Stuart Rosenberg - Rotten Tomatoes

Stuart Rosenberg

Highest Rated:   100% Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Lowest Rated:   27% The Amityville Horror (1979)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Like two of his legendary contemporaries from the same generation, Sydney Pollack and Sidney Lumet, the gifted American filmmaker Stuart Rosenberg cut his chops exhaustively in television in the late '50s and early to mid-'60s, prior to embarking on big-screen assignments. The parallels end, however, when one realizes that the individual titles filmed by Rosenberg far superseded his own recognition as an "above the marquee name." Such pictures as Cool Hand Luke, Brubaker, and The Pope of Greenwich Village are icons of Americana, but few casual admirers of those films could associate the pictures with a single directorial tag (unlike, say, Out of Africa or Dog Day Afternoon). Such is merely a reflection on Rosenberg's aptitude as a competent and efficient cinematic craftsperson and his ability to lose himself in individual assignments -- an approach that typically met with great critical success. At the same time, however, Rosenberg turned out a handful of embarrassing turkeys (such as WUSA [1970], The Amityville Horror [1979], and Love and Bullets [1979]), films far, far beneath his talents, that -- despite meeting everything from financial calamity to number-one box office triumph -- probably would have been far better for Rosenberg's long-term image if buried by the studios and forgotten. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on August 11, 1927 (some sources alternately list his birthrate as 1925), Rosenberg attended New York University as a young man, where he studied Irish literature. Attempting (with some struggle) to support himself as a graduate student and teacher, Rosenberg opted, as an alternative, to train as an editor on television programs. At that time (early to mid-'50s), the Big Apple thrived as the central mecca and hotbed of broadcast activity -- one of the nation's foremost creative labs for exciting new talent. In other words, Rosenberg fell into the perfect niche. By 1957, the then 30-year-old Rosenberg graduated from editor to director, and gained a deserved reputation for helming episodes of hit crime, mystery, and suspense series on the glitter box, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and The Untouchables; his resumé lists close to 50 such episodes. Rosenberg officially graduated to features in 1960 with the well-received crime drama Murder, Inc. (starring Stuart Whitman and co-directed with Burt Balaban) and followed it up with the religious drama Question 7 in 1961. Rosenberg's next directorial assignment (and his first huge break) didn't arrive until over five years later; while browsing in a Hollywood Boulevard bookstore, he happened upon Donn Pearce's 1965 novel Cool Hand Luke, about a man thrown into a hellish Southern chain gang for destroying city parking meters. Entranced, Rosenberg took the novel to Jack Lemmon at his production company, Jalem, and -- with Paul Newman in the lead -- the result was not only one of the highest grossers of 1967, but a multiple Oscar nominee and an American classic. In addition to the fine performances by Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, and many others, Luke added to the U.S. pop-culture lexicon such stock quotes as "What we've got here is a failure to communicate," "Any man don't keep order spends a night in the box," and (a hands-down favorite) "No man can eat 50 eggs." By underscoring the characters and the humor via his directorial approach, Rosenberg and scripters Frank Pierson and Donn Pearce transformed the material from a relentlessly unpleasant tirade into an engaging anti-authoritarian anthem, released (impeccably) during the year of Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate. Unfortunately, Rosenberg's subsequent efforts, during the early '70s, failed to meet the critical or public kudos of Luke, yet consistently revealed genuine depth and talent. The director teamed up with Newman three more times, first on WUSA (1970), the tale of a drifter who becomes the pawn of an über-right-wing radio station;

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Calhoun: County Agent
  • Director
2011
67% Pocket Money
  • Director
1999
33% My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys
  • Director
1991
No Score Yet Let's Get Harry
  • Director
1986
90% The Pope of Greenwich Village
  • Director
1984
75% Brubaker
  • Director
1980
No Score Yet Love and Bullets
  • Director
1979
27% The Amityville Horror
  • Director
1979
89% Voyage of the Damned
  • Director
1976
50% The Drowning Pool
  • Director
1975
58% The Laughing Policeman
  • Producer
  • Director
1973
No Score Yet WUSA
  • Director
1970
No Score Yet The April Fools
  • Director
1969
100% Cool Hand Luke
  • Director
1967
No Score Yet Fame Is the Name of the Game
  • Director
1966
No Score Yet Question 7
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet Murder, Inc.
  • Director
1960

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Director
  • 1963
  • 1960

Quotes from Stuart Rosenberg's Characters

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