Director Wolfgang Petersen Dead At 81

Posted August 16, 2022 by with 10 comments

Known for visionary masterpieces like Das Boot and Neverending Story (tribute clip below), perfect suspense thrillers like Air Force One and In The Line Of Fire, and the pandemic-themed Outbreak, Academy Award-nominated director Wolfgang Petersen was one of the best and most successful directors of the 1980’s and 90’s. He died of pancreatic cancer last week in Hollywood. Via CBS:

Wolfgang Petersen, the German filmmaker whose World War II submarine epic “Das Boot” propelled him into a blockbuster Hollywood career that included the films “In the Line of Fire,” “Air Force One” and “The Perfect Storm,” has died. He was 81.

Petersen died Friday at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood after a battle with pancreatic cancer, said representative Michelle Bega.

Petersen, born in Emden, Germany, made two features before his 1982 breakthrough, “Das Boot.” Then the most expensive movie in German film history, the 149-minute “Das Boot” (the original cut ran 210 minutes) chronicled the intense claustrophobia of life aboard a doomed German U-boat during the Battle of the Atlantic, with Jürgen Prochnow as the submarine’s commander. Heralded as an antiwar masterpiece, “Das Boot” was nominated for six Oscars, including for Petersen’s direction and his adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling 1973 novel.