David Mamet

Highest Rated: 97% The Winslow Boy (1999)
Lowest Rated: 33% Rising Sun (1993)
Birthday: Nov 30, 1947
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet is one of a handful of American playwrights whose work has found almost as much success on the screen as it has on the stage. Noted for his spare, gritty work that reflects the hardened attitudes of his native Chicago and often revolves around domineering male characters and their macho posturing, Mamet has time and again spurred both discussion and controversy, inciting particularly angry reactions from feminists.Born in Chicago on November 30, 1947, Mamet studied at Vermont's Goddard College and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York. He returned to his hometown to found the St. Nicholas Theatre Company and also worked for a time as the artistic director of the famed Goodman Theatre. Mamet first earned acclaim in 1976 for a trio of Off-Off Broadway plays, The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and America Buffalo. The latter two works were later adapted for the screen, the first becoming About Last Night (1986, it was not adapted by Mamet), and the latter released in 1996 with a script by the playwright himself. Mamet began writing for the screen in 1981 with a re-make of The Postman Always Rings Twice, his script emphasizing the base sexuality and brutal violence of the material in a way that the original 1947 film could not. After winning a Pulitzer for his play Glengarry Glen Ross in 1984 (a damning indictment of American business practices, it was made into a film in 1992 with Mamet's own script), Mamet had his first true screen success as a screenwriter with Brian De Palma's The Untouchables in 1987. That same year, he earned further critical acclaim for his directorial debut, House of Games, a crime thriller starring Mamet's then-wife Lindsay Crouse as a psychologist caught up in an elaborate con game.After directing two more celebrated features, the (uncharacteristic) comedy Things Change (1988) and Homicide (1991), Mamet turned primarily to screenwriting (stepping back behind the camera to direct an adaptation of his controversial play Oleanna in 1994), giving voice to such films as Hoffa (1992), Malcolm X (1992), and Vanya on 42nd Street (1994). In 1997, his screenplay for Barry Levinson's political satire Wag the Dog earned Mamet both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Screenplay. That same year, he returned to directing with The Spanish Prisoner, a twisting, inventive thriller that had the added attraction of Steve Martin in an uncharacteristically dark performance.After writing the fairly unsuccessful The Edge (1997), an adventure drama starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, Mamet returned to the screen in 1999 with The Winslow Boy. Despite a radical change in material for Mamet -- an Edwardian courtroom drama originally written by Terence Rattigan, it was worlds apart from the raw, foul-mouthed work to which Mamet owed his fame -- it was widely embraced by the critics, and stood as a sizable testament to the playwright's versatility. If the subsequent State and Main didn't quite live up to expectations, Mamet could at least his screenplay for the popular Silence of the Lambs sequel Hannibal yielded a box office hit. The following year Mamet once again stepped behind the camera for the incisive crime drama Heist to moderate success. Embraced by crime buffs but largely ignored by the rest of the moviegoing public, Heist nevertheless offered memorable performances by such notable actors as Gene Hackman, Danny De Vito and Sam Rockwell. As the prolific writer/director became increasingly comfortable pulling double duty, audiences eagerly anticipated the release of the political thriller Spartan in 2004. In 2006 he tried his hand at the small screen as executive producer and overseer of the CBS drama The Unit. Two years later he wrote and directed the martial-arts drama Redbelt.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Force Screenwriter 2019
No Score Yet Speed-the-Plow Director Screenwriter 2017
83% Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia Actor $0.2M 2014
92% Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay Actor $0.2M 2013
50% Phil Spector Executive Producer Screenwriter Director 2013
68% Redbelt Director Screenwriter $2.3M 2008
47% Edmond Screenwriter 2005
65% Spartan Director Screenwriter $4.3M 2004
66% Heist Director Screenwriter $23.3M 2001
No Score Yet Beckett on Film Director 2001
39% Hannibal Screenwriter $163.9M 2001
86% State and Main Director Screenwriter $5.8M 2000
83% Lakeboat Screenwriter 2000
97% The Winslow Boy Director Screenwriter 1999
68% Ronin Screenwriter 1998
40% Lansky Screenwriter 1998
85% Wag the Dog Screenwriter 1997
63% The Edge Screenwriter 1997
89% The Spanish Prisoner Director Screenwriter 1997
74% American Buffalo Screenwriter 1996
No Score Yet Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants Director 1996
89% Vanya on 42nd Street Screenwriter 1995
56% Oleanna Director Screenwriter 1994
33% Rising Sun Screenwriter 1993
No Score Yet A Life in the Theatre Screenwriter 1993
54% Hoffa Screenwriter 1992
95% Glengarry Glen Ross Screenwriter 1992
No Score Yet The Water Engine Screenwriter Brown Haired Man 1992
91% Homicide Screenwriter Director 1991
47% We're No Angels Screenwriter 1989
83% Things Change Director Screenwriter 1988
No Score Yet Lip Service Producer 1988
96% House of Games Director Screenwriter 1987
81% The Untouchables Screenwriter 1987
45% Black Widow Herb 1987
61% About Last Night Screenwriter 1986
96% The Verdict Screenwriter 1982
77% The Postman Always Rings Twice Screenwriter 1981


84% The Unit
Executive Producer Creator Screenwriter Director
  • 2019
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
85% The Simpsons
  • 2011
No Score Yet Colbert Report
  • 2010
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
  • 2007
88% The Shield
  • 2004
No Score Yet Hill Street Blues
  • 1987


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