Menahem Golan, film producing icon, dead at 85

Last Updated: August 15, 2014By Tags:

“Golan-Globus …” To this critic who grew up in the eighties in France in a decade when “La Boum” and “Un homme et une femme” where big, the hyphenated combo held the promise of cinematic thrills and brash entertainment: high stakes cop-vs-bad guys intrigues, meatheads in military gear knocking doors down and car chases aplenty. This was Hollywood at its best, making money without the obscenely outsize budgets that are the norm nowadays.

Menahem Golan, who formed one half of the legendary Hollywood team, was an Israeli producer-director who had served in his country’s air force during the War of Independence. He studied theater direction at the Old Vic School (London) and film directing New York University, eventually going to work for Roger Corman.

On the directing front Golan was best-known for “Operation Thunderbolt” (1977), about the Israeli commando raid on Entebbe to free hostages held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film.

Golan passed away at his home in Tel Aviv on Friday while visiting family in Jaffa.