Sam Raimi

Infobox Actor

imagesize =
caption = Raimi at the premiere of "Spider-Man 3", April 2007
birthdate = birth date and age|1959|10|23
birthplace = Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
birthname = Samuel Marshall Raimi
othername = Celia Abrams R.O.C. Sandstorm Roc Sandstorm Alan Smithee Jr.
occupation = director, producer, actor, writer
spouse = Gillian Greene (1993–present)
website =

Samuel Marshall "Sam" Raimi (born October 23, 1959) is an American film director, producer, actor and writer. He is best known for directing the classic cult-horror film "The Evil Dead", and the blockbuster "Spider-Man" films.


Early life

Raimi, the fourth of five children, was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, the son of Celia Barbara (née Abrams), who owned lingerie shops, and Leonard Ronald Raimi, who owned home furnishing stores. [ [ Sam Raimi Biography (1959-) ] ] [ [ Ted Raimi Biography (1965-) ] ] Raimi was raised in Conservative Judaism; his ancestors emmigrated from Russia and Hungary. [ [ ] ] Raimi's eldest sibling, Sander, died in a swimming accident in 1970 at age fifteen. His elder brother, Ivan Raimi, is an emergency room doctor and screenwriter who sometimes collaborates with Sam. His brother, Ted Raimi, is an actor and played J. Jonah Jameson's assistant Hoffman in all three "Spider-Man" movies. His older sister, Andrea Raimi Rubin, is a court reporter and is not involved in the film industry. Raimi attended Wylie E. Groves High School, and Michigan State University and majored in English, leaving after three semesters to film "The Evil Dead".Bold text


Raimi became fascinated with making films when his father brought a movie camera home one day and he began to make Super 8 movies with childhood friend Bruce Campbell. In college, he teamed up with his brother's roommate Robert Tapert and Campbell to shoot "Within the Woods" (1978), a 32-minute horror film which raised $350,000, as well as the short comedic film "It's Murder!". Through family, friends, and a network of investors Raimi was able to finance production of the highly successful horror film "The Evil Dead" (1981) which became a major hit and effectively launched Raimi's career to new levels. He began work on his second film "Crimewave" (1985), intended as a live-action comic book—the film was not successful, due in part to unwanted studio intervention. Raimi returned to the horror genre with the seminal "Evil Dead II" (which toned down the savageness of the original in favour of slapstick, showcasing his love of the Three Stooges). A long-time comic book buff, he attempted to adapt "The Shadow" into a movie, but was unable to secure the rights. So he created his own super-hero, "Darkman" (1990). The film was his first major studio picture, and was only moderately successful, but he was still able to secure funding for "", which turned away almost totally from horror in favour of fantasy and comedy elements.

In the 1990s Raimi moved into other genres, directing such films as the western "The Quick and the Dead", the critically-acclaimed crime thriller "A Simple Plan" (1998) (starring Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton), and the romantic drama "For Love of the Game" (1999) (starring Kevin Costner). Raimi achieved great commercial success with the blockbuster "Spider-Man" (2002), which was adapted from the comic book series of the same name. The movie has grossed over $800 million worldwide, spawning two sequels: "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3". After the completion of the third Spider-Man film, Raimi is slated to direct a film adaptation of "The Wee Free Men" by Terry Pratchett. Prior to directing the Spider-Man films, Raimi lobbied to direct "Batman Forever" when Tim Burton was ousted from the director's chair, but was rejected in favor of Joel Schumacher, whose reputation at the time outshone Raimi's.

Raimi frequently collaborates with Joel and Ethan Coen, beginning when Joel was one of the editors of "Evil Dead". The Coens co-wrote "Crimewave" and "The Hudsucker Proxy" with Raimi in the mid-1980s (though "Hudsucker" was not filmed for almost a decade). Raimi made cameo appearances in both "Miller's Crossing" and "The Hudsucker Proxy". The Coen brothers gave Raimi advice on shooting in snow for "A Simple Plan", based on their experiences with "Fargo".

He has also worked in front of the camera with "Miller's Crossing" as a coldblooded gunman, "The Stand" as a dimwitted hitman, John Carpenter's "Body Bags" in an unusual role as a gas station attendant (all three roles saw Raimi dying in distinct ways), and "Indian Summer" in what is perhaps his biggest role as a bumbling assistant to Alan Arkin. He also produced "The Grudge", "The Grudge 2" and "The Grudge 3".

According to Entertainment Weekly, Raimi had expressed an interest in directing a film version of "The Hobbit", the prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. [ [,,20035161,00.html 'Hobbit' Forming?] ] Guillermo del Toro is now attached.

There are also talks of Raimi directing "By Any Means Necessary", the next Jack Ryan film based on the CIA character created by Tom Clancy.


In addition to film, Raimi has worked in television, producing such series as ', featuring his younger brother Ted Raimi and long-time friend Bruce Campbell, ', "American Gothic", "Cleopatra 2525" and "Jack of All Trades". In 2008, it was announced at Comic-Con in San Diego that Raimi would be executive producing a new syndicated TV series called "Legend of the Seeker," based on Terry Goodkind's best-selling "The Sword of Truth" fantasy series. The original name for the show was going to be based on the first book of the Goodkind series, "Wizard's First Rule," but was changed to the new title as it more accurately captured the scope of the epic storyline.

Recurring trademarks, motifs, and partners

In his film and television projects, Raimi's brother Ted Raimi and his friend Bruce Campbell often appear in on-screen roles, though these appearances are often just short cameos. The trio have been working together since their college days. Both Ted and Bruce have appeared in all three "Evil Dead" and "Spider-Man" movies, as well as "", which Sam produced. In the "Dead" films, Campbell plays the recurring star role of Ash, while Ted played various small parts every time. In the "Spider Man" films, however, Ted plays "Daily Bugle" advertising manager Ted Hoffman, while Campbell has played different roles every time. In "Xena", Ted and Bruce played the recurring roles of Joxer and Autolycus.

Raimi occasionally appears on-screen in his own movies, usually in similar fashion to the cameos made by his idol Alfred Hitchcock: A silhouette behind a projection screen ("Spider-Man", in the wrestling scene), a passer-by with some kind of physical interaction with the film's protagonist ("Spider-Man 2", as the student whose bookbag hits Peter Parker in the back of the head), a hitchhiker in "The Evil Dead". Raimi also wears a suit with white shirt and tie on-set in another homage to Hitchcock.

Raimi often works with film editor Bob Murawski, a fellow Michigan State University alumnus; among Raimi's films edited by Murawski include the "Spider-Man" movies, "The Gift", and "Army of Darkness".

Sam Raimi has included a 1973 yellow Oldsmobile Delta 88 automobile (nicknamed "The Classic") in every film except "The Quick and the Dead", Bruce Campbell, at Comic-con 2005, advised that a special covered wagon frame had covered the vehicle to maintain the motif of the film. A bottle of Maker's Mark also appears regularly in his movies.

Other Raimi screen-framing trademarks include:

* A distinctive camera shot where the camera follows a moving object (such as an arrow or a projectile weapon) at high speeds creating a first-person point of view from the object itself;
* A rapid dolly zoom to bring a far-off object suddenly into the center of the shot or to pull back from the main focal object to show what is happening around the perimeter (sometimes called "push-pull");
* Montage sequences with overlapping close-up shots to establish a set of similar actions over elapsing time.
* Manic and hyperkinetic, comic-book-like visuals and intense action sequences, generally characterized by a bravura visual imagination and ingenuity, and often complex camera techniques, frequently executed with a minimal budget.

In the "Making The Amazing" documentary on the "Spider-Man 2" DVD, both Tobey Maguire and Bruce Campbell jokingly describe Raimi's penchant for "abusing" actors: In order to get realistic closeups of a character getting hit by debris, Raimi usually stands just off-camera throwing items, swinging tree branches, etc., at the actor who is at the center of the shot. Scenes from the documentary show that Raimi is the one throwing popcorn at Peter Parker during the walk to the wrestling ring in "Spider-Man" and tossing gold coins around during the bank robbery scene in "Spider-Man 2". This technique was parodied by "Spider-Man" actor James Franco in his Funny or Die series, [ Acting with James Franco, Episode 2: "Green Screen"] .

Personal life

Raimi has been married since 1993 to Gillian Deale Greene, daughter of actor Lorne Greene. They have five children. Three of the Raimis' children (daughter Emma Rose and sons Lorne and Henry) appeared as extras in "Spider-Man 3" during the movie's climactic final battle.

On occasion, Raimi collaborates with his elder brother Ivan, a doctor and occasional scriptwriter. Together, they co-wrote the screenplays for "Darkman" and "Army of Darkness" and fleshed out most of the plot for "Spider-Man 3". Ivan also contributed to story and script development for the three "Spider-Man" films.


As director

As producer


* Catalonian International Film Festival Prize of the International Critics' Jury 1981
* Catalonian International Film Festival Best Director Award 1990
* Catalonian International Film Festival Time-Machine Honorary Award 1992
* Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Golden Raven Award 1993
* Fantasporto Critics' Award 1993
* Cognac Festival du Film Policier Special Jury Prize 1999
* Saturn Award Best Director Award 2005
* Empire Award Best Director Award 2005


External links

*imdb name|id=0000600|name=Sam Raimi
* [ Sam Raimi discusses "Spider-Man"]
* [ "Army of Darkness" retrospective]
* [ AICN Link addressing rumor the Raimi will direct "The Hobbit"]
* [ Sam Raimi on "The Hour"]
*YouTube|zs8sOvGq87A|Bruce Campbell at Comic-Con 2005

NAME = Raimi, Samuel Marshall
SHORT DESCRIPTION = American film director
DATE OF BIRTH = October 23, 1959
PLACE OF BIRTH = Royal Oak, Michigan, United States

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