Happy birthday to Norman Jewison

Today, writer/director /producer, Norman Jewison celebrates his birthday.

For me, he is one of those directors I never think of when asked who my favorites are, which is unfortunate.  Then I take a look at his filmography and it never fails to impress – so many greats.

[on directing movies] “It’s you against the world. It’s like going to war. Everybody is trying to tell you something different, and they’re always putting obstacles in your way. You have to fight for what you believe in, and you have to defend yourself constantly. It’s a matter of confidence. It’s when you get indecisive and you lack confidence that you get into trouble, because everybody else will take over.”

As he’s given us so much to enjoy through his films, I pay him tribute here – a poster gallery:




[on Steve McQueen] “I can honestly say he’s the most difficult actor I’ve ever worked with.”


[on working with Rod Steiger] “I’ve never seen a man become a role so much. Two weeks after we started the picture it was almost impossible to talk to [him] because he was in a Southern dialect night and day.”





[on one reason he wanted to bring “A Soldier’s Story’ to the screen] “I hitchhiked through the South in 1945 when I was eighteen, and passed the Missouri town where the last lynching had taken place. They told me I rode in the pick-up truck that had dragged the victim through the streets. That was said with a great deal of pride, which astounded me.”


[on Cher] “Her comic timing is natural and almost infallible. I’ll say so even though she nicknamed me “the curmudgeon.” Cher thinks all directors are mad and crazy. She’s right. of course.”


An impressive body of work.

Norman Jewison has received three Best Director Academy Award nominations and four nods for producing Best Picture nominees.  He has yet to win a competitive Oscar but was the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1999.

Happy birthday to a great director!


  1. Lovely tribute. I had the chance to listen to Mr. Jewison a number of times last summer, when the Film Society of Lincoln Center did a career retrospective. He was in attendance for a number of screenings, including THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING (1966), where he was interviewed by Robert Osborne. He is quite the raconteur.

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