As far as celebrity goes for film directors few reach the popularity of Brian Russell De Palma, with films like Carrie, Scarface, and Carlito’s Way under his belt. Over the years he’s worked with some great actors, Robert De Niro ( 4 times ), Kirk Douglas ( 2 times ), Al Pacino ( 2 times ), Sean Penn ( 2 times ), and the list goes on. But we have to ask ourselves is the popularity deserved? If the determining factor is directing great movies De Palma definitely meets the grade.
If the determining factor is working alongside great or proven actors De Palma definitely meets the grade there too. If the determining factor is at the Box Office, well, that’s where De Palma falls far short.
The only ” BLOCKBUSTER” movie he ever directed was Mission Impossible. Which grossed $457.7 million on an $80 million budget. Carlito’s Way only made $63.8 million on a $30 million budget. Scarface made $66 million on a budget of approximately $30 million. Snake Eyes did better at $103.9 million but had a budget of $73 million, so the take home percentage wasn’t as lucrative. Mission to Mars barely made back it’s budget. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Casualties of War, Femme Fatale and Wise Guys actually lost money.
If it wasn’t for Mission Impossible his career of movies would barely make the grade at the Box Office, few doubled their budget, most didn’t, and many lost money. He can thank having worked with some great and talented and extremely popular actors to make his career. If it wasn’t for the likes of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino we probably wouldn’t even remember De Palma’s name.
( image courtesy of vulture.com )