Jonathan Demme

Biography: Quirky, engaging filmmaker who looks at genre films from a skewed perspective. A former critic and publicist, he got his start, as did so many others, with prolific producer Roger Corman, writing and/or producing such epics as Angels Hard as They Come (1971) and Black Mama, White Mama (1972). He directed three films for Corman: Caged Heat (1974, which he also wrote), Crazy Mama (1975), and Fighting Mad (1976, which he also wrote), all sex-and-violence mellers, but leavened with an offbeat sense of humor. His first film on his own was Citizens' Band (1977), a piquant study of CB radio operators. Despite rave reviews, it did no business at all (one New York theater ran it for free and still nobody came), even after its title was changed to Handle With Care After a superb Hitchcock-style thriller, Last Embrace (1979), came Melvin and Howard (1980), a fantasia on the life of would-be Howard Hughes beneficiary Melvin Dummar. Despite more glowing notices and two Oscars, it too was a complete bust.

Demme's first brush with Big Hollywood Stars, the Goldie Hawn vehicle Swing Shift (1984) was a career low point, but he bounced back with the extraordinary Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense (also 1984). His reputation (and the grosses) grew with the unhinged comedy-thrillers Something Wild (1986) and Married to the Mob (1988), as well as Miami Blues (1990), which he produced. (He also directed another performance film, Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia in 1987.) His commercial breakthrough finally came with the outstanding nail-biter The Silence of the Lambs (1991), which earned him an Oscar as Best Director. Typical of Demme's generosity toward young filmmakers, he spoke of exciting new talent in the directing ranks while giving his thank-you speech. Since then he's directed an extremely personal documentary about a most unusual member of his family, Cousin Bobby (1992), executive produced Household Saints (1993), and tackled the difficult subject of AIDS in Philadelphia (1993).
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Jonathan Demme's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 72
Highest Metascore: 89 Stop Making Sense
Lowest Metascore: 51 Song One
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
24 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Ricky and the Flash Jun 26, 2015 Director tbd
51 Song One TBA Producer tbd
67 A Master Builder Jul 23, 2014 Director tbd
64 Enzo Avitabile Music Life Oct 18, 2013 Director / Producer 1.0
81 Gimme the Loot Mar 22, 2013 Executive Producer / Presents / Producer 6.9
63 I'm Carolyn Parker Sep 14, 2012 Director / Producer tbd
74 Neil Young Journeys Jun 29, 2012 Director / Producer 5.0
83 Neil Young Trunk Show Mar 19, 2010 Director / Producer 9.0
82 Rachel Getting Married Oct 3, 2008 Director / Producer 5.6
58 Jimmy Carter Man from Plains Oct 26, 2007 Director / Producer / Written By 6.5
85 Neil Young: Heart of Gold Feb 10, 2006 Director / Producer 9.0
76 The Manchurian Candidate Jul 30, 2004 Director / Producer 6.0
82 The Agronomist Apr 23, 2004 Director / Producer 8.4
83 Adaptation. Dec 6, 2002 Producer 8.0
55 The Truth About Charlie Oct 25, 2002 Director / Producer / Screenplay 5.2
71 The Opportunists Aug 11, 2000 Executive Producer 9.0
57 Beloved Oct 16, 1998 Director / Producer 6.9
71 That Thing You Do! Oct 4, 1996 Producer 8.0
78 Devil in a Blue Dress Sep 29, 1995 Executive Producer 6.4
66 Philadelphia Dec 23, 1993 Director / Producer 8.0
84 The Silence of the Lambs Feb 13, 1991 Director 8.9
71 Married to the Mob Aug 19, 1988 Director 6.7
68 Swimming to Cambodia Mar 13, 1987 Director tbd
73 Something Wild Nov 7, 1986 Director / Producer 8.0
89 Stop Making Sense Oct 18, 1984 Director / Writer 8.6