The Films of Alan Parker, 1976–2003

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About the Book

The offbeat musicals Fame 1980), Pink Floyd—The Wall (1982), The Commitments 1991) and Evita (1996)… The stylized biopics Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988), The Road to Wellville (1994) and Angela’s Ashes (1999)… The visceral social dramas Shoot the Moon (1982), Birdy (1984), Come See the Paradise (1990) and The Life of David Gale (2003)… The one-of-kind genre films Bugsy Malone (1979) and Angel Heart (1987)…
These are the films of British director, writer, producer and cartoonist Sir Alan Parker. Among many awards and a knighthood, Parker is the founding director of the Director’s Guild of Great Britain, and in 2013 won the honorary British Academy of Film and Television Arts Fellowship Award.
Parker is known for his humility as a director and has never considered himself an auteur: “I have total admiration for film crews. They are the true heroes of the filmmaking process, not directors.” He has worked alongside producer Alan Marshall, cinematographer Michael Seresin and the late film editor, Gerry Hambling. This book is the first study of his complete body of feature films (1976–2003).

About the Author(s)

David F. Gonthier, Jr., has made his living as an adjunct professor since 1997 at several New Hampshire colleges and universities in the disciplines of film, English and theatre. He lives in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
Timothy M. O’Brien is working on multiple screenplays, one of which made it into the finals in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

David F. Gonthier, Jr. and Timothy M. O’Brien
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 324
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos & illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9725-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1927-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Introduction by David Gonthier, Jr. 1

1. The Early Life and Career of Alan Parker 11

2. Bugsy Malone, 1976 22

3. Midnight Express, 1978 40

4. Fame, 1980 63

5. Shoot the Moon, 1982 83

6. Pink Floyd—The Wall, 1982 103

7. Birdy, 1984 120

8. Angel Heart, 1987 138

9. Mississippi Burning, 1988 162

10. Come See the Paradise, 1990 183

11. The Commitments, 1991 199

12. The Road to Wellville, 1994 215

13. Evita, 1996 233

14. Angela’s Ashes, 1999 252

15. The Life of David Gale, 2003 269

Conclusion 290

Chapter Notes 295

Bibliography 301

Index 303

Book Reviews & Awards

“deep and fulfilling assessments…a very thorough, informative, enlightening study…highly recommended…one of the best books on a director’s work that this reviewer has ever had the pleasure of reading”—Examiner.