Franklin J. Schaffner


Franklin James Schaffner (May 30, 1920 – July 2, 1989) was an American film, television, and stage director. He made his feature film debut with The Stripper (1963), with Joanne Woodward, Richard Beymer, Claire Trevor, Carol Lynley, Robert Webber, and Richard Beymer. Other films in the 1960s include The Best Man (1964), with Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, Margaret Leighton, Shelley Berman, Lee Tracy, and Ann Sothern; The War Lord (1965), with Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth, Guy Stockwell, Maurice Evans, Niall MacGinnis, Henry Wilcoxon, James Farentino, and Woodrow Parfrey; The Double Man (1967), with Yul Brynner, Britt Ekland, Clive Revill, and Anton Diffring; and Planet of the Apes (1968), with Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, and Linda Harrison.

Schaffner won the Academy Award for Best Director for Patton (1970), with George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Edward Binns. Other films in the 1970s include Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), with Michael Jayston, Janet Suzman, Laurence Olivier, Tom Baker, Harry Andrews, Irene Worth, and Jack Hawkins; Papillon (1973), with Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon, and Anthony Zerbe; Islands in the Stream (1977), Scott, Hart Bochner, Claire Bloom, Gilbert Roland, and David Hemmings; The Boys from Brazil (1978), with Gregory Peck, Olivier, James Mason, Lilli Palmer, Uta Hagen, Anne Meara, Denholm Elliott, and Steve Guttenberg.

Films in the 1980s include Sphinx (1981), with Lesley-Anne Down, Frank Langella, Maurice Ronet, John Gielgud, Martin Benson, and John Rhys-Davies; Yes, Giorgio (1982), with Luciano Pavarotti, Kathryn Harrold, Eddie Albert, Paola Borboni, James Hong, Joseph Mascolo, Leona Mitchell, Kurt Adler, Emerson Buckley, and Alexander Courage; Lionheart (1987), with Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne, Nicola Cowper, Dexter Fletcher, and Deborah Moore; and Welcome Home (1989), with Kris Kristofferson, JoBeth Williams, Sam Waterston, Brian Keith, and Kieu Chinh. He also served as president of the Directors Guild of America between 1987 and 1989.

He also directed several episodes of various TV anthologies like The Ford Theatre Hour (1948-1951), Studio One (1949-1956), Tales of Tomorrow (1951), The Best of Broadway (1955), Ford Star Jubilee (1955-1956), The Kaiser Aluminum Hour (1956-1957), Playhouse 90 (1957-1960), and The DuPont Show of the Week (1962-1964), winning 3 Emmys for directing and 1 for writing. On these programs he worked with performers such as Betsy Blair, Barry Fitzgerald, Jack Albertson, Jack Lemmon, Wally Cox, Anne Bancroft, John Forsythe, Signe Hasso, Anthony Quinn, Margaret Sullivan, Joseph Cotten, Piper Laurie, Keenan Wynn, Lloyd Nolan, Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Nancy Olsen, Everett Sloane, Hans Conried, Grace Kelly, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Marie Saint, E.G. Marshall, Mildred Natwick, Tom Ewell, Jack Palance, Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Mary Wickes, Tony Randall, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Glynis Johns, Lloyd Bridges, June Lockhart, Betsy Palmer, Elsa Lanchester, Walter Matthau, Richard Kiley, Mary Astor, Charles Coburn, Jack Warden, Marisa Pavan, Ralph Meeker, Peggy Ann Garner, Art Carney, Jason Robards, Lee Marvin, Natalie Wood, Peter Graves, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Trevor Howard, Red Buttons, Paul Newman, Sydney Pollack, Claude Rains, Rip Torn, Alec Guinness, Nina Foch, Donald O’Connor, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb, Vera Miles, Robert Stack, Marian Seldes, DeForest Kelley, Hope Lange, Anne Baxter, Buster Keaton, Robert Ryan, Jeanne Crain, Rod Taylor, Jack Klugman, Dyan Cannon, Burt Reynolds, Jenny Maxwell, Diane Baker, Warren Beatty, Ron Howard, Charles Bronson, Van Heflin, Margaret Hamilton, Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey, Nehemiah Persoff, Cliff Robertson, Paul Lambert, Paul Mazursky, Murray Hamilton, Gene Wilder, Tuesday Weld, Jim Backus, Frank Gorshin, Carolyn Jones, Honor Blackman, and Richard Haydn.

TV movies include Cry Vengeance! (1961), with Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, and Sal Mineo; The Good Years (1962), with Lucille Ball and Margaret Hamilton; and One-Eyed Jacks Are Wild (1966), with Ann Bell, Diana Dors, and George Grizzard.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Cry Vengeance! (1961) – TV movie
  • The Good Years (1962) – TV movie
  • The Stripper (1963)
  • The Best Man (1964)
  • Ambassador at Large (1964) – TV movie
  • The War Lord (1965)
  • One-Eyed Jacks Are Wild (1966) – TV movie
  • The Double Man (1967)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Patton (1970)
  • Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
  • Papillon (1973)
  • Islands in the Stream (1977)
  • The Boys from Brazil (1978)
  • Sphinx (1981)
  • Yes, Giorgio (1982)
  • Lionheart (1987)
  • Welcome Home (1989)