Jules Dassin

Highest Rated: 100% Thieves' Highway (1949)
Lowest Rated: 78% Never on Sunday (1960)
Birthday: Dec 18, 1911
Birthplace: Middletown, Connecticut, USA
One of the most defiantly visible survivors of the Hollywood Blacklist was American director Jules Dassin. Following high school in the Bronx and drama school in Europe (paying his own way), Dassin made his stage debut at age 25 with the Yiddish Theatre in New York. In Hollywood, Dassin worked his way up to a directorial spot at MGM's short subjects unit, where he handled a brilliant 20-minute adaptation of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart (1941). This led to a promotion to features like Nazi Agent (1942), Reunion in France (1942) and The Canterville Ghost (1944). From MGM, Dassin went to work for producer Mark Hellinger at Universal Studios, where he turned out two full-blooded crime classics: Brute Force (1947) and The Naked City (1948). Unfortunately, the late 1940s were difficult times for anyone with even the slightest leftist political leanings. After being identified as a communist by director Ed Dmytryk during a House UnAmerican Activities Committee hearing, Dassin found himself completely shut out by Hollywood. The last 1950s film which Dassin directed for a major studio was 20th Century-Fox's Night and the City, which was shot in London. Then he moved to France, where he helmed one of the most influential "crime caper" movies ever made, Rififi (1954). So successful was this melodrama that it spawned numerous rip-offs (Rififi in Tokyo was one of the most blatant) and parodies, including Dassin's own Topkapi (1964). Operating in Greece by 1959, Dassin directed his second wife Melina Mercouri in Never On Sunday (1960), a robust comedy about a joyous prostitute; Mercouri's performance was superb enough for viewers to forgive Dassin's own lackluster performance as a stuffy American moralist. Permitted back in the U.S.-studio system in the mid-1960s, Dassin directed Uptight (1968), a black-oriented remake of The Informer which proved beyond doubt that Dassin's alleged "communistic" tendencies were just a bit old hat. Not many of Jules Dassin's later, more personal films (notably an indictment of the Greek junta leaders, The Rehearsal [1974]) were seen in America, but the director's reputation, so idiotically maligned in the early 1950s, had been completely restored so far as Hollywood was concerned--even though the man himself chose to shun the U.S. for self-imposed Swiss exile.

Highest Rated Movies



88% Buzz Actor 2006
No Score Yet The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides Actor 2005
No Score Yet The Canterville Ghost Director 1996
No Score Yet Circle of Two Director 1980
No Score Yet Kravgi Gynaikon (A Dream of Passion) Producer Director Screenwriter 1978
No Score Yet The Rehearsal Actor Director 1974
No Score Yet Promise at Dawn Ivan Mosjukine (as Perlo Vita) Producer Screenwriter Director 1971
No Score Yet Up Tight! Director Screenwriter Producer 1968
No Score Yet 10:30 P.M. Summer Producer Screenwriter Director 1966
90% Topkapi Director Producer 1964
No Score Yet Phaedra Screenwriter Christo Director Producer 1962
No Score Yet The Law (La legge) Director Screenwriter 1960
78% Never on Sunday Homer 1960
89% Law Screenwriter Director 1958
No Score Yet He Who Must Die Director Screenwriter 1957
94% Rififi (Du Rififi Chez les Hommes) Screenwriter Director Cesar $57.7K 1956
79% Night and the City Director 1950
100% Thieves' Highway Director 1949
86% The Naked City Director 1948
91% Brute Force Director 1947
No Score Yet A Letter for Evie Director 1946
83% The Canterville Ghost Director 1944
No Score Yet Young Ideas Director 1943
No Score Yet Reunion in France Director 1942
No Score Yet Nazi Agent (Salute to Courage) Director 1942


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