John Flynn

John Flynn was a very fine, efficient and sadly underrated director who excelled at making mean’n’lean crime pictures. His movies are distinguished by tight plots, a hard, no-nonsense tone, and a taut, streamlined and fiercely economical directorial style. John was born on March 14, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Manhattan Beach, California. He served in the coast guard, where he studied journalism with “Roots” author Alex Haley. Flynn received a degree in journalism from UCLA. John began his cinematic career as an apprentice to director Robert Wise on “Odds Against Tomorrow” and was the script supervisor for “West Side Story.” He then went on to work as a second unit director on such features as “Kid Galahad,” “Two for the Seesaw,” and “The Great Escape.” Flynn made his debut as director with the obscure “The Sergent.” He followed this film with the equally little seen “The Jerusalem File.” John scored his first substantial commercial success with the superbly gritty “The Outfit.” Flynn achieved his greatest enduring cult popularity with the marvelously tough and potent revenge thriller winner “Rolling Thunder.” His subsequent movies are likewise solid and worthwhile; they include the exciting urban vigilante opus “Defiance,” the terrific “Best Seller,” the sturdy Sylvestor Stallone prison drama “Lock Up,” the above average Steven Seagal action vehicle “Out for Justice,” and the nifty virtual reality horror outing “Brainscan.” John did two made-for-cable-TV pictures in the early 90s: the fun Dennis Hopper cop flick “Nails” and the enjoyable crime drama “Scam.” His last film was the passable direct-to-video mobster item “Protection.” John Flynn died at age 75 on April 4, 2007.

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