Paul Schrader - Rotten Tomatoes

Paul Schrader

Highest Rated:   100% Easy Riders---Raging Bulls (2003)
Lowest Rated:   9% Dying of the Light (2014)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Raised in a strict religious household in Michigan, writer/director Paul Schrader studied theology at Calvin College and didn't see a movie until he was in his late teens. His stern background would fuel many of the themes throughout his career: downbeat stories of characters who violently break down in oppressive situations. Transfixed by the cinema and encouraged by critic Pauline Kael, he moved to Los Angeles and became a film scholar at U.C.L.A. He wrote movie reviews for newspapers, edited the magazine Cinema, and wrote the highly influential critical essay "The Trancendental Style: Ozu, Bresson, Dryer." After a period of heavy drinking and serious depression, he sold his first screenplay, The Yakuza, a Japanese thriller co-written with his brother, Leonard, and Robert Towne. The next year, Schrader wrote Taxi Driver, the grim tale of urban alienation. Taxi Driver started his successful collaborative relationship with director Martin Scorsese, another so-called "film school brat" who was also raised in a religious household. After writing the screenplays for Obsession and Rolling Thunder, Schrader made his directorial debut with Blue Collar in 1978, a forceful exposé about auto workers. The following year he directed Hardcore, a poorly received but shocking account of a Midwestern girl escaping her family for a porno career in L.A. He would continue to explore the seedy underbelly of the sex industry in American Gigolo, a glossier look at another troubled hero that gained Schrader some attention. He teamed up with Scorsese for the second time with the emotionally brutal Raging Bull, one of the most acclaimed American films of the '80s, and a good example of Schrader's reoccurring destructive male protagonists suffering from violent desperation. This high point in his career was followed by a sporadic period during which he returned to evocative sexual themes with the remake of Cat People and won a Cannes prize for Mishima. Never ceasing to address controversial subject matter, he scripted The Last Temptation of Christ in his third collaboration with Scorsese, and then went on to write Patty Hearst, based upon the real-life terrorist-kidnapping plot. Light Sleeper, which he wrote and directed in 1992, can be thought of as the last entry in a trilogy of films -- together with Taxi Driver and American Gigolo -- investigating self-destructive urban loners driven to near madness. For many of his other directorial projects in the '90s, Schrader turned to literature adaptations. The Comfort of Strangers was based upon the Ian McEwan novel , Touch, on an Elmore Leonard novel, and Affliction, on a Russell Banks novel. The latter enjoyed critical success for Schrader's abilities, in addition to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for James Coburn. Unfortunately, the writer's fourth pairing with Scorsese for Bringing out the Dead did not do as well as hoped, compared with their triumphs in the past. After writing and directing Forever Mine, which debuted on cable, Schrader switched gears and worked only as a director for Auto Focus in 2002. This dark biopic of television star Bob Crane combines his frequent themes of sexual discrepancies and inevitable breakdowns. Shortly thereafter Schrader was tapped to direct Exorcist: The Beginning, though he was fired during production and director Renny Harlin was brought in by the studio to complete the film. Most of Schrader's footage wasn't used in the final cut, but after The Beginning flopped, the studio reinstated the unused footage and re-released the film as Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. The political crime drama The Walker followed in 2007, and the following year Schrader adapted Yoram Kaniuck's celebrated 1971 novel Adam Resurrected, which told the unusual tale of a Jewish entertainer who survives being placed in a concentration camp by becoming the commandant's personal "dog," and later befriends a young boy who has spent his entire youth locked in a ba

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
46% Dog Eat Dog
  • Director
  • Grecco the Greek
2016
95% Hitchcock/Truffaut
  • Actor
2015
9% Dying of the Light
  • Director
2014
23% The Canyons
  • Director
2013
No Score Yet The Jesuit
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That
  • Actor
2012
88% Eames: The Architect And The Painter
  • Actor
2011
80% The Story Of Film: An Odyssey
  • Actor
2011
75% Tales From the Script
  • Actor
2010
35% Adam Resurrected
  • Director
2008
54% The Walker
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2007
30% Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2005
100% Easy Riders---Raging Bulls
  • Actor
2003
77% A Decade Under the Influence
  • Actor
2003
72% Auto Focus
  • Director
2002
71% Bringing Out the Dead
  • Screenwriter
1999
33% Forever Mine
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1999
87% Affliction
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1997
33% Touch
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1997
50% Comfort of Strangers
  • Director
1997
54% City Hall
  • Screenwriter
1996
No Score Yet Witch Hunt
  • Director
1994
89% Light Sleeper
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1992
24% Havana
  • Screenwriter
1990
No Score Yet Hollywood Mavericks
  • Actor
1990
38% Patty Hearst
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1988
82% The Last Temptation of Christ
  • Screenwriter
1988
58% Light of Day
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1987
75% The Mosquito Coast
  • Screenwriter
1986
95% Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1985
No Score Yet The Road to Bresson (De weg naar Bresson)
  • Actor
1984
65% Cat People
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1982
97% Raging Bull
  • Screenwriter
1980
67% American Gigolo
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1980
85% Hardcore
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1979
No Score Yet Old Boyfriends
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
1979
100% Blue Collar
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1978
85% Rolling Thunder
  • Screenwriter
1977
81% Obsession
  • Screenwriter
1976
99% Taxi Driver
  • Screenwriter
1976
45% The Yakuza
  • Screenwriter
1975

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Actor
No Score Yet Last Call With Carson Daly
2007
  • Guest

Quotes from Paul Schrader's Characters

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