A prolific director since the late 1960s, Smithee has proved to be a formidable film-making force, even having the audacity to take on Hitchcock with The Birds II (1994). When Meet Joe Black and Scent of a Woman proved unsuitable to be shown on commercial airline flights, Alan was on hand to provide family-friendly versions.

One of his last works, Burn Hollywood Burn, was very poorly received, and it is said that he never recovered from the critical panning. He died shortly afterwards.

His protègé, Thomas Lee, emerged from the shadow of this film giant to direct on his own - his first film was Supernova (2000), which is merely the first masterpiece in what looks to be a promising career.

Yes, yes, I know. The name Alan Smithee was discontinued after everyone and his mum was in on the joke, and the name they use when a director disowns a film now is Thomas Lee - although everyone probably knows about that one too. What with this danged old internet malarkey, it's kind of pointless doing it, as everyone knows who really directed the movie, and it just draws attention to it in a "ooh, that must be shit" kind of way...