Sydney Pollack - Rotten Tomatoes

Sydney Pollack

Highest Rated:   100% Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Lowest Rated:   15% Random Hearts (1999)
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
99% Amazing Grace
  • Producer
2019
No Score Yet Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace
  • Director
2019
No Score Yet Amazing Grace
  • Director
2019
73% 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
63% The Reader
  • Producer
$34.2M 2008
79% Recount
  • Executive Producer
2008
16% Made of Honor
  • Thomas Bailey Sr.
$46.1M 2008
52% Leatherheads
  • Executive Producer
$31.2M 2008
91% 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
75% Catch a Fire
  • Executive Producer
$4.3M 2006
No Score Yet Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters
  • Actor
2006
82% Sketches of Frank Gehry
  • Executive Producer
  • Actor
  • Producer
  • Director
$0.3M 2006
No Score Yet One Six Right: The Romance of Flying
  • Actor
2006
57% The Interpreter
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
$72.6M 2005
95% Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin
  • Narrator
2004
No Score Yet Dream Jets
  • Actor
2004
70% Cold Mountain
  • Producer
2003
87% The Quiet American
  • Executive Producer
2003
73% Heaven
  • Executive Producer
$0.7M 2002
77% Changing Lanes
  • Stephen Delano
$66.7M 2002
59% 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
86% Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
  • Actor
2001
45% Up at the Villa
  • Executive Producer
2000
83% The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Executive Producer
1999
15% Random Hearts
  • Producer
1999
76% Eyes Wide Shut
  • Victor Ziegler
1999
62% A Civil Action
  • Al Eustis
1998
No Score Yet Poodle Springs
  • Producer
1998
65% Sliding Doors
  • Producer
1998
No Score Yet Independent's Day
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Never Again, Forever
  • Executive Producer
1996
63% Sabrina
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1995
97% Sense and Sensibility
  • Executive Producer
1995
65% Flesh And Bone
  • Executive Producer
1993
100% Searching for Bobby Fischer
  • Executive Producer
1993
75% The Firm
  • Producer
  • Director
1993
93% Husbands and Wives
  • Jack
1992
54% Death Becomes Her
  • Doctor
1992
40% Leaving Normal
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1992
83% Dead Again
  • Executive Producer
1991
25% King Ralph
  • Producer
1991
52% White Palace
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1990
87% Presumed Innocent
  • Producer
1990
28% Havana
  • Director
  • Producer
1990
96% The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • Executive Producer
1989
83% Major League
  • Executive Producer
1989
60% Bright Lights, Big City
  • Producer
1988
62% Out of Africa
  • Producer
  • Director
1985
100% Songwriter
  • Producer
1984
90% Tootsie
  • George Fields
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1982
81% Absence Of Malice
  • Producer
  • Director
1981
50% Honeysuckle Rose
  • Executive Producer
1980
64% The Electric Horseman
  • Director
  • Man Who Makes a Pass at Alice
1979
29% Bobby Deerfield
  • Director
  • Producer
1977
88% Three Days of the Condor
  • Director
1975
59% The Yakuza
  • Director
  • Producer
1975
65% The Way We Were
  • Director
1973
95% Jeremiah Johnson
  • Director
1972
85% They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1969
38% Castle Keep
  • Director
1969
100% The Swimmer
  • Director
1968
70% The Scalphunters
  • Director
1968
64% This Property Is Condemned
  • Director
1966
83% 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
66% Entourage
2004-2011
  • Himself
  • 2007
92% The Sopranos
1999-2007
  • Warren Feldman
  • 2007
No Score Yet American Masters
1986
  • Narrator
  • Appearing
  • Producer
  • Voice
  • Director
  • 2006
No Score Yet Will & Grace
1998-2006
  • George Truman
  • 2006
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
No Score Yet Just Shoot Me
1997-2003
  • Himself
  • 2000
No Score Yet King of the Hill
1997-2010
  • Voice
  • 2000
No Score Yet Mad About You
1992-1999
  • Actor
  • 1998
  • 1994
93% Frasier
1993-2004
  • Voice of Holden Thorpe
  • 1994
No Score Yet The Fugitive
1963-1967
  • Director
  • 1964
No Score Yet Ben Casey
1961-1966
  • Director
  • 1964
  • 1963
  • 1962
No Score Yet The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
1962-1965
  • Director
  • 1963
  • 1962
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
  • Samuelson
  • 1960
82% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Willis
  • 1960
  • 1959

Quotes from Sydney Pollack's Characters