Stephen Frears


Stephen Arthur Frears (June 20, 1941) is an English film and television director. He made his feature directorial debut with Gumshoe (1971), with Albert Finney and Billie Whitelaw. Films in the 1980s including The Hit (1984), with John Hurt, Terence Stamp, Laura del Sol and Tim Roth; My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), with Daniel Day-Lewis; Prick Up Your Ears (1987), with Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina, Vanessa Redgrave, and Wallace Shawn; Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), with Shashi Kapoor, Frances Barber, Claire Bloom, Ayub Khan-Din, Roland Gift, and Wendy Gazelle; and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), with Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Mildred Natwick, Peter Capaldi, Keanu Reeves, and Uma Thurman.

Films in the 1990s include The Grifters (1990), with John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Bening; Hero (1992), with Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy García, Joan Cusack and Chevy Chase (uncredited); Mary Reilly (1996), with Julia Roberts, Malkovich, George Cole, and Michael Gambon; The Van (1996), with Colm Meaney; and The Hi-Lo Country (1998), with Billy Crudup, Penélope Cruz, Woody Harrelson, Cole Hauser, Sam Elliott, Patricia Arquette, Enrique Castillo, and Katy Jurado.

Films in the 2000s include High Fidelity (2000), with Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Joan Cusack, and Lisa Bonet; Dirty Pretty Things (2002), with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sergi López, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Wong, and Zlatko Buric; Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), with Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Kelly Reilly, Will Young, and Christopher Guest; The Queen (2006), with Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Helen McCrory, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, and Sylvia Syms; Chéri (2009), with Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Felicity Jones, and Kathy Bates.

Films in the 2010s include Tamara Drewe (2010), with Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans, Tamsin Greig, and Jessica Barden; Lay the Favorite (2012), with Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn, Laura Prepon, and John Carroll Lynch; Philomena (2013), with Dench snd Steve Coogan; The Program (2015), with Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Guillaume Canet, Jesse Plemons, Lee Pace, Denis Ménochet, and Hoffman; Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant; and Victoria & Abdul (2017), with Dench, Ali Fazal, Gambon, Eddie Izzard, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Adeel Akhtar. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director: for The Grifters and The Queen. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph named him among the 100 most influential people in British culture.

TV movies include Three Men in a Boat (1975), with Tim Curry, Michael Palin, and Stephen Moore; Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978), with Neville Smith, Julie Walters, Carol MacReady, and Thora Hird; Bloody Kids (1980), with Derrick O’Connor; Walter (1982), with Ian McKellen, Barbara Jefford, Tony Melody, David Ryall, Keith Allen, Paula Tilbrook, and Jim Broadbent; Saigon: Year of the Cat (1983), with Dench, Frederic Forrest, E.G. Marshall, Wallace Shawn, and Chic Murray; December Flower (1984), with Jean Simmons. Mona Washbourne, Pat Heywood, Bryan Forbes, and June Ritchie; The Snapper (1993), with Tina Kellegher, Meaney, and Brendan Gleeson; Fail Safe (2000), with George Clooney, Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, and Noah Wyle; The Deal (2003), with David Morrissey, Sheen, and Dexter Fletcher; Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (2013), with Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Gerety, Barry Levinson, and John Bedford Lloyd;

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

Feature films

  • The Burning (1975) – short
  • Gumshoe (1971)
  • The Hit (1984)
  • My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
  • Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
  • Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  • The Grifters (1990)
  • Hero (1992)
  • Mary Reilly (1996)
  • The Van (1996)
  • The Hi-Lo Country (1998)
  • High Fidelity (2000)
  • Liam (2000)
  • Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
  • Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)
  • The Queen (2006)
  • Chéri (2009)
  • Tamara Drewe (2010)
  • Lay the Favorite (2012)
  • Philomena (2013)
  • The Program (2015)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
  • Victoria & Abdul (2017)


  • Report – St Anns – Poverty (Gimme Shelter) Thames TV (1969)
  • Project C4 (1969)
  • A Day Out (1972)
  • Sunset Across the Bay (1975)
  • Three Men in a Boat (1975)
  • Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978)
  • Afternoon Off (1979)
  • One Fine Day (1979)
  • Bloody Kids (1980)
  • Walter (1982)
  • Walter and June (1983)
  • Saigon: Year of the Cat (1983)
  • The Bullshitters: Roll Out The Gunbarrel (1984)
  • December Flower (1984)
  • Consuela, or The New Mrs Saunders (1986)
  • Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door (1988)
  • The Snapper (1993)
  • Fail Safe (2000)
  • The Deal (2003)
  • Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (2013)
  • A Very English Scandal (2018)
  • State of the Union (2019)