Walter Hill is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. Hill is known for male-dominated action films and revival of the Western film genre.
Alien franchise credits
- Hickey & Boggs (1972)
- The Getaway (1972)
- The Mackintosh Man (1973)
- The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
- The Drowning Pool (1975)
- Hard Times (1975)
- Dog and Cat (1977)
- The Driver (1978)
- The Warriors (1979)
- The Long Riders (1980)
Hill was born in Long Beach, California. Growing up in southern California, Hill was asthmatic as a child and as a result missed several years of school. He spent much of his time daydreaming, reading comic books, and listening to radio serials. Hill said his father and grandfather were "smart, physical men who worked with their heads and their hands" and had "great mechanical ability". His paternal grandfather was a wildcat oil driller. Hill worked in the oil fields as a roustabout on Signal Hill near Los Angeles during summers of the latter part of his high school years and several more years while in college. During one summer, he ran an asbestos pipe-cutting machine and worked as a spray painter. After a stint at Mexico City College, he majored in history at Michigan State University.
Hill married Hildy Gottlieb, a talent agent at International Creative Management, in New York City at Tavern on the Green on September 7, 1986. They have two daughters, Joanna and Miranda.
Hill began his career in the training program of the Directors Guild of America, graduating to work as second assistant director on The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968. He went on to work as the uncredited second assistant director on Bullitt in the same year. In 1969, he was the second assistant director on a Woody Allen film, Take the Money and Run, but said he remembers doing very little except passing out the call sheets and filling out time cards.
Hill's first screenplay, a Western called Lloyd Williams and His Brother, was optioned in 1969 by Joe Wizan, but it was never made. At one point, Sam Peckinpah expressed interest in filming it after The Getaway which became the first of Hill's screenplays to be produced as a film. Peckinpah ended up doing Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid instead.
Peter Bogdanovich's ex-wife Polly Platt, a film editor, had read Hill's script for Hickey & Boggs and recommended him to co-write The Getaway with Bogdanovich. They worked on the script together in San Francisco while Bogdanovich was directing What's Up, Doc? They had completed 25 pages when they went back to L.A., whereupon Steve McQueen fired Bogdanovich without reading any of their work. Hill started from scratch and wrote his own script in six weeks.
Hill went on to write a pair of Paul Newman films, The Mackintosh Man and The Drowning Pool. By Hill's own admission, his work on The Mackintosh Man "wasn't much" and he did it for the money. In addition, he and director John Huston disagreed on how closely to stick to the book on which it was based. Producers Larry Turman and David Foster asked Hill to adapt Ross MacDonald's novel The Drowning Pool for Robert Mulligan to direct as a sequel to a previous Newman film, Harper. The producers did not like the direction Hill took with his script, so he left the project to write Hard Times for Larry Gordon at Columbia Pictures.