Franklin J. Schaffner worked in a wide variety of genres, from domestic dramas to adventure epics. His ability to combine the personal and the visually expansive has drawn comparisons with David Lean. An acclaimed director of American TV drama in the 1950s, Schaffner began directing feature films in the early 60's. His most famous films, however are Planet Of The Apes (1968), Patton (1969), Papillon (1973) - three classes of the American Cinema. Papillon, about life in a French penal colony, featured standout performances from Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. It was, however the last highlight of Schaffner's career, which deaclined steadily over the following two decades.