Robert Zemeckis - Rotten Tomatoes

Robert Zemeckis



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 proteg├ęs 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

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
61% Allied
  • Director
  • Producer
2016
No Score Yet The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
  • Director
2016
No Score Yet Back In Time
  • Actor
2015
84% The Walk
  • Producer
  • Director
2015
93% Bound By Flesh
  • Executive Producer
2014
94% Milius
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw
  • Director
2013
78% Flight
  • Director
  • Producer
2012
59% Real Steel
  • Executive Producer
2011
37% Mars Needs Moms
  • Producer
2011
78% Behind The Burly Q
  • Executive Producer
2010
54% Disney's A Christmas Carol
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2009
71% Beowulf
  • Director
  • Producer
2007
8% The Reaping
  • Producer
2007
74% Monster House
  • Executive Producer
2006
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters
  • Actor
2006
55% Last Holiday
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
2006
58% The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
  • Producer
2005
25% House of Wax
  • Producer
2005
55% The Polar Express
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
2004
14% Gothika
  • Producer
2003
82% Matchstick Men
  • Executive Producer
2003
14% Ghost Ship
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
2002
14% Thirteen Ghosts (13 Ghosts)
  • Producer
2001
90% Cast Away
  • Director
  • Producer
2000
46% What Lies Beneath
  • Producer
  • Director
2000
28% House on Haunted Hill
  • Producer
1999
62% Contact
  • Producer
  • Director
1997
12% Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
1996
64% The Frighteners
  • Executive Producer
1996
35% Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight
  • Executive Producer
1995
72% Forrest Gump
  • Director
1994
35% The Shadow
  • Screenwriter
1994
64% The Public Eye
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1992
50% Death Becomes Her
  • Director
  • Producer
1992
68% Trespass
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
1992
No Score Yet Secrets of the 'Back to the Future' Trilogy
  • Actor
1991
74% Back to the Future Part III
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1990
No Score Yet First Works
  • Actor
1989
63% 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
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1985
87% Romancing the Stone
  • Director
1984
75% Used Cars
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1980
32% 1941
  • Screenwriter
1979
84% I Wanna Hold Your Hand
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1978

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet The Director's Chair
2014-2015
  • Guest

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