Wolfgang Petersen, director of ‘Das Boot’ and ‘Air Force One,’ dead at 81

A German film director, producer, and screenwriter with the name of Wolfgang Petersen. He received two Academy Award nominations for the 1942 film Das Boot, which is about submarine warfare. The 81-year-old German director Wolfgang Petersen, known for his work on movies including Das Boot, Air Force One, and Outbreak, has passed away. Petersen passed away from pancreatic cancer on Friday in Los Angeles, a spokesman said.

Wolfgang Petersen, director of 'Das Boot' and 'Air Force One,' dead at 81
Wolfgang Petersen, director of ‘Das Boot’ and ‘Air Force One,’ dead at 81

Career

Throughout a career spanning five decades, Petersen helmed films starring actors including Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, and Brad Pitt. Being directed by Petersen “remains a treasured experience,” according to Glenn Close, who co-starred with Harrison Ford in the movie Air Force One.

“Even though the screenplay was exhilarating and dramatic, I remember a lot of laughs, especially in the scenes around the enormous table in the War Room,” she said of the action drama about a group of terrorists who kidnap the US President’s plane.

She went on to say, “My memory is of a man full of joie de vivre who was doing what he most liked to do.”Petersen, who was born in Emden in 1941, achieved his first significant breakthrough with the World War Two submarine drama Das Boot, for which he received two Oscar nominations.

The 1981 film, which was based on the same-named book on the Battle of the Atlantic, earned him an Academy Award nomination for best director.No matter how wonderful people think he was, Wolfgang Petersen was *better,* said film critic Bilge Ebiri in response to the news of his passing.

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A timeless masterwork is In the Line of Fire (watch it again.) Hollywood action was transformed for a generation by Das Boot. Enemy Mine, Air Force One, and Troy—are all fantastic films. The NeverEnding Story, a children’s fantasy adventure movie, was Petersen’s debut English-language production.

Alan Zilberman, a different critic for theatre and movies, added: “In the Line of Fire and Das Boot are two excellent thrillers directed by Wolfgang Petersen, but The NeverEnding Story will always hold a special place in my heart. Never has a kid’s movie been more powerful. Power, rest.”

In the 1990s, Petersen made the transition to Hollywood action and catastrophe films, collaborating with Eastwood and John Malkovich on the assassination thriller In The Line of Fire. Later, he oversaw Dustin Hoffman’s performance in the pandemic-themed film Outbreak.

The German actor later collaborated with Brad Pitt in Troy and George Clooney in The Perfect Storm. The late director passed away at home in Los Angeles while Maria, his wife of 50 years, held him.

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