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Director JOHN McTIERNAN has helmed some of the biggest and most exciting box office hits of the past decade, including Die Hard, the phenomenal success of which spawned enough imitators to create an entire sub-genre of pulse-pounding, action-adventure films.

McTiernan followed Die Hard with The Hunt for Red October, the blockbuster adaptation of Tom Clancy's best-seller. Starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, the film represented a marked change from the explosives and high bullet count of Die Hard. With The Hunt For Red October, McTiernan further refined an active, fluid cinematic style and a theme that has distinguished all his films: the battle of wills between strong, opposing individuals.

McTiernan, who grew up in a small farm town in upstate New York, developed his interest in drama at an early age. After graduating from Exeter prep school, he enrolled at Juilliard to study theatre directing, but quickly realized his real interest was film. McTiernan soon earned a fellowship from the American Film Institute, where he began his formal education in movie directing.

In 1986, McTiernan wrote and directed his first feature, the science fiction-fantasy Nomads starring a young television actor named Pierce Brosnan. The director was then given his first shot at a major studio feature and made the most of it with Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After making Hollywood take notice of his skills as an action director, McTiernan turned his talents to making a movie that dealt with his deeply held environmental concerns. He reteamed with Connery in a Latin American rain forest for Medicine Man, also starring Lorraine Bracco.

McTiernan took on another blockbuster assignment, producing and directing Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero. A moderate success in the U.S., it went on to become a high-grossing international hit. He followed this with a return to straight action-adventure as producer and director of Die Hard: With A Vengeance, another huge hit. He executive produced Flight of the Intruder.

In 1997, McTiernan received the Franklin J. Schaffner Award for Achievement in Directing from the American Film Institute.


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