Sydney Pollack - Rotten Tomatoes

Sydney Pollack

Highest Rated:   100% Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Lowest Rated:   14% Made of Honor (2008)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Lafayette, Indiana, USA
Sydney Pollack was born to first generation Russian-Jewish Americans on July 1, 1934. After graduating from his Indiana high school, he went to New York and became a student at the Neighborhood Playhouse, a celebrated Greenwich Village school, where he studied under Sanford Meisner. He served two years in the army before returning to the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1958 as a teacher, and began appearing as an actor in live television dramas. His appearance in a John Frankenheimer-directed television production led him to a job as dialogue coach in the filmmaker's 1961 crime drama The Young Savages. He quickly moved into television, directing on programs such as "The Defenders," "The Naked City," "The Fugitive," "Dr. Kildare," and "Ben Casey" during the early and mid 1960s, and in 1965 made his feature film debut in the director's chair with The Slender Thread.Pollack established himself as a competent, if unexceptional, director in such works as This Property Is Condemned, and one sequence of the Frank Perry-directed drama The Swimmer (based on a work of John Cheever). However, his real breakthrough came in 1969 with the downbeat period drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, a brutal Depression-era piece set against the backdrop of a dance marathon contest, starring Jane Fonda and Gig Young. Young won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor while Pollack and Fonda were nominated for Best Director and Best Actress, respectively. (Fonda was said to have lost only because of the controversy surrounding her anti-Vietnam War activities.) Pollack again proved his skill at handling period drama four years later with The Way We Were, a romantic drama starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford that became one of the most popular serious movies of the decade. During the mid 1970s, Pollack also delved into the action genre with The Yakuza, about a kidnapping committed by Japanese gangsters. He achieved much greater success in 1975 with Three Days of the Condor, a post-Watergate suspense thriller starring Redford, Cliff Robertson and Faye Dunaway that proved an enduring favorite among genre fans as well as a hit with general audiences. Four years later, The Electric Horseman united his two top leads, Fonda and Redford, in a predictable but very successful update of the '30s screwball comedy, while Absence of Malice (1981), starring Paul Newman and Sally Field, took a much more serious tone in dealing with a story of an innocent man whose career is ruined by an ambitious reporter. In 1982, Pollack returned to comedy in top form with Tootsie, the story of an out-of-work actor (Dustin Hoffman) who achieves success by masquerading as a woman. The film scored a Best Director Oscar nomination for Pollack, as well as a win in the same category from the New York Critics Film Circle, and became the second highest grossing film of its year after E.T.. More success followed for the director with Out Of Africa (1985); starring Redford, it was one of a dwindling number of serious romantic dramas aimed at middle-class, middle-brow, middle-aged audiences that scored big at the box office. Unfortunately, another such outing with Redford, the 1990 Havana, was a notorious failure. Pollack was back on top in 1993 with The Firm, a wildly successful adaptation of John Grisham's thriller that starred Tom Cruise. However, mirroring the unpredictable fluctuations of fortune in Hollywood, his next directorial effort, a 1995 remake of Sabrina starring Harrison Ford, proved to be a colossal critical and financial flop. In 1999, Pollack and Ford reunited to make Random Hearts, a drama about a man and a woman Kristin Scott Thomas who discover that their respective spouses--who died in a plane crash--were lovers.In addition to directing, Pollack has also served as a producer on a number of films (including The Fabulous Baker Boys, Presumed Innocent, Dead Again and Sense and Sensibility) and frequently appears as an actor, both in his own films and those of other directors

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
72% Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
  • Actor
$9.3k 2014
No Score Yet Char-ac-ter
  • Actor
2012
74% Margaret
  • Producer
$47k 2011
No Score Yet Character
  • Actor
2009
61% The Reader
  • Producer
$34.2M 2008
76% Recount
  • Executive Producer
2008
14% Made of Honor
  • Thomas Bailey Sr.
$46.1M 2008
53% Leatherheads
  • Executive Producer
$31.2M 2008
90% Michael Clayton
  • Producer
  • Marty Bach
$49M 2007
34% Breaking and Entering
  • Producer
$0.9M 2007
No Score Yet James Taylor: One Man Band
  • Executive Producer
2007
74% Avenue Montaigne
  • Brian Sobinski
$2M 2006
76% Catch a Fire
  • Executive Producer
$4.3M 2006
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters
  • Actor
2006
81% Sketches of Frank Gehry
  • Actor
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • Director
$0.3M 2006
No Score Yet One Six Right: The Romance of Flying
  • Actor
2006
56% The Interpreter
  • Executive Producer
  • Director
$72.6M 2005
95% Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin
  • Narrator
2004
No Score Yet Dream Jets
  • Actor
2004
71% Cold Mountain
  • Producer
2003
87% The Quiet American
  • Executive Producer
2003
77% A Decade Under the Influence
  • Actor
2003
74% Heaven
  • Executive Producer
$0.7M 2002
77% Changing Lanes
  • Stephen Delano
$66.7M 2002
58% Birthday Girl
  • Executive Producer
$5M 2002
42% The Majestic
  • Studio Executive
2001
79% Iris
  • Executive Producer
$5.4M 2001
19% Blow Dry
  • Executive Producer
2001
No Score Yet Fidel
  • Himself
2001
85% Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
  • Actor
2001
46% Up at the Villa
  • Executive Producer
2000
83% The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Executive Producer
1999
15% Random Hearts
  • Director
  • Carl Broman
  • Producer
1999
74% Eyes Wide Shut
  • Victor Ziegler
1999
60% A Civil Action
  • Al Eustis
1998
No Score Yet Poodle Springs
  • Producer
1998
62% Sliding Doors
  • Producer
1998
No Score Yet Independent's Day
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Never Again, Forever
  • Executive Producer
1996
65% Sabrina
  • Producer
  • Director
1995
98% Sense and Sensibility
  • Executive Producer
1995
67% Flesh And Bone
  • Executive Producer
1993
100% Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • Executive Producer
1993
75% The Firm
  • Producer
  • Director
1993
97% Husbands and Wives
  • Jack
1992
50% Death Becomes Her
  • Doctor
1992
98% The Player
  • Dick Mellon
1992
25% Leaving Normal
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1992
83% Dead Again
  • Executive Producer
1991
20% King Ralph
  • Producer
1991
56% White Palace
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1990
86% Presumed Innocent
  • Producer
1990
24% Havana
  • Director
  • Producer
1990
96% The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • Executive Producer
1989
83% Major League
  • Executive Producer
1989
61% Bright Lights, Big City
  • Producer
1988
56% Out of Africa
  • Producer
  • Director
1985
100% Songwriter
  • Producer
1984
89% Tootsie
  • Producer
  • Director
  • George Fields
1982
86% Absence Of Malice
  • Director
  • Producer
1981
No Score Yet Honeysuckle Rose
  • Executive Producer
1980
68% The Electric Horseman
  • Man Who Makes a Pass at Alice
  • Director
1979
20% Bobby Deerfield
  • Producer
  • Director
1977
86% Three Days of the Condor
  • Director
1975
45% The Yakuza
  • Producer
  • Director
1975
63% The Way We Were
  • Director
1973
93% Jeremiah Johnson
  • Director
1972
84% They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1969
43% Castle Keep
  • Director
1969
100% The Swimmer
  • Director
1968
70% The Scalphunters
  • Director
1968
64% This Property Is Condemned
  • Director
1966
No Score Yet The Slender Thread
  • Director
1965
No Score Yet War Hunt
  • Sgt. Van Horn
1962

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • 2008
67% Entourage
2004-2011
  • Himself
  • 2007
97% The Sopranos
1999-2007
  • Warren Feldman
  • 2007
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Narrator
  • Voice
  • Appearing
  • 2006
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998-2006
  • George Truman
  • 2006
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Voice of Holden Thorpe
  • 1994
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Willis
  • 1960
  • 1959

Quotes from Sydney Pollack's Characters