Filmmaker Roger Spottiswoode is a highly competent director of mainstream films. The Canadian-born son of Raymond Spottiswoode, an ex-producer and technical planning officer with the National Film Board of Canada, young Spottiswoode was raised in Britain where he worked as a TV and documentary editor until he edited three Sam Peckinpah films Straw Dogs (1971), The Getaway (1972), and Pat Garrett (1973). He continued editing other features and did television work until 1980 when he made his directorial debut with Terror Train, a typical slasher movie featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. In 1981, he was one of three directors to work on The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, and in 1982 he co-wrote 48 Hrs. As a director, Spottiswoode came into his own with the 1983 political thriller Under Fire, which is one of the few films he was involved with from start to finish. The film earned him international recognition. Since then his career has been rather spotty with films ranging from good (Shoot to Kill ) to awful (Stop or My Mom Will Shoot ). Much of the problem seems to be that Spottiswoode has become a hired gun for the studios who often have him take over productions already begun, as in Air America (1990), or make him work with weak scripts, as in Turner and Hooch (1989).
by Sandra Brennan biography