Website last updated: 7-5-2024

A Celebration Of Bond Director Michael Apted

By: Anders Frejdh
Michael Apted The World Is Not Enough
A celebration of the talented and acclaimed British actor and documentary filmmaker Michael Apted, member of the 'James Bond family' since 1999.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Michael Apted on his birthday.

"Dear Michael, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Michael Apted:
Michael Apted (born in England 1941) studied law and history at University of Cambridge. In 1963, he began working with research assignments for Granada Television. Within a few years he had become a reporter (World in Action) and television director (Coronation Street).

He made his debut as a film director in 1972 with The Triple Echo starring Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson. During the 1970s, he directed Stardust (1974) with David Essex, The Squeeze (1976) with Stacy Keach and Agatha (1979) starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman.

Michael Apted directed his first American film in 1980, Loretta with Sissy Spacek in the title role. The film received seven Oscar nominations and Sissy Spacek won an Academy Award for her portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn. Apted then directed Continental Divide (1981) with John Belushi, Kipperbang (1982), Gorky Park (1983) starring William Hurt and Lee Marvin and Firstborn (1984).

He then directed a documentary film about Sting called Bring on the Night and the comedy Critical Condition (1987) with Richard Pryor. Then came the fivefolded Oscar nominated drama Gorillas in the Mist (1988) where Sigourney Weaver portrayed the gorilla researcher.

In 1989, Apted travelled to Russia to film the documentary The Long Way Home about rock star Boris Grebenshikov. In 1990 he directed Class Action, a courtroom drama starring Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The same year Apted directed the pilot and the first episode of the TV series My Life and Time.

In 1992, Apted directed three films; 35 Up, Incident at Oglala and Thunderheart. The documentary 35 Up is about 14 English schoolchildren Apted has followed since 1963. He has met and filmed the group every seven years. Both 35 Up and the previous documentary about the group, 28 Up, has been awarded. Apted also acted as executive producer on the American and Russian versions of the Up series, 14 Up In America and 14 Up in Russia.

The thriller, Thunderheart starring Val Kilmer and Sam Shepard, is about two FBI agents who investigate a murder in an Indian reservation. The murder is part of a conspiracy to crush the Indians. By chance, Apted's documentary Incident at Oglala (produced by Robert Redford), is about events which took place in the Indian Reservation in South Dakota in the 1970s.

In 1994, Apted directed the thriller Blink with Madeleine Stowe and Aidan Quinn in the lead roles. The same year, the director's documentary Moving the Mountain premiered at Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. The multi award winning film is about the events leading up to the massacre in Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989, and what happened next. In 1994, he also directed Nell with Jodie Foster in the title role as the woman who grew up completely isolated in the Smoky Mountains and speak her own language. Liam Neeson portrays the doctor who finds her and Natasha Richardson the psychologist who want her to be disposed of. Foster received an Oscar nomination for the role and the film grossed over 100 million dollars.

In 1996, Apted directed a thriller about medical ethics, Extreme Measures with Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman and Sarah Jessica Parker. He then followed a series of musical performers and artists, including David Bowie and Roy Lichtenstein, to show how artistic creativity works. This resulted in the documentary film Inspirations which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1997.

In 1998, he directed Always Outnumbered, a film about a former thief who tries to start a new life in Los Angeles. The lead role was played by Laurence Fishburne. The same year, BBC broadcast Apted's documentary 42 Up, the sixth film about the school class that he has followed since 1963. In 1999, Apted was given the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association.

After the 19th James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), Michael Apted directed Enigma (2001), Enough (2002), three episodes of the popular television series Rome (2005), Amazing Grace (2006) with Albert Finney (Kincade in Skyfall), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), Hallelujah (2011) and Chasing Mavericks (2012).

He has also continued his documentary work about the lives of the children from the 1963 school class with two additional films in recent years; 49 Up (2005) and 56 Up released in 2012.

In August 2011, Michael Apted interviewed a director colleague from the Bond universe, our good friend Guy Hamilton, on behalf of the Directors Guild of America. The over two-hour long interview can be seen on the DGA website.

Michael Apted has just finished shooting Unlocked with Swedish actress Noomi Rapace in the lead role.

Editor's note:
For other James Bond directors presented on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Birthdays for other Key Members of the James Bond cast and crew on From Sweden with Love:
>Barbara Broccoli (June 18)
>Ben Whishaw (October 14)
>Chris Corbould (June 24)
>Daniel Craig (March 2)
>Daniel Kleinman (December 23)
>David Arnold (January 23)
>Gary Powell (September 10)
>George Lazenby (September 5)
>Guy Hamilton (September 16)
>Judi Dench (December 9)
>John Glen (May 15)
>Ken Adam (February 5)
>Lewis Gilbert (March 6)
>Martin Campbell (October 24)
>Michael G. Wilson (January 21)
>Neal Purvis (September 9)
>Norman Wanstall (September 30)
>Paul Weston (January 7)
>Per Hallberg (December 30)
>Peter Lamont (November 12)
>Pierce Brosnan (May 16)
>Ralph Fiennes (December 22)
>Robert Wade (September 16)
>Roger Moore (October 14)
>Rory Kinnear (February 17)
>Sam Mendes (August 1)
>Sean Connery (August 25)
>Shirley Bassey (January 8)
>Timothy Dalton (March 21)
>Willy Bogner Jr (January 23)

Photo above:
Press photo of Michael Apted for The World Is Not Enough. Photo by Keith Hamshere. © 1999 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

For more information about Michael Apted, check out his profile on IMDB:



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Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh