Burt Lancaster - Rotten Tomatoes

Burt Lancaster



Rugged, athletic, and handsome, Burt Lancaster enjoyed phenomenal success from his first film, The Killers, to his last, Field of Dreams -- over a career spanning more than four decades. Boasting an impressively wide range, he delivered thoughtful, sensitive performances across a spectrum of genres: from film noir to Westerns to melodrama, he commanded the screen with a presence and power matched by only a handful of stars.

Lancaster was born November 2, 1913, in New York City. As a child, he exhibited considerable athletic and acrobatic prowess, and at the age of 17 joined a circus troupe, forming a duo with the diminutive performer Nick Cravat (later to frequently serve as his onscreen sidekick). He eventually joined the army, and, after acting and dancing in a number of armed forces revues, he decided to pursue a dramatic career. Upon hiring an agent, Harold Hecht, Lancaster made his Broadway debut in A Sound of Hunting, a role which led to a contract with Paramount. Because the release of his first picture, Desert Fury, was delayed, he initially came to the attention of audiences in 1946's The Killers, a certified classic of film noir. It remained the genre of choice in several of his subsequent projects, including 1947's Brute Force and I Walk Alone the following year.

After starring as Barbara Stanwyck's cheating husband in Sorry, Wrong Number, Lancaster and his manager formed their own production company, Hecht-Lancaster, the first notable star-owned venture of its kind; more were to follow, and they contributed significantly to the ultimate downfall of the old studio system. Its formation was a result of Lancaster's conscious effort to avoid "beefcake" roles, instead seeking projects which spotlighted his versatility as a performer. While the company's first effort, the war melodrama Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, was not a success, they were nonetheless able to secure enough financial backing to break off completely from the mainstream Hollywood system. Still, Lancaster also continued to appear in studio productions. In 1949, he reunited with The Killers director Robert Siodmak at Universal for another excellent noir, Criss Cross, followed by Rope of Sand. He also signed a non-exclusive contract with Warner Bros., where he and Hecht produced 1950's The Flame and the Arrow, a swashbuckler which was his first major box-office success.



After producing Ten Tall Men with Hecht, Lancaster starred in the MGM Western Vengeance Valley, followed by the biopic Jim Thorpe -- All American. With Siodmak again directing, he next headlined the 1952 adventure spoof The Crimson Pirate, followed by Daniel Mann's Come Back, Little Sheba opposite Oscar-winner Shirley Booth. A minor effort, South Sea Woman, followed in 1953 before Lancaster starred in the Fred Zinnemann classic From Here to Eternity, earning him a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance and, in his beachside rendezvous with co-star Deborah Kerr, creating one of the most indelible images in film history. Another swashbuckler, His Majesty O'Keefe, followed, and under director Robert Aldrich the actor headlined a pair of Westerns, Apache and Vera Cruz. Finally, in 1955, Lancaster realized a long-held dream and helmed his own film, The Kentuckian; reviews were negative, however, and he did not return to the director's chair for another two decades.



Again working with Mann, Lancaster co-starred with another Oscar winner, Anna Magnani, in 1955's The Rose Tattoo. Opposite Tony Curtis, he appeared in the 1956 hit Trapeze, and, with Katherine Hepburn, headlined The Rainmaker later that same year. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a blockbuster featuring Lancaster as Wyatt Earp, followed, as did the acclaimed The Sweet Smell of Success. With Clark Gable, Lancaster starred in 1958's Run Silent, Run Deep, followed by Separate Tables. For 1960's Elmer Gantry, he won an Academy Award for his superb portrayal of the title character, a disreputab

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Texas Heart
  • Actor
2016
No Score Yet The Fighters
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet NFL Films Classics: Big Game America
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Battle By Sea
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Hollywood Greeting: Valentine's Day
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Pulp Cinema
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Master Classes In the Media Arts - Burt Lancaster
  • Actor
2000
83% Separate But Equal
  • John W. Davis
1991
No Score Yet The Phantom of the Opera
  • Gerard Carriere
1990
No Score Yet Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair
  • Leon Klinghoffer
1990
No Score Yet The Jeweller's Shop
  • The Jeweller
1989
86% Field of Dreams
  • Dr. "Moonlight" Graham
1989
No Score Yet Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs
  • Narrator
1989
No Score Yet Rocket Gibraltar
  • Levi Rockwell
1988
No Score Yet Control
  • Dr. Herbert Monroe
1987
No Score Yet Barnum
  • Phineas T. Barnum
1986
62% Tough Guys
  • Archie Long
1986
No Score Yet On Wings of Eagles
  • "Bull" Simons
1986
No Score Yet Little Treasure
  • Teschemacher
1985
No Score Yet Scandal Sheet
  • Harold Fallen
1985
43% The Osterman Weekend
  • Maxwell Danforth
1983
100% Local Hero
  • Felix Happer
1983
81% The Thing
  • Screenwriter
1982
No Score Yet Life of Verdi
  • Introductions/Narration (U.S. Version)
1982
No Score Yet La Pelle
  • Gen. Mark Clark
1981
No Score Yet Cattle Annie and Little Britches
  • Bill Doolin
1981
100% Atlantic City
  • Lou
1980
57% Zulu Dawn
  • Col. Anthony Durnford
1979
No Score Yet Arthur Miller on Home Ground
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Go Tell the Spartans
  • Maj. Asa Barker
1978
47% 1900 (Novecento)
  • Alfredo Berlinghieri (grandfather)
1977
50% The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Dr. Moreau
1977
88% Twilight's Last Gleaming
  • Lawrence Dell
1977
29% The Cassandra Crossing
  • MacKenzie
1977
No Score Yet Victory at Entebbe
  • Shimon Peres
1976
82% Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
  • The Legend Maker (Ned Buntline)
1976
No Score Yet America at the Movies
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Moses
  • Moses
1975
No Score Yet Ali the Fighter
  • Actor
1975
75% Conversation Piece (Gruppo di famiglia in un interno)
  • Professor
1974
50% Executive Action
  • Farrington
1973
57% The Scorpio File
  • Cross
1973
86% Ulzana's Raid
  • McIntosh
1972
80% Lawman
  • Jared Maddox
1971
No Score Yet Valdez Is Coming
  • Bob Valdez
1971
No Score Yet King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis
  • Guest
1970
80% Airport
  • Mel Bakersfeld
1970
No Score Yet The Gypsy Moths
  • Mike Rettig
1969
43% Castle Keep
  • Maj. Abraham Falconer
1969
100% The Swimmer
  • Ned Merrill
1968
70% The Scalphunters
  • Joe Bass
1968
93% The Professionals
  • Bill Dolworth
1966
No Score Yet The Hallelujah Trail
  • Thadeus
1965
100% The Train
  • Labiche
1965
100% Seven Days in May
  • Gen. James M. Scott
1964
100% The Leopard
  • Prince Don Fabrizio Salina
1963
69% The List of Adrian Messenger
  • Woman
1963
91% A Child Is Waiting
  • Dr. Matthew Clark
1963
82% Birdman of Alcatraz
  • Robert Franklin Stroud
1962
90% Judgment at Nuremberg
  • Ernst Janning
1961
50% The Young Savages
  • Hank Bell
1961
96% Elmer Gantry
  • Elmer Gantry
1960
No Score Yet The Unforgiven
  • Ben Zachary
1960
No Score Yet Take a Giant Step
  • Executive Producer
1959
No Score Yet The Devil's Disciple
  • The Rev. Anthony Anderson
1959
77% Separate Tables
  • John Malcolm
1958
100% Run Silent, Run Deep
  • Lt. Jim Bledsoe
1958
98% Sweet Smell of Success
  • J.J. Hunsecker
1957
82% Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  • Wyatt Earp
1957
No Score Yet The Rainmaker
  • Bill Starbuck/Bill Smith/Bill Harley/Tornado Johnson
1956
60% Trapeze
  • Mike Ribble
1956
80% The Rose Tattoo
  • Alvaro Mangiacavallo
1955
No Score Yet The Kentuckian
  • Director
  • Elias Wakefield
1955
100% Marty
  • Producer
1955
82% Vera Cruz
  • Joe Erin
  • Producer
1954
78% Apache
  • Massai
1954
No Score Yet His Majesty O'Keefe
  • Capt. David O'Keefe
1954
92% From Here to Eternity
  • Sgt. Milton Warden
1953
No Score Yet South Sea Woman
  • Master Gunnery Sgt. James O'Hearn
1953
No Score Yet 3 Sailors And A Girl
  • Marine
1953
83% Come Back, Little Sheba
  • Doc Delaney
1952
100% The Crimson Pirate
  • Capt. Vallo
1952
No Score Yet Ten Tall Men
  • Sgt. Mike Kincaid
1951
No Score Yet Jim Thorpe---All American
  • Jim Thorpe
1951
No Score Yet Vengeance Valley
  • Owen Daybright
1951
No Score Yet Mister 880
  • Steve Buchanan
1950
100% The Flame and the Arrow
  • Dardo Bartoli
1950
No Score Yet Rope of Sand
  • Mike Davis
1949
100% Criss Cross
  • Steve Thompson
1949
No Score Yet Kiss the Blood Off My Hands
  • William Earle 'Bill' Saunders
1948
86% Sorry, Wrong Number
  • Henry Stevenson
1948
No Score Yet All My Sons
  • Chris Keller
1948
No Score Yet I Walk Alone
  • Frankie Madison
1948
No Score Yet Variety Girl
  • Himself
1947
60% Desert Fury (Desert Town)
  • Tom Hanson
1947
91% Brute Force
  • Joe Collins
1947
100% The Killers
  • Ole "Swede" Anderson
1946

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Sesame Street
1969
  • Actor
  • Voice

Quotes from Burt Lancaster's Characters