Martin Ritt

1914 - 1990

Martin Ritt, one of the best and most sensitive American filmmakers of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his characters.He originally attended and played football for Elon College in North Carolina. The stark contrasts of the Depression-era South compared to his New York City upbringing instilled in him a passion for expressing the struggles of inequality, which is clearly present in the films he directed. After leaving St. John's University, he found work with a theater group, and began acting in plays. His first performance was as Crown in "Porgy and Bess". After his performance drew favorable reviews, Ritt concluded that he could "only be happy in the theater." He then went to work with the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's New Deal agency the Works Progress Administration as a playwright for the Federal Theater Proj

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