Idols Brian De Palma, more than just a Hitchcock wannabe Published 2 years ago on August 29, 2016 Celebrated, vilified, called auteur, genius, and thief, Brian De Palma was one of the few directors of the late 20th century whose name on the credits could ensure success at the boxoffice. His rise to fame through the use of innovative camera techniques, a penchant for violence, and an undisguised adoration of Alfred Hitchcock led to some of the biggest hits of the 1980s. Yet he began the 1990s with a famed dismal failure and was forced to reevaluate his career before slowly returning to the ranks of top director. Born in New Jersey in 1940 and raised in Philadelphia, De Palma claims to have come by his interest in blood and guts by watching his surgeon father operate on patients and his penchant for voyeurism a result of following his dad around with recording equipment in an effort to gather evidence of his infidelity. De Palma attended Columbia University as a physics major before he began making his own 16mm films and earning a fellowship to Sarah Lawrence College, where he filmed his first movie, The Wedding Party, in 1964 (unreleased until 1969) with a young unknown named Bobby DeNiro as part of the cast. The young director gained increasing recognition through a series of small low budget films including Greetings (1968) and Hi Mom! (1970), both of which starred DeNiro, before breaking through with Sisters (1973) and the cult classic The Phantom of the Paradise (1974). His Hitchcock homage Obsession (1976) was a virtual remake of Vertigo (and reportedly did not please the old master) but that same year De Palma struck gold (or pig’s blood) with Carrie, his adaptation of the Stephen King novel. De Palma began to draw criticism and accusations of misogyny with the stylish thrillers Dressed to Kill (1980) and Blow Out (1981) (the latter undoubtedly one of his best films), criticism that continued with the ultra violent Scarface (1983) and the controversial Body Double (1984). His ode to great filmmakers reached a pinnacle of sorts with his recreation of Sergei Eisenstein’s Odessa Steps scene from The Battleship Potemkin inside Chicago’s Union Station in The Untouchables (1987). The film was a huge hit, propelling Kevin Costner to superstardom and earning Sean Connery a long overdue Oscar. Though his 1987 follow-up Casualties of War, was highly praised, his next film, The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), was savaged by critics and audiences alike. Throughout the decade that followed, De Palma would make only a handful of films, but he slowly reestablished his good standing, culminating in one of the biggest moneymakers of the decade, Mission: Impossible (1996). At one time married to actress Nancy Allen, De Palma’s other credits include Raising Cain (1992), Carlito’s Way (1993), Snake Eyes (1998), Mission to Mars (2000) and Femme Fatal (2002). Recent films have been few and far between, there was the excellent noir thriller The Black Dahlia in 2006, war movie Redacted in 2007 and 2012 thriller Passion. Despite his share of hits and misses De Palma continues to fascinate. Alfred HitchcockBrian De PalmaKevin CostnerRobert De Niro Advertisement advertisement and this just in Episodes9 hours ago Your Worst Nightmare: Behind the Barn (S5EP8 ID Sat 23 Feb 2019) Behind the Barn: When 20-year-old college student Kristy Ray is kidnapped from her home in rural Tippah County, Miss., in... Episodes9 hours ago Ghost Adventures: Gates of Hell House (S15EP12 Travel Sat 23 Feb 2019) Gates of Hell House: The crew investigate intense paranormal activity at “the Freakling Bros., Trilogy of Terror,” an infamous haunted... Episodes9 hours ago Who’s Stalking Me? (Lifetime Sat 23 Feb 2019, Chelsea Ricketts, Michael Welch) Following a near-death experience when an attacker breaks into her home, Amanda can’t shake the feeling that she’s still in... Episodes9 hours ago Ransom: Black Dolphin (S3EP2 CBS Sat 23 Feb 2019) Black Dolphin: The FBI asks Eric to use his negotiating expertise to convince the brainwashed survivor of an internet predator... Episodes9 hours ago Heart of Darkness: Gambling With the Devil (S1EP3 ID Sat 23 Feb 2019) Gambling With the Devil: When the police arrive on the scene, a few blocks from the Isle Casino in Pompano... search EPISODES Episodes9 hours ago Love on the Menu (Hallmark 23 Feb 2019, Autumn Reeser, Kavan Smith) When chef Hank makes a deal with frozen food executive Maggie to save his restaurant, their unexpected attraction complicates matters,... Episodes1 day ago Mystery in San Luis Obispo airs Fri 22 Feb 2019 on ID When two female college students vanish from the city of San Luis Obispo, Calif., clues are elusive, but one detective... Episodes1 day ago The Cool Kids: Sid’s First Relationship (S1EP3 FOX Fri 22 Feb 2019) Sid’s First Relationship: The gang rallies around Sid to help him through his commitment issues to new beau John. Meanwhile,... advertisement MOVIES Movies1 week ago Private Worlds (Paramount 1935, Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert) Charles Boyer stars as the new superintendent of a progressive mental hospital. His apparent coldness first arouses resentment among the... Movies1 week ago Yucatán (2018, Luis Tosar, Stephanie Cayo) In farcical comedy Yucatán a pair of white collar thieves compete fiercely against each other trying to steal from an... Movies1 week ago The Breaker Upperers (Netflix Fri 15 Feb 2019, Jackie van Beek, Madeleine Sami) Two women run a business breaking up couples for cash but when one develops a conscience their friendship unravels. production... MY TV TONIGHTWhat's on and when. Broadcast, cable and streaming... BRITISH FILM 1930-1990The Viewer's Guide to British Film 1930-1990 Indepth guide to six decades of cinema in the UK.