Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

director, second unit director or assistant director, actor

Michael Anderson was born on Jan 30, 1920 in UK. Michael Anderson's big-screen debut came with Housemaster directed by Herbert Brenon in 1938, strarring Oily Boyd (uncredited). Michael Anderson is known for Young Catherine directed by Michael Anderson, Vanessa Redgrave stars as Empress Elizabeth and Christopher Plummer as Sir Charles. Michael Anderson has got 3 awards and 9 nominations so far. The most recent award Michael Anderson achieved is Directors Guild of Canada. The upcoming new movie Michael Anderson plays is The New Adventures of Pinocchio which will be released on Nov 15, 1999.

London-born Michael Anderson began his career in films as an office boy at Elstree studios. By 1938, he had progressed up the ladder to become assistant director for distinguished film makers Noël Coward, David Lean and Anthony Asquith. Shortly after, during wartime with the Royal Signals Corps (Army Kinematograph Service), Anderson made the acquaintance of Peter Ustinov. Upon demobilisation, the 24-year old up-and-coming director secured the release from the military of his 'favourite corporal' and mentor to work as first assistant on School for Secrets (1946) and Vice Versa (1948). For Ustinov's third venture, Private Angelo (1949), Anderson both co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay, but the picture that first put him on the map was to be the patriotic wartime drama Les briseurs de barrages (1955), based on true events. Britain's most successful film of 1955, in turn, led to Anderson being hired by Mike Todd to direct the all-star blockbuster Le tour du monde en 80 jours (1956). A hugely popular box-office hit and winner of five Academy Awards, it elevated Anderson into the realm of more ambitious international productions.His strong visual style -- in no small way complemented by a fruitful and long-standing collaboration with the cinematographer Erwin Hillier -- became ideally suited for suspenseful thrillers and action subjects like L'homme à démasquer (1958), the sub-Hitchcockian psychological whodunnit La lame nue (1961) or the underrated maritime drama Cargaison dangereuse (1959) (based on a novel by Hammond Innes and originally intended for Alfred Hitchcock who went on to do La mort aux trousses (1959) instead). Another little gem is the intricately plotted spy thriller Le secret du rapport Quiller (1966), tautly directed and noteworthy for supremely well captured Berlin exteriors (a familiarity which stemmed from Anderson having spent some of his early childhood in Berlin and Hillier having worked at Ufa in the 20s before collaborating on Fritz Lang's classic thriller M le maudit (1931)). According to Hillier, Anderson also had a reputation for being "superb at handling actors". This is reflected in his films which have often featured big name stars like Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier or Alec Guinness.Moving into science fiction, Anderson made style triumph over content with his (for the time) expensively made dystopian thriller L'Âge de cristal (1976). Though not a big success with critics, the picture won at the box office and helped MGM out of its financial doldrums. Also in this genre, but with less distinction, Anderson directed Millenium (1989) and a miniseries, Les Chroniques martiennes (1980). A foray into the world of comic strip heroes, Doc Savage arrive! (1975), proved to be one of his rare failures. His more recent work of note has included the Gemini Award-winning TV movie Intrigues impériales (1991), based on the early life of Russia's Catherine the Great. Vanessa Redgrave, who played Empress Elizabeth, was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the Supporting Actress category.In 1957, Anderson received the Silver Medallion for outstanding work from the Screen Director's Guild of America and was in 2012 also honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of Canada. A Canadian resident since the 1970s, Anderson passed away at his home on the Canadian Sunshine Coast in British Columbia on April 25 2018 at the age of 98.

  • Birthday

    Jan 30, 1920
  • Place of Birth

    London, England, UK

Known For


3 wins & 9 nominations

Directors Guild of Canada
Winner - DGC Lifetime Achievement Award
Breckenridge Festival of Film
Children's Film
Winner - Best of the Fest
Show more

Movies & TV Shows