6 July 2012 10:57 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Few filmmakers these days name John Frankenheimer as an influence. He was never particularly trendy, never embraced by the auteurists or overtly paid homage by those who came after. In part, it's because of some of his later projects; the commercial failure of thriller "Black Sunday" in 1977 drove him to alcoholism that lasted for several years (it was only when he was reduced to drinking on the set of martial arts actioner "The Challenge" in 1981 that he checked himself into rehab), and some of his later projects, including his final film, "Reindeer Games," and the famous disaster "The Island Of Doctor Moreau" (on which the helmer replaced Richard Stanley several weeks into production) meant his critical reputation took a hit. But Frankenheimer was also a master of the American thriller, with an extraordinary run in the 1960s, and many underrated subsequent highlights, from "French Connection II," multiple HBO and TNT. »

- The Playlist Staff

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