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Overview for Jeff Kanew
Jeff Kanew

Jeff Kanew


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Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: Director ... director screenwriter editor office boy (at United Artists)


Jeff Kanew rose out of creating the promotional trailers for such films as "Rocky" and "All the President's Men" to directing frothy comedies such as "Revenge of the Nerds." He was less successful in other genres. He was still a freshman at Columbia University when he went to work for United Artists in New York as an assistant in the department that produced the trailers for UA films. In 1966, Kanew opened his own shop, Utopia Productions, and before long had created the trailer for "The Graduate" and "Midnight Cowboy" among numerous other films. Expanding, he directed and edited "Black Rodeo," a 1971 feature-length documentary on a less known aspect of the circuit, a rodeo that takes place in Harlem, and won good reviews. Kanew decided to try his luck at feature films in 1977 and sold his company to finance his new venture. His first effort was "Natural Enemies," in which Hal Holbrook was a successful publisher who work up one morning with the urge to murder his entire family. "Natural Enemies," which was released in 1979, did not lead to more directing work right away, but Robert Redford asked Kanew to edit "Ordinary People." Kanew parlayed that assignment into "Eddie Macon's Run," a 1982 effort he also wrote and directed, and which starred John Schneider from "The Dukes of Hazzard." Two years later, came the release of "Revenge of the Nerds," modestly-budgeted, but among the top comedies of 1984 in box office gross. Kanew starred Anthony Edwards, one of the lead nerds (Gilbert), in his next effort, "Gotcha!" about a college kid who gets mixed up in international espionage. The film did not succeed on the same level as "Nerds." In 1986, Kanew brought Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas back together in "Tough Guys," in which they were aging ex-cons, released from prison but not about the spend their days bagging groceries. Kanew's next two films, "Troop Beverly Hills," a Shelley Long comedy, and "V.I. Warshawski," an attempt to create a female private detective franchise with Kathleen Turner both failed at the box office, and he seemed to drop from sight. Kanew did not work in TV often. He did direct one episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in 1986 entitled "Night Fever," in which a criminal tries to induce a comely woman to help him escape, but instead gets his just rewards.

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