Profile of Alan J. Pakula
Alan J. Pakula was a movie producer and director whose career peaked in the 1970s with the films Klute (1971, starring Jane Fonda), The Parallax View (1974, starring Warren Beatty) and All the President's Men (1976, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman). Pakula graduated from Yale University and moved to Hollywood in the 1950s, where he worked for Warner Brothers and Paramount. In 1956 he produced the feature film Fear Strikes Out with director Robert Mulligan. Together they produced several successful films in the early 1960s, including the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. By the late 1960s Pakula turned to directing, beginning with The Sterile Cuckoo (1969, starring Liza Minnelli). A major figure in Hollywood in the 1970s, his edge seemed to dull a bit in the '80s and '90s and his films drew less and less attention, but Pakula still showed a sure hand with dramas and legal thrillers, including Sophie's Choice (1982, starring Meryl Streep), Presumed Innocent (1990, starring Harrison Ford and Raul Julia) and The Pelican Brief (1993, starring Julia Roberts). He was killed in an auto accident while driving in New York in 1998.
Pakula never won an Academy Award but was nominated three times: once as a producer (To Kill a Mockingbird), once as a director (All the President’s Men) and once as a writer (Sophie’s Choice)… He made four films with legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis.
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