Peter Hyams

Peter Hyams

Originally a jazz drummer and then a new anchor at CBS, a post he left to cover the Vietnam War (about which he made a documentary), Hyams launched a film career producing and scripting "T.R. Baskin" (1970), which starred Candice Bergen as a naive girl having her first fling with big city life. This led the way for Hyams to direct two well-received ABC TV-movies, "The Rolling Man" and "Goodnight My Love" (both 1972), before getting a chance to write and direct his first theatrical feature, the less successful "Busting" (1973), about two rogue Los Angles cops. Undaunted, Hyams wrote and/or directed a string of features throughout the next two decades: among the better received were the romantic drama "Our Time" (1974) and "Telefon" (1977), a slick spy thriller based on a Walter Wager novel for which Hyams co-wrote the screenplay. Considered visually innovative were the political sci-fi thriller "Capricorn One" (1978), which had lots of great chases punctuated by Hyams' witty dialogue; the slickly-made "Outland" (1981), starring Sean Connery in a loose remake of "High Noon" set in outer space; and "2010" (1984), based on Arthur C. Clarke's sequel novel, which Hyams not only wrote and photographed but also produced and directed. In the suspenseful "Narrow Margin" (1990), a remake of a 1950s classic which Hyams wrote, directed and photographed, star Gene Hackman reveled in a juicily written part opposite Anne Archer. Hyams followed up with the futuristic thriller "Timecop" (1994), a vehicle for the Belgian action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Hyams' direction and cinematography, plus the film's elaborate technical effects simulating time travel, all got high marks, if the film itself received less than stellar notices. He reteamed with Van Damme for "Sudden Death" (1995), a routine thriller distinguished by its camerawork, then scored a critical success with "The Relic" (1997), which he, again, directed and photographed.