Norman Lear - Rotten Tomatoes

Norman Lear

Lowest Rated:   40% Cold Turkey (1971)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
American writer/director/producer Norman Lear was a graduate of Emerson College. After wartime air force service, Lear became a radio and TV comedy writer, gaining his first "fame" when he was publicly fired by Martin and Lewis. With his friend and longtime collaborator Bud Yorkin, Lear established Tandem Productions in 1959, for the purpose of turning out quality TV specials and comedy theatrical films. While Divorce American Style is a masterpiece of disciplined filmmaking, many of the Lear/Yorkin productions, notably The Night They Raided Minsky's (1967), and Cold Turkey (1971), ran hot and cold; each uproarious comic setpiece would be followed by a groaner, and by the end of the film the humor level had dwindled to chaotic shouting and running about. Lear's best work of the '70s would be concentrated on television. In 1968, he began adapting the British comedy series Till Death Do Us Part for American consumption; the result, which premiered in 1971, was All in the Family, which, in addition to winning a warehouse full of Emmies, literally changed the face of TV comedy. Now a high-roller, Lear churned out one top-rated network project after another, many of them spinoffs of earlier series: Maude (1972), Sanford and Son (1972), Good Times (1973), The Jeffersons (1975). So successful was Lear's output that he was forgiven the occasional flop like The Hot L Baltimore (1975). When all three major networks rejected Lear's soap opera parody Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, the producer released the series via non-network syndication in 1976, spawning a brief vogue for late-night syndicated comedy programs (most of them Lear's). During his glory years, Lear became a convenient target for clean-up-TV brigades and political extremists; he also came under fire from some of his own stars, who accused Lear of stifling their artistic potential. The producer responded to the efforts of self-styled censors by helping to create the People for the American Way, an organization dedicated to the perpetuation of freedom of expression on television. He was less successful in counteracting his personal travails; most of his stars left for greener pastures, while his longtime marriage broke up in a highly publicized fashion, with the ex-Mrs. Lear using her settlement money to establish a trendy magazine called Lear's. In the last fifteen years, Norman Lear has been justifiably canonized as a pioneer and innovator in the world of socially conscious television; but his most recent TV projects, such as the very shortlived Sunday Dinner, tend to be sourly reactionary efforts, lacking the cutting-edge brilliance of his best work.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
100% If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast
  • Actor
2017
85% Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
  • Actor
$70.6k 2016
No Score Yet Heartland
  • Executive Producer
2016
No Score Yet Stand Up Planet Comedy Showcase
  • Actor
2014
94% Casting By
  • Actor
$14.5k 2013
92% The Revisionaries
  • Actor
$22.2k 2012
42% GhettoPhysics: Will the Real Pimps and Hos Please Stand Up!
  • Actor
$10.6k 2010
93% Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
  • Actor
$0.8M 2009
No Score Yet The Brothers Warner
  • Actor
2008
95% Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
  • Executive Producer
2007
No Score Yet The Gospel According to Jesus
  • Actor
1995
73% Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Executive Producer
1991
No Score Yet Color Adjustment
  • Actor
1991
97% The Princess Bride
  • Producer
1987
40% Cold Turkey
  • Director
1971
83% Start The Revolution Without Me
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1970
No Score Yet The Night They Raided Minsky's (The Night They Invented Striptease)
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1968
100% Divorce American Style
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1967
No Score Yet Never Too Late
  • Producer
1965
83% Come Blow Your Horn
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1963
83% Scared Stiff
  • Screenwriter
1953

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
96% One Day at a Time
2017
  • Executive Producer
  • 2017
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing
  • Guest
  • 2017
  • 2016
No Score Yet Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.
2012-2016
  • Appearing
  • 2016
No Score Yet StarTalk
2015
  • Guest
  • 2015
100% The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore
2015-2016
  • Panelist
  • 2015
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
2012
  • Guest
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Independent Lens
1999
  • Appearing
  • 2013
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • 2008
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
  • Guest
  • 2006
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Host
  • Guest
  • 1976

Quotes from Norman Lear's Characters

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