Joseph Sargent

Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly five-hour Archive interview, Joseph Sargent (1925-2014) talks about his early years as an actor on stage and in television. He describes learning the directing craft while shooting the television series Lassie, Gunsmoke, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  Among the other shows he recalls are his now-classic episode for Star Trek, "The Corbomite Maneuver." Sargent outlines the many television movies he has directed, which have earned him four Emmy Awards. He describes the challenging location shooting in the subways of New York City for the film "The Taking of Pelham 123" and the thinking behind the premise of "Jaws: The Revenge." He speaks fondly of his work with Hollywood screen legends James Cagney (Terrible Joe Moran) and Elizabeth Taylor (There Must Be A Pony). He covers his association with Stanley Kubrick in the pre-production stages of "One-Eyed Jacks," his rejection of Sissy Spacek for "Coal Miner's Daughter," and casting unknown Pierce Brosnan in the miniseries The Manions of America. He ends by talking about later Emmy-winning television movies he has directed including: Miss Evers' Boys, A Lesson Before Dying, Something the Lord Made, and Warm Springs. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on March 9, 2006 in Malibu, California.

"Television can bring a certain amount of enlightenment. You're not gonna change the world with that one film, but you can make a little bit of a dent. If we can make enough dents, it's a hell of a medium because it reaches out to so many young minds as well as some entrenched minds. It can be quite gratifying when certain things take place."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Joseph Sargent on directing James Arness on Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on directing The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Joseph Sargent on explaining how to play "Spock" to Leonard Nimoy
Joseph Sargent on winning the Emmy for The Marcus Nelson Murders
Joseph Sargent on his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early acting training
On his early experience on Broadway; on his interest in photography and becoming a director; on acting in live television in the '50s

Chapter 2

On the kinds of roles he played on television in the '50s; on becoming a television director; on his connection to Stanley Kubrick and working with Marlon Brando
On directing Lassie; on acting in and later directing Gunsmoke

Chapter 3

On directing James Arness on Gunsmoke; on the editing of Gunsmoke and staging actors; on Lassie and other early shows being his training ground for directing
On directing The Man From U.N.C.L.E; on directing Bonanza; on directing The Fugitive

Chapter 4

On acting on The Twilight Zone; on the Hollywood Blacklist; on directing Star Trek
On directing long-form television; on shooting on location

Chapter 5

On shooting Hustling in Los Angeles; on shooting The Marcus Nelson Murders; on winning an Emmy for The Marcus Nelson Murders
On directing the feature "The Taking of Pelham 123"

Chapter 6

On working with East Coast crews; on directing the feature films "MacArthur" and "Golden Girl"; on almost directing "Coal Miner's Daughter"
On directing Manions of America; on directing James Cagney in Terrible Joe Moran

Chapter 7

On working with Elizabeth Taylor on There Must Be a Pony; on directing the miniseries Space; on directing made-for-television movies for Hallmark Hall of Fame
On directing the made-for-television movies Love is Never Silent and Miss Rose White; on directing the feature film "Jaws: The Revenge"

Chapter 8

On directing Angela Lansbury in The Love She Sought; on directing A braham for TNT; on directing Miss Evers' Boys
On directing the feature film "A Lesson Before Dying"; on directing Warm Springs; on his proudest professional achievements

Chapter 9

On technical innovation during his directing career; on ageism in the industry and then-current projects; on advice to aspiring directors and how he'd like to be remembered 

Chapter 10

On B-roll of pictures from Joseph Sargent's career: Joseph Sargent at the New School for social research in 1949; in a workshop at the New School in 1949; doing musical stock in 1949; with Joan Banks in Some Small Nobility in 1950; with Robert Vaughn on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; with David McCallum on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; with Robert Vaughn on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; on location for The Taking of Pelham 123; on location for The Taking of Pelham 123 with Walter Matthau; with Richard Zanuck on the set of MacArthur; with Beau Bridges on the set of Space; on the set of Jaws: The Revenge; with Kyra Sedgwick on the set of Miss Rose White; with Amanda Plummer and Kyra Sedgwick on the set of Miss Rose White; cake for Joseph Sargent on his return from the Emmy Awards; with Glenn Close on the set of Skylark; Glenn Close and Christopher Walken on the set of Skylark; on the set of When Lions Roared with Bob Hoskins; with Sidney Poitier on the set of Mandela and de Klerk
Shows

Abraham

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Joseph Sargent on directing Abraham for TNT

Bonanza

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Joseph Sargent on directing Bonanza

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Joseph Sargent on winning the Emmy for The Marcus Nelson Murders

Fugitive, The

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Fugitive

Gunsmoke

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Joseph Sargent on acting on and later directing Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on directing Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on directing James Arness on Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on the cast of Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on the editing of Gunsmoke and staging actors
Joseph Sargent on casting black extras on Gunsmoke

Hallmark Hall of Fame

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Joseph Sargent on directing made-for-television movies for Hallmark Hall of Fame
Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Love is Never Silent for Hallmark Hall of Fame

Hallmark Hall of Fame: "Miss Rose White"

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Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Miss Rose White

Hustling

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Joseph Sargent on directing Hustling in Los Angeles

Invaders, The

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Invaders

Lassie

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Joseph Sargent on his first directing job on the series Lassie
Joseph Sargent on the tone of Lassie and working with the producers
Joseph Sargent on dealing with the dog on Lassie
Joseph Sargent on the ways in which Lassie was a product of its era
Joseph Sargent on Lassie and other early shows being his training ground for directing

Love Is Never Silent

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Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Love is Never Silent for Hallmark Hall of Fame

Love She Sought, The

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Joseph Sargent on directing Angela Lansbury in The Love She Sought

Man From U.N.C.L.E., The

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Joseph Sargent on the atmosphere on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Joseph Sargent on the theatrical versions of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Joseph Sargent on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in popular culture

Manions of America, The

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Manions of America

Marcus-Nelson Murders, The

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Marcus Nelson Murders
Joseph Sargent on winning the Emmy for The Marcus Nelson Murders

Miss Evers' Boys

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Joseph Sargent on directing Miss Evers' Boys

Something the Lord Made

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Joseph Sargent on directing Something the Lord Made

Space

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Joseph Sargent on directing the miniseries Space

Star Trek

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Joseph Sargent on directing Star Trek
Joseph Sargent on explaining how to play "Spock" to Leonard Nimoy
Joseph Sargent on Clint Howard guest-starring on Star Trek
Joseph Sargent on Star Trek fans

There Must Be A Pony

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Joseph Sargent on working with Elizabeth Taylor on There Must Be a Pony

Twilight Zone, The

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Joseph Sargent on acting on The Twilight Zone

Warm Springs

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Joseph Sargent on directing Warm Springs
Topics

Advice

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Joseph Sargent on advice to aspiring directors

Anthology Drama

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Joseph Sargent on acting on live television in the '50s

Diversity in Television

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Joseph Sargent on casting black extras on Gunsmoke

Emmy Awards

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Joseph Sargent on winning the Emmy for The Marcus Nelson Murders

First Big Break

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Joseph Sargent on his first directing job on the series Lassie

Historic Events and Social Change

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Joseph Sargent on casting black extras on Gunsmoke

Hollywood Blacklist

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Joseph Sargent on his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Joseph Sargent on his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist

Minorities

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Joseph Sargent on casting black extras on Gunsmoke

Pivotal Career Moments

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Joseph Sargent on his first directing job on the series Lassie

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Joseph Sargent on acting on live television in the '50s

Technological Innovation

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Joseph Sargent on technical innovation during his directing career

Television Industry

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Joseph Sargent on his experience with the Hollywood Blacklist
Joseph Sargent on advice to aspiring directors
Joseph Sargent on ageism in the industry
Professions

Directors

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Joseph Sargent on doing location shoots
Joseph Sargent on his attraction to long -form television and his directing process
Joseph Sargent on East Coast crews vs. West Coast crews
Joseph Sargent on advice to aspiring directors
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Drama Series

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Joseph Sargent on directing Lassie

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Joseph Sargent on directing Star Trek

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Joseph Sargent on directing Hustling  in Los Angeles
Joseph Sargent on directing The Marcus Nelson Murders
Joseph Sargent on directing James Cagney in Terrible Joe Moran
Joseph Sargent on directing Manions of America
Joseph Sargent on directing Playing for Time
Joseph Sargent on working with Elizabeth Taylor on There Must Be a Pony
Joseph Sargent on directing the miniseries Space
Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Love is Never Silent  for Hallmark Hall of Fame
Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Miss Rose White
Joseph Sargent on directing Angela Lansbury in The Love She Sought
Joseph Sargent on directing Abraham  for TNT
Joseph Sargent on directing Miss Evers' Boys
Joseph Sargent on directing Warm Springs

Western Series

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Joseph Sargent on directing Gunsmoke
Joseph Sargent on directing Gunsmoke  (Part 2)
People

James Arness

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Joseph Sargent on directing James Arness on Gunsmoke

Kenneth Branagh

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Joseph Sargent on directing Warm Springs

Marlon Brando

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Joseph Sargent on his connection to Stanley Kubrick and working with Marlon Brando

Pierce Brosnan

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Joseph Sargent on directing Manions of America

James Cagney

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Joseph Sargent on directing James Cagney in Terrible Joe Moran

Clint Howard

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Joseph Sargent on Clint Howard guest-starring on Star Trek

Stanley Kubrick

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Joseph Sargent on his connection to Stanley Kubrick and working with Marlon Brando

Angela Lansbury

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Joseph Sargent on directing Angela Lansbury in The Love She Sought

Abby Mann

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Marcus Nelson Murders

Leonard Nimoy

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Joseph Sargent on explaining how to play "Spock" to Leonard Nimoy

Gregory Peck

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Joseph Sargent on directing the feature "MacArthur" with Gregory Peck

Telly Savalas

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Joseph Sargent on directing The Marcus Nelson Murders

Elizabeth Taylor

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Joseph Sargent on working with Elizabeth Taylor on There Must Be a Pony

Robert Wagner

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Joseph Sargent on working with Elizabeth Taylor on There Must Be a Pony

Mare Winningham

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Joseph Sargent on directing the made-for-television movie Love is Never Silent for Hallmark Hall of Fame

Alfre Woodard

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Joseph Sargent on directing Miss Evers' Boys

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