Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme


2/22/1944, Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA

Birth Name

Robert Jonathan Demme


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Quirky, engaging filmmaker who looks at genre films from a skewed perspective. A former critic and publicist, he got his start, as did so many others, with prolific producer Roger Corman, writing and/or producing such epics as Angels Hard as They Come (1971) and Black Mama, White Mama…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 1991, Jonathan won the Filmmaker Award at the Gotham Awards.

    • In 2008, Jonathan was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival for Rachel Getting Married.

    • In 1980, Jonathan won the NYFCC Award at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in the category of Best Director for his work on the film Melvin and Howard.

    • In 2006, Jonathan won the Billy Wilder Award at the National Board of Review, USA.

    • In 1997, Jonathan won the Pare Lorentz Award (along with Edward Saxon and Jo Menell) from the International Documentary Association for the 1996 film Mandela.

    • In 1992, Jonathan was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Director - Motion Picture for the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.

    • In 1985, Jonathan won the Grand Prix award at the Flanders International Film Festival for the 1984 film Stop Making Sense.

    • In 2008, Jonathan was given special thanks in the credits of The Alphabet Killer.

    • In 1979, Jonathan appeared in Last Embrace, in the uncredited role of Man on Train.

    • On June 3, 1990, Jonathan was awarded an honorary degree by Wesleyan University.

    • In 2003, Jonathan was nominated (along with Edward Saxon and Vincent Landay) for the Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award at the PGA Awards for Adaptation.

    • In 2008, Jonathan won the TFCA Award in the category of Best Director for Rachel Getting Married.

    • In 1991, Jonathan won the Hochi Film Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film for The Silence of the Lambs.

    • Entertainment Weekly voted Jonathan the 45th Greatest Director of all time.

    • In 1987, Jonathan was nominated for the Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival for his work on the 1987 film Swimming to Cambodia.

    • Jonathan stands at 5'10" or 1.78 m.

    • In 2004, Jonathan's salary for directing
      The Manchurian Candidate was $1,000,000.

    • In 2000, Jonathan served as a Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Quotes

    • Jonathan: I was really hooked on movies at a very young age. The Manchurian Candidate, along with Seven Days in May, Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove were this quartet of anarchistic black-and-white American movies, each of which did things that you just didn't do in American movies, especially in the realm of irreverence toward politics and government institutions and the Army. I was what, 16, it was shocking, it was thrilling and interestingly it predated my exposure to the French New Wave, so in away, this was the American, a certain kind of new wave in American movies.

    • Jonathan: I don't think it's sacrilegious to remake any movie, including a good or even great movie. I think what's sacrilegious is to make a bad movie, whether it's a remake or an original. It's what I always tell my actor friends, anybody who's in this, this [business], you've gotta try to hold out and only do the scripts, do the material that offers you the opportunity to do your best work. Because if you do stuff that doesn't give you that opportunity? Your work's not gonna be good. And you're gonna suffer in the long run from that. So I don't care if it's a remake if it's a great script with parts in it that can attract fantastic actors, God, you know, to make the movie.

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