Michael Joseph Anderson, Sr. (born 30 January 1920) is an English film director, best known for directing The Dam Busters (1955), Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Logan's Run (1976).
He was born in London, England. Anderson's was a theatrical family. His parents were the actors Lawrence and Beatrice Anderson. His great-aunt was Mary Anderson of Louisville, Kentucky, who became one of the first American Shakespearian actresses; the Mary Anderson Theatre in Louisville was dedicated to her. After serving in the Second World War, Anderson first developed his career in British films, becoming a director in 1949 and enjoying his first success with the war film The Dam Busters (1955). The Dam Busters made good use of limited special effects and is often cited as an inspiration for the climax of the first Star Wars film. He directed the first cinema adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 (1956) and Around the World in 80 Days (1956), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his direction. He also directed the 1968 film The Shoes of the Fisherman starring Anthony Quinn, Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud.
He settled in Hollywood, California, making such science fiction offerings as Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975) and Logan's Run (1976). Logan's Run was an expensive box-office success, contributing a box office of $50 million worldwide and boosting sales for its distributor, Metro Goldwyn Mayer. It has gone on to enjoy a cult status. He also directed Orca (1977). Anderson's later work was mostly made-for-television miniseries, including The Martian Chronicles (1980), Sword of Gideon (1986) and Young Catherine (1991). In 1988, he directed Bottega dell'orefice (The Jeweler's Shop), based on the 1960 play written by Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II). Other films he has directed include All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Flight from Ashiya (1964), The Quiller Memorandum (1966), Yangtse Incident (1957) and a film adaptation of Conduct Unbecoming (1975).
He is fluent in French, Italian, and German. Anderson is currently the oldest individual still living who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. His son Michael Anderson, Jr., is an actor who appeared in Logan's Run; another son David Anderson, is a film producer.