Mike Newell

Active - 1976 - 2018  |   Born - Mar 28, 1942 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England  |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

A former stage director, Briton Mike Newell has always brought a touch of high theatrics to his films, but never so much as to make them seem stagebound. Newell's breakthrough film Dance with a Stranger (1985), a style-conscious retelling of the notorious Ruth Ellis murder case (she was the last woman executed in England), brought full stardom to British actress Miranda Richardson, while the director's Enchanted April (1992), also with Richardson, ended up a surprise moneymaker in the US. Sometimes Newell's larger-than-life approach comes a cropper, as witness the fuzzy-headed allegory Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) and the confusing fantasy overtones in Into the West (1993). In 1994, Mike Newell made up for past missteps with Four Weddings and A Funeral, which outgrossed Enchanted April (and practically everything else) at the box office and was nominated for an Academy Award.

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Factsheet

  • His parents were amateur actors.
  • Directed student productions at Cambridge.
  • Spent three years in the mid-1960s in production training at Britain's Granada Television; early directing credits include episodes of Granada's long-running soap opera Coronation Street.
  • The Man in the Iron Mask (1976), his first film to be released theatrically in Britain, was made for U.S. television.
  • Won a British Academy Award for directing Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), which was also honored by the French and Australian film institutes.