Joseph Sargent


Director, Producer

About

Also Known As
Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente, Joseph Daniel Sargente
Birth Place
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Born
July 22, 1925

Biography

The son of Italian immigrants, Joseph Sargent rose from blue collar New Jersey to Hollywood, but his best work as a director, the masterful action film "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), retained a gritty, street-level quality. Born Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente on July 22, 1925 in Jersey City, NJ, he originally moved to California to find work as an actor. Though he did appear br...

Family & Companions

Carolyn Nelson
Wife
Second wife; married on November 22, 1970.

Notes

Sargent was originally hired to direct "Coal Miner's Daughter" but Loretta Lynn clashed with him, particularly over the casting of Sissy Spacek and he was replaced on the project by Michael Apted.

Biography

The son of Italian immigrants, Joseph Sargent rose from blue collar New Jersey to Hollywood, but his best work as a director, the masterful action film "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), retained a gritty, street-level quality. Born Giuseppe Danielle Sorgente on July 22, 1925 in Jersey City, NJ, he originally moved to California to find work as an actor. Though he did appear briefly in the classic "From Here To Eternity" (1953), Sargent soon found himself changing career paths, becoming a television director later in the 1950s. He spent over a decade as a journeyman director, amassing a solid credit list including episodes of hit series such as "Lassie" (CBS / Syndication 1954-1973), "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (NBC 1964-68) and "Star Trek" (NBC 1966-69). In 1968, Sargent made the movie into film with a low-budget World War II drama starring Rod Taylor, "The Hell With Heroes" (1968). Dystopian science fiction thriller "Colossus: The Forbin Project" (1970) followed. A political drama, "The Man" (1972), was Sargent's next project: written by Rod Serling based on the novel by Irving Wallace, it starred James Earl Jones as a career politician who rises to the presidency. By this time it was clear that Sargent was effective in a number of different styles and genres. This was confirmed by his next two projects. "White Lightning" (1973) was a smash-'em-up chase movie starring Burt Reynolds as one of his most iconic characters, Gator McKlusky. This big hit was followed by Sargent's best-known film, the hard-edged, at times darkly comic thriller "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), a heist film starring Walter Matthau as a hangdog NYPD lieutenant chasing a group of kidnappers who have taken a subway train hostage. Oddly, after that pair of critical and commercial successes, Sargent moved primarily into directing made for television movies. He only made three more theatrical features, the tepidly-received biopic "MacArthur" (1977), the low-budget horror anthology "Nightmares" (1983), and the legendary bomb "Jaws: The Revenge" (1987). Completed, from inception to editing, in less than nine months, "Jaws: The Revenge" is a perennial entry on "worst films of all time" lists. However, Sargent continued working steadily in television following that disaster, including high-profile made for TV movies such as the authorized biopic "The Karen Carpenter Story" (1989) and the HBO period drama "Something the Lord Made" (2004), for which he won the Directors Guild of America award. Sargent's final film was the family drama "Sweet Nothing In My Ear" (2008), starring Jeff Daniels and Marlee Matlin. Joseph Sargent died of heart disease on December 22, 2014 at the age of 89.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Sybil (2008)
Director
Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008)
Director
Something the Lord Made (2005)
Director
Warm Springs (2005)
Director
Out of the Ashes (2003)
Director
Bojangles (2001)
Director
For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000)
Director
A Lesson Before Dying (1999)
Director
Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" (1998)
Director
The Long Island Incident (1998)
Director
The Wall (1998)
Director
Miss Evers' Boys (1997)
Director
Mandela and de Klerk (1997)
Director
My Antonia (1995)
Director
Skylark (1993)
Director
Miss Rose White (1992)
Director
Somebody's Daughter (1992)
Director
Never Forget (1991)
Director
The Ivory Hunters (1990)
Director
The Incident (1990)
Director
Caroline? (1990)
Director
The Love She Sought (1990)
Director
Day One (1989)
Director
The Karen Carpenter Story (1989)
Director
Jaws The Revenge (1987)
Director
Of Pure Blood (1986)
Director
Passion Flower (1986)
Director
There Must Be a Pony (1986)
Director
Love Is Never Silent (1985)
Director
Terrible Joe Moran (1984)
Director
Nightmares (1983)
Director
Memorial Day (1983)
Director
Choices of the Heart (1983)
Director
Tomorrow's Child (1982)
Director
Freedom (1981)
Director
Amber Waves (1980)
Director
Coast to Coast (1980)
Director
Goldengirl (1979)
Director
MacArthur (1977)
Director
Sunshine Part II (1976)
Director
The Night That Panicked America (1975)
Director
Except For Thee And Me (1975)
Director
Hustling (1975)
Director
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Director
White Lightning (1973)
Director
Sunshine (1973)
Director
The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973)
Director
The Man Who Died Twice (1973)
Director
The Man (1972)
Director
Man on a String (1972)
Director
Longstreet (1971)
Director
Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (1971)
Director
The Forbin Project (1970)
Director
Tribes (1970)
Director
The Hell With Heroes (1968)
Director
One Spy Too Many (1966)
Director
The Spy in the Green Hat (1966)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Ivory Hunters (1990)
The Love She Sought (1990)
Garvey
Kathy O' (1958)
Mike
Her First Romance (1951)
Counselor

Producer (Feature Film)

Sweet Nothing in My Ear (2008)
Producer
Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" (1998)
Producer
Skylark (1993)
Producer
Somebody's Daughter (1992)
Producer
Jaws The Revenge (1987)
Producer
Of Pure Blood (1986)
Producer
Choices of the Heart (1983)
Producer
The Night That Panicked America (1975)
Producer
Except For Thee And Me (1975)
Producer
Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (1971)
Producer
Longstreet (1971)
Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Pay or Die (1960)
Assistant to prod

Director (Special)

Mad Avenue (1988)
Director

Cast (Special)

This Time It's Personal -- Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Getaway Car (1958)

Life Events

1957

Regular (as actor) on syndicated "Getaway Car" series

1966

Feature debut, "The Spy in the Green Hat" (compilation of episodes of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."

1968

First non-compilation feature, "The Hell with Heroes"

1969

Directed pilot, "The Immortal" (ABC)

1970

Directed TV-movie "Tribes"

1971

Director-producer "Longstreet" TV series (ABC)

1972

Directed "The Man"

1973

Directed "The Marcus-Nelson Murders," TV-movie which became "Kojak" series

1974

Helmed "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three"

1977

Directed "MacArthur" starring Gregory Peck

1980

Directed "Playing for Time" Fania Fenelon story for CBS; "Amber Waves" for ABC

1981

Directed first miniseries, "The Manions of America"

1985

Directed "Love is Never Silent", one of first primetime dramas to employ sign language

1987

Returned to big screen with "Jaws -- The Revenge"

1989

Helmmed "Day One" and "The Karen Carpenter Story" for CBS

1990

Directed Walter Matthau in his TV-movie debut, "The Incident"

1992

Directed "Miss Rose White" for Hallmark Hall of Fame and NBC

1994

Helmed both "World War II: When Lions Roared" miniseries for ABC and "Abraham", a TNT miniseries

1995

Directed "Larry McMurtry's 'Streets of Laredo'" miniseries for CBS

1997

Directed the HBO movie "Miss Evers' Boys" based on the true story of the US Government's 1932 Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiments

1999

Won praise for his direction of the HBO drama "A Lesson Before Dying"

2000

Directed "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story" starring Andy Garcia

2001

Directed "Bojangles" the biography of African-American William "Bojangles" Robinson (Gregory Hines)

2004

Directed the HBO movie "Something the Lord Made" which details the relationship between heart surgery pioneers Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman) and Vivien Thomas (Mos Def)

2005

Directed Kenneth Branagh and Cynthia Nixon, as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in the HBO movie "Warm Springs," which chronicles the life of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt before he became president until his death

Videos

Movie Clip

White Lightning (1973) - All Them Damn Hippies Scenes introducing leading man Burt Reynolds as convicted Arkansas bootlegger Gator McClusky, Lincoln Demyan the warden, Barbara Muller his distraught cousin, discussing the murder from the opening scene, in White Lightning, 1973, also starring Ned Beatty and Bo Hopkins.
White Lightning (1973) - I Don't Rightly Know Provisionally paroled on a promise to help prosecute a crooked sheriff, bootlegger Gator (Burt Reynolds) visits his parents (Dabbs Greer, Iris Korn), bereaved over the murder of their younger son, at their Arkansas farm, in White Lightning, 1973, directed by Joseph Sargent.
White Lightning (1973) - Open, Donny With the credits, Ned Beatty, whom we'll learn is a crooked Arkansas sheriff, murders two college students, one of whom plays the brother of leading man Burt Reynolds, (as bootlegger Gator McClusky), in his breakout action hit White Lightning, 1973, directed by Joseph Sargent.
White Lightning (1973) - I'm Talking About My Brother! Nice scene for the always under-appreciated Matt Clark as mechanic/bootlegger Dude, as Gator (Burt Reynolds), working with the feds, presses him for info about the crooked sheriff who killed his brother, Dianne Ladd as Dude’s wife, the girl on the tire swing her real daughter, Laura Dern, in White Lightning, 1973.
White Lightning (1973) - Women And The Po-lice Working undercover for the feds, Gator (Burt Reynolds) finishes buddying up to bootlegger Roy (Bo Hopkins) then insists that Dude (Matt Clark) introduce him to Sheriff Connors (Ned Beatty), the object of his vengeance, in White Lightning, 1973, location shooting in downtown Benton, Arkansas.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (1974) - We Call It The Nerve Center Transit cop Zach Garber (Walter Matthau) introduces Lt. Patrone (Jerry Stiller) as he shows Tokyo subway officials the inner-workings of the New York system in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The - Fiorello LaGuardia Warren the deputy mayor (Tony Roberts) takes charge as Al the mayor (Lee Wallace) and his wife (Doris Roberts) consider whether to pay ransom in Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (1974) - Taking Your Train Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw), Green (Martin Balsam), Grey (Hector Elizondo) and Brown (Earl Hindman) take the train in the dramatic opening of director Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
MacArthur (1977) - A Commander's Place Admiral Nimitz (Addison Powell) is in the room but the only audience is President Roosevelt (Dan O'Herlihy), getting an earful and then some from Gregory Peck (title character) on why he has to re-take the biggest island in the Philippines, in MacArthur 1977.
MacArthur (1977) - A General's General About to evacuate the Philippines, aide Huff (Nicolas Coster) tries to persuade his boss Gregory Peck (title character) to take a safer submarine, the general's wife Jean (Marj Dusay) joins him in refusing, in director Joseph Sargent's bio-pic MacArthur, 1977.
MacArthur (1977) - Good News Can Wait Having evacuated the Philippines, Gregory Peck (title character) arrives in Melbourne, Australia, 1942, where aide Diller (Allan Miller) informs him a counter-attack is not in the cards, plus other news, in the bio-pic MacArthur, 1977.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The - Listen Trainmaster Jaded New York transit cop Garber (Walter Matthau) loses face with Japanese guests, hijacker Blue (Robert Shaw) contacts trainmaster Frank (Kenneth McMillan) and Patrone (Jerry Stiller) doubts, in Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.

Trailer

Family

Domenico Sargente
Father
Maria Sargente
Mother
Lia Sargent
Daughter
Mother, Sargent's first wife.
Athena Sargent
Daughter
Mother Carolyn Nelson.

Companions

Carolyn Nelson
Wife
Second wife; married on November 22, 1970.

Bibliography

Notes

Sargent was originally hired to direct "Coal Miner's Daughter" but Loretta Lynn clashed with him, particularly over the casting of Sissy Spacek and he was replaced on the project by Michael Apted.