Alan Parker, whose box-office smashes included The Commitments, has passed away

Carla Harmon
August 3, 2020

He also directed true-story dramas, including Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, Come See the Paradise and Angela's Ashes. At the age of 76, he has passed away in London, his family confirmed.

Suffering from a long term illness finally, took a toll on his health and led to his demise. While working at CDP, he started making commercials.

Burning would nearly act as Parker's peak as his follow-up films, Come See the Paradise and The Road to Wellville received generally mixed reviews and were box office failures while The Commitments was underwhelming at the box office despite rave reviews and his 1976 adaptation of Evita saw mixed reviews but was a box office smash.


The London-born filmmaker had been a major figure in his field, widely respected for a diverse slate of unique films. It only featured young actors, including a young Jodie Foster.

In 1984 Bafta honoured him with the Michael Balcon Award for outstanding contribution to British cinema. However, it was his next film in 1978, Midnight Express which changed everything for him and brought him wide recognition.

"I have not had a more enjoyable time filming than when I made this movie in the daily, hilarious company of these brilliant kids", Parker recalled on his website. The film won 2 Oscars and Parker received a nomination for best director award at the Oscars. The film won two Oscars, including one for Oliver Stone, who wrote the script. He was also known for directing musicals like Fame, family dramas like Shoot the Moon and thrillers like Angel Heart. His last directing credit was in 2003 for movie The Life of David Gale, starring Kate Winslet and Kevin Spacey. The director returned to his musical roots with the 1991 musical comedy drama "The Commitments", based on the novel by the Irish writer Roddy Doyle.


He also directed the film Pink Floyd - The Wall, which was inspired by the rock band's hit album of the same name. All these films proved his penchant for music, while simultaneously discovering his depth.

In November 1995, he was made a CBE for services to the British film industry and he received his knighthood in 2002. Alan's films have won 19 BAFTAS, 10 Golden Globes and 6 Oscars in total.

"His incredible run of hits as a British filmmaker gave enormous inspiration to me", said Wright, adding that he had twice parodied Parker's "beguiling" debut Bugsy Malone and wanted one of the songs from that film played at his funeral.


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