Peter Iliff‘s passion for movies started with James Bond. He was six and his dad took him to see “Goldfinger” on the day it opened. They watched it twice. Now, it may seem strange – a dad taking his six year old to see a Bond film – but, strangely, something happened there in that darkened movie theater. An already strong bond between father and son grew stronger. But, also, a new bond formed – between Peter and those wonderful phantoms up on the screen.
For those unaware, Peter Iliff is a highly regarded screenwriter with some monster credits to his name as both a writer and director: Varsity Blues, Point Break and Patriot Games, the Enforcer and Rites of Passage for starters. He writes a lot about male bonding and male bonds. Whatever ignited inside Peter during Goldfinger burns brightly still.
Writers are like that. We may put stories in a hundred different locations, but, often, we’re trying to solve the same problem again and again (be it family dynamics, politics, love or whatever). What problem is Peter trying to solve? You’ll have to listen to the interview.
Peter’s been in this business for 45 years. He knows a lot of stuff – about writing and about writing for this business. It’s unlike anything else. Along the way – as he tells – Peter learned from some of the very best screenwriters – like William Goldman (“Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid”, “Princess Bride.”, “All The President’s Men”, “Magic”). If he wasn’t learning from them, he was borrowing their cashmere sweaters.
Or going nose to nose with a charging-at-him Gene Hackman (a man notorious for punching people in the nose). Or, directing for the first time on an episode of “Tales From The Crypt” (where we specialized in handling first time directors).
Peter also talks about getting sober – and getting healthier than he’s ever been. Happy, too. That’s the ultimate bottom line, isn’t it?
We also talk a lot about writing in this episode – about screenwriting in particular. It’s a curious craft we all chose to master. Screenwriters are never the last word on any film project.
This one is choc-a-block with cool stories about some of the biggest names in the business. It’s also choc-a-block with insight and a love for movies and an even bigger love for just being alive. Odds are, listening to this one, you’ll end up bonding with Peter Iliff.