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April 14, 2024

News Release: March 19, 2024

Walter Hill to Receive WGAW’s 2024 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement

Walter Hill
Walter Hill. Photo: Nicolas Aproux
2024 Award Recipient

Legendary screenwriter, director, and producer Walter Hill—who wrote or co-wrote The Getaway, The Warriors, 48 Hrs., Last Man Standing, and Dead For A Dollar among many other films—has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West’s 2024 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement. The Guild’s lifetime achievement award is presented to members who have “advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter.” 

"Walter Hill's impact on our industry is undeniable,” said WGAW President Meredith Stiehm. “His unique style influenced and educated generations of screenwriters who followed. He has had an enduring, renowned career, and the Guild is honored to present him with the Screen Laurel Award."

Hill’s career began in the early 1970s with screenplay credits for Hickey and Boggs, The Getaway, The Mackintosh Man, and The Drowning Pool. In 1975, he made his directorial debut with Hard Times, a Depression-era street fighting drama. From there, Hill chose a succession of projects that found both cult and mainstream audiences.

In 1979, Hill, co-wrote and directed The Warriors, which has remained a popular cult film for over 40 years. That year, he also co-produced the science fiction blockbuster Alien and would go on to co-write its first two sequels, Aliens and Alien 3, receiving a Saturn Award nomination for his writing on Alien 3. Hill would go on to write or co-write and direct 48 Hrs., Another 48 Hrs., Southern Comfort, and Last Man Standing, making him one of the foremost action filmmakers in Hollywood. 

Hill began his exploration of the American western in 1980, beginning with the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm nominee, The Long Riders. This film marked the beginning of Hill’s western trilogy; it included his directing of Geronimo, and ended in 1995 with Wild Bill, which Hill wrote and directed.

Additionally, Hill received writing credits for Streets of Fire, The Driver, Red Heat, and the neo-noir thriller The Assignment—all of which he also directed.

Hill received the Cartier Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the Venice International Film Festival when his most recent film, Dead For A Dollar, premiered in September of 2022. Hill also received the Western Heritage Award for Theatrical Motion Picture, the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Western Drama Script and the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Film – Drama.