August 11, 1927|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 15, 2007
Beverly Hills, California
Stuart Rosenberg (August 11, 1927 – March 15, 2007) was an American film and television director whose motion pictures include Cool Hand Luke (1967), Voyage of the Damned (1976), The Amityville Horror (1979), and The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984). He was noted for his work with actor Paul Newman.
Rosenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Sara (née Kaminsky) and David Rosenberg. He studied Irish literature at New York University in Manhattan, and began working as an apprentice film editor while in graduate school.
After advancing to film editor, he then transitioned into directing with episodes of the syndicated television series Decoy (1957–59), starring Beverly Garland as an undercover police woman. It was the first police series on American television built around a female protagonist. Over the next two years, Rosenberg directed 15 episodes of the ABC police-detective series Naked City (1958–1963), which like Decoy was shot in New York City. Meanwhile, Rosenberg was then hired to direct his first film, Murder, Inc. (1960), starring Peter Falk, but a strike by both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild resulted in his leaving the film and being replaced by its producer, Burt Balaban. Rosenberg returned to television, directing 15 episodes of The Untouchables, eight of the anthology series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, five of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and three of The Twilight Zone, along with episodes of Adventures in Paradise, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Ben Casey, Rawhide with Clint Eastwood, and Falk's The Trials of O'Brien, among other shows. He won a 1963 Emmy Award for directing "The Madman", one of his 19 episodes of the courtroom drama The Defenders.
Following the Lutheran-financed U.S.-German co-production Question 7 (1961), filmed in West Berlin, Germany, Rosenberg shot the 1965 TV-movie, Memorandum for a Spy and the 1966 telefilm Fame Is the Name of the Game before making his major-studio debut with the Paul Newman hit Cool Hand Luke (1967). Rosenberg had come across Donn Pearce's chain gang novel and developed the film with actor Jack Lemmon's production company, Jalem. Years later, Rosenberg would replace Bob Rafelson on another prison movie, Brubaker (1980) starring Robert Redford.
Other Rosenberg films include The April Fools (1969), with French actress Catherine Deneuve in her American debut opposite Jack Lemmon (who plays the first Rosenberg lead character named H. Brubaker); the Newman movies WUSA (1970), Pocket Money (1972) and The Drowning Pool (1975); the Walter Matthau police-detective thriller The Laughing Policeman (1973); the Charles Bronson action picture Love and Bullets (1979); and another action movie Let's Get Harry (1986), for which Rosenberg used the Directors Guild of America pseudonym Alan Smithee. He was famous for straight dramas and, especially, crime films. The most acclaimed movie he did after 'Cool Hand Luke' was The Pope of Greenwich Village with Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, and Daryl Hannah.
He made his last film, the independent drama My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, in 1991.
In 1993, Rosenberg became a teacher at the American Film Institute. Among his students were those who would go on to make names for themselves: Todd Field, Darren Aronofsky, Mark Waters, Scott Silver, Doug Ellin and Rob Schmidt.
Personal life and legacy
Rosenberg died in 2007 of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was survived by his wife, Margot Pohoryles, whom he had met at NYU; son Benjamin Rosenberg, a first assistant director; as well as four grandchildren.
- Murder, Inc. (1960)
- Question 7 (1961)
- Cool Hand Luke (1967)
- The April Fools (1969)
- Move (1970)
- WUSA (1970)
- Pocket Money (1972)
- The Laughing Policeman (1973)
- The Drowning Pool (1975)
- The Voyage of the Damned (1976)
- Love and Bullets (1979)
- The Amityville Horror (1979)
- Brubaker (1980)
- The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)
- Let's Get Harry (1986)
- My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (1991)
- 1961 National Board of Review Winner, Best Film of the Year for Question 7 and selected for Top Ten Films of the Year for Question 7
- 1961 Berlin International Film Festival OCIC Award, for Question 7
- 1961 Berlin International Film Festival Youth Film Award, Best Feature Film Suitable for Young People, for Question 7
- 1961 nomination, Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear, for Question 7
- 1963 Emmy Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama, for The Defenders: "The Madman"
- 1968 nomination, Directors Guild of America Award: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, for: Cool Hand Luke
- 1976 nomination, Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture of Year for Voyage of the Damned
- Noalnd, Claire (March 18, 2007). Stuart Rosenberg, 79; TV, film director. Los Angeles Times
- Kehr, Dave (March 19, 2007). Stuart Rosenberg, Director of TV and Films, Dies at 79. The New York Times