Phil Alden Robinson

Active - 1984 - 2018  |   Born - Mar 1, 1950   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After collecting his BA diploma from Union College in Schenectady, New York, Phil Alden Robinson spent three years with the Air Force, then landed a newscasting job at Schenectady's WRGB-TV. Preferring to be a creator rather than a commentator, Robinson began writing and co-directing industrial films. He broke into the Hollywood writing pool with a brace of Trapper John MD TV episodes in 1984. That same year, his first movie script, Rhinestone, made it to the screen; while this Sylvester Stallone-Dolly Parton vehicle was pretty much a washout, it enabled Robinson to obtain a credit in an "A" production, and also afforded him an opportunity to write the film's song lyrics. After his TV directorial bow in a 1986 episode of George Burns Comedy Week, Robinson helmed his first big-screen effort, In the Mood (1987), a fanciful rehash of the life and times of the notorious 1940s teen-aged lothario "The Woo Woo Kid." Two years later, Robinson was able to sell producers Lawrence Gordon and Charles Gordon on the notion of a film version of W. P. Kinsella's whimsical baseball novel Shoeless Joe. The resulting film, Field of Dreams, grossed $62 million, cemented the star power of Kevin Costner, earned writer/director nominations for an Oscar, a Writer's Guild Award and a Director's Guild Award--and won Robinson the 1990 "Screenwriter of the Year" prize from the National Association of Theatre Owners. Phil Alden Robinson made a comeback in 1992 as screenwriter-director of an enjoyable all-star "computer hacker" adventure, Sneakers.

Movie Highlights

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