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      James Bridges

      James Bridges

      Highest Rated: 88% The China Syndrome (1979)

      Lowest Rated: 18% Perfect (1985)

      Birthday: Feb 3, 1936

      Birthplace: Paris, Arkansas, USA

      James Bridges began his career as an actor in the late 1950s, but became far better known as a writer and director of hit films in the 1970s and '80s. After a short period as an actor, Bridges wrote for television, including 18 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC 1955-1965), and received his first feature credit as co-writer of the western "The Appaloosa". Bridges made his directing debut with "The Baby Maker" (1970), a finely-observed film about a middle-class couple who hire a hippie girl to bear their child after the wife discovers she is infertile. Not a prolific director, Bridges wrote the screenplays for all but the last of the eight films he made between 1970 and 1988. After writing and directing the law school drama "The Paper Chase" (1973), which starred his mentor John Houseman, Bridges hit his commercial peak with "The China Syndrome" (1979), a suspenseful and potent indictment of both the nuclear power industry and the electronic media starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas. Bridges next helmed the popular John Travolta vehicle "Urban Cowboy" (1980), followed by "Mike's Murder" (1984), a somewhat experimental, atmospheric drama starring "Urban Cowboy" breakout Debra Winger, which became better known for Joe Jackson's haunting score. After the high-profile flop of "Perfect" (1985), a romantic drama set in the aerobics craze starring Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridges' last film as a director was the adaptation of Jay McInerney's best-selling tale of Manhattan cocaine addiction, "Bright Lights, Big City" (1988). Bridges replaced original director Joyce Chopra after filming had already started, bringing in a new cinematographer and replacing most of the cast beyond stars Michael J. Fox and Kiefer Sutherland. His final produced script was "White Hunter, Black Heart" (1990), director and star Clint Eastwood's behind the scenes story based on the location filming of "The African Queen" (1951). James Bridges died of kidney failure brought on by intestinal cancer on June 6, 1993. He was 57.

      Photos

      BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, director James Bridges, 1988, ©United Artists THE CHINA SYNDROME, director James Bridges, Jane Fonda, on-set, 1979, © Columbia Pictures THE CHINA SYNDROME, director James Bridges, Michael Douglas, on-set, 1979, © Columbia Pictures THE CHINA SYNDROME, director James Bridges, Jack Lemmon, on-set, 1979, © Columbia Pictures THE CHINA SYNDROME, director James Bridges, Jane Fonda, on-set, 1979, © Columbia Pictures

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      83% 62% White Hunter, Black Heart Screenwriter $1.7M 1990
      60% 38% Bright Lights, Big City Director $15.7M 1988
      18% 28% Perfect Director,
      Producer
      - 1985
      80% 43% Mike's Murder Director - 1984
      70% 80% Urban Cowboy Director,
      Writer
      - 1980
      88% 81% The China Syndrome Director - 1979
      No Score Yet 53% September 30, 1955 Director,
      Screenwriter
      - 1977
      81% 72% The Paper Chase Director - 1973
      No Score Yet No Score Yet When Michael Calls Writer - 1972
      No Score Yet 50% The Baby Maker Director - 1970
      No Score Yet 46% The Appaloosa Writer - 1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Tarzan and Jane Regained ... Sort Of Lord of the Forest (Character) - 1964

      TV

      Credit
      65% No Score Yet Close to Home Unknown (Guest Star) 2007
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents Writer 1985
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Paper Chase Writer 1978
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Hour Writer 1963-1964