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John Dahl

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Alma mater
University of Montana

Beth Friedberg

John Dahl

Years active

Rick Dahl

John Dahl John Dahl Pictures IFC Films LA Premiere Of quotYou Kill Me

1956 (age 58–59)

Montana State University, University of Montana

Independent Spirit Award for Best Director, Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay

Rounders, Joy Ride, The Last Seduction, Red Rock West, The Great Raid

Similar People
Linda Fiorentino, Steve Zahn, Clay Tarver, J T Walsh, Bill Pullman

2014 tcff filmmaker interview john dahl director inconscious

John Dahl (born 1956) is an American film and television director and writer, best known for his work in the neo-noir genre.


Favorite scene from "Joy Ride". A John Dahl film.

Life and career

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John Dahl was born in Billings, Montana, the second of four children (his brother is filmmaker Rick Dahl). Dahl spent his young life in and around Montana all the way up through his college years. His interest in film began at the age of seventeen, when he first saw A Clockwork Orange, as told to Robert K. Elder in an interview for The Film That Changed My Life.

John Dahl Blogs Breaking Bad QampA John Dahl Episode 4 Director

This film captured my imagination so much. It was the first film that I saw that made me realize that somebody has to make this stuff. Somebody has to build those sets. Somebody has to paint those paintings. All of a sudden it became accessible. The movie was so compelling and interesting to me on so many levels. The one thing that struck me was that somebody made a movie, and that it was something that maybe, possibly, I could do.

John Dahl John Dahl Wikipedia

He first attended the University of Montana, and then transferred to Montana State University's School of Film and Photography, where he received a degree in film. While at MSU, Dahl was a student of Bill Pullman. His first feature film at MSU was titled The Death Mutants made for $12,000. While at Montana State he played guitar in the punk rock band "The Pugs". He also met his wife, Beth Friedberg at MSU, and after graduation they both left Montana to attend the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. He entered the directors program and she entered the cinematography program.

Dahl started his career as a storyboard artist and assistant director. He continued through the eighties making short films and directing music videos for Kool and the Gang and Joe Satriani. Dahl's first two films were Kill Me Again and Red Rock West. His third feature film was the crime thriller, The Last Seduction starring Linda Fiorentino. Fiorentino's performance in the film, although critically acclaimed, was not eligible to receive an Oscar nomination because it aired on cable television before its theatrical release. The Last Seduction also starred Dahl's former college professor, Bill Pullman.


  • Kill Me Again (1989)
  • Red Rock West (1993)
  • The Last Seduction (1994)
  • Unforgettable (1996)
  • Rounders (1998)
  • Joy Ride (2001)
  • The Great Raid (2005)
  • You Kill Me (2007)
  • Television

  • Fallen Angels (1993) episode "Tomorrow I Die"
  • Tilt (2005) episode "Shuffle Up and Deal"
  • Californication (2007-2013) episodes: "The Devil's Threesome", "No Way to Treat a Lady", "So Here's the Thing...", "Mr. Bad Example", "Lawyers, Guns and Money", "The Last Supper", "JFK to LAX", "Quitters"
  • Life (NBC TV series) (2007) episode "Powerless"
  • Fear Itself (2008) episode "Chance"
  • True Blood (2008) episodes: "Mine", "Never Let Me Go", "Timebomb", "Hitting the Ground"
  • Battlestar Galactica (2009) episode "The Oath"
  • Dexter (2008–13) episodes: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", "Go Your Own Way", "Dex Takes a Holiday", "Hungry Man", "Hello Bandit", "Circle Us", "Hop a Freighter", "Those Kinds of Things", "A Horse of a Different Color", "Just Let Go", "This is the Way the World Ends", "Are You...?", "Run", "Do You See What I See?", "A Little Reflection", "Make Your Own Kind of Music"
  • Breaking Bad (2009) episode "Down"
  • The Vampire Diaries (2009–2013) episodes "Friday Night Bites", "Brave New World"
  • Hellcats (2010) episode "The Match Game"
  • Justified (2010-2013) episodes: "The Hammer", "For Blood or Money", "Measures", "Outlaw"
  • Terriers (2010) episode "Agua Caliente"
  • Shameless (2011) episode "Killer Carl"
  • Homeland (2012) episode "The Clearing"
  • Arrow (2012) episode "Year's End"
  • Person of Interest (2013) episode "Dead Reckoning"
  • Hannibal (2013) episode 10 "Buffet Froid"
  • The Americans (2013) episode 12 "The Oath"
  • Outlander (2014)
  • House of Cards (2015) episodes: "Chapter 33" and "Chapter 34"
  • Iron Fist (2017) episodes: "Snow Gives Way" and "Shadow Hawk Takes Flight"
  • Ray Donovan


  • P.I. Private Investigations (1987)
  • Kill Me Again (1989)
  • Red Rock West (1993)
  • Art department

  • Something Wild (1986) - storyboard artist (uncredited)
  • Married to the Mob (1988) - storyboard artist / visual consultant
  • References

    John Dahl Wikipedia