British directors -- Mike Figgis, Tony Scott, and Beeban Kidron are Brits making it work in Hollywood

By Kenneth M. Chanko
Updated September 20, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

His juicy romantic thriller, Dead Again, makes 30-year-old wunderkind Kenneth Branagh the latest in a long line of British directors who’ve been only too eager to go Hollywood. The migration began at least 52 years ago, when producer David O. Selznick lured Alfred Hitchcock across the Atlantic. Says Branagh: ”Since British filmmakers spent their formative years watching American movies, there is this intense attraction to having a go at Hollywood moviemaking.” At the forefront of the current British Invasion:

Mike Figgis (Internal Affairs) delivers another dark psychological thriller with Liebestraum, starring Kim Novak and Kevin Anderson.

Tony Scott (Days of Thunder) is working on the Bruce Willis action thriller The Last Boy Scout.

Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist) has jumped on the Native American bandwagon with Thunderheart, about an FBI agent (Val Kilmer) who rediscovers his roots while investigating a murder on an Indian reservation.

Beeban Kidron, whose English comedy Antonia and Jane is due here next month, will make her Hollywood debut with Used People, starring Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Marcello Mastroianni, and Jessica Tandy.

Stephen Frears (The Grifters) will direct Hero and a Half with Dustin Hoffman and Geena Davis.

Mick Jackson is following L.A. Story with The Bodyguard, starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.