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Curtis Hanson Through the Years
Curtis Hanson, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, whose hits include 1997's L.A. Confidential and 2002's Eminem drama 8 Mile, died Tuesday at 71 of natural causes. Here are the finest movies from his 40-plus-year career in Hollywood.
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Sweet Kill (1972)
Hanson's first solo feature screenplay was his directorial debut. The pulpy B movie tracks a sexually frustrated man whose desires are fulfilled with each murder he commits.
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Losin' It (1983)
Think American Pie, but set in 1960s Los Angeles and Mexico, with Tom Cruise and Jackie Earl Haley playing two of the hormonal teens.
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The Children Of Times Square (1986)
In this ABC TV movie, a runaway teenager picks New York City to restart his life and ends up being caught up with a drug dealer who exploits kids for his own profits.
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The Bedroom Window (1987)
Hanson adapted this thriller from an Anne Holden novel. During a rendezvous between Terry (Steve Guttenberg) and his boss' wife (Isabelle Huppert), the pair's affair is at risk when they witness a horrific attack.
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Bad Influence (1990)
Rob Lowe plays the titular presence in James Spader's life, pushing a reserved and awkward fellow toward a downward trajectory of crime and violence.
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The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992)
A whole generation became even more skeptical of nannies they hired after this thriller. Seeking revenge for her disgraced and late husband, his widow assumes a fake identity to babysit for the family that outed him as an abusive doctor.
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The River Wild (1994)
A family rafting trip to help a couple's (Meryl Streep, David Strathairn) rocky marriage leads to a frantic, rugged adventure for their lives when a pair of gunmen (Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly) harbors lethal intent.
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L.A. Confidential (1997)
Based on an acclaimed novel by James Ellroy, this twisty noir marked Hanson's ascent to the big leagues and won him a screenwriting Oscar (shared with Brian Helgeland). The film also provided breakout roles for Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce and earned an Oscar for Kim Basinger.
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Wonder Boys (2000)
Michael Douglas headlines a tremendously talented ensemble cast (Frances McDormand, Katie Holmes, Rip Torn) as a creative writing professor whose protégé's (Tobey Maguire) latest work appeals to the teacher's visiting editor (Robert Downey Jr.).
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8 Mile (2002)
Hanson helmed a fictionalized retelling of Eminem's life story, with the rapper himself starring in the lead role. The music biopic was a sleeper hit at the box office and saw its signature song, "Lose Yourself," shockingly net an Oscar.
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In Her Shoes (2005)
Although best known for tough-guy movies like L.A. Confidential and 8 Mile, Hanson demonstrated an equally deft touch on the sisterly dramedy In Her Shoes, starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette as two sisters reconciling with each other and their estranged grandmother (Shirley MacLaine).
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Lucky You (2007)
Reno-born Hanson headed to Las Vegas for this neon-lit drama starring Eric Bana as a brash poker player trying to win big while dealing with a new flame (Drew Barrymore) and a cantankerous father (Robert Duvall).
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Too Big to Fail (2011)
Before Adam McKay told the story of the financial crisis in a tongue-in-cheek yet infuriating fashion, Hanson played it straight in the drama. He recruited William Hurt, Edward Asner, Billy Crudup, and more for the HBO film, documenting how the big banks failed in 2008.
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Chasing Mavericks (2012)
This biopic about the surfing legend Jay Moriarity endured an injury to leading man Gerard Butler, as well as health complications that forced Hanson to depart as director partway through production. But Hanson's final theatrical film never wiped out, and Michael Apted saw it through to completion.