hedeman (three-time World Champion) and Cody Lambert.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Luke Perry  •  Stephen Baldwin  •  Cynthia Geary  •  James Rebhorn

This film chronicles the life of Lane Frost, 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion, his marriage and his friendships with Tuff Hedeman (three-time World Champion) and Cody Lambert.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Luke Perry  •  Stephen Baldwin  •  Cynthia Geary  •  James Rebhorn

A Night in Heaven (1983)

Faye Hanlon is a community-college professor with an emotionally depressed husband and an abundance of sexual frustration. Her sister drags her to a male strip-club for a girls-night out, where she discovers that one of the dancers is her failing student Rick ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Christopher Atkins  •  Lesley Ann Warren  •  Robert Logan  •  Deney Terrio

Faye Hanlon is a community-college professor with an emotionally depressed husband and an abundance of sexual frustration. Her sister drags her to a male strip-club for a girls-night out, where she discovers that one of the dancers is her failing student Rick ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Christopher Atkins  •  Lesley Ann Warren  •  Robert Logan  •  Deney Terrio

Lean On Me (1989)

When principal Joe Clark takes over decaying Eastside High School, he's faced with students wearing gang colors and graffiti-covered walls. Determined to do anything he must to turn the school around, he expels suspected drug dealers, padlocks doors and demands ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Morgan Freeman  •  Beverly Todd  •  Robert Guillaume  •  Ethan Phillips

When principal Joe Clark takes over decaying Eastside High School, he's faced with students wearing gang colors and graffiti-covered walls. Determined to do anything he must to turn the school around, he expels suspected drug dealers, padlocks doors and demands ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Morgan Freeman  •  Beverly Todd  •  Robert Guillaume  •  Ethan Phillips

Rocky (1976)

ClassicAction-packedDramaticUplifting

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

When world heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed wants to give an unknown fighter a shot at the title as a publicity stunt, his handlers choose palooka Rocky Balboa, an uneducated collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Rocky teams up with trainer Mickey ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Carl Weathers

Rocky V (1990)

A lifetime of taking shots has ended Rocky’s career, and a crooked accountant has left him broke. Inspired by the memory of his trainer, however, Rocky finds glory in training and takes on an up-and-coming boxer.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Sage Stallone

A lifetime of taking shots has ended Rocky’s career, and a crooked accountant has left him broke. Inspired by the memory of his trainer, however, Rocky finds glory in training and takes on an up-and-coming boxer.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Sylvester Stallone  •  Talia Shire  •  Burt Young  •  Sage Stallone

Save the Tiger (1973)

A businessman's professional struggles begin to conflict with his personal life over the course of two days.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Jack Lemmon  •  Jack Gilford  •  Laurie Heineman  •  Norman Burton

A businessman's professional struggles begin to conflict with his personal life over the course of two days.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Jack Lemmon  •  Jack Gilford  •  Laurie Heineman  •  Norman Burton

The Formula (1980)

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products, thereby eliminating the necessity for oil--and oil companies. A major oil company finds out about it and tries to destroy the formula and anyone who ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Marlon Brando  •  Marthe Keller  •  John Gielgud

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products, thereby eliminating the necessity for oil--and oil companies. A major oil company finds out about it and tries to destroy the formula and anyone who ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  George C. Scott  •  Marlon Brando  •  Marthe Keller  •  John Gielgud

The Karate Kid (1984)

ClassicFunSimpleOriginal

After some violent confrontations with his new classmates, Daniel LaRusso learns karate from Japanese handyman Mr. Miyagi, in order to defend himself.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Martin Kove  •  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Randee Heller

After some violent confrontations with his new classmates, Daniel LaRusso learns karate from Japanese handyman Mr. Miyagi, in order to defend himself.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Martin Kove  •  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Randee Heller

The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

After discovering that his father is at death's door, Mr. Miyagi sets out to Japan, to see him with Daniel. Upon arriving, Miyagi must confront an old rival. Meanwhile, Daniel encounters a new love, and some new enemies.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Martin Kove  •  Charlie Tanimoto

After discovering that his father is at death's door, Mr. Miyagi sets out to Japan, to see him with Daniel. Upon arriving, Miyagi must confront an old rival. Meanwhile, Daniel encounters a new love, and some new enemies.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Martin Kove  •  Charlie Tanimoto

The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

Despondent over the closing of his karate school, Cobra Kai teacher John Kreese joins a ruthless businessman and martial artist to get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Martin Kove  •  Thomas Ian Griffith

Despondent over the closing of his karate school, Cobra Kai teacher John Kreese joins a ruthless businessman and martial artist to get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Ralph Macchio  •  Pat Morita  •  Martin Kove  •  Thomas Ian Griffith

For Keeps (1988)

Darcy, editor at her highschool paper, and her long-term boyfriend Stan are in their last months of school and already have found places in good colleges. Recently they started to sleep with each other and, surprise, surprise, Darcy gets pregnant. Neither Darcy's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Molly Ringwald  •  Randall Batinkoff  •  Kenneth Mars  •  Miriam Flynn

Darcy, editor at her highschool paper, and her long-term boyfriend Stan are in their last months of school and already have found places in good colleges. Recently they started to sleep with each other and, surprise, surprise, Darcy gets pregnant. Neither Darcy's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Molly Ringwald  •  Randall Batinkoff  •  Kenneth Mars  •  Miriam Flynn

Guess What We Learned in School Today? (1971)

Parents in a small, conservative community don't think that the sex drive is a normal thing for children to experience. So much so, that they label education in that regard as a communist plot. The group of prudes is led by an impotent alcoholic and a gay policeman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Dick Carballo  •  Devin Goldenberg  •  Jane McLeod  •  Yvonne McCall

Parents in a small, conservative community don't think that the sex drive is a normal thing for children to experience. So much so, that they label education in that regard as a communist plot. The group of prudes is led by an impotent alcoholic and a gay policeman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Dick Carballo  •  Devin Goldenberg  •  Jane McLeod  •  Yvonne McCall

W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)

Story of a happy-go-lucky small time crook who runs into a country music group looking for their big break. They end up helping each other out in unexpected ways.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Burt Reynolds  •  Conny Van Dyke  •  Jerry Reed  •  Ned Beatty

Story of a happy-go-lucky small time crook who runs into a country music group looking for their big break. They end up helping each other out in unexpected ways.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Burt Reynolds  •  Conny Van Dyke  •  Jerry Reed  •  Ned Beatty

The Stoolie (1972)

Roger Pitman is a petty thief who makes a deal with the police to use bait money to trap other criminals. But when he gets the cash, Roger can't resist the temptation and steals part of it. He runs off to Miami Beach, but now lives in fear of the crooks that he set ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Jackie Mason  •  Josip Elic  •  Reid Cruickshanks  •  Dan Frazer

Roger Pitman is a petty thief who makes a deal with the police to use bait money to trap other criminals. But when he gets the cash, Roger can't resist the temptation and steals part of it. He runs off to Miami Beach, but now lives in fear of the crooks that he set ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Jackie Mason  •  Josip Elic  •  Reid Cruickshanks  •  Dan Frazer

Slow Dancing In The Big City (1978)

An aging out of shape reporter falls for a pretty but seriously ill ballerina.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Paul Sorvino  •  Anne Ditchburn  •  Nicolas Coster  •  Anita Dangler

An aging out of shape reporter falls for a pretty but seriously ill ballerina.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Paul Sorvino  •  Anne Ditchburn  •  Nicolas Coster  •  Anita Dangler

Okay Bill (1971)

The film tells the story of Bill, a young, successful stockbroker who zips off to Greenwich Village on his motorcycle when no one's looking to venture into the hippy counterculture world. His wife, Nancy, is the dream of every middle-class male. She is liberated ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Bob Brady  •  Gordon Felio  •  Roz Kelly  •  Nancy Salmon

The film tells the story of Bill, a young, successful stockbroker who zips off to Greenwich Village on his motorcycle when no one's looking to venture into the hippy counterculture world. His wife, Nancy, is the dream of every middle-class male. She is liberated ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Bob Brady  •  Gordon Felio  •  Roz Kelly  •  Nancy Salmon

The Power of One (1992)

Thought provokingPowerfulBeautifulEmotional

PK, an English orphan terrorized for his family's political beliefs in Africa, turns to his only friend, a kindly world-wise prisoner, Geel Piet. Geel teaches him how to box with the motto “fight with your fists and lead with your heart”. As he grows to manhood, PK ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Nomadlozi Kubheka  •  Agatha Hurle  •  Nigel Ivy  •  Alois Moyo

PK, an English orphan terrorized for his family's political beliefs in Africa, turns to his only friend, a kindly world-wise prisoner, Geel Piet. Geel teaches him how to box with the motto “fight with your fists and lead with your heart”. As he grows to manhood, PK ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST:  Nomadlozi Kubheka  •  Agatha Hurle  •  Nigel Ivy  •  Alois Moyo

The Troma System (1993)

A 30 minute infomercial that originally aired on Comedy Central in 1993. The idea was that by purchasing Troma Inc. movie products you could better yourself as a person.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Kaufman  •  Michael Herz  •  Jeffrey W. Sass
CAST:  Michael Opelka  •  Lloyd Kaufman  •  Michael Herz  •  Joe Franklin

A 30 minute infomercial that originally aired on Comedy Central in 1993. The idea was that by purchasing Troma Inc. movie products you could better yourself as a person.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Kaufman  •  Michael Herz  •  Jeffrey W. Sass
CAST:  Michael Opelka  •  Lloyd Kaufman  •  Michael Herz  •  Joe Franklin

Traveling Hopefully (1982)

A documentary about Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST: 

A documentary about Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU.  (more)

DIRECTION:  John G. Avildsen
CAST: 
2