Paul Schrader


22 Jul 1946


Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


Paul Joseph Schrader


Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's background couldn't have been more different than theirs. His strict Calvinist parents refused to allow him to see a film until he was 18. Although he more than made up for lost time when studying at Calvin College, Columbia University and UCLA's graduate film program, his influences were far removed from those of his contemporaries--Robert Bresson, Yasujirô Ozu and Carl Theodor Dreyer (about whom he wrote a book, "Transcendental Style in Film") rather than Saturday-morning serials. After a period as a film critic (and protégé of Pauline Kael), he began writing screenplays, hitting the jackpot when he and his brother, Leonard Schrader (a Japanese expert), were paid the then-record sum of $325,000, thus establishing his reputation as one of Hollywood's top screenwriters, which was consolidated when Martin Scorsese filmed Schrader's script Taxi Driver (1976), written in the early 1970s during a bout of drinking and depression. The success of the film allowed Schrader to start directing his own films, which have been notable for their willingness to take stylistic and thematic risks while still working squarely within the Hollywood system. The most original of his films (which he and many others regard as his best) was the Japanese co-production Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985).

Actor ( 20 credits )

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013) Himself
Milius (2013) Himself
The Seventh Art (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Eames: The Architect & The Painter (2011) Himself
The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)  Himself - Interviewee (3 episodes, 2011)
These Amazing Shadows (2011) Himself
Tales from the Script (2009) Himself
Hollywood's Best Film Directors (2009)  Film Director / ... (1 episode, 2010)
Erika Rabau: Puck of Berlin (2008) Himself
A Decade Under the Influence (2003) Himself
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003) Himself
Festival Pass with Chris Gore (2002)  Himself
The Directors (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2002)
Metropolis (1997)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Scene by Scene (1996) (1 episode, 1998)
Días de cine (1991)  Himself (3 episodes, 2011-2014)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 1999)
Hollywood Mavericks (1990) Himself
The Road to Bresson (1984) Himself
Dog Eat Dog (0) Grecco The Greek

Producer ( 2 credits )

Old Boyfriends (1979) executive producer
The Jesuit (0) executive producer

Writer ( 23 credits )

Dying of the Light (2014) (screenplay)
The Walker (2007) (written by)
Forever Mine (1999) (written by)
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
Affliction (1997)
Touch (1997)
City Hall (1996) (written by) &
Light Sleeper (1992) (written by)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Light of Day (1987) (written by)
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) (written by) &
Cat People (1982) (screenplay)
Raging Bull (1980) (with)
American Gigolo (1980) (written by)
Old Boyfriends (1979) (written by) and
Hardcore (1979) (written by)
Blue Collar (1978) (written by) and
Rolling Thunder (1977)
Obsession (1976)
Taxi Driver (1976) (written by)
The Yakuza (1974) (screenplay) and
The Jesuit (0) (screenplay)

Director ( 20 credits )

Dying of the Light (2014)
The Canyons (2013)
Adam Resurrected (2008)
The Walker (2007)
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
Auto Focus (2002)
Forever Mine (1999)
Affliction (1997)
Touch (1997)
Light Sleeper (1992)
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
Patty Hearst (1988)
Light of Day (1987)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
Cat People (1982)
American Gigolo (1980)
Hardcore (1979)
Blue Collar (1978)
Dog Eat Dog (0)
First Reformed (0)