Mike Hodges, a famous British director who made movies like “Get Carter” and “Flash Gordon,” died of heart failure at his home in Dorset, England, sources reported. He was 90.
Mike Kaplan, who worked with the director and was a close friend, told Entertainment Tonight that Hodges died on December 17. They worked together before on I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Hodges’ crime drama from 2003 that starred Clive Owen, Charlotte Rampling, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
“For a part of his career, he was under-appreciated, and he is not anymore,” Kaplan told the outlet. “Get Carter was a huge success all over the world. He had a great sense of humour. All of his movies were entrenched with humour and personality.”
EW tried to get in touch with Hodges’s team, but did not hear back right away. Michael Tommy Hodges was born in Bristol, England, in 1932.
He started out as a chartered accountant until he had to do his two years of military service on a Royal Navy minesweeper. Hodges later told the Guardian that the experience made him rethink everything about life.
“For two years, my middle-class eyes were forced to witness horrendous poverty and deprivation that I was previously unaware of,” he said. “I went into the navy as a newly qualified chartered accountant and complacent young Tory, and came out an angry, radical young man.”
The director started out in the entertainment business as a teleprompter operator, but he soon found himself behind the camera. He wrote and directed a number of British television shows, such as The World in Action in 1964, Tempo in 1966, and The Tyrant King in 1968.
18 years ago I had to cancel an interview with Mike Hodges because of a baby who appeared ahead of schedule. We’d never met. A year later we were both at a screening. He made straight for me to ask about my family. We were friends from that moment. pic.twitter.com/GkWYZPUqUj
Get Carter, a dark crime thriller he wrote and directed in 1971, was Hodges’ big break. The movie, which has been compared to The Godfather, was based on Ted Lewis’s novel Jack’s Return Home.
Michael Caine played Jack Carter, a brutal London gangster who goes home to find out what happened to his brother. In 2000, Sylvester Stallone starred in a new version of the classic movie.
After Get Carter did well, Hodges went on to adapt and direct a string of hit thrillers in the early 1970s. These included Pulp, which also starred Caine, and The Terminal Man, a sci-fi horror movie from 1974.
Flash Gordon, a flashy space opera, was directed by Hodges in 1980. The cult classic, which had music by Queen, was based on a comic strip by Alex Raymond. The quarterback went to planet Mongo to defeat the evil emperor Ming the Merciless.
R.I.P. Mike Hodges, a perfectly talented journeyman who gave the world two endlessly rewatchable gifts in Get Carter and Flash Gordon. pic.twitter.com/5Icd8TknFW
The director went on to make more music videos for Queen, including the one for the film’s title song. In the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, Hodges kept making movies that people liked.
These included the thriller Black Rainbow (1989), the comedy Croupier (1998) and the drama I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. At the time of his death, he was working on his autobiographical documentary All At Sea, which he was writing and directing.
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