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Richard Franklin’s death was reported by Sandy George in The Australian; this is an edited version.

Richard Franklin was one of five directors interviewed last month (June 2007) for Mark Hartley's documentary Not Quite Hollywood, about 1970s and 80s Australian films. "I asked him how he would be considered by the Australian film industry," said Hartley, "and he said `very begrudgingly they would probably say I was a half-decent craftsman'. "He made commercial mainstream films for the international market when it was not the climate for them, which is why he did not get the recognition he deserved."

Franklin grew up in Melbourne and studied film in the US. He got to know Alfred Hitchcock after inviting the master of suspense to give a lecture at the Californian university where he was studying. "His films are so littered with things Hitchcockian that they make Quentin Tarantino's homages to other directors look lightweight," said Antony I. Ginnane, the Australian producer now based in Los Angeles, who produced the Franklin-directed horror movie Patrick (1978) and Franklin's steamy Fantasm (1976).

Franklin's first Australian feature was the comedy-western The True Story of Eskimo Nell (1975). As with many of his films he was both producer and director. His US titles include Psycho II (1983) and Cloak & Dagger (1984).

"He thought cinema was not necessarily nationalistic but lived in a world of its own," said Ginnane. "Ironically he came back to Australia and did two movies quite aggressively based on Australian material."

Hotel Sorrento (1995) and Brilliant Lies (1996) were adapted from plays by Hannie Rayson and David Williamson respectively.

Published July 19, 2007

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Richard Franklin was working on his autobiography and a PhD at the time of his death from prostate cancer on July 11, 2007, four days short of his 59th birthday.

Gia Carides and Ray Barrett in Brilliant Lies

Radha Mitchell in Visitors

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