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Anderson, Michael

Entry updated 9 June 2018. Tagged: Film, People.

(1920-2018) UK-born film director, in Canada from 1981, whose career in Cinema began in 1936 as an office boy at the Elstree studios; his first great success, and perhaps his best known movie, was the World War Two adventure The Dam Busters (1955). Productions of genre interest include Vice Versa (1948), directed by Peter Ustinov (1921-2004) with Anderson as assistant director, which is based on the Identity-Exchange comedy Vice Versâ, or A Lesson to Fathers (1882; rev 1883) by F Anstey; the associational Around the World in 80 Days (1956), a multiple Oscar winner based on the 1873 novel by Jules Verne; 1984 (1956), the first large-screen adaptation of George Orwell's classic Dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) – this film, alas, was inferior to the 1954 BBC TV version; the high-budget, future-dystopian Logan's Run (1976), based on Logan's Run (1967) by William F Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, which succeeded at the box office if not with the critics; Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975), based on the Doc Savage (which see) franchise of Pulp adventures – perhaps Anderson's least successful film, and also George Pal's last venture as producer; the made-for-Television miniseries The Martian Chronicles (1980), scripted by Richard Matheson from The Martian Chronicles (coll of linked stories 1950; rev vt The Silver Locusts 1951) by Ray Bradbury; the Time-Travel thriller Millennium (1989), whose script was developed by John Varley from his own short story "Air Raid" (Spring 1977 Asimov's) as by Herb Boehm; and a further television-movie adaptation of Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997). Anderson expressed considerable enthusiasm for his sf projects, though the results only rarely brought the genre to full and compelling life. [DRL]

Michael Joseph Anderson

born London: 30 January 1920

died Vancouver, British Columbia: 25 April 2018


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