Roman Polanski - Rotten Tomatoes

Roman Polanski

Lowest Rated:   18% Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Paris, France
Thanks to his darkly unique perspective and grim, often nihilistic approach to storytelling, director Roman Polanski has left an indelible mark on world cinema. Although his films have been compared to those of Alfred Hitchcock, with their use of gallows humor, tension, and occasional surrealism to tell amoral stories of ordinary men struggling to cope in a hostile, ironic world, Polanski, unlike Hitchcock, has chosen to experiment with a variety of genres. In this regard, the director has considered himself a "cinematic playboy" intent on exploring the possibilities of all film categories. A uniformly pessimistic viewpoint provides the clearest link to entries in Polanski's body of work, something that is widely traced back to years of childhood trauma.The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow's Jewish ghetto, and Polanski's family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski's father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. The cinemas provided him a type of protection that was brutally absent in the outside world. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother's death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow with his son. Following his father's remarriage, the adolescent Polanski left home. Although still coping with great personal turmoil, he managed to nurture his love of the cinema; two films that particularly influenced him at the time were Laurence Olivier's Hamlet and Carol Reed's Odd Man Out. Following a near-fatal incident at the age of 16 -- which involved Polanski nearly becoming the next victim of a man who had just killed three people -- his father enrolled him in a technical school. He left in 1950 to attend film school, concurrently becoming an actor with the Krakow Theater and made his onscreen acting debut in Andrzej Wajda's 1954 Pokolenie/A Generation.That same year, Polanski was one of six applicants accepted into the rigorous director's course at Lodz's prestigious State Film School. In 1957, he made his first student film Rozbijemy Zabawe/Break up the Dance, an account of paid thugs destroying a school party (a stunt that almost got him expelled). Polanski's next film, Dwaj Ludzie z Szafa/Two Men and a Wardrobe, proved to be one of his most famous, winning him five international awards. This and subsequent shorts such as Le Gros et le Maigre/The Fat and the Lean (made in 1961 after his graduation) all featured the black humor that would characterize his later features. Polanski made his feature film debut in 1962 with Noz w Wodzie/Knife in the Water; as with most of his subsequent features, he also worked on the screenplay, in this case collaborating with Jerzy Skolimowski and Jakub Goldberg. A suspenseful, symbolic psychological drama set aboard a sailboat, the film told the story of a husband's misbegotten attempts to impress his wife and a potential rival, a young hitchhiker they bring aboard on a whim. It is considered the first Polish film not to deal with World War II, and was applauded for its visual precision (another characteristic of Polanski's work). It was also the only full-length feature the director made in Poland.Polanski moved to England to make his next two films, the first of which, Repulsion, became a cornerstone of contemporary psycholo

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
42% Based on a True Story (D'après une histoire vraie)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2017
89% Venus in Fur
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
$0.2M 2014
71% Weekend Of A Champion
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Actor
2013
90% Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir
  • Actor
2013
85% Seduced And Abandoned
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life
  • Actor
2012
71% Carnage
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$2.2M 2011
No Score Yet Dance of the Vampires
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2011
83% The Ghost Writer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
$11.1M 2010
77% Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos)
  • Steiner
2009
87% Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
  • Actor
2008
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story
  • Actor
2007
18% Rush Hour 3
  • Detective Revi
$140.1M 2007
60% Oliver Twist
  • Producer
  • Director
$2M 2005
96% The Pianist
  • Producer
  • Director
$32.6M 2002
No Score Yet Zemsta
  • Papkin
2002
92% The Kid Stays in the Picture
  • Actor
$1.4M 2002
No Score Yet Revenge
  • Actor
2002
83% Light Keeps Me Company
  • Actor
2001
42% The Ninth Gate
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1999
50% Dead Tired (Grosse Fatigue)
  • Himself
1995
84% Death and the Maiden
  • Director
1995
80% A Pure Formality
  • Inspector
1994
No Score Yet Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • Kurilov
1992
63% Bitter Moon
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1992
78% Frantic
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1988
33% Pirates
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1986
86% Tess
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1979
90% The Tenant
  • Trelkovsky
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1976
67% Blood for Dracula
  • Man in Inn
1974
98% Chinatown
  • Director
  • Man With Knife
1974
22% Diary of Forbidden Dreams
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Mosquito
1973
86% Macbeth
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1971
56% The Magic Christian
  • Solitary Drinker
1970
No Score Yet A Day at the Beach
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1970
No Score Yet Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969
  • Actor
1969
No Score Yet Ciao Federico! Fellini Directs Satyricon
  • Actor
1969
99% Rosemary's Baby
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1968
67% The Fearless Vampire Killers
  • Alfred
  • Director
1967
No Score Yet The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers (Les plus belles escroqueries du monde)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1967
86% Cul-de-Sac
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1966
100% Repulsion
  • Director
  • Spoons Player
  • Screenwriter
1965
No Score Yet Ssaki (Mammals)
  • Director
1963
100% Knife in the Water
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1962
No Score Yet Gros et le maigre (The Fat and the Lean)
  • "The lean"
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet Innocent Sorcerers (Niewinni Czarodzieje)
  • Actor
1960
No Score Yet Lotna (1959)
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet Gdy spadaja anioly (When Angels Fall Down)
  • Actor
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet Lampa (The Lamp)
  • Actor
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet Dwaj ludzie z szafa (Two Men and a Wardrobe)
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet Usmiech zebiczny (A Toothful Smile) (Teeth Smile)
  • Director
1957
No Score Yet Rozbijemy zabawe... (Break Up the Dance)
  • Director
1957
No Score Yet Morderstwo (A Murderer)
  • Director
1957
No Score Yet Pokolenie (A Generation)
  • Actor
1955
No Score Yet La caduta degli angeli
  • Actor
  • Director
No Score Yet Due uomini e un armadio
  • Director

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2011

Quotes from Roman Polanski's Characters