Michael Anderson Jr.

Active - 1949 - 2009  |   Born - Jan 30, 1920   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Comedy, Action, War

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Biography by Bruce Eder

An actor-turned production assistant-turned-director, Michael Anderson had a relatively undistinguished record in motion pictures until the mid 1950s, when he directed The Dam Busters. One of the more successful British films about World War II, it involved mixed drama and special effects work in a combination that pointed the way toward Anderson's later career in international pictures. His mid 1950s version of 1984 received mixed notices but wide distribution, and Around The World In 80 Days brought him into international prominence, despite producer Michael Todd being the dominant personality involved in shaping the movie, and Anderson worked in the United States as often as he did in England over the next two decades. Operation Crossbow and The Shoes of the Fisherman were dramas featuring international casts and large canvases for their action, in which Anderson largely held the proceedings together, in spite of major script problems. His most popular movie, other than Around The World In 80 Days, is the science-fiction adventure Logan's Run, in which he once again overcame a weak script by getting some strong performances out of his actors and pulling them together around extremely impressive special-effects sequences.

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