Directed by John Schlesinger

Directed by John Schlesinger

9 Episodes

A sensitive chronicler of outsiders, outcasts, and dreamers searching for human connection, John Schlesinger flourished first as part of the British New Wave of the sixties and then in the New American Cinema of the seventies. Beginning his film career as an actor and documentarian—experiences that would inform his masterful handling of performers and hone his keen sense of naturalism—Schlesinger emerged as one of the leaders of the “kitchen sink” school of British realism with his narrative debut, A KIND OF LOVING, and classics like BILLY LIAR and DARLING. He went on to make some of the most daring and exciting films of the era, including the X-rated Academy Award winner MIDNIGHT COWBOY, the taboo-shattering bisexual romance SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY (a landmark of queer representation by an openly gay filmmaker), and the intense thriller MARATHON MAN. Featuring career-high performances from frequent stars like Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, and Peter Finch, these films stand as humane portraits of the changing gender, sexual, and social dynamics of Schlesinger’s time.

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Directed by John Schlesinger
  • Ian Buruma on John Schlesinger

    Episode 1

    John Schlesinger’s nephew, cultural historian Ian Buruma, reflects on his uncle's rich body of work.

  • A Kind of Loving

    Episode 2

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1962 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird

    John Schlesinger’s moving debut feature traces the relationship that develops between Vic (Alan Bates, in his first starring role), a young draftsman, and Ingrid (June Ritchie), a typist who works ...

  • Billy Liar

    Episode 3

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1963 • United Kingdom
    Starring Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie

    Tom Courtenay gives a flawlessly nuanced performance as Billy Fisher, the underachieving undertaker’s assistant whose constant daydreams and truth-deficient stories earn him the nickname “Billy Liar.” Jul...

  • Darling
    Episode 4


    Episode 4

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1965 • United Kingdom
    Starring Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey

    Julie Christie won a best actress Oscar for her star-making performance as a restless model ascending the social ladder of swinging-sixties London as she bounces between affairs with two m...

  • Midnight Cowboy

    Episode 5

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1969 • United States
    Starring Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles

    One of the British New Wave’s most versatile directors, John Schlesinger came to New York in the late 1960s to make MIDNIGHT COWBOY, a picaresque story of friendship that captured a city in cris...

  • Sunday Bloody Sunday

    Episode 6

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1971 • United Kingdom
    Starring Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch, Murray Head

    John Schlesinger followed his iconic MIDNIGHT COWBOY with this deeply personal take on love and sex. SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY depicts the romantic lives of two Londoners, a middle-aged doctor and a...

  • Marathon Man

    Episode 7

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1976 • United States
    Starring Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider

    One of the most terrifying films of the 1970s stars Dustin Hoffman as a New York City grad student and marathon runner who finds himself plunged into a paranoid nightmare when he becomes e...

  • Honky Tonk Freeway

    Episode 8

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1981 • United States
    Starring David Rasche, Paul Jabara, Howard Hesseman

    Featuring a water-skiing elephant, nuns gone wild, and a sprawling cast of veteran character actors, this freewheeling satire takes aim at the crass commercialization of the tourism industry a...

  • The Falcon and the Snowman

    Episode 9

    Directed by John Schlesinger • 1985 • United States
    Starring Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Pat Hingle

    Christopher Boyce (Timothy Hutton) works a at a defense plant, where he uncovers documents that prove that the CIA is secretly coercing foreign governments. He confides in his friend, Daulton Lee (...