Walter Hill is without a doubt, one of the greatest action directors of all time.
With a resume that reads Undisputed, Last Man Standing, Streets of Fire, Trespass, The Driver, 48 Hrs, Johnny Handsome, Extreme Prejudice, Hard Times, Bullet to the Head, Red Heat and The Warriors; it’s difficult to dispute. That’s only a FEW of some of the movies he’s written and directed.
He’s also produced the Alien franchise (including Prometheus).
Without The Driver, there wouldn’t be Drive. Without 48 Hrs. there wouldn’t be Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys. If I see his name attached to a film then I know it will be worth watching.
Hill’s films always have grittiness to them and are usually R Rated. His protagonists tend to be anti-heroes with a past shrouded in mystery.
He has said in interviews that he tends to give his characters no back-story. “The way you find out about these characters is by watching what they do, the way they react to stress, the way they react to situations and confrontations. In that way, character is revealed through drama rather than being explained through dialogue.”
To me, this is a philosophy that many directors have copied since with Drive, Faster, etc. All of which I love, I might add.
It’s hard to decide what my favourite Hill movie is but it might be the criminally underrated Extreme Prejudice starring Nick Nolte and practically everyone who played an action movie villain in the 80’s.
He truly is the definition of Legend and the last of a dying breed.