Director: Taylor Hackford

Information about the director.


Film:Ray (2004)


Taylor Hackford

Jamie Foxx’s uncannily accurate performance isn’t the only good thing about Ray. Riding high on a wave of Oscar buzz, Foxx proved himself worthy of all the hype by portraying blind R&B legend Ray Charles in a warts-and-all performance that Charles approved shortly before his death in June 2004. Despite a few dramatic embellishments of actual incidents (such as the suggestion that the accidental drowning of Charles’s younger brother caused all the inner demons that Charles would battle into adulthood), the film does a remarkable job of summarizing Charles’s…

Film:Devil's Advocate

Devil's Advocate

Taylor Hackford

Too old for Hamlet and too young for Lear—what’s an ambitious actor to do? Play the Devil, of course. Jack Nicholson did it in The Witches of Eastwick; Robert De Niro did it in Angel Heart (as Louis Cyphre—get it?). In The Devil’s Advocate Al Pacino takes his turn as the great Satan, and clearly relishes his chance to raise hell. He’s a New York lawyer, of course, by the name of John Milton, who recruits a hotshot young Florida attorney (Keanu Reeves) to his firm and seduces him with tempting offers of power, sex, and money. Think of the…

Film:Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne

Taylor Hackford

Dark secrets, family torments, and two murders swirl around the stoic, hardened figure of Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates), a housekeeper accused of murdering her employer of 22 years. Then there was that timely accident that took Dolores’s husband (David Strathairn) during the solar eclipse of 1975. Yet with all the somber suffering that follows Dolores like a miasma of pain, none of it compares with the heartache of a relationship she has with her grown daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Although this flick is rife with horror, it is not of the supernatural kind,…

Film:An Officer and a Gentleman

An Officer and a Gentleman

Taylor Hackford

Richard Gere plays an enrollee at a Naval officers candidate school, and Debra Winger is the woman who wants him. That’s pretty much it, story-wise, in this romantic drama, which is more effective in a moment-to-moment, scene-by-scene way, where the two stars and Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr.—as Gere’s tough-as-nails drill instructor—are fun to watch. Sexy, syrupy, with occasional pitches of high drama (Gere having a near-breakdown during training is pretty strong), An Officer and a Gentleman proves to be a no-brainer date movie. —Tom Keogh

Film:The Idolmaker

The Idolmaker

Taylor Hackford

The same year Neil Diamond made a ballyhooed (through lackluster) remake of The Jazz Singer, first-time director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) created a musical biography packed with energy, verve, and style. Golden Globe winner Ray Sharkey is Vincent Vacarri, a tough, charismatic music fan who turns producer, creating stars in the halcyon days of rock and roll. Loosely based on the life of Bob Marucci, who created the Fabian and Frankie Avalon juggernauts, the story is part character study, part musical. The outstanding concert…

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