Mike Hodges, director of films like "Get Carter," "Croupier," and "Flash Gordon," has died in Dorset, England, at the age of 90, according to Variety. The site reports that Hodges' passing was announced by his friend Mike Kaplan, who worked on his film "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" as a producer. Hodges was known for crime dramas, with his last feature film released in 2003. He worked with Michael Caine in both "Get Carter," a British gangster drama, and 1972's "Pulp," about a pulp fiction author tasked with ghost-writing a celebrity's memoir, then solving that celebrity's murder.
Crime was a draw for Hodges, who said in an interview with Mulholland Books for his 2010 debut novel "Watching the Wheels Come Off," "Crime is the litmus that shows what's really going on below the surface. That's why I'm attracted to it. Besides, as one myself, sinners interest me more than saints." Writers also figured into another film from Hodges, the 1999 film "Croupier," which starred Clive Owens (who he also directed in 2003's "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead") as a struggling writer who is pulled into the world of crime. Though it didn't do particularly well in the U.K., "Croupier" pulled in the biggest U.S. box office take for an independent film that year, according to the Variety article.
In addition to his novel, Hodges actually adapted the Tim Lewis novel "Get Carter" is based on, and wrote plays like "Soft Shoe Shuffle" in 1985 and "Shooting Stars and Other Heavenly Pursuits" in 2000.
From Crime To Camp
Genre film fans likely know Mike Hodges best for his work directing the 1980 campy space opera "Flash Gordon," based on the King Features comic strip of the same name. The film starred Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, and Timothy Dalton, featuring music from Queen. He later made the 2003 video documentary "Queen: Greatest Video Hits 2." "Flash Gordon" has become a cult classic in the years since its release, later being referenced (with a cameo from Jones) in the 2012 comedy "Ted," and an unused sequence in 1983's "A Christmas Story."
Hodges first started his entertainment career as a teleprompter operator on British television. He learned about the business and began writing scripts, including the unmade "Some Will Cry Murder" for ABC's "Armchair Theatre," which allowed him to quit the job and concentrate on writing, then producing and directing. In the 2010 Mulholland Books interview, Hodges spoke about his writing as a logical extension of his career as a director rather than a change. He said that he used both mediums to explore "human curiosity" but that it was a "diminishing trait" in our modern times.
Hodges is survived by his wife, Carol Laws, sons Ben and Jake, and grandchildren, Marlon, Honey, Orson, Michael, and Gabriel.
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