Warren Beatty - Rotten Tomatoes

Warren Beatty



It might have been easy to write off American actor Warren Beatty as merely the younger brother of film star Shirley MacLaine, were it not for the fact that Beatty was a profoundly gifted performer whose creative range extended beyond mere acting. After studying at Northwestern University and with acting coach Stella Adler, Beatty was being groomed for stardom almost before he was of voting age, cast in prominent supporting roles in TV dramas and attaining the recurring part of the insufferable Milton Armitage on the TV sitcom Dobie Gillis. Beatty left Dobie after a handful of episodes, writing off his part as "ridiculous," and headed for the stage, where he appeared in a stock production of Compulsion and in William Inge's Broadway play A Loss of Roses.

The actor's auspicious film debut occurred in Splendor in the Grass (1961), after which he spent a number of years being written off by the more narrow-minded movie critics as a would-be Brando. Both Beatty and his fans knew that there was more to his skill than that, and in 1965 Beatty sank a lot of his energy and money into a quirky, impressionistic crime drama, Mickey One (1965). The film was a critical success but failed to secure top bookings, though its teaming of Beatty with director Arthur Penn proved crucial to the shape of movie-making in the 1960s. With Penn again in the director's chair, Beatty took on his first film as producer/star, Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Once more, critics were hostile -- at first. A liberal amount of praise from fellow filmmakers and the word-of-mouth buzz from film fans turned Bonnie and Clyde into the most significant film of 1967 -- and compelled many critics to reverse their initial opinions and issue apologies. This isn't the place to analyze the value and influence Bonnie and Clyde had; suffice it to say that this one film propelled Warren Beatty from a handsome, talented film star into a powerful filmmaker.

Picking and choosing his next projects very carefully, Beatty was offscreen as much as on from 1970 through 1975, though several of his projects -- most prominently McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and The Parallax View (1974) -- would be greeted with effusive praise by film critics and historians. In 1975, Beatty wrote his first screenplay, and the result was Shampoo (1975), a trenchant satire on the misguided mores of the late '60s. Beatty turned director for 1978's Heaven Can Wait, a delightful remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan that was successful enough to encourage future Hollywood bankrolling of Beatty's directorial efforts. In 1981, Beatty produced, directed, co-scripted and acted in Reds, a spectacular recounting of the Russian Revolution as seen through the eyes of American Communist John Reed. It was a pet project of Beatty's, one he'd been trying to finance since the 1970s (at that time, he'd intended to have Sergei Bondarchuk of War and Peace fame as director). Reds failed to win a Best Picture Academy Award, though Beatty did pick up an Oscar as Best Director. Nothing Beatty has done since Reds has been without interest; refusing to turn out mere vehicles, he has taken on a benighted attempt to re-spark the spirit of the old Hope-Crosby road movies (Ishtar [1984]); brought a popular comic strip to the screen, complete with primary colors and artistic hyperbole (Dick Tracy [1991]); and managed to make the ruthless gangster Bugsy Siegel a sympathetic visionary (Bugsy [1992]). In 1998 he was able to breath new life into political satire with Bulworth, his much acclaimed film in which he plays a disillusioned politician who turns to rap to express himself. In 2001, Beatty rekindled memories of Ishtar as he starred in another phenomenal bust, Town & Country. Budgeted at an astronomical 90 million dollars and earning a miserable 6.7 million dollars during it's brief theatrical run, Town & Country was released three years after completion and pulled from theaters after a mere four weeks, moving critics to rank it amo

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
54% Rules Don't Apply
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2016
97% Paul Williams Still Alive
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story
  • Actor
2008
83% One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Citizen Stan
  • Actor
2004
13% Town & Country
  • Porter Stoddard
2000
No Score Yet Forever Hollywood
  • Actor
2000
75% Bulworth
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Sen. Jay Bulworth
1998
31% Love Affair
  • Mike Gambril Mike
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1994
No Score Yet Academy Award Winners, The First 50 Years: Volume 10 - Hollywood Comes to Age
  • Actor
1994
No Score Yet Stella Adler: Awake and Dream!
  • Actor
1992
85% Bugsy
  • Producer
  • Ben Siegel
1991
83% Madonna: Truth or Dare
  • Himself
1991
64% Dick Tracy
  • Dick Tracy
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1990
No Score Yet Spy
  • Actor
1989
55% The Pick-Up Artist
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
1987
30% Ishtar
  • Producer
  • Lyle Rogers
1987
No Score Yet George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey
  • Himself
1984
No Score Yet Dealers in Death: Murder and Mayhem in America
  • Actor
1984
94% Reds
  • John Reed
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1981
89% Heaven Can Wait
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Joe Pendleton
1978
20% The Fortune
  • Nicky
1975
63% Shampoo
  • George
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1975
92% The Parallax View
  • Joseph Frady
1974
83% $ (Dollars) (The Heist)
  • Joe Collins
1971
89% McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  • John McCabe
1971
No Score Yet The Only Game In Town
  • Joe Grady
1970
88% Bonnie and Clyde
  • Producer
  • Clyde Barrow
1967
No Score Yet Kaleidoscope
  • Barney Lincoln
1966
No Score Yet Mickey One
  • Mickey One
1965
100% Lilith
  • Vincent Bruce
1964
No Score Yet Promise Her Anything
  • Harley Rummel
1964
No Score Yet All Fall Down
  • Berry-Berry Willart
1962
85% Splendor in the Grass
  • Bud Stamper
1961
No Score Yet The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
  • Paolo di Leo
1961
No Score Yet Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis
  • Producer

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing

Quotes from Warren Beatty's Characters