John Flynn (March 14, 1932 – April 4, 2007) was an American film director and screenwriter known for making efficient, no-nonsense crime-thrillers The Outfit and Rolling Thunder
Flynn was raised in Hermosa Beach, California and served in the Coast Guard, It was during this stint that he studied journalism with Roots author Alex Haley. Flynn received a degree in journalism from UCLA.
He began his cinematic career as an apprentice to director Robert Wise on Odds Against Tomorrow and worked as the script supervisor on West Side Story. From there, Flynn worked as a second unit director on Kid Galahad and The Great Escape. He made his debut as a director with The Sergeant
starring Rod Steiger. Flynn's substantial commercial success was with The Outfit starring Robert Duvall. The filmmaker achieved a dedicated cult following with the gritty revenge thriller, Rolling Thunder
starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones.
In 1994, he directed the cult classic Brainscan
, a thriller about the dangers of virtual reality starring Edward Furlong and Frank Langella.
Flynn continued to work on genre films like Best Seller
, the Sylvester Stallone prison drama Lock Up, and the Steven Seagal action film, Out for Justice
. In the early 1990s, Flynn directed two made-for-cable-TV films, the Dennis Hopper cop film, Nails
, and the crime drama Scam
. His last film was the direct-to-video film Protection