Denis Sanders, Winner of 2 Oscars, Dies

From Associated Press

Film maker Denis Sanders, the two-time Academy Award-winning producer of war movies who also directed the film debuts of Robert Redford and George Hamilton, died at his home at age 58.

Sanders, who died in his sleep on Thursday, will be buried today at Glen Abbey Memorial Park after services at 2 p.m. in the Chapel of Roses in San Diego.

Sanders, a professor and film maker in residence at San Diego State University, had received numerous international film honors, including two Academy Awards, first place at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, and the British Film Academy Award.

His Oscar-winning films were “A Time Out of War,” a 1950s short based on a Civil War incident, and “Czechoslovakia, 1968,” a 1970 documentary.


Born Jan. 21, 1929, in New York City, Sanders was graduated from UCLA with a master’s degree in theater arts. He often was writer, director and producer of his films.

He directed Redford’s movie debut in the 1962 film about the Korean War, “War Hunt,” which starred John Saxon and won the British Film Academy Award. He also called the action in Hamilton’s first film, “Crime and Punishment,” in 1959.

Sanders’ work also included a feature film on Elvis Presley and a documentary on Adlai Stevenson.

In 1954, “A Time Out of War” was awarded an Oscar for best short subject. It later became a world classic and is still distributed worldwide, said his brother, Terry Sanders of Los Angeles.


“That film is one of the most honored films ever made,” said Terry Sanders, also a film maker. “So many people said that it changed their lives. It still is referred to as the most effective anti-war film ever made.”

Denis Sanders received Emmy nominations for two documentaries: “The American West of John Ford” and “Trial: The City and County of Denver vs. Lauren P. Watson.”

He was president of SRS Productions of Los Angeles, which produces educational films, and vice president of Rowan, Deckers, Sanders and Bleich, a San Francisco-based company specializing in political communications.

Sanders had planned to teach at Tel Aviv University in Israel on a federal Fulbright Award during the upcoming spring semester, his brother said.

In addition to wife Sherri Warren Sanders and his brother, he leaves his mother, Altina Miranda of Washington, D.C.; daughters Victoria Sanders of New York City and Juliet Sanders of Idyllwild, Calif.; and son Peter Sanders of Denton, Tex.