Harvard-educated director Lee H. Katzin was a protégé of filmmaker Robert Aldrich. Katzin's official directorial debut was the Aldrich-produced melodrama Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice (1969); in truth, a year or so earlier he had helmed the disastrous The Phynx, which had an extremely limited release in 1970. His big-budget break came when he replaced John Sturges as director for Le Mans (1971); Katzin's documentary approach in this film was at odds with his usual self-conscious, gimmicky visual style. The director's TV credits include "Movie of the Week" fare like Along Came a Spider (1970) and Ordeal (1973), pilot films like Man From Atlantis (1977), and several episodes of the British sci-fi series Space: 1999 (1975-77). In 1988, Katzin directed The World Gone Wild, his first theatrical feature in years.