Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

John Landis - what happened to a great career?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
42 replies to this topic

#1 of 43 Patrick Mirza

Patrick Mirza

    Supporting Actor

  • 883 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 12 1999

Posted October 28 2001 - 12:10 AM

What exactly happened to derail John Landis' career as an A-list director?

I mean, for a long time there the man could do no wrong! Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, American Werewolf, Coming Soon (yes, I really liked it!), Twilight Zone (I won't even go into that backstory...), Trading Places, Thriller, ...Into the Night (a minor classic, IMO), Spies Like Us, 3 Amigos, Amazon Women (pure genius!!), Coming To America and even HBO's fantastic 'Dream On'.

For cryin' out loud, will you look at that filmography! I love every one of those films!

But then, somewhere around Oscar (1990), things began to slip. I liked Innocent Blood more than most people, but Beverly Hills Cop III?!? What was that all about???

After that you have one bad film after another (Blues Brothers 2000 anyone???), until you get to his last film in '98 (Susan's Plan - Dying to Get Rich) that I was shocked to have never even heard of until tonight!

What happened? Why did someone with such a sharp sense of what good projects to make suddenly go so flat??

------------------
webmaster davisdvd.com
International Exclusives


#2 of 43 Alex Spindler

Alex Spindler

    Producer

  • 3,973 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 2000

Posted October 28 2001 - 01:01 AM

Perhaps some people are a product of their times, and found himself a fish out of water in the 90s. I've seen several people who never fully made the transition and never found a place.

#3 of 43 BarryR

BarryR

    Supporting Actor

  • 557 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2000
  • Real Name:BARRY RIVADUE
  • LocationEarth

Posted October 28 2001 - 01:12 AM

It's amazing how any director can sustain a steady career, given the myriad vagaries of the film biz! of course there are a few exceptions. Posted Image

[Edited last by BarryR on October 28, 2001 at 08:13 AM]

#4 of 43 Peter Kim

Peter Kim

    Screenwriter

  • 1,577 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 18 2001

Posted October 28 2001 - 01:48 AM

I, too was a big fan. I may be horribly wrong on this, but I recall a tragic incident on one of his movie sets. As a result, there was one or more deaths, and John was branded culpable. I think he might have even spent some time in jail.

It's not a coincidence that his precipitous decline runs parallel to this tragedy. Obviously, he must be battling his own, internal demons as a result of the accident. And also, those of Hollywood...

Probably doesn't help that Michael Jackson's career has been a bust since the early to mid-90's.

Work, wonder, rest when you can.
my girls rock Balenciaga & smoke mad marijuana - M.O.B.

#5 of 43 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted October 28 2001 - 01:58 AM

Quote:
too was a big fan. I may be horribly wrong on this, but I recall a tragic incident on one of his movie sets. As a result, there was one or more deaths, and John was branded culpable. I think he might have even spent some time in jail.
The movie was The Twilight Zone. Actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed when a helpicopter crashed. Along with several others, Landis was criminally charged, but he was acquitted by a jury. Several of his biggest successes postdated the trial.

M.

[Edited last by Michael Reuben on October 31, 2001 at 08:14 AM]
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#6 of 43 bill lopez

bill lopez

    Second Unit

  • 420 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 17 1999

Posted October 28 2001 - 03:11 AM

John Carpenter can also be added to the LIST OF WHAT HAPPENED?

#7 of 43 Richard Kim

Richard Kim

    Producer

  • 4,389 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 29 2001

Posted October 28 2001 - 04:43 AM

We can also add Francis Ford Coppolla to that list.

#8 of 43 Gavin K

Gavin K

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2001

Posted October 29 2001 - 02:17 AM

To quote Mr. Landis personally, "Cop 3 was a complete whore job."

And in my opinion it is absolutely hysterical. Pure absurdity.

And then he followed with one of his funniest movies ever, The Stupids. Again vastly underrated, and poorly marketed. This movie kept me laughing for three weeks after I first saw it, and I still find myself laughing out loud whenever it comes on TV. (Can't wait for the DVD.)

Add to these films his numerous producing credits and he has kept pretty busy, despite not being very active as a director lately.


"Wow, what a dramatic airport!"

#9 of 43 Gavin K

Gavin K

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2001

Posted October 29 2001 - 02:19 AM

Also, by the way, Carpenter still rocks. Do a search, there was a thread discussing him a few months ago.
"Wow, what a dramatic airport!"

#10 of 43 Matt Butler

Matt Butler

    Screenwriter

  • 1,921 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 23 2001

Posted October 29 2001 - 04:50 AM

Carpenter is still awesome as well as Landis.

(Why do I feel Im the only one who liked Ghosts of Mars or Vampires?)
My Blu Rays
http://www.blu-ray.c...ol...=Dj Matt B

Favorite films of all time in no order
1. Zodiac 2. Dawn of the Dead (1978) 3. The Good The Bad and The Ugly 4. Blade Runner 5. The Warriors 6. Dark Knight 7. The Godfather  8. Bullitt 9. Experiment in Terror 10. Raiders of the Lost...

#11 of 43 MickeS

MickeS

    Producer

  • 5,065 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 24 2000

Posted October 29 2001 - 06:33 AM

Excuse me, but Carpenter and Landis weren't even in the same league to begin with. Landis had several successful movies, Carpenter has made some good movies, but they were never really big hits. IMO.

/Mike
/Mike

#12 of 43 Michael Reuben

Michael Reuben

    Studio Mogul

  • 21,769 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 1998

Posted October 29 2001 - 07:07 AM

Quote:
Carpenter has made some good movies, but they were never really big hits. IMO.
By any standard, Halloween was an enormous hit. A $47 million gross for a 1978 movie -- especially one not from a major studio -- is huge. In many ways, it was one of the first "indie" films.

M.
COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#13 of 43 Anthony Hom

Anthony Hom

    Supporting Actor

  • 893 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 24 1999

Posted October 29 2001 - 07:35 AM

His career took a nosedive when he did a guest shot in the TV sitcom, Caroline In The City in the mid 90's. He appeared with Robbie Benson. Enough said? Posted Image

#14 of 43 andrew markworthy

andrew markworthy

    Producer

  • 4,766 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 1999

Posted October 29 2001 - 06:59 PM

Sorry to disagree with the general sentiment of this thread, but with the exception of American Werewolf and Trading Places (which were passable, but hardly great) I don't like a single movie Landis has made.

#15 of 43 Barry S

Barry S

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 129 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 07 1998

Posted October 30 2001 - 04:18 PM

I'm a big fan of John Landis, and it is indeed dissappointing to the see how lackluster his output has become. The same thing has happened to John Hughes, who was once making great movies, now in the 90s, he has resorted to writing and producing Disney crap like Flubber and 101 Dalmations. He hasn't even directed a movie since Curly Sue ten years ago.

By the way, what is "Coming Soon"? Is that another name for Landis' 1973 film "Schlock"?
AFI Top 100 Challenge progress: 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 films remaining.

Next up: The Philadelphia Story

#16 of 43 Seth Paxton

Seth Paxton

    Lead Actor

  • 7,588 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 05 1998

Posted October 30 2001 - 04:34 PM

I thought it started around Spies Like Us in which much of the humor was ruined ENTIRELY due to the direction. Many potentially hilarious moments were heavily dampened by bad editing and direction, poor choices in take length, etc. Just bad comedic setup direction.

Same with 3 Amigos. I think both films have strength now due to the performers and cable runs that are more forgiving.

However, I think that Oscar is a wonderful film and one of the only good things Stallone has done in years (save Copland). It reminds me of the great comedy dialog found in things like His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby.


I think the Hughes comparison is really valid. Both seem to be a product of their time somewhat, in terms of style/humor. Both fell off around the same time frame. Both had HUGE hits then went to nothing.

As for only liking American Werewolf and Trading Places, what about Animal House and Blues Brothers? I would say those are both better than AWiL and TP actually, both in entertainment and filmmaking qualities.

I honestly have to say that hearing that ANYONE thought BHCop 3 wasn't some Clockwork Orange torture session amazes me. Not just bad, but really bad. Landis should not be running second place to Bruckheimer for chrissake. THAT is a big trouble indicator.

Of course, I felt similar with regards to Vampires and Escape from LA (speaking of JCs fall off), so YMMV I guess.

#17 of 43 Gavin K

Gavin K

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 105 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 09 2001

Posted October 30 2001 - 06:03 PM

I met John Landis briefly a ew years ago, and the above quote was in response to my complementing Cop 3 for its sheer absurdity. He was quick to dismiss the film. So I guess I'm the only person in the world who actually liked the movie, including the director. Posted Image

The whole ferris wheel bit, (First George Lucas, then looking down and seeing the characters, then the laughing kid, and the whole cheesy synth score), that stupid train and theme song in the end, Judge Reinhold's over the top caricature, the always great Hector Elizondo. Plot-wise it sucked, but in the little details it had me in stitches.




"Wow, what a dramatic airport!"

#18 of 43 Scott Weinberg

Scott Weinberg

    Lead Actor

  • 7,482 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 03 2000

Posted October 30 2001 - 06:39 PM

Quote:
By the way, what is "Coming Soon"? Is that another name for Landis' 1973 film "Schlock"?

Coming Soon (1982) was a video put out by Universal. It was a collection of various classic horror clips and trailers from Universal's vault. Landis 'directed' it and co-wrote the screenplay with Mick Garris. (Garris would later go on to direct several Stephen King adaptations, inlcuding Sleepwalkers, The Tommyknockers and The Stand.)

The doc was hosted by (of course) Jamie Lee Curtis.

Coming Soon is not available on DVD, but I think Universal would be smart to release this one along with their 1984 theatrical release Terror in the Aisles together. The Boogeymen DVD sold pretty well, so why not?


------------------
Scott Weinberg
------------------
http://members.home....5/_vti_txt/ofcs


#19 of 43 Kevin M

Kevin M

    Producer

  • 5,172 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 23 2000

Posted October 31 2001 - 02:08 AM

Quote:
Coming Soon is not available on DVD, but I think Universal would be smart to release this one along with their 1984 theatrical release Terror in the Aisles together.

Or for that matter how about It Came From Hollywood!.




------------------
-Kevin M.
I can brave the nastiest weather, even when it's eighty below.
My Pa was an Elephant, but that's irrelevant,
My Ma was an Eskimo."
- Cannibal the Musical.

-Kevin M.

There's a human tendency to resent anyone who disagrees with our pleasures.  The less mature interpret that as a personal attack on themselves.
- Roger Ebert
 

#20 of 43 Scott Weinberg

Scott Weinberg

    Lead Actor

  • 7,482 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 03 2000

Posted October 31 2001 - 05:10 AM

Good call there. It Came from Hollywood! is a Paramount title that benefits from having some rather entertaining little skits from John Candy, Gilda Radner, Dan Ayrkord and Cheech & Chong. It was co-directed by Andrew Solt, who has gone on to helm a lot of different biography/compilation films, inlcuding several of the "clip packages" that appear on the Academy Awards each year.

This is one I'd definitely get if it ever hit DVD!

------------------
Scott Weinberg
------------------
http://members.home....5/_vti_txt/ofcs



Back to Movies (Theatrical)



Forum Nav Content I Follow