January 16 ~  Gift From Heaven John Carpenter

"To be able to work doing things that I really care about—it's a gift—a gift from heaven." ~ John Carpenter

John Carpenter

A director with a gift from heaven, John Howard Carpenter (1948-) was born on this day in Carthage, New York and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

He said, "As a kid, I knew a lot of the movies I saw were hideous, but I didn't care, I loved them anyway."

Known for science fiction and horror films, Carpenter is a master at creating tension and thrills. Who can forget the terror of Jamie Lee Curtis in the low-budget classic Halloween (1978)? The now-legendary film was a box office and critical success.

"When I started out to be a filmmaker, it was with the intention of directing westerns. Halloween changed all that for me. Its unprecedented success turned me into a thriller director," he explained.

And thrill he did. Carpenter scared audiences with The Fog (1980), then added the futuristic Escape from New York (1981), the spine-tingling The Thing (1982), the romantic Starman (1984), and the wild action-pleaser Big Trouble in Little China (1986) to his resume.

With style and vision and a bit of wit, Carpenter has created films that celebrate American culture and have become classic cult favorites. "I like to be as simple as possible," he said. "I don't like to show off."

"I'm happy being who I am and I love making movies and the movies I've made."

More Film-Making Quotations

Count Your Blessings.