Robert Towne

Highest Rated: 99% Chinatown (1974)
Lowest Rated: 30% Love Affair (1994)
Birthday: Nov 23, 1934
Birthplace: Not Available
Robert Towne would prefer his appearance as the stick-like leading actor Edward Wain in the prententious Roger Corman post-apocalyptic effort The Last Woman on Earth (1960) be forgotten -- in addition to the film's screenplay, which was Towne's first. Despite this inauspicious beginning (and his follow-up starring appearance in Creature From the Haunted Sea [1961]), Towne appreciated the early opportunity afforded him by Corman, and remained with the producer/director to pen the screenplay for Tomb of Ligeia (1965) (two more scripts for Corman, A Time for Killing and Captain Nemo and the Underwater City, were heavily revised by others). From there, Towne could only go up, and this he did as script consultant for Warren Beatty's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and as full screenwriter for Villa Rides (1967). After one more acting turn in Drive, He Said (1971), Towne made a good living as a screenwriter and troubleshooting script doctor. Towne's output ranged from the salty profanities of The Last Detail (1967) to the insightful glances at Nixon-era mores in Shampoo (1968) to the misty mysticism of The Natural (1984) to the dewy-eyed romanticism of Warren Beatty's 1994 remake of Love Affair. In 1974, Towne won a Best Screenplay Academy Award for director Roman Polanski's Chinatown. This film contained one of the few totally unhappy endings in the Towne canon -- for the most part, he prefers upbeat denouements, to the extent of overhauling the endings for the screen versions of Bernard Malamud's The Natural and John Grisham's The Firm. In 1981, Robert Towne made his directorial debut with Personal Best; more successful was the second Towne-directed effort, 1988's Tequila Sunrise.

Highest Rated Movies



93% What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael Actor 2018
36% Salinger Actor $0.6M 2013
No Score Yet The 39 Steps Director 2011
80% The Story Of Film: An Odyssey Actor 2011
65% The Outsider Actor 2006
35% Ask the Dust Screenwriter Director $0.7M 2006
77% A Decade Under the Influence Actor 2003
57% Mission: Impossible 2 Screenwriter 2000
79% Without Limits Screenwriter Director 1998
63% Mission: Impossible Screenwriter 1996
30% Love Affair Screenwriter 1994
75% The Firm Screenwriter 1993
39% Days of Thunder Screenwriter 1990
68% The Two Jakes Screenwriter 1990
40% Tequila Sunrise Director Screenwriter 1988
57% The Pick-Up Artist Stan 1987
81% The Bedroom Window Executive Producer 1987
69% Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes Screenwriter 1984
72% Personal Best Director Screenwriter Producer 1982
57% The Yakuza Screenwriter 1975
59% Shampoo Screenwriter 1975
99% Chinatown Screenwriter 1974
91% The Last Detail Screenwriter 1973
62% Drive, He Said Richard 1971
No Score Yet Villa Rides Actor Screenwriter 1968
80% The Tomb of Ligeia Screenwriter 1965
No Score Yet Creature from the Haunted Sea Sparks Moran 1961
No Score Yet The Last Woman on Earth Martin Screenwriter 1960


No Score Yet Independent Lens
  • 2006


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