Richard Franklin (director)

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Richard Franklin
Richard Franklin (director).jpg
Born(1948-07-15)15 July 1948
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died11 July 2007(2007-07-11) (aged 58)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation Film director
Years active1975–2003

Richard Franklin (15 July 1948 – 11 July 2007) was an Australian film director. [1]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Film director occupation of a person who directs a film

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.


Early life and career

Franklin was born and grew up in Brighton, Melbourne, [2] the son of Margaret Anne (Jacobson) and Rea Richard Franklin, an engineering company director. [3] He was educated at Haileybury College. In the 1960s, Franklin was the drummer in the Melbourne band The Pink Finks, which also featured Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford, later of Daddy Cool. The band released several singles, none of which had any significant chart success. [4] Franklin decided upon a career in film rather than music. He went on to study film at The University of Southern California alongside other notable directors George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis and John Carpenter. Franklin was a devotee of Alfred Hitchcock (ever since he saw Psycho at the age of 12), and his attempt to arrange for a screening of Hitchcock's Rope (1948) at USC resulted in a phone-call from Hitchcock himself. Franklin invited Hitchcock to give a lecture at the university, and subsequently he became good friends with the director. [1]

Brighton, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Brighton is an affluent coastal suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Bayside. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Brighton had a population of 23,253 people in 2016<. Brighton is named after Brighton in England.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

The Pink Finks was an Australian pop/R&B band of the mid-1960s. Based in Melbourne, the group is most notable for being the first in the series of bands that featured Ross Wilson and Ross Hannaford, which culminated in the hugely successful Daddy Cool.

Directing career

Franklin returned to Australia in the 1970s, when the country's film industry was experiencing a resurgence. He directed four episodes of the Australian police drama Homicide before directing the bawdy 1975 sex comedy feature The True Story of Eskimo Nell and the 1976 soft-core pornography feature Fantasm . Franklin's next film was the cult horror movie Patrick (1978), written by Everett De Roche, about a man in a coma who uses telekinesis to create murder and mayhem in a hospital. Franklin gave De Roche a copy of the screenplay of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954), and De Roche suggested a movie with the plot of Rear Window taking place in a moving vehicle. The result was Roadgames (1981), directed by Franklin from a screenplay by De Roche. Filmed and set in Australia, and starring American actors Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis (the latter of whom Franklin met whilst visiting his one-time USC classmate John Carpenter on the set of The Fog ), Roadgames was the most expensive Australian movie ever made at the time of its release in 1981. [1]

Homicide (1964-1977) is an Australian television police procedural drama series made by production firm Crawford Productions for the Seven Network. It was the television successor to Crawfords' radio series D24.

<i>The True Story of Eskimo Nell</i> 1975 Australian comedy film directed by Richard Franklin

The True Story of Eskimo Nell is a 1975 Australian western comedy film produced, directed, and written by Richard Franklin, and starring Max Gillies as Deadeye Dick and Serge Lazareff as Mexico Pete. The film was the first film produced by Richard Franklin.

<i>Fantasm</i> 1976 porn film directed by Richard Franklin

Fantasm is a 1976 softcore pornographic film, directed by Richard Franklin under a pseudonym. It was followed by a sequel, Fantasm Comes Again, the following year, directed by a pseudonymous Colin Eggleston.

US films

After moving to Hollywood, Richard Franklin directed Psycho II (1983), the first sequel to Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho , with Anthony Perkins reprising the role of Norman Bates. The film was a financial success and received generally good reviews (it also led to a further two sequels, neither of which Franklin was involved with). Franklin then directed the 1984 spy/adventure movie Cloak & Dagger , starring Henry Thomas and Dabney Coleman. The film was a remake of The Window (1949), which was in turn based on the short story "The Boy Who Cried Murder" by Cornell Woolrich (Woolrich's short story "It Had to Be Murder" was adapted into Hitchcock's Rear Window, which was the inspiration for Franklin's Road Games).

<i>Psycho II</i> (film) 1983 film by Richard Franklin

Psycho II is a 1983 American slasher film directed by Richard Franklin, written by Tom Holland, and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Robert Loggia, and Meg Tilly. It is the first sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the second film in the Psycho series. Set 22 years after the first film, it follows Norman Bates after he is released from the mental institution and returns to the house and Bates Motel to continue a normal life. However, his troubled past continues to haunt him. It is unrelated to the 1982 novel Psycho II by Robert Bloch, which he wrote as a sequel to his original novel Psycho.

<i>Psycho</i> (1960 film) 1960 horror film by Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and written by Joseph Stefano. It stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles, and Martin Balsam, and was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel's owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath.

Anthony Perkins American actor and director

Anthony Perkins was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion, but is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and its three sequels. His other films include Fear Strikes Out (1957), The Matchmaker (1958), On the Beach (1959), Tall Story (1960), The Trial (1962), Phaedra (1962), Five Miles to Midnight (1962), Pretty Poison (1968), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Mahogany (1975), North Sea Hijack (1979), The Black Hole (1979), and Crimes of Passion (1984).

Franklin was going to make The Lost Boys at one stage [5] but his next film was Link (1986) a British horror movie (starring Elisabeth Shue and Terence Stamp) about a super-intelligent, murderous orangutan. The film reunited Franklin with screenwriter Everett De Roche.

<i>Link</i> (film) 1986 film by Richard Franklin

Link is a 1986 British horror film starring Elisabeth Shue and Terence Stamp along with a trio of simian stars which consist of Locke as Link, Jed as Imp, and Carried as Voodoo. The title character, "Link", is a super-intelligent yet malicious chimpanzee who lashes out against his masters when they try to have him euthanised.

Elisabeth Shue actress

Elisabeth Judson Shue is an American actress, best known for her starring roles in the films The Karate Kid (1984), Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Cocktail (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Soapdish (1991), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Saint (1997), Hollow Man (2000), and Piranha 3D (2010). She has won several acting awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. She starred as Julie Finlay in the CBS procedural forensics crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2012 to 2015. More recently she had supporting roles in Battle of the Sexes (2017) and Death Wish (2018).

Terence Stamp British actor

Terence Henry Stamp is an English actor. After training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London he started his acting career in 1962. He has appeared in more than 60 films. His performance in the title role of Billy Budd, his film debut, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer. Associated with the swinging London scene of the 1960s, Stamp was among the subjects photographed by David Bailey for a set titled Box of Pin-Ups.

Franklin was disillusioned with Hollywood after the experience of directing the 1991 action/thriller FX2: The Deadly Art Of Illusion (starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy).

<i>F/X2</i> 1991 film by Richard Franklin

F/X2 is a 1991 American action thriller film directed by Richard Franklin and starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. It is a sequel to the 1986 film F/X. This was Franklin's final American film before he returned to his native Australia.

Bryan Brown Australian actor

Bryan Neathway Brown, AM is an Australian actor. He has performed in over eighty film and television projects since the late 1970s, both in his native Australia and abroad. Notable films include Breaker Morant (1980), Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), F/X (1986), Cocktail (1988), Gorillas in the Mist (1988), F/X2 (1991), Along Came Polly (2004), Australia (2008), Kill Me Three Times (2014) and Gods of Egypt (2016). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his performance in the television miniseries The Thorn Birds (1983).

Brian Dennehy American actor

Brian Manion Dennehy is an American actor of film, stage, and television. A winner of one Golden Globe, two Tony Awards and a recipient of six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, he gained initial recognition for his role as Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982). He has had roles in numerous films including Gorky Park (1983), Silverado (1985), Cocoon (1985), F/X (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Knight of Cups (2015). Dennehy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Willy Loman in the television film Death of a Salesman (2000).

Return to Australia

He returned to Australia where he filmed Hotel Sorrento (1995) and Brilliant Lies (1996). Franklin called these films

Very conscious attempts to prove that I could do what Australian filmmakers like Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford had done, which was make very classy arthouse types of films. Peter Weir was being offered material like Witness, that I would have loved to have directed, because he was perceived as an arthouse filmmaker. Whereas even in Hollywood I was perceived as a genre filmmaker, and not able to get these special elements that would win Oscars and the like. [6]

Final years

Franklin's most recent film, Visitors , was shot in 2003. [7] He lectured at Swinburne School of Film and Television in Australia until his death.

Richard Franklin died of prostate cancer on 11 July 2007, four days before his 59th birthday. [1] The documentary film Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), for which Franklin was interviewed, was released after his death and was dedicated to him. Before his death, Franklin was set to be interviewed for The Psycho Legacy , a documentary that examined the Psycho franchise; however, the said interview with him was never filmed. Nevertheless, Franklin was enthusiastic about the documentary project and had wanted to do whatever he could to assist in its production.

Quentin Tarantino has cited Roadgames as his favourite Australian movie, [8] and he screened Psycho II at the sixth Quentin Tarantino Film Festival (2005). [9] Tarantino revealed in an interview that when he was a teenager, he wanted to write a book on genre filmmakers, and Richard Franklin was one of the directors he wanted to engage in conversation for it. [10]


1975 The True Story of Eskimo Nell YesYesYesAlso known as "Dick Down Under"
1978 Patrick YesYesNominated — AACTA Award for Best Film
1981 Roadgames YesYesYes
1983 Psycho II Yes
1984 Cloak & Dagger Yes
1986 Link YesYes
1991 F/X2 Yes
1992 Running Delilah Yes Television film
1995 Hotel Sorrento YesYesYes AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated — Tokyo International Film Festival - Grand Prix
1996 Brilliant Lies YesYesYes
1997 One Way Ticket YesTV film
1999 The Lost World YesPilot film (episodes 1 & 2) + four additional episodes
2003 Visitors YesYes
2008 Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Self

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  1. 1 2 3 4 George, Sandy (2007-07-13). "Australian thriller director dies". The Australian .
  2. McFarlane, Brian (2007-07-20). "A passionate, witty, precise filmmaker" (obituary). The Age .
  4. "The Pink Finks". MILESAGO: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964-1975.
  6. Interview with Richard Franklin, Mondo Stump, originally published in Eros Magazine Vol 3 No 1 (2003), Canberra accessed 15 October 2012
  7. Julie Rigg (2003-11-26). "Richard Franklin: Visitors". The Deep End. ABC Radio National.
  8. "Event". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  9. "QT6 - Quentin Tarantino Film Festival VI: Day 2". 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  10. Peary, Gerald (August 1992). "A Brief Talk with Quentin Tarantino". Transcript of an interview with Tarantino at the 1992 Montreal World Film Festival.

Further reading