Morris Carnovsky - Rotten Tomatoes

Morris Carnovsky

Highest Rated:   100% Thieves' Highway (1949)
Lowest Rated:   20% Rhapsody in Blue (2001)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   St. Louis, Missouri
The son of a St. Louis grocer, Morris Carnovsky was briefly associated with the Yiddish Theatre before attending Washington University. Carnovsky spent his earliest professional years in the Henry Jewitt and E. E. Clive stock companies, and also worked at the legendary Provincetown Playhouse. In 1931, he was among the charter members of the Group Theatre, remaining with that organization for nearly a decade. Carnovsky's work in Awake and Sing (1936) and Golden Boy (1938) helped solidify the reputation of the Group's foremost playwright, Clifford Odets. During his tenure with the Group, Carnovsky took time out to appear in the Theatre Guild's Pulitzer Prize-winning Men In White(1933); he also made his first film appearance, playing Anatole France in the 1937 Oscar-winner The Life of Emile Zola. A Hollywood resident from 1940, Carnovsky was intimately involved with the Actor's Laboratory, a progressive theatrical group made up of film actors dissatisfied with the roles assigned them by the big studios. His own film assignments during the 1940s included the misguided Norwegian idealist Edge of Darkness (1943), Papa Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue (1945) and the erudite villain ("I do so implore the use of physical violence") in the 1947 Bogart vehicle Dead Reckoning. In 1950, Carnovsky was blacklisted from films because of his refusal to "name names" before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He was rescued professionally by theatrical producer John Houseman, who saw to it that Carnovsky was cast in a New York stage production of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People--in which, significantly, he played a character whose refusal to compromise his ideals resulted in persecution and exile. Carnovsky's most significant stage credits during the 1950s and 1960s included The World of Sholom Aleichem and the Shakespearean roles of King Lear and Shylock. He appeared in only three films between 1962 and 1983: A View from the Bridge (1962), The Gambler (1974), and the Spike Lee short subject Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. He continued to prefer the aesthetic pleasures of live stage performances, often appearing with his second wife, actress Phoebe Brand. In contrast with many of his contemporaries, Morris Carnovsky became less rigid and more open to artistic experimentation with each passing year.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
20% Rhapsody in Blue
  • Poppa Gershwin
2001
No Score Yet The Cafeteria
  • Actor
1984
80% The Gambler
  • A.R. Lowenthal
1974
80% A View from the Bridge
  • Mr. Alfieri
1962
No Score Yet The World of Sholom Aleichem
  • Actor
1959
75% Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Le Bret
1950
No Score Yet The Second Woman
  • Dr. Hartley
1950
91% Gun Crazy (Deadly Is the Female)
  • Judge Willoughby
1950
100% Thieves' Highway
  • Yanko Garcos
1949
No Score Yet Siren of Atlantis
  • Le Mesge
1948
No Score Yet Dishonored Lady
  • Dr. Richard Caleb
1947
67% Dead Reckoning
  • Martinelli
1947
No Score Yet Cornered
  • Santana
1945
No Score Yet Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
  • Bjorn Bjornson
1945
No Score Yet The Master Race
  • Old Man Bartoc
1944
No Score Yet Address Unknown
  • Max Eisenstein
1944
No Score Yet Edge of Darkness
  • Sixtus Andresen/Schoolmaster
1943
No Score Yet The City
  • Actor
1939
No Score Yet Tovarich
  • Chauffourier-Dufieff
1937
82% The Life of Emile Zola
  • Anatole France
1937

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet American Playhouse
1982-1996
  • Merkin
  • 1984
  • 1982

Quotes from Morris Carnovsky's Characters