Martin Brest

Active - 1977 - 2003  |   Born - Aug 8, 1951   |   Genres - Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

While attending New York University, Martin Brest directed the award-winning student project Hot Dogs for Gaugin, starring a then-unknown Danny De Vito. Brest went on to produce, direct, write, and edit Hot Tomorrows (1977) for the American Film Institute. These formative efforts caught the eye of Warner Bros.; the studio hired the 27-year-old Brest to direct the venerable George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg in the melancholy comedy Going in Style (1979). The handling of this film evinced a maturity well beyond Brest's physical age, and it looked for awhile as though Hollywood had another wunderkind on its hands. Brest developed the teenage-oriented suspense film WarGames, but the project was wrested from his control after an on-set tiff with the producers. For nearly two years, Brest was virtually blacklisted, surfacing only for an acting assignment in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). The director made a successful comeback with the mega-hit Beverly Hills Cop (1984); he has continued to prosper professionally, winning an Oscar nomination for Scent of a Woman (1992), which he produced as well as directed. Brest is married to producer Lisa Weinstein.

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