Jack Gold began working in the British film industry in 1955 and spent part of the next two decades honing his craft producing and directing specials for British television. He made his feature debut with the well-received war drama "The Bofors Gun" (1968) which demonstrated a flair for eliciting strong performances from actors and a command of camera technique. His subsequent features, however, failed to fully capitalize on this auspicious beginning. Nicol Williamson starred in "The Reckoning" (1969), a modest entry in the "angry young man" school of British filmmaking of the 50s and 60s. Gold's "The National Health" (1972), based on Peter Nichols' stage play, was an uneven comedy that betrayed its theatrical origins. "Man Friday" (1975) was an inversion of "Robinson Crusoe" played as a satiric fable about race relations and distorted by Peter O'Toole's miscasting. Gold wrote, directed and produced "The Medusa Touch" (1978), a wild amalgam of thriller and whodunit, an implausible tale of a man with the power to will someone to death (Richard Burton) and his relationship with a psychiatrist (Lee Remick) trying to cure him. By the end of the 80s, he was reduced to handling modest genre fare like the comedy "The Chain" (1985).
On the small screen, however, Gold had more than fulfilled on his promise. From the 60s, he had helmed a number of acclaimed British TV-movies and specials, notably "The Gangster Show," a 1972 adaptation of Brecht's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," that featured a tour de force central performance by Nicol Williamson. With the controversial "Catholics" (CBS, 1973), a philosophical drama about the future of Catholicism, and especially the Quentin Crisp biopic "The Naked Civil Servant" (1975), with an astonishing central performance by John Hurt, the director made his reputation in the USA. From the mid-80s on, he has helmed a number of acclaimed, award-winning TV-movie, most based on factual sources. Gold helmed the HBO biographical dramas "Sakharov" (1984), with Jason Robards and Glenda Jackson, and "Murrow" (1986), featuring Daniel J Travanti. He garnered an Emmy nomination for his handling of "Escape From Sobibor" (CBS, 1987), which detailed the largest prisoner escape from Nazi death camps during WWII. Gold has also directed a number of stylish literary adaptations, including "Stones for Ibarra" (CBS, 1988), "Graham Greene's 'The Tenth Man'" (CBS, 1988) and "The Return of the Native" (CBS, 1994).
Director (Feature Film)
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Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Director (TV Mini-Series)
Began career in British films
Garnered acclaim for direction of "The Bofors Guns", starring Nicol Williamson
Directed "The Gangster Show" for BBC-2, an acclaimed adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui", starring Williamson
US TV directorial debut, the controversial TV-movie "Catholics", starring Martin Sheen and Trevor Howard
Helmed the TV-movie "The Naked Civil Servant", a Thames TV biopic of Quentin Crisp, starring John Hurt; won International Emmy Award
Wrote, directed and produced "The Medusa Touch"
Helmed the HBO made-for-cable movie "Sakharov"
Directed the TV-movie biopic "Murrow" (HBO)
Won Emmy nomination for direction of the based-on-fact TV-movie "Escape from Sobibor" (CBS)
Last feature to date "Ball-Trap on the Cote Sauvage"
Directed the TV adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "The Return of the Native" (CBS)