Cult director and Tarantino mentor Monte Hellman dies aged 91

RIP

Cult filmmaker and producer Monte Hellman has died at the age of 91.

Hellman, who directed The Shooting and Two-Lane Blacktop among others, passed away on Tuesday (April 20).

His daughter Melissa confirmed the news to the Hollywood Reporter, saying he died at Eisenhower Health hospital in Palm Desert, a week after suffering a fall in his home.

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“He was my best friend,” Melissa told the publication.

The filmmaker had collaborated with Jack Nicholson on Back Door to Hell and Flight to Fury, and worked with Warren Oates four times and called the actor his “alter ego”.

Hellman served as an executive producer on Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in 1992 and ultimately helped finance the filmmaker’s breakout success.

Baby Driver director Edgar Wright paid his respects on Twitter sharing a clip of Two-Lane Blacktop, arguably the filmmaker’s most popular work.

“RIP Monte Hellman,” Wright wrote. “They don’t make studios like Two-Lane Blacktop anymore… or then…”

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Sean Baker, director of The Florida Project, also paid his respects by posting a photo of the Criterion edition of Two-Lane Blacktop. 

“RIP Monte Hellman. Watching his masterpiece in his honor,” he said.

Hellman’s final feature was the 2010 romance thriller Road to Nowhere, which was co-produced by his daughter Melissa.

He is also survived by his son, Jared, and his brother, Herb Himmelbaum.

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