Film Directors on Directing

By John Andrew Gallagher | Go to book overview

Tony Bill
Tony Bill brought fifteen years of filmmaking experience as actor and producer to his first feature as director, the charming My Bodyguard ( 1980), an intelligent department from the usually mindless youth market fare. Born on August 23, 1940, in San Diego, California, Bill attended Notre Dame and ventured to Hollywood to seek summer employment as an actor. In a scenario straight out of a movie, he landed a starring role as Frank Sinatra's younger brother in Bud Yorkin's version of Neil Simon Come Blow Your Horn ( 1963). He continued to work with interesting directors -- Ralph Nelson on Soldier in the Rain ( 1963), Francis Coppola on You're a Big Boy Now ( 1966), John Sturges on Ice Station Zebra ( 1968), Sydney Pollack on Castle Keep ( 1969), Carol Reed on Flap ( 1970), and Hal Ashby on Shampoo ( 1975). He joined forces with Michael and Julia Phillips to form Bill-Phillips Productions, and after an initial picture, the unreleased Deadhead Miles ( 1972), the company produced such films as Steelyard Blues ( 1973), Taxi Driver ( 1975), Hearts of the West ( 1975), and The Sting ( 1973), which won an Academy Award as Best Picture.With My Bodyguard, Bill shifted his focus to directing, with television films Love Thy Neighbor ( 1984) and 2 1/2 Dads ( 1986), the unsuccessful tearjerker Six Weeks ( 1983), and the extraordinary Five Corners ( 1988). The first produced screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, Five Corners, maintains a precarious balance between humor and tragedy, relying on Bill's expert direction of a cast of relatively unknown performers.I interviewed Tony Bill in 1983, prior to the release of Six Weeks, and again in 1988 as Five Corners was opening in New York.
FILMOGRAPHY
My Bodyguard ( 1980, 20th Century-Fox). HV: CBS/Fox.
Six Weeks ( 1983, Universal). HV: MCA.

-21-

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Film Directors on Directing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • John G. Avildsen 1
  • Tony Bill 21
  • Michael Cimino 37
  • Abel Ferrara 49
  • James Glickenhaus 57
  • Menahem Golan 75
  • Stuart Gordon 89
  • Ulu Grosbard 101
  • Anthony Harvey 115
  • Dennis Hopper 127
  • Ted Kotcheff 141
  • Adrian Lyne 159
  • John Milius 169
  • Alan Parker 183
  • Franc Roddam 195
  • Mark Rydell 209
  • Susan Seidelman 221
  • Joan Micklin Silver 231
  • James Toback 241
  • FrançOis Truffaut 259
  • Wim Wenders 269
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 283
  • About the Author 301
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