Martin Ritt


Martin Ritt (March 2, 1914 – December 8, 1990) was an American director and actor who worked in both film and theater, and was noted for his socially conscious films. He made his directorial debut with Edge of the City (1957), with John Cassavetes, Sidney Poitier, and Jack Warden. His other films in the 1950s include No Down Payment (1957), with Joanne Woodward, Sheree North, Tony Randall, Jeffrey Hunter, Cameron Mitchell, and Pat Hingle; The Long, Hot Summer (1958), with Newman, Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Orson Welles, Lee Remick, and Angela Landsbury; The Black Orchid (1958), with Sophia Loren and Anthony Quinn; and The Sound and the Fury (1959), with Yul Brynner, Woodward, Margaret Leighton, Stuart Whitman, Ethel Waters, Warden, Françoise Rosay.

Ritt was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for the revisionist western Hud (1963), with Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Brandon deWilde, and Patricia Neal. Other films in the 1960s include 5 Branded Women (1960), with Silvana Mangano, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jeanne Moreau, Vera Miles, Van Heflin, and Richard Basehart; Paris Blues (1961), with Newman, Woodward, Poitier, Louis Armstrong, and Diahann Carroll; Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man (1963), with Richard Beymer, Diane Baker, Jessica Tandy, Ricardo Montalbán, Eli Wallach, Arthur Kennedy and Newman; The Outrage (1964), with Newman, Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Edward G. Robinson, William Shatner, Howard Da Silva, and Albert Salmi; The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965), with Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, and Oskar Werner; Hombre (1967), with Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, and Diane Cilento; and The Brotherhood (1968), with Kirk Douglas, Irene Papas, Alex Cord, and Luther Adler.

Films in the 1970s include The Great White Hope (1970), James Earl Jones, Jane Alexander, Chester Morris, Hal Holbrook, Beah Richards, and Moses Gunn; The Molly Maguires (1970), with Sean Connery, Richard Harris, Samantha Eggar, and Frank Finlay; Sounder (1972), with Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, and Kevin Hooks; Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972), with Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett, Geraldine Page, Barry Nelson, René Auberjonois, and Lee H. Montgomery; Conrack (1974), with Jon Voight, Winfield, Madge Sinclair, Hume Cronyn, and Antonio Fargas; The Front (1976), with Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Michael Murphy, Herschel Bernardi, Andrea Marcovicci, Remak Ramsay, and Lloyd Gough; Casey’s Shadow (1978), with Matthau, Alexis Smith, Murray Hamilton; and Norma Rae (1979), with Sally Field, Beau Bridges, Ron Leibman, Hingle, Barbara Baxley, and Gail Strickland.

His later films include Back Roads (1981), with Field and Tommy Lee Jones; Cross Creek (1983), with Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote , Alfre Woodard, and Dana Hill; Murphy’s Romance (1985), with Field, James Garner, Brian Kerwin, and Corey Haim; Nuts (1987), with Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton, Wallach, Robert Webber, James Whitmore, and Karl Malden; and Stanley & Iris (1990), with Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Swoosie Kurtz, and Martha Plimpton.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Edge of the City (1957)
  • No Down Payment (1957)
  • The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
  • The Black Orchid (1958)
  • The Sound and the Fury (1959)
  • 5 Branded Women (1960)
  • Paris Blues (1961)
  • Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man (1962)
  • Hud (1963)
  • The Outrage (1964)
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
  • Hombre (1967)
  • The Brotherhood (1968)
  • The Great White Hope (1970)
  • The Molly Maguires (1970)
  • Sounder (1972)
  • Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972)
  • Conrack (1974)
  • The Front (1976)
  • Casey’s Shadow (1978)
  • Norma Rae (1979)
  • Back Roads (1981)
  • Cross Creek (1983)
  • Murphy’s Romance (1985)
  • Nuts (1987)
  • Stanley & Iris (1990)