Richard Donner dead at 91

Director Richard Donner has died. He was 91 years old.

Most people here will know Donner for directing Superman (1978), the film that proved a big-budget superhero movie could reach the adults as well as the kids, and for his involvement with the Lethal Weapon franchise. His long history behind the camera also includes The Goonies and episodes of several genre series, including The Six Million Dollar Man, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Twilight Zone— most notably “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

In the late sixties, he introduced a generation of kids to the style of the old movie serials with Danger Island. Made for The Banana Splits, it ran in installments during the first season and was rerun in its entirety during subsequent seasons.

Rest in Peace.

3 replies on “Richard Donner dead at 91”

  1. I loved so much of his stuff. If you can still watch Mel Gibson, I’ve always thought “Conspiracy Theory” was criminally underrated. It also stars Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart.

  2. I will remember him mainly for Superman, and I think the long-term effects of that movie’s success is what we’ve seen in the 90s and 2000s in superheroes on the big screen.

    My introduction (though I did not know it) was, as I’ve suggested Danger Island. Coincidentally, I rewatched it recently– it’s really dumb, but back when I was its target demographic, I really liked it, and you can definitely see Donner’s style emerging in it.

    I remain a contrarian on Goonies. However, not everyone likes everything, and I think John Scalzi summed it up best:

    I’ll let others argue whether Donner was a great director. What I will say is that he was great at playing to his directorial strengths, and kept a lot of people, including me, entertained while he did so. He had style, and no one else’s style was quite like his. He’ll be missed.

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