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Dean Riesner

Highest Rated: 98% Das Boot (1981)

Lowest Rated: 0% Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

Birthday: Nov 3, 1918

Birthplace: Not Available

The son of prolific silent film director Charles Riesner, child actor turned popular screenwriter Dean Riesner would pen one of cinema's most memorable moments when he gave renegade cop on the edge Dirty Harry the clinching dialogue, "Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?" in the film of the character's namesake. Born in November 1918 in New York City, Riesner made his film debut when at age five Charlie Chaplin cast him in The Pilgrim. Though he would appear in a few films in the years to follow, a comment made by Riesner's mother to his father concerning the youngster's enjoyment of his childhood years resulted in a brief departure from the screen; he later made his screenwriting debut with 1939's Code of the Secret Service. Occasionally returning to the screen as an actor for such efforts as The Cobra Strikes (1948) and Operation Haylift (1950), Dinky Dean, as he had come to be known, also penned scripts for such memorable television series as Rawhide, Ben Casey, and The Outer Limits. Upon meeting with a young Clint Eastwood during his writing tenure on Rawhide, the two found that they shared similar sensibilities and, with the feature Coogan's Bluff (1968), formed what would become a fruitful collaboration in the following years. Though he would continue to write numerous scripts for television and film, Eastwood collaborations such as Play Misty for Me (1971), Dirty Harry (1972), High Plains Drifter (1972), and The Enforcer (1976) helped to establish Eastwood's standing as a screen legend as well his further his career as a developing director. Working mostly as an uncredited script doctor throughout the 1980s, Riesner assisted in tightening up the scripts for such features as Das Boot (1981), Blue Thunder (1983), and director John Carpenter's Starman (1984). As a filmmaker, Riesner won an honorary Oscar for his sole directorial effort, Bill and Coo, in 1948. Though the tale of a pair of birds stalked by a malevolent crow captured the imaginations of audiences and children alike, Riesner would never return to the director's chair. Shortly after the death of his wife, Riesner died of natural causes in his Encino, CA, home. He was 83.

Highest Rated Movies



0% Return to the Blue Lagoon Screenwriter 1991
23% Fatal Beauty Screenwriter 1987
85% Starman Screenwriter 1984
81% Blue Thunder Screenwriter 1983
0% The Sting II Screenwriter 1983
98% Das Boot Screenwriter 1981
70% The Enforcer Screenwriter 1976
83% Charley Varrick Screenwriter 1973
89% Dirty Harry Screenwriter 1971
82% Play Misty for Me Screenwriter 1971
94% Coogan's Bluff Screenwriter 1968
No Score Yet Man From Galveston Screenwriter 1963
No Score Yet Paris Holiday Screenwriter 1958
No Score Yet The Helen Morgan Story Screenwriter 1957
No Score Yet Gunfire Cashier 1950
80% Young Man With a Horn Joe 1950
No Score Yet Operation Haylift Screenwriter 1950
No Score Yet Bill and Coo Director Screenwriter 1948
No Score Yet The Pilgrim The Boy Little Boy 1923
No Score Yet Bill and Coo Director


No Score Yet Ironside
Screenwriter 1967
No Score Yet Bonanza
Screenwriter 1960


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