John Houseman - Rotten Tomatoes

John Houseman

Highest Rated:   100% Seven Days in May (1964)
Lowest Rated:   35% Ghost Story (1981)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Bucharest, Romania
Before entering the entertainment industry, actor, producer, scriptwriter, playwright and stage director John Houseman, born Jacques Haussmann, first worked for his father's grain business after graduating from college, then began writing magazine pieces and translating plays from German and French. Living in New York, he was writing, directing, and producing plays by his early 30s; soon he had a stellar reputation on Broadway. In 1937, he and Orson Welles founded the Mercury Theater, at which he produced and directed radio specials and stage presentations; at the same time he was a teacher at Vassar. He produced Welles's never-completed first film, Too Much Johnson (1938). Houseman then went on to play a crucial role in the packaging of Welles's first completed film, the masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941): he developed the original story with Herman Mankiewicz, motivated Mankiewicz to complete the script, and worked as a script editor and general advisor for the film. Shortly afterwards, he and Welles had a falling out and Houseman became a vice president of David O. Selznick Productions, a post he quit in late 1941 (after Pearl Harbor) to become chief of the overseas radio division of the OWI. After returning to Hollywood he produced many fine films and commuted to New York to produce and direct Broadway plays and TV specials; in all, the films he produced were nominated for 20 Oscars and won seven. Later he became the artistic director of the touring repertory group the Acting Company, with which he toured successfully in the early '70s. He debuted onscreen at the age of 62 in Seven Days in May (1964), and then in the '70s and '80s played character roles in a number of films. As an actor he was best known as Kingsfield, the stern Harvard law professor, in the film The Paper Chase (1973), his second screen appearance, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; he reprised the role in the TV series of the same name. He authored two autobiographies, Run-Through (1972) and Front and Center (1979).

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
87% The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • Driving Instructor
1988
68% Scrooged
  • Himself
1988
67% Another Woman
  • Marion's Dad
1988
61% Bright Lights, Big City
  • Mr. Vogel
1988
No Score Yet Gore Vidal's 'Lincoln'
  • General Scott
1988
No Score Yet Noble House
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet Noble House
  • Sir Geoffrey Allison
1988
No Score Yet Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet The Skin of Our Teeth
  • Network Newscaster
1983
No Score Yet Rose For Emily
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Murder by Phone
  • Dr. Stanley Markowitz
1982
35% Ghost Story
  • Sears James
1981
No Score Yet The Babysitter
  • Actor
1980
86% My Bodyguard
  • Dobbs
1980
No Score Yet Wholly Moses!
  • Archangel
1980
No Score Yet A Christmas Without Snow
  • Ephraim Adams
1980
No Score Yet Gideon's Trumpet
  • Executive Producer
  • Chief Justice
1980
71% The Fog
  • Machen
1979
No Score Yet Old Boyfriends
  • Dr. Hoffman
1979
50% The Cheap Detective
  • Jasper Blubber
1978
No Score Yet American Short Story
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet Our Town
  • Professor Willard
1977
No Score Yet Captains and the Kings
  • Judge Newell Chisholm
1976
38% St. Ives
  • Abner Procane
1976
No Score Yet Beyond the Horizon
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • The Director
1976
86% Three Days of the Condor
  • Wabash
1975
66% Rollerball
  • Bartholomew
1975
No Score Yet Clarence Darrow
  • Director
1974
85% The Paper Chase
  • Prof. Kingsfield
1973
64% This Property Is Condemned
  • Producer
1966
100% Seven Days in May
  • Adm. Barnswell
1964
No Score Yet In the Cool of the Day
  • Producer
1963
No Score Yet All Fall Down
  • Producer
1962
100% Two Weeks in Another Town
  • Producer
1962
No Score Yet Ill Met by Moonlight (Intelligence Service) (Night Ambush)
  • Actor
1958
100% Lust for Life
  • Producer
1956
80% The Cobweb
  • Producer
1955
75% Moonfleet
  • Producer
1955
No Score Yet Her Twelve Men (Miss Baker's Dozen)
  • Producer
1954
100% Executive Suite
  • Producer
1954
95% Julius Caesar
  • Producer
1953
96% The Bad and the Beautiful
  • Producer
1953
No Score Yet Holiday for Sinners
  • Producer
1952
100% On Dangerous Ground
  • Producer
1952
No Score Yet The Company She Keeps
  • Producer
1950
100% They Live by Night
  • Producer
1948
100% Letter From an Unknown Woman
  • Producer
1948
100% The Blue Dahlia
  • Producer
1946
No Score Yet The Unseen
  • Producer
1945
100% Jane Eyre
  • Screenwriter
1944

Quotes from John Houseman's Characters