Roger Donaldson

    November 15, 1945 • 78 y.o.

    Place of Birth Ballarat, Australia
    Citizenship Australia New Zealand
    Career 1971 — ...
    Genres Drama, Thriller, Action
    Height 1.88 m 6′ 2″
    Zodiac sign scorpio

    Facts

    Donaldson was born in Ballarat, Victoria, where he attended Ballarat High School. In 1965 he emigrated to New Zealand, where he established a small still photography business and began making advertisements. Donaldson was also directing documentaries, including an adventure series featuring Everest-conquering New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hillary, as well as his first ventures into drama. Donaldson and actor/director Ian Mune collaborated on a number of projects for television, including anthology series Winners and Losers, based on short stories by New Zealand authors.

    In 1976, Donaldson directed and produced his first feature, Sleeping Dogs. The film starred Mune and Sam Neill as two men fighting for their lives in a totalitarian New Zealand. He followed it with Smash Palace, starring Bruno Lawrence as a man who kidnaps his daughter after his marriage disintegrates.

    Donaldson's international break came when producer Dino de Laurentiis invited him to direct an adaptation of Mutiny on the Bounty, after Lawrence of Arabia director David Lean left the project. The film, released as The Bounty, starred Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh and Mel Gibson as mutineer Fletcher Christian. Donaldson was nominated for a Golden Palm at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for the film.

    Donaldson went on to direct many popular and successful movies. His breakthrough American hit was the thriller No Way Out, starring Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman. Cocktail, starring Bryan Brown and Tom Cruise, was panned by critics but did very well at the box office, based largely on Cruise's starpower. The volcano disaster movie Dante's Peak, starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, helped restore Donaldson's status after a string of less successful films. Thirteen Days, a political thriller starring Kevin Costner, adapted The Kennedy Tapes, a book by Ernest R. May and Philip Zelikow, which was a detailed account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also directed science fiction tale Species, and in 2003, the Al Pacino and Colin Farrell film The Recruit. Donaldson wrote and directed The World's Fastest Indian, which released in 2005. The film starred Anthony Hopkins and depicted Burt Munro's successful attempts at motorcycle speed records at Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1950s.

    His son Chris is a sprinter who has represented New Zealand at the Olympic level in 100m and 200m events.

    In the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours, Donaldson was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to film.

    Top Rated Movies

    Filmography chart

    Title Ratings: 6.73
    My Ratings:
    • Thriller 19%
    • Drama 19%
    • Action 16%
    • Crime 10%
    • Adventure 7%
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                                  Director — 29

                                  1

                                  Drama
                                  New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                    2


                                    United States • Roger Donaldson

                                      3

                                      Thriller
                                      New Zealand, United Kingdom • Roger Donaldson

                                        4

                                        Drama, War
                                        Germany, Vietnam • Roger Donaldson

                                          2017
                                          5
                                          2017

                                          Documentary, Biography, Drama, 1 hr 32 min
                                          New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                            2014
                                            6
                                            2014

                                            Action, Adventure, Crime, 1 hr 48 min
                                            United States, United Kingdom • Roger Donaldson

                                              2011
                                              7
                                              2011

                                              Thriller, Mystery, Action, 1 hr 45 min
                                              United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                2010
                                                8
                                                2010

                                                Short, 7 min
                                                United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                  2008
                                                  9
                                                  2008

                                                  Crime, Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 51 min
                                                  United Kingdom, United States, Australia • Roger Donaldson

                                                    2005
                                                    10
                                                    2005

                                                    Biography, Drama, Sport, 2 hr 7 min
                                                    United States, New Zealand, Japan • Roger Donaldson

                                                      2003
                                                      11
                                                      2003

                                                      Action, Thriller, 1 hr 55 min
                                                      United States, Switzerland • Roger Donaldson

                                                        2000
                                                        12
                                                        2000

                                                        Drama, History, Thriller, 2 hr 20 min
                                                        United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                          1997
                                                          13
                                                          1997

                                                          Action, Adventure, Thriller, 1 hr 49 min
                                                          United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                            1995
                                                            14
                                                            1995

                                                            Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, 1 hr 48 min
                                                            United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                              1994
                                                              15
                                                              1994

                                                              Action, Adventure, Crime, 1 hr 55 min
                                                              United States, Japan • Roger Donaldson

                                                                1992
                                                                16
                                                                1992

                                                                Action, Crime, Drama, 1 hr 37 min
                                                                United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                  1990
                                                                  17
                                                                  1990

                                                                  Comedy, Crime, 1 hr 33 min
                                                                  United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                    1988
                                                                    18
                                                                    1988

                                                                    Comedy, Drama, Romance, 1 hr 43 min
                                                                    United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                      1987
                                                                      19
                                                                      1987

                                                                      Action, Crime, Drama, 1 hr 54 min
                                                                      United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                        1985
                                                                        20
                                                                        1985

                                                                        Biography, Drama, 1 hr 52 min
                                                                        United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                          1984
                                                                          21
                                                                          1984

                                                                          Adventure, Drama, History, 2 hr 12 min
                                                                          United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                            1981
                                                                            22
                                                                            1981 — 1983

                                                                            Adventure, 23 min
                                                                            New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                              23
                                                                              1981

                                                                              Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 48 min
                                                                              New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                1980
                                                                                24
                                                                                1980

                                                                                Comedy, Crime, Family, 49 min
                                                                                Ireland, New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                  1977
                                                                                  25
                                                                                  1977

                                                                                  Action, Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 47 min
                                                                                  New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                    1975
                                                                                    26
                                                                                    1975 — 1976

                                                                                    Drama, 30 min
                                                                                    New Zealand • Roger Donaldson...

                                                                                      1974
                                                                                      27
                                                                                      1974

                                                                                      Comedy, 44 min
                                                                                      New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                        1971
                                                                                        28
                                                                                        1971

                                                                                        Short, Documentary, 28 min
                                                                                        New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                          1970
                                                                                          29
                                                                                          1970 — 1972

                                                                                          Documentary, Drama
                                                                                          New Zealand • Tony Williams...

                                                                                            Producer — 10

                                                                                            2024
                                                                                            1
                                                                                            2024 — executive producer

                                                                                            Drama, 1 hr 29 min
                                                                                            United States • India Donaldson

                                                                                              2005
                                                                                              2
                                                                                              2005

                                                                                              Biography, Drama, Sport, 2 hr 7 min
                                                                                              United States, New Zealand, Japan • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                2004
                                                                                                3
                                                                                                2004 — executive producer

                                                                                                Documentary, 53 min
                                                                                                New Zealand • John Reid

                                                                                                  4
                                                                                                  2004 — executive producer

                                                                                                  Documentary, 1 hr 5 min
                                                                                                  United States • John Reid

                                                                                                    1999
                                                                                                    5
                                                                                                    1999 — executive producer

                                                                                                    Action, Drama, 1 hr 33 min
                                                                                                    New Zealand, Canada • Charlie Haskell

                                                                                                      1990
                                                                                                      6
                                                                                                      1990

                                                                                                      Comedy, Crime, 1 hr 33 min
                                                                                                      United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                        1981
                                                                                                        7
                                                                                                        1981

                                                                                                        Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 48 min
                                                                                                        New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                          1977
                                                                                                          8
                                                                                                          1977

                                                                                                          Action, Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 47 min
                                                                                                          New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                            1975
                                                                                                            9
                                                                                                            1975 — 1976

                                                                                                            Drama, 30 min
                                                                                                            New Zealand • Roger Donaldson...

                                                                                                              1971
                                                                                                              10
                                                                                                              1971

                                                                                                              Short, Documentary, 28 min
                                                                                                              New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                Writer — 5

                                                                                                                1
                                                                                                                (screenplay)

                                                                                                                Thriller
                                                                                                                New Zealand, United Kingdom • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                  2005
                                                                                                                  2
                                                                                                                  2005

                                                                                                                  Biography, Drama, Sport, 2 hr 7 min
                                                                                                                  United States, New Zealand, Japan • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                    1981
                                                                                                                    3
                                                                                                                    1981

                                                                                                                    Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 48 min
                                                                                                                    New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                      1975
                                                                                                                      4
                                                                                                                      1975 — 1976 — (adapted by)

                                                                                                                      Drama, 30 min
                                                                                                                      New Zealand • Roger Donaldson...

                                                                                                                        1974
                                                                                                                        5
                                                                                                                        1974

                                                                                                                        Comedy, 44 min
                                                                                                                        New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                          Camera — 2

                                                                                                                          1975
                                                                                                                          1
                                                                                                                          1975 — 1976

                                                                                                                          Drama, 30 min
                                                                                                                          New Zealand • Roger Donaldson...

                                                                                                                            1971
                                                                                                                            2
                                                                                                                            1971

                                                                                                                            Short, Documentary, 28 min
                                                                                                                            New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                              Actor — 1

                                                                                                                              1995
                                                                                                                              1
                                                                                                                              1995 — Passerby, uncredited

                                                                                                                              Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, 1 hr 48 min
                                                                                                                              United States • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                                Designer — 1

                                                                                                                                1977
                                                                                                                                1
                                                                                                                                1977

                                                                                                                                Action, Drama, Thriller, 1 hr 47 min
                                                                                                                                New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                                  Editor — 1

                                                                                                                                  1971
                                                                                                                                  1
                                                                                                                                  1971

                                                                                                                                  Short, Documentary, 28 min
                                                                                                                                  New Zealand • Roger Donaldson

                                                                                                                                    Other — 30

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