Sidney Poitier - Rotten Tomatoes

Sidney Poitier

Highest Rated:   100% A Patch of Blue (2000)
Lowest Rated:   7% Ghost Dad (1990)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Miami, Florida, USA
Sidney Poitier was to Hollywood what Jackie Robinson was to major league baseball: simply put, the man who broke the color barrier. An actor, director, and producer, he forever altered the racial perceptions long held by both motion picture audiences and executives, rising to superstar status in an industry forever dominated on both sides of the camera by whites while becoming the first African-American ever to take home an Oscar for Best Actor. Born February 20, 1927, in Miami, FL, Poitier grew up in poverty in the British West Indies. After quitting school at the age of 13, he later joined the U.S. Army, serving in World War II as a medical assistant. Upon his release from duty he relocated to New York City, where he auditioned for the American Negro Theater. When his heavy Bahamian accent prompted laughter from producers, Poitier spent the next six months honing his elocution skills, practicing his enunciation by repeating radio routines, and finally gaining admission to the theatrical troupe's ranks after his second audition.Handsome and athletic, Poitier made his Broadway debut in 1946 in an all-black production of Lysistrata, and moved into films four years later with No Way Out. His impressive turn in 1955's gritty The Blackboard Jungle brought him closer to stardom, and in 1958 he earned his first Academy Award nomination opposite Tony Curtis in Stanley Kramer's social drama The Defiant Ones. The film's focus on racial politics, as well as his increasing popularity with audiences of all racial backgrounds, solidified Poitier's standing as a key figure in the burgeoning civil rights movement, as roles in features including 1959's Porgy and Bess and 1961's Raisin in the Sun established him as the premier black actor of his generation. For 1963's The Lilies of the Field, he made history as the first African-American actor to win an Oscar in a leading role, and with the mainstream success of 1965's A Patch of Blue and 1967's To Sir, With Love, his ascent to superstardom was complete. Much to his credit, Poitier continued to make racially provocative films; in 1967 he appeared in Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner as the black fiancé of a white woman, while in the same year's Best Picture-winning In the Heat of the Night, he starred as a Philadelphia police detective facing prejudice while investigating a murder in the Deep South. In 1969, Poitier founded the First Artists Production Company, and in 1972 -- at the peak of the blaxploitation era which his earlier success made commercially viable -- announced his directorial debut with Buck and the Preacher. He directed and starred in his next three films (1973's Warm December, 1974's Uptown Saturday Night, and 1975's Let's Do It Again) before starring in Ralph Nelson's 1975 South African political thriller The Wilby Conspiracy, after which he returned to the director's chair with 1977's A Piece of the Action.After directing the 1980 comedy Stir Crazy, Poitier began to decrease his workload; he helmed two more features, 1982's Hanky Panky and 1984's Fast Forward, but then disappeared from filmmaking for the next several years. In 1988, Poitier appeared onscreen for the first time in over a decade in Roger Spottiswoode's thriller Shoot to Kill, followed by a supporting turn in the espionage drama Little Nikita. Upon directing 1990's disastrous Bill Cosby comedy Ghost Dad, he starred as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the television feature Separate But Equal, and in 1992 appeared in the star-studded Sneakers. After another extended absence, Poitier returned in 1995 in the TV movie Children of the Dust, and in 1996 he starred in the long-awaited follow-up to his '67 success To Sir With Love, TV's To Sir With Love 2.A frequent author in addition to his acting, Poitier's book Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter was published in 2008, and the following year he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey
  • Actor
2013
95% Sing Your Song
  • Sidney Poitier
2012
80% Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black Cinema
  • Actor
2008
65% Death Proof
  • Actor
2007
88% Tell Them Who You Are
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Quincy Jones: In the Pocket
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet The Last Brickmaker in America
  • Henry Cobb
2001
100% A Patch of Blue
  • Gordon Ralfe
2000
No Score Yet The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn
  • Noah Dearborn
1999
No Score Yet Free of Eden
  • Will Cleamons
1999
No Score Yet David y Lisa
  • Dr. Jack Miller
1998
15% The Jackal
  • Carter Preston
1997
No Score Yet Mandela and Deklerk
  • Nelson Mandela
1997
No Score Yet Century of Black Cinema
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet To Sir, With Love II
  • Mark Thackeray
1996
No Score Yet A Good Day To Die
  • Gypsy Smith
1995
No Score Yet Children of the Dust
  • Gypsy Smith
1995
81% Sneakers
  • Donald Crease
1992
83% Separate But Equal
  • Thurgood Marshall
1991
7% Ghost Dad
  • Director
1990
100% Shoot to Kill (Deadly Pursuit)
  • Warren Stantin
1988
55% Little Nikita
  • Roy Parmenter
1988
No Score Yet Fast Forward
  • Director
1984
38% Hanky Panky
  • Director
1982
67% Stir Crazy
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet A Piece of the Action
  • Manny Durell
  • Director
1977
83% Let's Do It Again
  • Director
  • Clyde Williams
1975
No Score Yet The Wilby Conspiracy
  • Shack Twala
1975
71% Uptown Saturday Night
  • Steve Jackson
  • Director
1974
No Score Yet A Warm December
  • Dr. Matt Younger
  • Director
1973
No Score Yet Buck and the Preacher
  • Buck
  • Director
1972
No Score Yet The Organization
  • Virgil Tibbs
1971
No Score Yet Brother John
  • John Kane
1971
60% They Call Me Mister Tibbs
  • Virgil Tibbs
1970
No Score Yet King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet The Lost Man
  • Jason Higgs
1969
40% For Love of Ivy
  • Jack Parks
1968
68% Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • John Prentice
1967
95% In the Heat of the Night
  • Det. Virgil Tibbs
1967
92% To Sir, With Love
  • Mark Thackeray
1967
No Score Yet Duel at Diablo
  • Toller
1966
No Score Yet The Slender Thread
  • Alan Newell
1965
37% The Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Simon of Cyrene
1965
86% The Bedford Incident
  • Ben Munceford
1965
50% The Long Ships
  • Aly Mansuh
1964
100% Lilies of the Field
  • Homer Smith
1963
No Score Yet Pressure Point
  • Doctor
1962
60% Paris Blues
  • Eddie Cook
1961
100% A Raisin in the Sun
  • Walter Lee Younger
1961
No Score Yet All the Young Men
  • Sgt. Eddie Towler
1960
No Score Yet Virgin Island
  • Marcus
1959
83% Porgy and Bess
  • Porgy
1959
No Score Yet The Mark of the Hawk
  • Oban
1958
81% The Defiant Ones
  • Noah Cullen
1958
No Score Yet Ebony Elegance
  • Actor
1958
40% Band of Angels
  • Rau-Ru
1957
No Score Yet Something of Value (Africa Ablaze)
  • Kimani Wa Karanja
1957
No Score Yet Edge of the City
  • Tommy Tyler
1957
No Score Yet Goodbye, My Lady
  • Gates
1956
76% Blackboard Jungle
  • Miller
1955
No Score Yet Go, Man, Go
  • Inman Jackson
1954
No Score Yet Red Ball Express
  • Cpl. Andrew Robertson
1952
100% Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Reverend Msimangu
1952
No Score Yet Black History: The Classics
  • Actor
1951
83% No Way Out
  • Dr. Luther Brooks
1950
No Score Yet Tales of Courage
  • Actor
1939

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing

Quotes from Sidney Poitier's Characters