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Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday at the age of 83, was a success on both stage and screen. Besides serving as half of the comic duo Nichols and May, he left an indelible imprint on the world of film by directing such classics as The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge and The Birdcage — to name just a few. (He was also one of the few people to win at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award each.)
To commemorate Nichols’ incredible influence, we’ve collected trailers for 10 of his most memorable films. They’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, and in that quintessentially Nichols way, they’ll leave you thinking and wanting more.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
For his feature film directing debut, Nichols helmed this adaptation of the Edward Albee play, and from the very start he was working with Hollywood royalty: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
The Graduate (1967)
Robert Redford was originally eyed for the role of young Benjamin Braddock, but Nichols ended up casting a theater actor named Dustin Hoffman in this now-classic film about a lost college graduate.
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
Set over the course of 25 years, this film stars frequent Nichols collaborator Jack Nicholson and musician Art Garfunkel as a pair of roommates, and explored their relationship with one another — and the opposite sex.
Nichols often worked with the legendary Meryl Streep, and in this 1983 drama — co-written by the late Nora Ephron — Streep plays a real-life whistleblower who died under mysterious circumstances.
Biloxi Blues (1988)
A master at turning plays into unforgettable films, Nichols set his sights on the classic Neil Simon play with this film starring Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walken. How hot is it? Just watch the trailer to find out.
Read more Hollywood Mourns Mike Nichols
Working Girl (1988)
Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, and Harrison Ford all star in this romantic comedy about a young secretary (Griffith) who is able to work her way up the corporate ladder.
The Birdcage (1996)
Another stage adaptation, this classic comedy features Nathan Lane and the late Robin Williams at their comedic best as a gay couple fronting as straight in order to impress the conservative parents of Williams’ son.
Primary Colors (1998)
A thinly veiled riff on the Clinton presidency, this film features John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton — and a screenplay by Nichols’ old collaborator, Elaine May.
Natalie Portman and Clive Owen both received Oscar nominations for their performances in this drama. They star alongside Julia Roberts and Jude Law, with playwright Patrick Marber adapting his own work for the screen.
Charlie Wilson’ War (2007)
For his final film, Nichols teamed up with Julia Roberts again — this time with Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams along for the ride. Charlie Wilson’s War has all the earmarks of a Nichols classic, mixing humor, drama and idiosyncratic characters with a flair for language into a frothy mix that is always entertaining.
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