Death of Hugh Hudson, the director of Greystoke and Chariots of Fire – Actus Ciné

Hugh Hudson, who directed the Oscar-winning classic “Chariots of Fire”, died in London on Friday. He was 86 years old.


As reported by The Guardian and Variety, director Hugh Hudson died on Friday following a short illness. His family announced his death:Beloved husband and father Hugh Hudson, 86, died in Charing Cross Hospital on February 10 after a short illness.



Born in London on August 25, 1936, Hugh Hudson attended the prestigious Eton College before graduating and serving in the Royal Armored Corps. In 1960, once his service ended, he tried his hand at documentaries and then formed a production company to be able to produce his works.

Hugh Hudson then continued his career directing award-winning commercials before landing a job alongside Alan Parker as a second unit director on Midnight Express (1978). Three years later, his film Chariots of Fire, which tells the story of the rivalry between two British runners at the 1924 Olympic Games, one a Jew plagued by strong anti-Semitism, the other a fervent Christian, becomes a success. international and consecrates it.

I think that David Puttnam [le producteur] chose me because he felt that I would find myself in the themes of class and racial prejudice” Hudson told the Guardian in 2012. “I had been sent to Eton because my family had been there for generations, but I hated all prejudice. Screenwriter, Colin Welland, a working-class boy from Merseyside, understood that perfectly too. So it was a personal story for us.

20th Century Fox

The feature was then nominated for seven Oscars and won four, including Best Picture, while also competing for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1984, Hugh Hudson signed Greystoke, the legend of Tarzan with Christopher Lambert, Ian Holm and Andie MacDowell. The film was a box office hit – grossing no less than $45 million – and received three Oscar nominations. The director continues with Revolution in 1985, a historical drama on the theme of the war of independence starring Al Pacino which will however not meet with success.

Columbia-Cannon-Warner Distributors


After this failure, Hudson turned to the short format for a while, making the short documentary Labour Party Election Broadcast (21 May 1987). Two years later, he returned to feature films, but on a smaller scale, with the film The Crossroads of the Innocents in which Adam Horovitz (of the Beastie Boys) plays the role of a troubled teenager from a divided family in Los Angeles. Angeles who is sent to a private psychiatric hospital after a violent fight with the police. At the hospital, he bonds with one of the doctors, played by Donald Sutherland, who has his own issues. The film also competed at Cannes for the Palme d’Or.

Orion Pictures

The filmmaker was then called upon to shoot part of the anthology film Lumière et compagnie (1995): he was then one of the 40 directors – including James Ivory, David Lynch, Patrice Leconte and Spike Lee – invited to shoot a short film in using the Cinematograph employed by the pioneers of cinema, the Lumière brothers, a century earlier.

Then, almost 20 years after Chariots of Fire, Hugh Hudson teamed up again with producer David Puttnam to direct another period film centered on the English aristocracy of the 1920s: My Life So Far (1999) starred starring Colin Firth, Rosemary Harris, Irene Jacob and Malcolm McDowell.

Miramax Films / Buena Vista International

His last two feature films will be I dreamed of Africa in 2000 with Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez, Eva Marie Saint and Daniel Craig, then the biopic Finding Altamira in 2016 with Antonio Banderas.

In the meantime, in 2006, he added to his list the production of a clip for Sarah Brightman, then that of Rupture: A Matter of Life OR Death in 2011, a documentary about his wife, actress Maryam D’Abo, and his experiences after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage in 2007. That same year, he returned to the high-profile world of British advertising with a parody ad for Silverjet. His latest contribution to the world of cinema will be to have co-written the screenplay for the adventure film The Tiger’s Nest by Brando Quilici, released in 2022.

As stated in the announcement of his death, Hugh Hudson is survived by his wife Maryam, his son Thomas and his first wife Sue.

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