Film Directors on Directing

By John Andrew Gallagher | Go to book overview

Menahem Golan

Menahem Golan is best known as the energetic head of The Cannon Group, and while he does serve as Cannon's Chairman of the Board, Golan is also an accomplished director, with twenty-five films to his credit. Born in Tiberias, in what is now Israel, on May 31, 1929, he studied theatre at London's Old Vic and attended New York's City College before starting his filmmaking career working for Roger Corman on The Young Racers ( 1962). He directed his first feature, El Dorado in Israel the following year, and with Yoram Globus, formed Noah Films, a company that produced nearly forty films over the next fifteen years. Golan grew to become the pre-eminent filmmaker in Israel, helming such movies as the musical Kazablan ( 1973), the Isaac Bashevis Singer story The Magician of Lublin ( 1979), and the action-adventure Operation Thunderbolt ( 1977), based on the dramatic Israeli raid on Entebbe, which earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Foreign Film.

In 1979, Golan and Globus bought controlling shares in the faltering Cannon Group, and with a combination of chutzpah and a knowledge of the international market, built the company into a formidable production and distribution operation. Cannon was able to entice a wide range of major Hollywood talent into its fold, and despite industry predictions, has managed to stay in business through some less-than-profitable seasons, balancing its release slate with action films like the American Ninja series, and prestigious projects like Runaway Train ( 1985) and Otello ( 1986).

Throughout it all, Golan has continued to direct a variety of movies, including The Delta Force ( 1986), an action film in the tradition of Operation Thunderbolt based on the terrorist hijacking of a TWA jet; the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Over the Top ( 1987); and Golan's pet project Hanna's War ( 1988), the true story of Hanna Senesh's World War Two exploits.

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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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