Remembering Edward R Pressman

Edward R Pressman, a renowned filmmaker and producer of over ninety films including classics like "Badlands," "Wall Street," and "The Crow," passed away peacefully on 17 January 2023

by Frank Cassidy
Words Frank Cassidy

I was immensely saddened to learn of the death of legendary filmmaker Edward R Pressman, producer of more than ninety diverse movies, including Badlands, Das Boot, Conan the Barbarian, Wall Street, Reversal of Fortune, Hoffa, The Crow, American Psycho and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The prolific producer, who continued to work right up until the end, died peacefully on 17 January at a Los Angeles hospital surrounded by his loving family.

I first met Ed in Los Angeles in 1991 and it was the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship. He had a particular curiosity about Ireland as his wife Annie had Irish ancestry in County Clare that she was hoping to trace someday.

The Pressmans arrived in Ireland in July of 1992 and we celebrated together in The Square in Ennis when the Clare team were welcomed home following their win at the Munster Senior Football Championship against Kerry.

Pressman’s speciality was discovering new talent, and he fostered the careers of young and inspired filmmakers such as Oliver Stone, Terrence Malick, Kathryn Bigelow and Brian De Palma when they were just starting out. In 1981 he produced the horror film The Hand, the first studio feature directed by Oliver Stone, and it was on the set of this film that he met his future wife.

Ed had a unique style that manifested in all aspects of his life. He said little and cared a lot; he listened to everyone and took notes in his ever-present school composition book. The range and diversity of his films said a lot about him, but most importantly he was gentle and kind and a truly great friend. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

‘Every film is a miracle’

Edward R. Pressman

Featured image: Edward R. Pressman during production of Walker with Ed Harris (wearing black in the background), 1987. All photos courtesy of the Pressman family and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Two men in suits and ties, smiling and holding papers. Edward R Pressman with Oliver Stone.
Edward R. Pressman, left, with writer-director Oliver Stone in New York, 1987.
A behind-the-scenes look at Christian Bale, Edward R. Pressman, and Willem Dafoe during the making of American Psycho in Toronto, Canada, 2000.
From left: Christian Bale, Edward R. Pressman, and Willem Dafoe on location in Toronto, Canada during production of American Psycho, 2000.
Edward R Pressman and Danny DeVito beside a car, smiling
Danny DeVito, centre left, and Edward R. Pressman on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during production of Hoffa, 1992. 
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