Director: Barry Levinson

Information about the director.

Works

Film:Rain Man

Rain Man

Barry Levinson

Rain Man is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for—and, sure enough, the film took Academy honors for best picture, director, screenplay, and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn’t even aware of Raymond’s existence until he read his estranged father’s will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that…

Film:Bugsy

Bugsy

Barry Levinson

Bugsy represents an almost miraculous combination of director, writer, and star on a project that represents a career highlight for everyone involved. It’s one of the best American gangster movies ever made—as good in its own way as any of the Godfather films—and it’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Beatty in the movie’s flashy title role. As notorious mobster and Las Vegas visionary “Bugsy” Siegel, Beatty is perfectly cast as a man whose dreams are greater than his ability to realize them—or at least, greater than his ability to stay alive…

Film:Wag the Dog

Wag the Dog

Barry Levinson

Not only was Barry Levinson’s comedy shot in a relatively fast period of 29 days, the satire of politics and show business feels as if it were made yesterday. There’s a fresh spin quite evident here, a nervy satire of a presidential crisis and the people who whitewash the facts. The main players are a mysterious Mr. Fix-It (Robert De Niro), veteran Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman), and a White House aide (Anne Heche). Can the president’s molesting of a young girl be buried in the two weeks before an election? A war in Albania just might do the trick. In the…

Film:Toys

Toys

Barry Levinson

Enter a spectacular world of whimsy, fun and fantasy in this acclaimed visual extravaganza directed by Barry Levinson. Robin Williams stars as Leslie Zevo, a fun-loving adult who must save his late father’s toy factory from his evil uncle (Michael Gambon), a war-loving general who builds weapons disguised as toys. Aided by his sister (Joan Cusack) and girlfriend (Robin Wright), Leslie sets out to thwart his uncle and restore joy and innocence to their special world.

Film:Avalon

Avalon

Barry Levinson

Intensely personal and yet universally appealing, Avalon follows immigrant Sam Krichinsky and his extended family as they seek a dream called America in a place called Avalon. From poverty through prosperity, the Krichinsky family faces their changing world with enduring humor and abiding love. Even when squabbling over a failed business or adjusting to a new land, Levinson never fails to find the comedy and immediacy of their immigrant experience. A superb cast, led by Armin Mueller-Stahl, Aidan Quinn and Elizabeth Perkins, perfectly captures the vibrant love and laughter of this quintessentially American family. The coming-of-age story of an entire nation, Avalon is a “tapestry of American life so rich and perfect it could hang in a museum.” (Rex Reed)

Film:Diner

Diner

Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson’s debut film as a writer-director nearly got lost in the shuffle before New York critics rescued it from oblivion. Set in his native Baltimore in 1959, it focuses on a group of pals coping with life post high school. Each of them has problems with women, it seems, whether it’s Steve Guttenberg (as a guy about to get married who forces his fiancée to pass a test about the Baltimore Colts), Mickey Rourke (as the womanizing hairdresser with a gambling problem), or Daniel Stern (as the married one who makes his wife miserable with his carefully…

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