Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis

Highest Rated: 97% Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Lowest Rated: 8% The Reaping (2007)

Birthday: May 14, 1952

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

American director Robert Zemeckis studied filmmaking at Northern Illinois University, and then got his start with a job with the film editing department at WMAQ-TV, Chicago's NBC flagship station. After commercial work, Zemeckis and his friend and collaborator, Bob Gale, became assistants to Steven Spielberg. It was Spielberg who lined up Zemeckis' first directing job, the 1977 comedy/nostalgia blend I Wanna Hold Your Hand; despite the film's low budget, it demonstrated Zemeckis' ability to combine credible live-action sequences with elaborate special effects devices. Spielberg next had Zemeckis and Gale work on the screenplay of 1941 (1979), which, despite its disappointing box-office returns, convinced the young director that his protegés were valuable commodities. Working again under Spielberg's aegis, Zemeckis directed his first real financial success, Romancing the Stone (1981), a wild adventure yarn that somehow never lost sight of its sense of humor. The director then took on Back to the Future (1984) and its two sequels, once again proving that live actors could be combined with special effects to produce spectacular results. Zemeckis further proved this when, in collaboration with Spielberg and cartoon producer Richard Williams, he directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), a groundbreaking combination of cartoon animation and "real" action, which went on to become one of the decade's biggest moneymakers. By the early '90s, Zemeckis was recognized as a director of great technical skill but little personal viewpoint, something that changed with the 1994 release of Forrest Gump. Beyond its top-heavy special effects, the film was a distinctly human drama about a mildly retarded young man (Tom Hanks) who achieves professional and personal success by refusing to see anything but the good in people. Expected to be a moderately profitable feature, Forrest Gump amazed everyone by becoming the top moneyspinner of the summer of 1994 -- and one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. As an added bonus, it helped Zemeckis snag a Best Director Oscar, as well as several other awards. He found further success, albeit moderate by comparison, with Contact, a 1997 film starring Jodie Foster as an astronomer seeking out extraterrestrial life forms. The 1990s also found the frequent director becoming much more active as a producer, and in addition to producing many of his own films Zemeckis also backed future Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on his first stateside feature The Frighteners. As he continued to produce such William Castle remakes as The House on Haunted Hill and Thir13en Ghosts, Zemeckis prepaired to shoot his next feature, a film that once again found him teaming with Forrest Gump star Hanks. A memorable adventure drama concerning a dedicated FedEx executive's struggle for survival after enduring a horrific plane crash and becoming stranded on a deserted island, the filming of Cast Away was halted halfway through so that star Hanks could physically transform himself for the demanding role - and in the meantime Zemeckis took the helm for the Harrison Ford/Michelle Pheiffer fright fest What Lies Beneath. In the end both films performed fairly well at the box office, even if Cast Away had recieved a somewhat negative reaction by many due to its meditative pacing and open ended coda. By the time The Polar Express hit theaters it had been nearly four years since Zemeckis had invaded the multiplexes. A holiday hit featuring vocal contributions by Tom Hanks and Daryl Sabara, The Polar Express thrilled families in both traditional theaters and as an IMAX 3D release, and took in an impressive pull at the domestic box office. His credits as a producer steadily grew as he played an instrumental part in bringing such diverse efforts as House of Wax and The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio to the screen, Zemeckis continued his efforts to provide fun frights for viewers of all ages by serving as executive producer of both the kid


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Witches Producer Director Screenwriter 2021
34% Welcome to Marwen Screenwriter Producer Director 2018
60% Allied Director Producer $40.1M 2016
No Score Yet The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Director 2016
No Score Yet Back In Time Actor 2015
83% The Walk Screenwriter Director Producer $8.1M 2015
94% Bound By Flesh Executive Producer 2014
94% Milius Actor 2013
No Score Yet Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw Director 2013
77% Flight Producer Director $89.5M 2012
60% Real Steel Executive Producer $85.5M 2011
37% Mars Needs Moms Producer $21.4M 2011
78% Behind The Burly Q Executive Producer 2010
52% Disney's A Christmas Carol Director Screenwriter Producer $137.9M 2009
71% Beowulf Director Producer $82.3M 2007
8% The Reaping Producer $25.2M 2007
75% Monster House Executive Producer $73.7M 2006
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters Actor 2006
56% Last Holiday Producer Executive Producer $38.4M 2006
59% The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Producer $0.5M 2005
26% House of Wax Producer $32.1M 2005
56% The Polar Express Producer Director Screenwriter $162.9M 2004
15% Gothika Producer $59.6M 2003
82% Matchstick Men Executive Producer $36.9M 2003
16% Ghost Ship Executive Producer Producer $30.2M 2002
16% Thirteen Ghosts (13 Ghosts) Producer $41.7M 2001
88% Cast Away Producer Director 2000
46% What Lies Beneath Producer Director $155.1M 2000
30% House on Haunted Hill Producer 1999
65% Contact Producer Director 1997
12% Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood Executive Producer Screenwriter 1996
63% The Frighteners Executive Producer 1996
38% Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight Executive Producer 1995
71% Forrest Gump Director $330.1M 1994
35% The Shadow Screenwriter 1994
65% The Public Eye Producer Executive Producer 1992
54% Death Becomes Her Screenwriter Director Producer 1992
69% Trespass Producer Executive Producer Screenwriter 1992
No Score Yet Secrets of the 'Back to the Future' Trilogy Actor 1991
80% Back to the Future Part III Director Screenwriter 1990
No Score Yet First Works Actor 1989
65% Back to the Future Part II Director Screenwriter 1989
No Score Yet Tales from the Crypt Director 1989
97% Who Framed Roger Rabbit Director 1988
96% Back to the Future Director Screenwriter $3M 1985
84% Romancing the Stone Director 1984
77% Used Cars Director Screenwriter 1980
42% 1941 Screenwriter 1979
89% I Wanna Hold Your Hand Screenwriter Director 1978


67% Project Blue Book
Executive Producer 2020
57% Manifest
Executive Producer 2020
42% What/If
Executive Producer 2019
No Score Yet The Director's Chair
Guest 2015
82% Tales from the Crypt
Director Executive Producer 1995
No Score Yet Amazing Stories (1985)
Director 1986
No Score Yet Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House
Executive Producer
No Score Yet The Jetsons
Executive Producer
67% The Movies


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