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Michael Mann (I)Producer | Writer | Director
Date of Birth 5 February 1943, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth Name Michael Kenneth Mann
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief (1981) starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob. He followed with The Keep (1983), an adaptation of F. Paul Wilson's novel about a mysterious force within a Nazi fortress. He hit it big in 1984, when he produced and created the long-running TV series Miami Vice (1984), which made Don Johnson a household name. He followed that up in 1986 with the underrated, lesser-known TV series, Crime Story (1986), and the thriller Manhunter (1986) a precursor of The Silence of the Lambs (1991). He spent the next few years involved in television, directing films like L.A. Takedown (1989) and producing films like the Emmy-winning Drug Wars: The Camarena Story (1990). In 1992, he returned to feature film with the box-office hit The Last of the Mohicans (1992), which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.
Summer Mann (1974 - present) (4 children)
? (? - 1971) (divorced) (1 child)
Often chooses expressive architecture as shooting locations.
Uses dramatically colored lighting, especially the color blue.
Often uses pre-existing ambient music, music composed for other films (OSTs), contemporary pop/rock songs and/or avant-garde music to create eclectic and often unique soundtracks for his films.
Often portrays criminals as likeable and sympathetic lead characters. See The Jericho Mile (1979), Thief (1981), Heat (1995) and Blackhat (2015).
Has collaborated with the following artists multiple times: Actors 'Al Pacino', Jamie Foxx, John Voight, Dennis Farina, Wes Studi, Tom Noonan, Xander Berkeley, Jürgen Prochnow, Michael Gambon, Joan Allen, Danny Trejo, 'Benicio del Toro', film editors Dov Hoenig, 'William Goldenberg', cinematographers Dante Spinotti, Dion Beebe, 'Stewart Dryburgh' and composers Einstürzende Neubauten, Tangerine Dream, 'Elliot Gouldenthal', 'Lisa Gerrad' and Peter Bourke.
Often portrays the leader of a group of criminals as a hard-edged loner
Often has a scene overlooking a broad horizon of some sort.Neil and Eady staring at the bright L.A. landscape in Heat (1995) and the end credits of The Last of the Mohicans (1992) are both examples of this.
Most of his movies contain a group of people using a speaker phone. The person on the other end always asks, "Who am I talking to?" and one of the others will rattle off a list of names (Heat (1995) and Manhunter (1986)).
Backgrounds and scenery often include and focus on water, like oceans, rivers, rain (Miami Vice (2006)).
.45 caliber 1911 model pistols appear in almost all of his movies:Thief (1981), Miami Vice (2006), _L.A. Takedown (1989)_, Heat (1995), The Insider (1999), and so on.
Often works with real criminals, police officers and ex-military officers in his films: Chuck Adamson (Chicago Police Department), Dennis Farina (Chicago Police Department),Jim Zubiena (U.S. Army), Robert Deamer (Los Angeles Police Department), Chic Daniel (Los Angeles PoliceDepartment), Tom Elfmont (Los Angeles Police Department),Rey Verdugo (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department),Mick Gould (British Special Air Services), Andy McNab (British Special Air Services), John Santucci (ex-safecracker), 'Gavin McFadyen' (ex-bankrobber) and Edward Bunker (ex-bank-robber).
Often films pivotal or imporant scenes at night, such as the end shootout at the airport in Heat (1995), Collateral (2004) and the end shootout in the boat yard, as well as others, in Miami Vice (2006).
Unlike most directors, likes to operate the camera himself to get much of his photography, as he did in Heat (1995), shooting almost 60% of it.
Mann has re-edited every single one of his feature films for home video. With the exception of Warner Home Video's Region 2 release and the FoxNTSC laserdisc release of The Last of the Mohicans (1992), none of his films are available on video or DVD in their theatrical versions. The alterations vary from using alternate takes and lines in Heat (1995) and The Insider (1999) to adding and deleting scenes: He has re-edited Manhunter (1986) at least three times.
Many of his films are set in Chicago, and many of his cast members are from Chicago or the surrounding neighborhoods.
Known for shooting several different takes, at numerous different angles, of even short scenes.
Often a character takes a carefully aimed shot in Mann's movies: Lt. Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995) shoots Michael Cheritto after the bank heist. In Collateral (2004) Vincent shoots at the night club Peter Lim. Sonny Crockett shoots in Miami Vice (2006) during the boatyard shootout Coleman. And Gina Calabrese shoots the tattooed 'Aryan Brother' to rescue Trudy Joplin. Hawkeye in the The Last of the Mohicans (1992) shoots Maj. Duncan Heyward to spare him pain. Melvin Purvis in Public Enemies (2009) shoots at the very beginning Pretty Boy Floyd with a carefully aimed shot . In Blackhat (2015) agent Mark Jessup carefully aims and kills 5 of Kassar's men during a shootout in Hong Kong.
Born at 12:45am-CWT.
Michael attended the 'University of Wisconsin-Madison' and received a B.A. in English. He went to the UK in 1965 to study film and graduated from the 'London International Film School'. After gaining first working experiences in TV and film production Mann returned to the USA in 1971.
Was Will Smith's personal choice to direct Ali (2001). Spike Lee campaigned vigorously against Mann, saying that only a black director could do Ali's story justice.
Father of director Ami Canaan Mann and production designer Aran Mann.
Has an impressive knowledge of criminality and police procedures gained through empirical research in law enforcement.
Was a close friend of legendary author Edward Bunker, since they both worked together on an adaptation of his novel "No Beast So Fierce", published in 1973. It later became the screenplay for Straight Time (1978), but Mann is not credited anymore as a writer.
Is one of Robert De Niro's favourite directors.
Directed Manhunter (1986), the first 'Hannibal Lecter' film based on the novel "Red Dragon", published by author Thomas Harris in 1981. Brett Ratner's Red Dragon (2002) is the second film based on the novel. Both films share the cinematographer Dante Spinotti and the (executive) producer Dino De Laurentiis but are very different adaptations.
Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Directors Branch) [2000-2006]
In 1985, sued William Friedkin for plagiarism, claiming that Friedkin stole the entire concept of Miami Vice (1984) when he made the movie To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) (which, ironically, starred William Petersen, who later played Will Graham in Manhunter (1986)). Mann lost the lawsuit. Despite this, the two directors are close friends nowadays. Friedkin even tease Mann in several interviews by saying "Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors because he tries to make films like mine!".
He was executive producer of the Miami Vice (1984) TV series and among other things greatly responsible for the show's unique look and feel.
Tried to make an epic film about drug-trade in Southern California with screenwriter Shane Salerno. But they abandoned the project after 'Steven Soderbergh''s rival project, Traffic (2000), got green-lighted.
Michael Mann listed in BFI's 'Sight and Sound' Poll 2002 the following 10 films as the best ever: John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946), Sergei M. Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925), F.W. Murnau's Faust (1926), Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad (1961), Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) and Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
Frequently uses the "thumbs up" sign after he feels that last take was the one.
During production of Manhunter (1986), he wanted Francis Dollarhyde (Tom Noonan) to have a tattoo of William Blake's "Red Dragon" painting on his back, but ended up discarding the idea after deciding the tattoo trivialized Dollarhyde's inner struggles. In Red Dragon (2002), the second adaptation of Thomas Harris's novel, director Brett Ratner decided to include the tattoo and the subplot about Blake's painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun" (ca.1803-1805).
Directed four different performers in Oscar-nominated performances: Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jon Voight and Jamie Foxx.
Has Ukrainian roots from his father's side.
Owns a house in the canals of Fort Lauderdale, Fl, which was used in some Miami Vice (1984) TV scenes.
As of 2007, he has used Mick Gould as a technical advisor on three of his films: Heat (1995), Collateral (2004) and Miami Vice (2006). For all three of these films, Gould served as a weapons trainer, instructing cast members how to properly handle firearms.
Was 38 years old when he released his first feature film.
Is a friend of independent film director Abel Ferrara. Ferrara directed at the beginning of his career 2 episodes of executive producer Mann's popular TV series Miami Vice (1984) and the pilot of Mann's second TV series "Crime Story"(1986).
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the '69th Venice International Film Festival' in 2012.