Skip to main content
Select Source:

Miller, George 1945–

MILLER, George 1945–

(Dr. George Miller)

PERSONAL

Born March 3, 1945, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (some sources say Cinchilla, Queensland, Australia); son of James and Angela (maiden name, Balson) Miller; brother of Bill Miller (a producer); married Sandy Gore, 1985; children: one daughter. Education: University of New South Wales, M.B., B.S., medicine, c. 1970; studied film at Melbourne University, 1971; studied acting at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Addresses: Office—Kennedy/Miller Productions, 30 Orwell St., Kings Cross, New South Wales, Sydney, 2011 Australia.

Career: Director, producer, and writer. St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, resident medical officer, 1971–72; Kennedy Miller Film Company (later Kennedy/Miller Productions), founder (with Byron Kennedy), 1977, chairperson, beginning 1977. Avoriaz Festival du film fantastique, jury president, 1983–84; Cannes International Film Festival, jury member, 1988 and 1999. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, member of board of directors, 1987–. Also known as Dr. George Miller.

Awards, Honors: Australian Film Institute Award nominations, best director and (with James McCausland), best screenplay, original, both 1979, for Mad Max; Australian Film Institute awards, best direction and (with others) best achievement in editing, both 1982, Grand Prize Avoriaz, Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival, c. 1983, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, best foreign film, and Saturn Award nominations, best director and (with others) best writing, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, all 1983, all for Mad Max 2; Penguin Award, best director of a television drama, 1983; International Fantasy Film Award nomination (with others), best film, Fantasporto, 1984, for Twilight Zone—The Movie; Saturn Award nominations, best director and (with Terry Hayes) best writing, both 1986, for Mad Max beyond Thunderdome; Australian Film Institute Award (with others), best film, 1987, for The Year My Voice Broke; Australian Film Institute Award nomination (with others), best film, 1989, for Dead Calm; Australian Film Institute Award (with others), best film, c. 1991, for Flirting; Academy Award nomination, best original screenplay, and Writers Guild of America Award nomination, best screenplay written directly for the screen, both with Nick Enright, 1993, for Lorenzo's Oil; Raymond Longford Award, Australian Film Institute, 1995; Chauvel Award, Brisbane International Film Festival, 1996; Academy Award nominations, best picture (with Doug Mitchell and Bill Miller) and best writing, screenplay based on material from another medium (with Chris Noonan), Writers Guild of America Award nomination (with Noonan), best screenplay based on material previously produced or published, Film Award nominations, best screenplay—adapted (with Noonan) and best film (with others), British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Saturn Award nomination (with Noonan), best writing, all 1996, for Babe; with Bill Miller, won a student film competition.

CREDITS

Film Director:

Violence in the Cinema, Part I (short film), 1971.

The Devil in Evening Dress (documentary), 1973.

First assistant director, In Search of Anna, 1978.

Mad Max, American International Pictures, 1979.

Mad Max 2 (also known as Mad Max II, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and The Road Warrior), Warner Bros., 1982.

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," Twilight Zone—The Movie, Warner Bros., 1983.

(With George Ogilvie) Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (also known as Mad Max 3), Warner Bros., 1985.

The Witches of Eastwick, Warner Bros., 1987.

Second unit director, Dead Calm (also known as Dead Calm: A Voyage into Fear), Warner Bros., 1989.

40,000 Years of Dreaming: A Century of Australian Cinema (documentary; also known as 40,000 Years of Dreaming), 1997.

Babe: Pig in the City, MCA/Universal, 1998.

Happy Feet, Warner Bros., 2006.

Untitled Mad Max 4 Film (also known as Mad Max 4 and Mad Max: Fury Road), Twentieth Century-Fox/Universal, 2006.

Film Producer:

Associate producer, Chain Reaction (also known as Nuclear Run), Hoyt Distribution, 1980.

(With Doug Mitchell and Terry Hayes) Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (also known as Mad Max 3), Warner Bros., 1985.

The Riddle of Stinson, 1987.

The Year My Voice Broke, Avenue Entertainment, c. 1987.

(With Mitchell and Hayes) Dead Calm (also known as Dead Calm: A Voyage into Fear), Warner Bros., 1989.

(With Mitchell and Hayes) Flirting, Samuel Goldwyn, c. 1991.

(With Mitchell) Lorenzo's Oil, Universal, 1992.

(With Mitchell and Bill Miller) Babe (also known as Babe, the Gallant Pig), Universal, 1995.

Video Fool for Love, 1995.

40,000 Years of Dreaming: A Century of Australian Cinema (documentary; also known as 40,000 Years of Dreaming), 1997.

Babe: Pig in the City, MCA/Universal, 1998.

Happy Feet, Warner Bros., 2006.

Untitled Mad Max 4 Film (also known as Mad Max 4 and Mad Max: Fury Road), Twentieth Century-Fox/Universal, 2006.

Film Supervising Producer:

Violence in the Cinema, Part I (short film), 1971.

The Devil in Evening Dress (documentary), 1973.

Mad Max, American International Pictures, 1979.

Mad Max 2 (also known as Mad Max II, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and The Road Warrior), Warner Bros., 1982.

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," Twilight Zone—The Movie, Warner Bros., 1983.

Film Editor:

Frieze, an Underground Film (short documentary film), 1973.

Additional editor, Mad Max 2 (also known as Mad Max II, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and The Road Warrior), Warner Bros., 1982.

Film Appearances:

Host and narrator, 40,000 Years of Dreaming: A Century of Australian Cinema (documentary; also known as 40,000 Years of Dreaming), 1997.

Television Director; with Others; Miniseries:

The Dismissal, Ten Network (Australia), 1982.

Bodyline (also known as Bodyline: It's Not Just Cricket), Ten Network, 1983.

The Cowra Breakout, Ten Network, 1984.

The Last Bastion, Ten Network, 1984.

Vietnam, BBC, 1986.

Television Executive Producer; Miniseries:

The Dismissal, Ten Network (Australia), 1982.

Bodyline (also known as Bodyline: It's Not Just Cricket), Ten Network, 1983.

Vietnam, BBC, 1986.

Bangkok Hilton, Ten Network and TBS, 1990.

Television Producer; Miniseries:

The Cowra Breakout, Ten Network (Australia), 1984.

The Dirtwater Dynasty, Ten Network, 1988.

Television Producer; Movies:

Producer, The Clean Machine, Ten Network (Australia), 1988.

Producer, Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer, Ten Network, 1988.

Television Director; Episodic:

"The Carver Gang," Bellamy, Ten Network (Australia), c. 1981.

Directed episodes of other series, including the Australian series Ryan.

Television Director and Producer; Pilots:

Mad Max: The Road Warrior, syndicated, 1996.

Television Work; Other:

Worked as an executive producer, Sports Crazy.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Himself, How Art Made the World, BBC and PBS, 2005.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Himself, Joseph Campbell, le heros aux mille visages (documentary), Cine Cinemas (France), 2005.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Himself, Nicole Kidman: An American Cinematheque Tribute, American Movie Classics, 2003.

Presenter, The 2003 Australian Film Institute Awards, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Himself, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1993.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

(With Byron Kennedy) Violence in the Cinema, Part I (short film), 1971.

(With James McCausland) Mad Max, American International Pictures, 1979.

(With Terry Hayes and Brian Hannat) Mad Max 2 (also known as Mad Max II, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and The Road Warrior), Warner Bros., 1982.

(With Hayes) Mad Max beyond Thunderdome (also known as Mad Max 3), Warner Bros., 1985.

(With Nick Enright) Lorenzo's Oil, Universal, 1992.

(With Chris Noonan) Babe (also known as Babe, the Gallant Pig; based on the books of Dick King-Smith), Universal, 1995.

40,000 Years of Dreaming: A Century of Australian Cinema (documentary; also known as 40,000 Years of Dreaming), 1997.

Babe: Pig in the City (based on the books of Dick King-Smith), MCA/Universal, 1998.

Happy Feet, Warner Bros., 2006.

Untitled Mad Max 4 Film (also known as Mad Max 4 and Mad Max: Fury Road), Twentieth Century-Fox/Universal, 2006.

Teleplays; Miniseries:

The Dismissal, Ten Network (Australia), 1982.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Directors, fourth edition, St. James Press, 2000.

Periodicals:

Entertainment Weekly, September 8, 1995, p. 12.

Variety, May 7, 2001, p. 38.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/miller-george-1945-0

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/miller-george-1945-0

Miller, George

MILLER, George



Nationality: Australian. Born: Brisbane, Australia, 3 March 1945. Education: University of New South Wales, M.D. Family: Married Sandy Gore, 1985, one daughter. Career: Physician, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney; began collaboration with writer/producer Byron Kennedy, 1971; directed first feature, Mad Max, 1979; producer/director of The Dismissal for TV, 1982. Awards: Best Director, Australian Film Institute, 1982; Best Foreign Film, Los Angeles Film Critics, 1983. Address: 30 Orwell Street, King's Cross, Sydney, New South Wales 2011, Australia.


Films as Director:

1971

Violence in the Cinema: Part I (short) (+ co-sc)

1973

Devil in Evening Dress (doc) (+ sc)

1979

Mad Max

1981

Mad Max II (The Road Warrior)

1983

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episode in Twilight Zone—The Movie

1985

Mad Max III: Beyond Thunderdome (co-d, + co-sc, pr)

1987

The Witches of Eastwick

1992

Lorenzo's Oil (+ co-sc, co-pr)

1996

40,000 Years of Dreaming (+ sc, co-pr, ro as narrator)

1998

Babe: Pig in the City (+ co-sc, co-pr)

Other Films:

1973

Frieze, an Underground Film (short) (ed)

1980

Chain Reaction (Barry) (assoc pr, collaborator on water-fall scenes)

1987

The Riddle of the Stinson (pr); The Clean Machine (pr);Fragments of War (pr)

1988

Dead Calm (exec pr); The Year My Voice Broke (exec pr)

1989

Flirting (exec pr)

1995

Babe (pr, co-sc)

1997

Heaven Before I Die (exec pr)

Publications


By MILLER: articles—

"Production Report Mad Max: George Miller, Director," an interview with P. Beilby and S. Murray, in Cinema Papers (Melbourne), May/June 1979; also September/October 1979.

"The Ayatollah of the Movies," an interview with D. Chute, in FilmComment (New York), July/August 1982.

Interview with P. Broeske, in Films in Review (New York), October 1982.

Interview with Tony Crawley, in Starburst (London), no. 51, 1983.

Interview with T. Ryan, in Cinema Papers (Melbourne), January 1988.

"Lorenzo's Oil," an interview with S. Murray, in Cinema Papers, April 1993.

"Life Lessons: Babe the Gallant Sheep-Pig/Scoring Babe," in Cinema Papers (Fitzroy), December 1995.

Dahan, Yannick, "George Miller: À la recherche de l'homme perdu," in Positif (Paris), April 1999.


On MILLER: book—

Mathews, Sue, 35mm Dreams, Ringwood, Victoria, 1984.

On MILLER: articles—

Samuels, B., "Dr. George Miller: Mephisto in a Polka-Dot Tie," in Cinema Canada (Toronto), February 1983.

George Miller Section of Positif (Paris), December 1985.

Rodman, H. A., "George Miller," in Millimeter, May 1989.

Griffin, N., "Tell Me Where It Hurts," in Premiere, December 1992.

Maslin, J., "Parents Fighting to Keep Their Child Alive," in NewYork Times, 30 December 1992.

O'Brien, G., "The Doctor and the 'Miracle'," in New York Times, 24 January 1993.


* * *

Along with contemporaries Peter Weir, Bruce Beresford, and Gillian Armstrong, George Miller helped to bring Australian film to the international forefront by the mid-1980s with his brilliant trilogy of Mad Max, Mad Max II (The Road Warrior in the United States), and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. In a desolate Australian space, sometime in the future, the police have their hands full trying to keep the roads safe from suicidal, maniacal gangs. Cop Mel Gibson quits, but then seeks revenge when his wife and child are murdered. Mad Max was almost lost when it was released in the late 1970s, but with the success of the sequel, the style and bleak outlook were seen to represent a tour de force of genre filmmaking. We have little doubt what will happen; but the way the story unspools is what attracted audiences around the world. George Miller made Mad Max and made fellow countryman Mel Gibson an international star.

The greatness of the Mad Max films come from the images of burnt out men and women in a post-apocalyptic world of desolate highways. Characters are dressed in what was left after the "end of the world," including football uniform parts from American-style teams and other assorted bits and pieces of clothing. Miller seems to have patterned his hero after a Japanese samurai, but more insight can be gained by comparing these three films with the westerns of Sergio Leone, such as Once upon a Time in the West. The director's inventions make mundane stories into something altogether new and fresh.

For audiences the trilogy was Dirty Harry thrown into a desert of madness. Miller's style of directing has been called mathematical in nature, building a movie in the same manner prescribed by the early Sergei Eisenstein and utilized by the mature Hitchcock. Many argued that Miller, an Australian, outdid Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood wunderkind. And in the early 1980s Mad Max became a pop cult craze.

With the third installment Miller moved into mainstream Hollywood. Thus while it had the usual cast of unknown character actors and actresses placed in the sweeping, endless desert of the Australian outback, Tina Turner was cast as the ruler of Bartertown, a primitive community in the bleak futuristic post-Atomic world. Mel Gibson, again as Max, battled to the death in the Roman-style arena of Thunderdome. Miller proved he could continue the Mad Max appeal even though his partner of the first two, Byron Kennedy, died in 1983.

And although Miller was chosen by Spielberg for a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie, he continued to work in Australia, on mini-series such as "The Dismissal." In the late 1980s Miller changed courses and directed the hit The Witches of Eastwick for Warner Bros. With Jack Nicholson and Cher, The Witches of East-wick offered a lively, colorful fantasy set in a New England town. This was a popular film, far from the visceral violence of Mad Max. Miller's segment for Twilight Zone: The Movie, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," was the ultimate white-knucklers' airplane paranoid fantasy, with a computer technician staring out the window seeing a gremlin sabotaging the engines. John Lithgow turned in a bravura performance in a role originally played by William Shatner. The Miller segment, of the four, was the one most often praised in a movie now most associated with the grim tragedy of the filming of the John Landis episode.

In 1992 Miller directed the acclaimed film Lorenzo's Oil, a tear-jerker starring Susan Sarandon as a mother fighting to save her terminally ill son. Praised at the time, this film seemed tired and too formulaic a decade later. Then Miller did a course change again in 1998 with the comedic Babe: Pig in the City. This sequel was stunning visually but disappointing at the box office. It has become a cult favorite, but seemed only to indicate that the 50-something Miller may have lost his direction.

Miller took a strange path to directorial success, but once one sees and analyzes the Mad Max trilogy, it makes sense. After graduating with a degree in medicine from the University of New South Wales in 1970, this "self-confessed movie freak" spent eighteen months in the emergency room of a large city hospital dealing with auto accident victims. Perhaps this is where he developed his strange view of the world. It worked for Mad Max, but thereafter Miller seemed to drop into the "almost forgotten" category of promising movie makers who never could develop a unified, long term body of creative output. Finally, no essay should end without noting that this George Miller is not the same George Miller, also an Australian, who made a reputation as the director of The Man from Snowy River (1982).

—Douglas Gomery

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Miller, George." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Miller, George." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/miller-george

"Miller, George." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/miller-george

Miller, George 1945–

MILLER, George 1945–

(George T. Miller)

PERSONAL

Full name, name George Trumbull Miller; born 1945, in Scotland.

Addresses: Lawyer—Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown, 132 South Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Director and producer.

Awards, Honors: Most Popular Film Award, Montreal World Film Festival, 1982, for The Man from Snowy River; International Fantasy Film Award nomination, best film, Fantasporto, 1995, for Andre; Daytime Emmy Award nomination, outstanding directing in a children's special, 1999, for In the Doghouse.

CREDITS

Film Director:

First assistant director, In Search of Anna, 1978.

The Man from Snowy River, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1982.

The Aviator, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1985.

Cool Change, 1986.

Les Patterson Saves the World, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987.

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Warner Bros., 1990.

Frozen Assets, RKO Radio Pictures, 1992.

Over the Hill (also known as Round the Bend), Rank/Roadshow Entertainment, 1992.

Gross Misconduct (also known as Gross Indecency), 1993.

Andre, Paramount, 1994.

Robinson Crusoe (also known as Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe"), Miramax, 1997.

Zeus and Roxanne, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1997.

Film Executive Producer:

Heaven before I Die, 1997.

Television Director; Series:

Homicide, Seven Network (Australia), beginning 1964.

Division 4, Nine Network (Australia), beginning 1969.

Matlock Police, Ten Network (Australia), beginning 1971.

Cash and Company, Seven Network, beginning 1975.

Bluey, Seven Network, beginning 1976.

The Sullivans, Nine Network, beginning 1976.

Young Ramsay, Seven Network, beginning 1977.

Five Mile Creek, Seven Network, beginning 1983.

The Far Country (also known as Nevil Shute's "The Far Country"), Seven Network and BBC, beginning 1986.

Television Director; Miniseries:

Against the Wind, Seven Network (Australia) and syndicated, 1978.

The Last Outlaw, Seven Network, 1980.

Director of Australian footage, Der Schwarze Bumerang, 1982.

All the Rivers Run, Seven Network and HBO, 1984.

Anzacs (also known as Anzacs: The War Down Under), Nine Network (Australia) and syndicated, 1985.

Tribe, [Australia], 1999.

Television Producer; Miniseries:

Journey to the Center of the Earth, USA Network, 1999.

Television Director; Movies:

Miracle Down Under (also known as Bushfire Moon and The Christmas Visitor), The Disney Channel, 1987.

Goodbye, Miss 4th of July (also known as Farewell, Miss Freedom), The Disney Channel, 1988.

Spooner, The Disney Channel, 1989.

A Mom for Christmas, NBC, 1990.

In the Nick of Time, NBC, 1991.

The Great Elephant Escape, ABC, 1995.

(As George T. Miller) Silver Strand, Showtime, 1995.

Tidal Wave: No Escape, ABC, 1997.

(And producer) In the Doghouse, Showtime, 1998.

Cybermutt (also known as Rex: Le cyber chien), Animal Planet, 2002.

Attack of the Sabretooth (also known as Attack of the Sabertooth, Night of the Saber Tooth, and 3 Green Commodores), Sci-Fi Channel, 2005.

Television Director; Pilots:

Badlands 2005 (also known as Badlands), ABC, 1988.

Television Appearances; Series:

Young Ramsay, Seven Network (Australia), beginning 1977.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/miller-george-1945

"Miller, George 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/miller-george-1945