Biography

Born in England, John Badham became a naturalized American citizen at the age of seven. He received a BA and MFA at Yale University, which he attended before and after his military service. He worked his way up the professional ladder at Universal Studios; his first directorial assignments included the trailers (or coming-attraction reels) of the studio's features. In the early 1970s, Badham gained a good reputation as an able director of made-for-TV movies. It was his handling of the 1974 docudrama The Gun that won Badham his first theatrical-feature assignment, the 1975 baseball flick The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings (Badham was a last-minute choice when Steven Spielberg suddenly priced himself out of the film's budget thanks to Jaws). Badham's first bona-fide--and indeed, one of the biggest moneymakers of the 1970s--was the disco-driven Saturday Night Fever (1977). The director's striking visual sense and innate gift for montage has served him well in such nailbiters as Blue Thunder (1984), Wargames (1984), American Flyers (1985) and Point of No Return (1991); he was less successful with comedy, as witness Stakeout (1987) and Bird on a Wire (1989). In 1984, John Badham formed his own production firm, Great American Picture Show Company. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi