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Michael Ritchie (film director)

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Name  Michael Ritchie

Role  Film director
Michael Ritchie (film director) iamediaimdbcomimagesMMV5BMTMzMTY0NTUyOF5BMl5
Full Name  Michael Brunswick Ritchie
Born  November 28, 1938 (1938-11-28) Waukesha, Wisconsin, US
Died  April 16, 2001, New York City, New York, United States
Spouse  Jimmie B. Ritchie (m. ?–2001)
Books  Please Stand by: A Prehistory of Television, Cayo Hueso/Cuba Libre: A Political Thriller
Children  Steven Ritchie, Lillian Ritchie, Miriam Ritchie, Jessica Ritchie, Lauren Ritchie, Nelly Bly, Billy Bly
Movies  Downhill Racer, Fletch, The Golden Child, The Bad News Bears, The Candidate
Similar People  Walter Matthau, Chevy Chase, Lee Marvin, Bill Lancaster, Richard Libertini

The films of michael ritchie

Michael Brunswick Ritchie (November 28, 1938 – April 16, 2001) was an American film director of films with comical or satirical leanings, such as The Candidate and Smile. He scored commercial successes directing sports films like The Bad News Bears and Chevy Chase's Fletch comedies.


Michael Ritchie (film director) Cineplexcom Michael Ritchie

Tcm directed by michael ritchie 1of3 the essentials the candidate intro

Personal life

Ritchie was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the son of Patricia (née Graney) and Benbow Ferguson Ritchie. His family later moved to Berkeley, California, where his father was a professor of experimental psychology at the University of California at Berkeley and his mother was the art and music librarian for the city. He attended Berkeley High School before becoming interested in film, and was accepted at Harvard University following high school. He told Redford's biographer, author Michael Feeney Callan, that academic interest in film culture was the basis and drive for his career. In 1994, Ritchie purchased the hacienda-style house at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles, where Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. He bought the property for $995,000 and it became his Los Angeles family base. Also in 1994, Ritchie moved to Manhattan with his wife, Jimmie B. Ritchie, and daughters, Lillian (b. 1986) and Miriam (b. 1988). His additional children include a son, Steven (b. 1973); daughters Lauren (b. 1966) and Jessica (b. 1973), and two stepchildren, Nelly Bly and Billy Bly. His sister, Elsie Ritchie, acted in two of his films: The Candidate and Smile.


While at Harvard, Ritchie directed the original production of the Arthur Kopit play, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This led Robert Saudek to offer him a job, and Ritchie worked on several TV series prior to his film debut in 1969 with Downhill Racer.

As a director, Ritchie's output was highly varied. Although originally known for his sports films and satires in the 1970s, such as The Candidate and The Bad News Bears, he became more known for his broad comedies in the 1980s, such as Fletch.

Death and legacy

Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "It’s difficult to think of any director, ever, who had a more consistently uneven career." According to Jean-Pierre Coursodon, his films were recognized as "unpretentious, closely observed, finely textured works...there comes a point when, looking back, one sees that their consistency itself – consistent excellence – is telling us something: something about the way that cinema itself is able to move out and look around." Ritchie died from complications related to prostate cancer.


  • Downhill Racer (1969)
  • The Candidate (1972)
  • Prime Cut (1972)
  • Smile (1975)
  • The Bad News Bears (1976)
  • Semi-Tough (1977)
  • An Almost Perfect Affair (1979)
  • The Island (1980)
  • Divine Madness! (1980)
  • Student Bodies (1981)
  • The Survivors (1983)
  • Fletch (1985)
  • Wildcats (1986)
  • The Golden Child (1986)
  • The Couch Trip (1988)
  • Fletch Lives (1989)
  • Diggstown (1992)
  • The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993) (TV movie)
  • Cops and Robbersons (1994)
  • The Scout (1994)
  • The Fantasticks (1995)
  • A Simple Wish (1997)
  • References

    Michael Ritchie (film director) Wikipedia