Roger Donaldson

Active - 1971 - 2017  |   Born - Nov 15, 1945   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Action

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Biography by AllMovie

Director Roger Donaldson is an important figure in the development of modern New Zealand cinema. When he emigrated to New Zealand from Australia in 1965 to set up a still photography business, the Kiwi film industry was all but non-existent. He was interested in filmmaking, but had to make do with creating television commercials and documentaries; he went on to do seven short dramas titled Winners and Losers. By 1977, he was finally able to scrape up enough cash to make his film debut with the futuristic political drama Sleeping Dogs; the first feature made in New Zealand in 15 years, it was also the first to be shown in American theaters. Later Donaldson became a co-founder of the country's Film Commission. He did not direct again until 1982. In 1984 his version of the famous mutiny Bounty was released to critical acclaim; unfortunately, the powerful all-star drama sank at the box office as did his next few attempts at filmmaking. It was not until 1987 that Donaldson hit his mark with the Kevin Costner vehicle No Way Out, which became an instant hit. He scored again with Tom Cruise in the vacuous comedy Cocktail (1988), which became a box office smash. Since then Donaldson has had moderate box office success, with so-so fare such as Cadillac Man (1990) and The Getaway (1994).

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