​13 Must-Watch Norman Jewison Movies

By Catherine Jheon ● November 03, 2016 01:00

Norman Jewison has produced and directed some of the world’s most memorable, beloved and socially important films. Today (Nov. 3rd) also happens to be the 45th anniversary of Fiddler on the Roof, Jewison's award-winning film adaptation of the Broadway musical. To date, his films have received 46 nominations and garnered 12 Academy Awards. The Toronto-born filmmaker received the prestigious Irving Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards in 1999. He also happens to be our founder. 

In celebration of this internationally-celebrated filmmaker, here are 13 of Jewison's films that are worth watching again and again (and again).

1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

The Cincinnati Kid, Jewison’s breakthrough film, marked the first time he worked with renowned actor Steve McQueen. It’s considered one of the finest movies made about gambling. Jewison himself said it one of his personal favourites because it was his first challenging drama.

2. The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966)

In 1966, Jewison directed The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, starring Carl Reiner. It was also his first feature producing credit. This acclaimed satire on Cold War paranoia garnered Jewison’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

3. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Jewison helmed this crime drama set in a racially divided Southern town starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. It earned Jewison his first Academy Award nomination for Best Directing. The film won a total of five Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Adapted Screenplay). In the Heat of the Night also marked Jewison’s first collaboration with director of photography Haskell Wexler.

4. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

The Thomas Crown Affair, a crime caper directed and produced by Jewison, saw him team up again with both McQueen and Wexler. This film also featured multiple screen effects, including the use of 66 images in one frame for the polo sequence, reputedly a first for a 35mm feature.

5. Fiddler on the Roof  (1971)

Fiddler on the Roof was Jewison’s first film adaptation of a successful stage musical. Jewison both produced and directed the film, which received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three Academy Awards for Best Original Music, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

6. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

Following the success of Fiddler on the Roof, Jewison co-wrote, produced and directed the film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar, the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera. The film sparked controversy for its treatment of a sacred subject.

7. Rollerball (1975)

Jewison produced and directed this cult hit set in a future where corporations rule the world and entertainment centres around a deadly game.

8. ...And Justice for All (1979)

Jewison teamed up with screenwriters Barry Levinson and Valerie Curtin for ...And Justice for All, which he directed and produced. It starred Al Pacino.

9. A Soldier's Story (1984)

This 1984 film directed and produced by Jewison is based on Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning Off-Broadway production A Soldier's Play. The film received much popular and critical success and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

10. Agnes of God (1985)

Jewison’s next stage-to-film adaptation was Agnes of God. It was his first feature filmed in Canada, set in a Quebec convent, and also marked his initial collaboration with cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Jewison directed and produced this film.

11. Moonstruck (1987)

Jewison directed and produced Moonstruck, one of his most beloved films. This romantic comedy received wide critical and popular acclaim. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won three Academy Awards, including Best Actress (for Cher,) Best Supporting Actress (for Olympia Dukakis) and Best Original Screenplay (for John Patrick Shanley).

12. The Hurricane (1999)

In the late '90s, Jewison produced and directed Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington as Reuben 'Hurricane' Carter, the 1960s world middleweight boxing champion who was wrongly convicted of the murder of three white men. The film earned Washington an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

13. The Statement (2003)

Jewison directed and produced The Statement, starring Michael Caine and based on a 1996 novel by Brian Moore.