Biography of Hal Ashby (1929-1988)

Director of American cinema, born in Ogden (Utah) in 1929 and died on 27 December 1988.


Hal Ashby was the youngest of four brothers. His father committed suicide in 1941, after having lost his farm and says that it was Ashby who discovered his body. After attending Utah State University for a short period, left his hometown and moved to California. In the Employment Office asked a job at a film Studio and began working at Universal and then at Republic Studios. He/She soon became a prominent editor and Assistant Director, under the patronage of Norman Jewison, who worked for the King of the game (1965), the Russians are coming! (1966) - work for which was nominated for the Oscar to the best editing - or the case of Thomas Crown (1968), among other titles.

When Ashby went to the address, still retained certain features of Jewison style, clear example of which was The Landlord (1970) which, together with his next film, Harold and Maude (1971), also became a flawless portrait of characters, skill that Ashby remained throughout his career. Both the dominant father figure and suicide will be present in his films significantly; but, at the same time, Ashby knows use death as an excuse and get out of the life.

In 1975, premieres Shampoo, the history of a promiscuous hairdresser from Beverly Hills who aspires to assemble her own hairdressing salon. The main character, played by Warren Beatty is typical in Ashby's filmography, naive and trusting. The return (1976) will mean greater success of criticism, in addition to providing a nomination to the Oscar as best director. A twist so broken item from the Viet Nam war, broke with the environment of the films by the director, but not with its comprehensive treatment of the characters. The music of the Rolling Stones marked the narrative rhythm in the same way that had made him the Cat Stevens in Harold and Maude, and again the soundtrack will be crucial in the history of welcome, Mr. Chance (1979), this time in an ironic way, by using of "Thus spoke Zarathustra", by Richard Strauss, to counteract the infantile nature of the protagonist. In this story the occasion took Ashby to make a reflection on the medium television, which operates as a distorting mirror.

After welcome, Mr. Chance, the success that the director had met in the 1970s began to decline, and not already returned to recover. After rolling a pelicula-concierto, Let completo Spend the Night Together (1981), taking advantage of the tour of the Rolling Stones - which did not help to return the good reviews-Ashby be detained until the mid-1980s. The Slugger's Wife (1985) was an attempt to link up with his old films, Rebecca De Mornay as claim on the screen and with Neil Simon as the author of the story in which the film was based. But it was a box office failure.

His last work was a desperate attempt to win back the public, raising a history quite commercial and action. Eight million ways to die (1986), based on the novels of Lawrence Block and co-directed without brilliance by Oliver Stone, was not the best climax to a career that had been promising for a long time.


As director:

1970: The Landlord. 1971: Harold and Maude. 1973: The last duty. 1975: Shampoo. 1976: This land is mine. 1978: The return. 1979: welcome, Mr. Chance. 1981: Second Hand Hearts. 1982: Lookin' to get Out; Let completo Spend the Night Together. 1985: The Slugger completo Wife. 1986: Eight million ways to die.

As Editor:

1963: The adventures of Sinbad. 1965: Loved ones; The King of the game. 1966: what are the Russians! 1967: In the heat of the night (and ay from production). 1968: the case of Thomas Crown (and producer).

Assistant Editor:

1958: The big test; Ana Frank's diary. 1961: Live is what matters. 1962: The slander. 1964: The Best Man. 1965: The greatest story ever told.

As producer:

1969: The crazy years of Chicago.