Brian DePalma - Rotten Tomatoes

Brian DePalma

Highest Rated:   94% De Palma (2016)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Newark, New Jersey, USA
American director Brian De Palma has always insisted that he gained his fascination with all things gory by watching his father, an orthopedic surgeon, at work. It's more likely that the principal influence on De Palma's career was Alfred Hitchcock, a fascination he has claimed to have outgrown professionally. Whatever the case, De Palma did his first film work in amateur short subjects while a student at Columbia University. Thanks to one of these films, he won a writing fellowship to Sarah Lawrence College, where he made his first feature, The Wedding Party, between 1962 and 1964. In the cast of The Wedding Party, which wouldn't be released until 1969, were Sarah Lawrence student Jill Clayburgh and a Brooklyn kid who called himself "Bobby" De Niro. De Palma's first film to gain theatrical release was 1968's Murder à la Mod, and the first to accrue critical approval was a trendy anti-war tome called Greetings (1968), again with the Brooklyn boy who by this time was known as Robert De Niro. Hi, Mom! (1970) was a similarly irreverent comedy, but De Palma was prescient enough to realize that the vogue for anti-establishment films would soon pass. Thus he began emulating Alfred Hitchcock with Sisters (1973), utilizing the split-screen technique popularized by such late-'60s pictures as Grand Prix and The Boston Strangler. De Palma not only admitted to borrowing from Hitchcock in Sisters, but also underlined the tribute by having the film scored by Hitchcock's frequent musical director Bernard Herrmann. Obsession (1976), again scored by Herrmann, was one of several De Palma imitations of Hitchcock's Vertigo (see also Body Double), and also established the director's fascination with 360-degree camera pans. Carrie (1976), De Palma's most successful film to that date (and still one of the most successful Stephen King adaptations), marked a return to the split-screen technique and wrapped the story up with another of De Palma's trademarks, the "false shock" ending which turns out to be a nightmare. There was a similar finale (again staged as a dream) in Dressed to Kill (1980), which audaciously included a shower scene à la Psycho (but the director deceived, staging the murder in an elevator). By the time Body Double came around in 1984, De Palma was all but parodying himself with gratuitous gore, slow motion, lyrical panning shots, Herrmann-esque musical scores, characters who weren't who they seemed to be, and twist-around endings. With the acclaimed Scarface (1983), the director inaugurated his "crime is not nice" period, ladling out grimly violent sequences in such films as Wise Guys (1986) and The Untouchables (1987) to show that the bad guys weren't the lovable lugs Damon Runyon had made them out to be. De Palma next explored a different kind of violence in Casualties of War (1989), a Vietnam War film that centered on the outrageous mistreatment of a Vietnamese woman by a platoon of American soldiers. Raising Cain (1992) was a full-blooded return to terror, with one of De Palma's favorite actors, John Lithgow, given free reign to express his wildest, darkest passions. Carlito's Way (1993) was another crime flick, this time with Al Pacino (who'd worked with De Palma in Scarface), and proved to be one of De Palma's most widely praised films in years. With the exception of The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), which was a full-out failure, De Palma has remained one of a handful of truly bankable Hollywood directors capable of opening a picture on the basis of his own name rather than the names of the stars. He had another hit on his hands in 1996 with a big-budget adaptation of the TV series Mission: Impossible. Snake Eyes (1998), a thriller revolving around a political assassination, was something of a critical and commercial disappointment, but the director resurfaced two years later with Mission to Mars. A sci-fi suspense thriller, it removed the director from earthly horror and violence, only to restage it elsewhere in the solar

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
33% Domino
  • Director
2019
No Score Yet The Truth and Other Lies
  • Director
2017
94% De Palma
  • Actor
$0.2M 2016
33% Passion
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$58.2k 2013
45% Redacted
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$0.1M 2007
32% The Black Dahlia
  • Director
  • Voice of Film Producer
$22.6M 2006
49% Femme Fatale
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
$6.6M 2002
No Score Yet Bruce Springsteen: Complete Video Anthology 1978-2000
  • Director
2000
24% Mission to Mars
  • Director
2000
41% Snake Eyes
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1998
No Score Yet Falling Sky
  • Director
1998
64% Mission: Impossible
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1996
81% Carlito's Way
  • Director
1993
57% Raising Cain
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1992
16% The Bonfire of the Vanities
  • Prison Guard
1990
83% Casualties of War
  • Screenwriter
  • Actor
  • Director
1989
82% The Untouchables
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1987
31% Wise Guys
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1986
79% Body Double
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1984
81% Scarface
  • Director
$0.7M 1983
85% Blow Out
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1981
No Score Yet Home Movies
  • Producer
  • Director
1980
81% Dressed to Kill
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1980
75% The Fury
  • Director
1978
92% Carrie
  • Director
1976
73% Obsession
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1976
84% Phantom of the Paradise
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1974
86% Sisters
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1973
No Score Yet Get to Know Your Rabbit
  • Director
1972
73% Hi, Mom!
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1970
No Score Yet Dionysus in '69
  • Director
1970
No Score Yet The Wedding Party
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1969
No Score Yet Murder à la Mod
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1968
88% Greetings
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1968
No Score Yet Woton's Wake
  • Director
1962

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