Walter Hill developed his craft as a screenwriter and director while working as a second assistant director onBullitt, Take the Money and Run, and The Thomas Crown Affair. Hill's first screenplay, Hickey and Boggs, was produced in 1972. Later, he penned The Getaway for director Sam Peckinpah, who became a major influence on his own filmmaking style. Hill also wrote The MacKintosh Man which was directed by another mentor, John Huston.
In 1975, Hill directed his first feature film Hard Times starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn. He achieved great success in 1979 with the stylized gang movie The Warriors, which he wrote and directed and was released the same year he produced the hit science fiction thriller Alien. The 1980s brought more success with films like The Long Riders (nominated for the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival), Southern Comfort, 48 Hours, Another 48 Hours, Brewster's Millions, and Red Heat. Hill also wrote and directed episodes of the television series Tales from the Crypt and the westerns Geronimo: An American Legend, Wild Bill, and Last Man Standing.
Hill received a DGA Award and an Emmy for Best Director for an episode of the HBO series Deadwood. His work on the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Broken Trail garnered him an Emmy nomination and a DGA Award for directing. In 2007, he received the Joseph Plateau Award from the Flanders International Film Festival for his lifetime achievement as a writer, director and producer. Walter Hill served on the DGA’s Western Directors Council from 1997-2012 and was a member of the Guild's Social Responsibility Task Force.