Michael Anderson (1920-) b. London, England.
Intelligent and dependable director Michael Anderson entered films as office boy at Elstree Studios and apprenticed as production-assistant under the likes of Anthony Asquith, David Lean and Peter Ustinov during the 1940s. His debut sole-directorial effort was Waterfront (1954) and he had a relatively undistinguished record in films until directing The Dam Busters (1954). The Dam Busters was one of the more successful fact-based films about World War II mixing docudrama and model-work special effects in a combination that pointed the way toward Anderson’s later career in international pictures. His thought-provoking adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 (1956) received mixed notices but his next film, the Oscar-winning Best Picture Around the World in 80 Days, brought him international recognition. From 1957 Anderson worked in Hollywood as often as he did in England. His many films included Yangtze Incident (1957) which reunited him with Richard Todd, one-time Hitchcock project The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959), Operation Crossbow (1965), the Harold Pinter scripted The Quiller Memorandum (1966) and The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968 starring Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier. During the 1970s Anderson’s career was in decline until he overcame a weak script to master the cult science-fiction adventure Logan’s Run (1976). The remainder of Anderson’s time has been largely dedicated to made-for television family films and mini-series. He became a citizen Canada in the 1980s and has two sons in the film industry; actor Michael Anderson Jr. and producer David Anderson.