Rod Lurie

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Rod Lurie
Born (1962-05-15) May 15, 1962 (age 52)
Israel
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1990–present

Rod Lurie (born May 15, 1962) is an Israeli-American director, screenwriter and former film critic.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

The son of internationally syndicated cartoonist Ranan Lurie, he was born in Israel but moved to the United States at a young age, growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984, he served in the US Army as an Air Defense Artillery officer, then became an entertainment reporter and film critic, including stints at News12 in Norwalk, Connecticut, the New York Daily News, Premiere, Movieline, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles, and talk radio shows at KMPC and KABC, where his tactical on-air bets with Martin Landau, Mel Gibson and James Cameron that they would win the Oscar resulted in them having to pay up at the Academy Awards ceremony by publicly thanking him in their acceptance speeches.

As an investigative reporter in the entertainment industry, his discovery of unethical and illegal practices at tabloid newspapers gained him national exposure on programs such as 60 Minutes, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, Nightline, and Geraldo. His irreverent style, however (he once described Danny DeVito as a "testicle with arms"), often raised controversy and got him banned from screenings.

In 1995, his book Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Moviemaking, Con Games, and Murder in Glitter City, was published.

Film and TV career[edit]

Lurie's first foray into filmmaking, as writer and director, was the low-budget political thriller Deterrence (1999), with Kevin Pollak as the first Jewish President of the United States.[2]

His second was The Contender (2000), starring Gary Oldman. It was written for Joan Allen and co-stars Jeff Bridges and Christian Slater.[3]

His next effort (directing only), The Last Castle (2001)[4] with Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, was a commercial failure; as was Line of Fire, his 2003–04 TV series about the FBI's office in Richmond, Virginia, which starred David Paymer as a mob boss.

Lurie then wrote and directed Nothing But the Truth, which is based on the stories of Valerie Plame and Judith Miller, which stars Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Angela Bassett, Alan Alda and David Schwimmer.[5] Lurie insisted his film is not intended to be an accurate depiction of the Plame Affair, but merely a vehicle to explore a similar situation, which he then takes several steps further. "You look at the story that happened in reality, and Judy Miller gets some sort of permission to speak and then speaks. So what? Nothing really big came of the whole thing," explained Lurie in an interview[6] published prior to the film's release. "I tried to make a movie that's a commercial thriller as well as being something that's topical."

Lurie worked on Resurrecting the Champ, a boxing drama, and recently served as creator and executive producer of the short-lived television series Commander in Chief, which starred Geena Davis as the United States' first female President, Mackenzie Allen.[7] The show's high ratings plummeted after Lurie's departure from the show and its cancellation followed.[8]

Lurie worked for ABC, but his contract, which was terminated during the writers' strike, was not renewed when it ended.[9]

Lurie places tributes to his alma mater in his shows: Deterrence had an aide-de-camp to the President admitting he had to settle for the United States Air Force Academy because he couldn't get into West Point. Also, in The Contender, Bridges' president Evans can be seen wearing a West Point sweatshirt during the film.

The characters of President Jackson Evans (The Contender), prison inmate Lt. Gen. Eugene Irwin (The Last Castle), FBI agent Paige Van Doren (Line of Fire), and Vice Presidential nominee Gen. (ret.) Warren Keaton (Commander in Chief) are all fictional graduates of the "Long Gray Line".

Lurie also directed the remake of the home invasion thriller Straw Dogs.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Lurie lives in Los Angeles with his wife, author Kyra Davis and his stepson. He has two children, Hunter and Paige.

References[edit]

External links[edit]