|Date of Birth||7 May 1940, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, UK|
Mini Bio (1)
John Irvin is a British director who has made more than thirty motion pictures in his career so far, and has received mixed success over the years.
Born in England, Irvin began his career in television before he filmed the gritty and violent theatrical motion picture, The Dogs of War (1980). The film, starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger, concerns a military coup in an African country. Irvin followed this up with the successful horror film Ghost Story (1981) which is about four old men revealing a long held secret with devastating results. The film was the third highest grossing horror film of its year, hailed by critics including Roger Ebert for its acting and improvement to the novel it was originally based on.
After this, Irvin made the biographical film Champions (1984), the warm-hearted but unsuccessful novel adaptation of Turtle Diary (1985) starring Ben Kingsley, and the violent action film Raw Deal (1986), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Raw Deal (1986) was a success at the box office, bringing in twice its budget, but received several negative reviews.
The next film he made was one of the films he would become most famous for: the bloody Vietnam war film Hamburger Hill (1987). The film, starring Anthony Barrile and a then-unknown Don Cheadle, concerns one of the most costly battles in the Vietnam War. It was released a year after Oliver Stone's film Platoon (1986).
After Hamburger Hill (1987), Irvin made the crime thriller Next of Kin (1989) starring many well-known actors in the film. Unfortunately, it achieved mediocre success. Irvin went on to make a film about the legendary character of Robin Hood, the same year of Kevin Costner's more well-known film "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". Released theatrically in other countries, it was aired on television in the U.S.
Irvin's work in the 90s included the interesting, well reviewed film Eminent Domain (1990), unsuccessful Freefall (1994), the silly comedic Widows' Peak (1994), and an interesting character study in A Month by the Lake (1995). Set in the beautiful Italian coast side, the story revolves around a middle aged, free spirited woman who meets a former military man who is both entranced and frustrated by her personality. The film was positively reviewed, but did not make a great deal of money. After this, Irvin made the cult film City of Industry (1997) starring renowned actor Harvey Keitel. The film was a horrid failure, though it praised Keitel's performance.
Irvin proceeded to make one of his best works- the well-made, realistic film When Trumpets Fade (1998). The film concerns a World War Two battle that, despite the many casualties, has virtually disappeared from memory due to the overshadowing Battle of the Bulge shortly after wards. Released the same year as Saving Private Ryan (1998), the film starred Ron Eldard in a brilliant performance, and the equally impressive performances of Frank Whaley, Timothy Olyphant, and Zak Orth.
Some of Irvin's latest work has been varied, whether it be the chilling Shiner (2000), the humourous musical The Boys & Girl from County Clare (2003), or the Armand Assante-helmed Dot.Kill (2005). Recently, Irvin has directed the novel adaptation of Ernest Hemmingway's The Garden of Eden (2008), co-starring Matthew Modine. Following this, he has begun production on the war film Red Gold (2011) concerning Italian prisoners of war in the United States.
Regardless of success, Irvin continues to make films in a career that has lasted over 40 years.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Stage