‘Get Carter’ and ‘Flash Gordon’ director Mike Hodges dead aged 90
‘Get Carter’ and ‘Flash Gordon’ director Mike Hodges is dead aged 90.
The acclaimed film veteran’s close friend Mike Kaplan confirmed to The Guardian late on Tuesday night (20.12.22) he died at his home in Dorset on Saturday.
His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Mike was best known for his work on the British gangster film genre, and got his big break with ‘Get Carter’ starring Sir Michael Caine, which he wrote and directed.
He went on to replace Nicolas Roeg as director of ‘Flash Gordon’, which he said came together like a perfect “soufflé”, but disallowed his work on the critically panned 1987 Mickey Rourke film ‘A Prayer for the Dying’.
Tributes started flooding social media after the death was confirmed, including from filmmaker Matthew Sweet who tweeted: “Just heard the news about Mike Hodges.
“A true master. A furious restless talent. An unassailable body of work. Loved the films. Loved the man.”
Screenwriter Brian Lynch said: “Mike Hodges, director of ‘FLASH GORDON’, has passed.
“Finally saw this movie during the pandemic and it brought me such joy.
“Have watched it a bunch of times since. Nothing else like it. Rest in Peace, sir.”
Born in Bristol in 1932, he started his career working as a chartered accountant, then served two years on a Royal Navy minesweeper around fishing ports in the north of England.
He said the “horrendous poverty” he witnessed doing the job influenced the rage behind ‘Get Carter’ as he went into the work as a “young Tory” and emerged “an angry, radical young man”.
Mike co-wrote and was set to direct the 1978 horror film ‘Damien: Omen 2’, but quit when he found it “very scary” a producer pulled out a loaded gun and put it on the table during a heated conversation about budgets.
His 1998 film ‘Croupier’ starring Clive Owens as casino dealer was a UK box office bomb but got rave reviews in America and has become a cult classic.
Mike then came out of semi-retirement to direct Clive in his final film, 2003’s ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’, another gangster flick featuring its leading man out for revenge on gangsters for the rape of his younger brother.
His long-time friend Malcolm McDowell called him a “rare bird” in British cinema and bemoaned how long it took him to gain recognition.
Mike ended his life saying he was happy tending his vegetables at his home in Dorset.
He is survived by his wife Carol Laws, sons Ben and Jake Hodges, and five grandchildren, Marlon, Honey, Orson, Michael and Gabriel.