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Ron Maxwell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1) | Mini Bio (3) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (4) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (1)

Date of Birth 5 January 1949

Mini Bio (3)

Ronald F. Maxwell is the son of a World War II veteran and a French war bride. He grew up in New Jersey where he graduated from Clifton High School. During his high school years Ron founded the Garden State Players where he wrote, produced and directed dozens of plays and musicals. Ron enrolled as a theater major at New York University College of Arts and Sciences where he was a member of the Hall of Fame Players and the Green Room Honor Society. At NYU, Ron acted in plays and musicals, including the title role in "Hamlet." His work in NYU's theater program earned him an invitation and scholarship to attend the New York University Graduate School of the Arts, Institute of Film and Television. In 1970, Ron completed his graduate film thesis, writing and directing an adaptation of Albert Camus' "The Guest." Upon graduation, he worked in Spain as Charleton Heston's personal assistant in Heston's directorial debut, "Antony and Cleopatra." Ron's daughter Olivia was born in London in September, 1971. His son Jonathan was born in New Jersey in February, 1974. In 1974-1978, Ron worked with Jac Venza at WNET-13, NYC, as an associate producer and subsequently producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award winning series "Theatre in America." At WNET he produced "Sea Marks," starring George Hearn and Veronica Castang. In 1978, he produced and directed Sissy Spacek, Bill Hurt, Sally Kellerman and Howard da Dilva in "Verna: USO Girl" for which Ron received a best director Emmy nomination. Ron was then "drafted" to Hollywood where his first theatrical film, "Little Darlings," opened at #1 on Variety's Top Hundred Grossing Films and has since become a classic of the genre. Subsequently, he directed "The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia," "Kidco," "Parent Trap II," "In the Land of the Poets" -- a feature-length documentary on the Nicaraguan civil war -- and the landmark film "Gettysburg," which has been hailed as one of the greatest war movies in the history of film. "Gettysburg" was released theatrically in the fall of 1993. In the summer of 1994, it was broadcast over two nights on TNT where it established the all-time highest rating for a dramatic film on cable television. The video and DVD have sold millions of copies. Since then, Ron has produced, written an directed the film "Gods and Generals," the pre-quel to "Gettysburg." It was released in February, 2003 and the DVD/VHS was released on July 15, 2003 as the #1 selling video in America, with over 600,000 sales in its first week.

In 2013 Maxwell continues preproduction on an epic trilogy of movies from his own original screenplays, Joan of Arc: The Virgin Warrior and is developing a motion-picture set during the Highland Clearances of late 18th Century Scotland. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Keith/afilmworks@aol.com

History has been of primary interest to Maxwell throughout his life, and so has the nature of American identity. Born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey, son of a World War II veteran and his French war bride, it is only fitting that his graduate thesis film at NYU Film Institute was an adaptation of Albert Camus' "The Guest" and that his major debut as a director was a tender but unsentimental love story set in his parents' era that secured him an Emmy nomination: Verna:USO Girl (PBS, 1978).

Maxwell's subsequent first theatrical film Little Darlings (Paramount, 1980) was a box-office hit that starred Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol. This paved the way to The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (AvcoEmbassy, 1981).

Disney's Parent Trap II and Twentieth-Century Fox's Kidco followed, during which Maxwell persevered in his 15 year quest to see Gettysburg made.

He is by no means finished with history as his preoccupation - optioning and co-writing(with Alan Geoffrion)a screenplay from Speer Morgan's critically acclaimed novel Belle Starr, about the woman who rode with Jesse and Frank James and was known as Queen of the Outlaws.

In 2014 Maxwell continues preproduction on an epic trilogy of movies from his own original screenplays, Joan of Arc: The Virgin Warrior and is developing a motion-picture set during the Highland Clearances of late 18th Century Scotland titled "Consider the Lilies."

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Concordia College.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ron Maxwell

His epic Civil War films Gettysburg (New Line Cinema,1993) and Gods and Generals (Warners, 2003) have established Ron Maxwell as the cinema's leading interpreter of that complex, lethal, heroic period in American history. His 2013 film Copperhead freshly extended that mural into the more intimate realm of small town American life, where the conflicts hundreds of miles from the battlefields are no less vigorous or heart-breaking. The late Roger Ebert wrote with deep appreciation for Maxwell's pursuit of internal and external accuracy: "Gettysburg avoids all war movie clichés. There are sequences so desperate, bloody and protracted that for once we sense the sheer physical exhaustion of combat, the combination of fear, fatigue and determination. We experience the horrifying reality of battle itself." Mr. Ebert did not live to see "Copperhead," but his protégé Matt Zoller Seitz wrote at RogerEbert.com, the movie is "intriguing as a study of just how hard it is to hold an unpopular opinion without being demonized and abused." National Review in turn praised Gods & Generals- "The film is about conflicting ideas of patriotism, God, personal conscience, and history." History has been of primary interest to Maxwell throughout his life, and so has the nature of American identity. Born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey, son of a World War II veteran and his French war bride, it is only fitting that his graduate thesis film at NYU Film Institute was an adaptation of Albert Camus' "The Guest" and that his major debut as a director was a tender but unsentimental love story set in his parents' era that secured him an Emmy nomination: Verna:USO Girl (PBS, 1978). Frank Rich in Time magazine was delighted by Maxwell's appetite for authenticity: "Maxwell has not stinted on important details: he shot the war scenes on location in Europe and enlisted Broadway choreographer Donald Saddler and burlesque comic Joey Faye to help create the vaudeville numbers. ... Verna's troupe is the kind of company that gives the small screen the illusion of depth." Maxwell's subsequent first theatrical film Little Darlings (Paramount,1980) was a box-office hit that starred Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol. This paved the way to The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (AvcoEmbassy, 1981), of which Arthur Knight in The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Director Ronald F. Maxwell ...has a real instinct for when to put plot on the back burner and let the atmospherics enrich his movie. The seedy, smoke-filled roadhouses, the bleak motels, the menacing emptiness of a small Southern town after midnight - all of these have been eloquently rendered ...and expertly mobilized by Maxwell to enhance the film's texture and sense of verisimilitude." Disney's Parent Trap II and Twentieth-Century Fox's Kidco followed, during which Maxwell persevered in his 15 year quest to see Gettysburg made. Premiering in 1993, Richard Schickel wrote in Time Magazine, "That cinematic rarity, an intelligent epic...the four hour epic speaks well for writer-director Ronald Maxwell's sober intentions and very creditable achievements in this film - the acuity of the film's best characterizations, the vaulting scale of its design and, above all, its belief that history, besides being instructive in itself, can and should be a great movie subject." He is by no means finished with history as his preoccupation -optioning and co-writing (with Alan Geoffrion)a screenplay from Speer Morgan's 1979 book Belle Starr, about the woman who rode with Jesse and Frank James and was known as Queen of the Outlaws. In 2015 Maxwell continues development on an epic trilogy of movies from his own original screenplays, Joan of Arc: The Virgin Warrior and is developing a motion-picture adapted from Iain Crichton Smith's novel Consider the Lilies set during the Highland Clearances of late 18th Century Scotland. With Ron Maxwell's Civil War Classics he continues in his search for the great stories from America's defining conflict, as creatively envisioned by its greatest authors. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Concordia College.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Keith

Spouse (1)

? (? - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Notable for very lengthy production periods. (Much like Stanley Kubrick)

Trivia (4)

Independent filmmaker, 1978-present.
Attended New York University College of Arts & Sciences, and NYU Graduate School of the Arts (Institute of Film).
His films are financed and released by Ted Turner's production company.
Following the release of "Gods and Generals" in theaters in February, 2003 and the anticipated release of same on DVD on July 15, 2003, Mr.Maxwell is now in pre-production on "Joan of Arc: Virgin Warrior" and looking forward to - in the future - completing the Civil War trilogy which began with "Gettysburg." [June 2003]

Personal Quotes (2)

(On Luc Besson's Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The (1999)) "The point, is not that this or that miracle occurred or didn't occur. The "miracle" is Joan herself. How did a seventeen-year-old girl, a peasant from the fringes of the kingdom, manage to enlist the trust and support of a nation and play a pivotal role in expelling a foreign invader? Not only does this film fail to pose this central question, it seeks to remove the authenticity of Joan's faith and the faith of her countrymen as at least a factor in these complex events."
(On Luc Besson's Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The (1999)) "When a film is founded on a lie, and a perverse one at that, nothing that follows can be trusted. In the case of "The Messenger," a true story of love and sacrifice, of dedication and faith, is cinematically morphed to a false one of hatred, bitterness, fury and revenge. Calling attention to one's own outrageousness as a filmmaker has always provided a fashionable haven for those who cannot or will not do the hard and patient work that leads to real insight, true understanding, gripping storytelling and work of lasting value."

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