Mike Hodges



Also Known As
Michael Hodges
Birth Place
Bristol, England, GB
July 29, 1932


British writer-director Mike Hodges honed his craft in television before segueing to the big screen with the gangster melodrama "Get Carter" (1971), starring Michael Caine as a cold-blooded hit man. Dismissed by critics as overly violent at its initial release, the film has come to be regarded as a minor masterpiece and an influence on such disparate movie directors as John Woo, Quentin ...


British writer-director Mike Hodges honed his craft in television before segueing to the big screen with the gangster melodrama "Get Carter" (1971), starring Michael Caine as a cold-blooded hit man. Dismissed by critics as overly violent at its initial release, the film has come to be regarded as a minor masterpiece and an influence on such disparate movie directors as John Woo, Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie.

Born in Bristol, Hodges originally trained as an accountant but after a requisite stint in the Royal Navy found employment as a teleprompter writer. Exposed to the workings of television, Hodges tried his hand and crafting scripts and sold one. He made the transition to director and producer overseeing segments of the English newsmagazine "World of Action" in the early 1960s. A stint on the arts-themed "Tempo" followed, where he prepared profiles of such notable film personalities as Jean-Luc Godard and Orson Welles. Further honing his craft, Hodges wrote and directed episodes of two thrillers that aired on Thames Television, "Suspect" and "Rumour."

"Get Carter" marked his first feature work and announced a director of impeccable style and a writer capable of conjuring homages to Chandler and Cain. (A measure of the film's influence is its Americanized remake with an all-black cast, "Hit Man" the following year.) Hodges' second film was the loopy comedy "Pulp" (1972), again starring Caine, this time playing a hack writer hired to ghost the memoirs of a Hollywood star (Mickey Rooney). Stylish and off-beat, the film proved a disappointment at the USA boxoffice but it landed its hyphenate a deal in Hollywood. "The Terminal Man" (1974), adapted from Michael Crichton's novel, marked Hodges' debut in the sci-fi/horror genre and was a well-acted thriller about a computer scientist who develops violent characteristics. After penning the second installment of the devil-as-human trilogy, "Damien - Omen II" (1978), he segued to the campy "Flash Gordon" (1980), an eye-popping romp based on the comic strip and movie serials of the 30s and 40s that was better than its advertising campaign would lead one to believe. While it set no records and racked up any awards, "Flash Gordon" proved a cult hit, a guilty pleasure made palatable by its production design and the presence of such actors as Max von Sydow (as Ming the Merciless), Brian Blessed and Timothy Dalton, and the allure of Melody Anderson and Ornella Muti.

Returning to England, Hodges shifted gears considerably to oversee the earnest TV-movie "Squaring the Circle" (1983). Working from Tom Stoppard's above average script, he fashioned a cogent look at the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland. "Squaring the Circle" received a limited theatrical release in the USA and showed the director at his peak. Hodges was invited to direct the English-language version of Fellini's "And the Ship Sailed On" (also 1983). He stumbled with the laughable "Morons From Outer Space" (1985) and attempted to have his name removed from "A Prayer for the Dying" (1987) after studio interference. A last minute replacement for Franc Roddam, Hodges had worked with star Mickey Rourke in trying to fashion a character study of a resident Northern Ireland conflicted over the violence surrounding him, but ultimately it was an uneven script and hammy acting by the co-stars as well as the editing that sank the picture. Hodges fared much better with the intriguing if overlooked "Black Rainbow" (1989) which cast Rosanna Arquette as a medium who foretells the events of a murder. Disenchanted with features,

Hodges resumed his small screen career, helming and/or scripting a variety of projects over the next decade. In 1998, he made a triumphant return to the big screen with the film noir "Croupier," featuring a star-making lead turn by Clive Owen. Many critics favorably compared "Croupier" with "Get Carter," particularly as both centered on "meticulous" characters. The director reteamed with Owen for the highly anticipated "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" (2004), a noirish tale of a Brit gangster who has retired to the countryside but comes out of hiding to investigate the death of his brother.

Life Events


Hired to work as a telepromter writer


Feature film directorial debut, "Get Carter", starring Michael Caine; also scripted


Reteamed with Caine as writer and director of "Pulp", with Caine playing an author hired to ghostwrite the autobiography of a Hollywood star (played by Mickey Rooney)


Producing debut with "The Terminal Man", starring George Segal; also wrote and directed


Scripted "Damien - Omen II", the sequel to the hit thriller about the devil born as human


Helmed the campy "Flash Gordon", adapted from the comic books and the 1940s movie serials


Directed the British TV-movie "Squaring the Circle", a drama about the Solidarity movement in Poland written by Tom Stoppard; released theatrically in the USA


Oversaw the English-language version of Fellini's "And the Ship Sailed On"


Helmed the CBS TV-movie "Missing Pieces", starring Elizabeth Montgomery as a reporter tracking her husband's murderers


Directed the thriller "A Prayer for the Dying"; was dissatified with studio version and sought to have his name removed from the credits


Last film for close to a decade, "Black Rainbow", a drama about a phony medium who actually "sees" a murder before it is committed


Helmed the two-part TV drama "Dandelion Dead" (aired in USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"


Returned to feature filmmaking with the character-driven "Croupier", starring Clive Owen


Movie Clip

Terminal Man, The (1974) -- (Movie Clip) You've Been Given Ten Milligrams Unbridled corporate scientists, Donald Moffat as McPherson, with Richard Dysart, Michael C. Gwynne, Matt Clark as technician Gerhard and Joan Hackett as Dr. Ross, with their post-surgical patient, the title character, George Segal as psychotic computer genius Harry, delight at their ability to control his laughter, then contain his seizure, in The Terminal Man, 1974.
Terminal Man, The (1974) -- (Movie Clip) In Unfamiliar Surroundings Psychiatrist Ross (Joan Hackett) lectures an absurdly large assemblage of colleagues about her patient (George Segal as the title character, psychotic computer genius Harry Benson) before his radical brain surgery procedure, Mike Hodges directing from his script based on the Michael Crichton novel, in The Terminal Man, 1974.
Terminal Man, The (1974) -- (Movie Clip) He's Very Heavily Sedated As violent psychotic computer scientist Harry (George Segal, title character) is prepared for experimental brain surgery, one of his doctors (Michael C. Gwynne as Morris) receives unexpected visitor Angela (Jill Clayburgh, in one of her first movie roles), while a nurse (Dee Carroll) reads a disturbing report, in The Terminal Man, 1974, directed by Mike Hodges.
Terminal Man, The (1974) -- (Movie Clip) Open, Where Psycho-Surgery Is Concerned An unexplained shot of a helicopter, then photos of the title character (George Segal) and family in a forensic context, as doctor Donald Moffat, P-R man James B. Sikking and surgeon Richard Dysart converse in a rooftop L-A restaurant, opening director and screenwriter Mike Hodges’ adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel, The Terminal Man, 1974.
Phantom Carriage, The (1922) -- (Movie Clip) I Can't Believe It's You In a Stockholm cemetery, near midnight on New Year’s Eve, David (director and screenwriter Victor Sjostrom) is accidentally killed by fellow drunks trying to get him to attend to family business, invoking the legend, and deceased Georges (Tore Svennberg) appears, in The Phantom Carriage, 1922.
Phantom Carriage, The (1922) -- (Movie Clip) Whoever Dies On This Eve Director and screenwriter Victor Sjostrom plays ne’er-do-well David, in a flashback recalling his dissolute mentor Georges (Tore Svennberg), who introduces the story of the deathly vehicle, ending the first segment of social commentary-horror hybrid, The Phantom Carriage, 1922.
Get Carter (1971) -- (Movie Clip) They're Killers, Just Like You Director Mike Hodges shows London gangsters Sid (John Bindon) and Gerald (Terence Rigby) Fletcher, the latter with wife (Britt Ekland), watching porn from Newcastle, discouraging employee Jack (Michael Caine, title character) from going there on personal business, opening Get Carter, 1971.
Get Carter (1971) -- (Movie Clip) Why The Hell Aren't You Here? At the train station is his hometown, Newcastle, London gangster Michael Caine (title character) takes a call from the girlfriend of his maybe-murdered brother, whom he expected would meet him, then visiting her home, and the deceased, in Get Carter, 1971, from the Ted Lewis novel.
Get Carter (1971) -- (Movie Clip) He's As Calm As Gentle Jesus Gangster Michael Caine (title character), home in Newcastle from London, admirably calm when Doreen (Petra Markham), teen daughter of his likely-murdered brother, turns up for the funeral, offering her an escape and meeting mourners (Alun Armstrong, Godfrey Quigley), in Get Carter, 1971.
Get Carter (1971) -- (Movie Clip) Death In The Family Director Mike Hodges on location at the Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park, Michael Caine (title character, a London crook investigating his brother’s killing), when the guy he's after (Glynn Edwards) escapes, intimidates old frenemy Eric (Ian Hendry) instead, in Get Carter, 1971.
Pulp (1972) -- (Movie Clip) Death Rattle In Paperback A local political campaign in the background, gangster Dinuccio (Lionel Stander) is filling in hired hard-boiled fiction writer Mickey (Michael Caine) on the ghost writing job, Lizabeth Scott, in her first movie for 15 years, staging events outside, in Mike Hodges' Pulp, 1972.
Pulp (1972) -- (Movie Clip) That Happens To All Actors At a ruin on Malta, low-rent writer Mickey (Michael Caine) discovers that his contact for a secret ghost-writing gig is Nadia Cassini, and his subject is mobbed-up retired actor Gilbert (Mickey Rooney), fixer Dinuccio (Lionel Stander) their ride, in Mike Hodges' Pulp, 1972.