Wolfgang Petersen dies of cancer aged 81
One of the most prolific action film directors of his time, Wolfgang Petersonsadly passed away from pancreatic cancer.
His name was synonymous with quality action movies in the 1990s and early 2000s. Acclaimed filmmaker, Wolfgang Petersen, died leaving behind a body of work that includes some of the most intense action footage ever made. .
It’s hard not to remember his 1981 masterpiece Das Boot which set the stage for the films he would make that would become American blockbusters racking up huge box office dollars over the years. Petersen quickly made 1980s sci-fi fantasy Hollywood films such as enemy mine and The never-ending story following the success of Das Boot. All bets were off, however, when he directed the most politically charged action film of 1993, In the line of fire, which featured the incomparable Clint Eastwood. This Eastwood movie did incredible business at the box office with over $100 million domestically, which was terrific for an adult-themed film in a summer of blockbusters that included the original. jurassic park. In the line of fire featured a chilling turn from John Malkovich as the leading villain role in the film.
It didn’t stop there. In 1995, his film on the virus Epidemic made a whopping $67 million at the domestic box office and another $122 million internationally. It was, however, the political action film he made titled Air Force One which became one of his most beloved films. This film starred Harrison Ford as the President of the United States. Air Force One cemented Petersen’s status as a talent to contend with when the film grossed $172 million domestically and earned an “A” CinemaScore.
The 2000s weren’t so kind to Petersen in terms of audience reception of his action footage, but the films were successful nonetheless. The Perfect Storm was a perfect blockbuster grossing $182 million at the box office, but only earned a “B+” CinemaScore because some claimed there was too much going on in this particular film. Brad Pitt’s flagship vehicle in 2004 Troy was directed by Petersen but fell a bit short at the box office with just $133 million on a massive budget and earned a solid “B” CinemaScore. Petersen’s big action-picture remake of 2006, Poseidon, also earned just a “B” CinemaScore and only grossed $60 million domestically. It saved face with an additional $121 million in its international release.
It was Petersen’s political thriller, In the line of firewhich American audiences will remember the most, while blockbuster fans would probably prefer the most accessible Air Force One. Das Boot was his masterpiece, however, and remains a film of enormous scope and integrity. Wolfgang Petersen was a master of his craft, regardless of the box office results of his later films. In the Line of Fire Still stands today and is one of the best American political thrillers of all time.
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