Rod Lurie

Rod Lurie

Rod Lurie (born May 15, 1962) is an Israeli-American director, screenwriter and former film critic.

Early Life and Career

The son of internationally syndicated cartoonist Ranan Lurie, he was born in Israel but moved to the United States at a young age, growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984, he served in the U.S. Army as an Air Defense Artillery officer, then became an entertainment reporter and film critic, including stints at Channel 12 in Fairfield, Connecticut, the New York Daily News, Premiere, Movieline, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles magazine, and talk radio shows at KMPC and KABC, where his tactical on-air bets with Martin Landau, Mel Gibson and James Cameron that they would win the Oscar resulted in them having to "pay up" at the Academy Awards ceremony by publicly thanking him in their acceptance speeches.

As an investigative reporter in the entertainment industry, his discovery of unethical and illegal practices at tabloid newspapers gained him national exposure on programs such as 60 Minutes, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, Nightline, and Geraldo. His irreverent style, however (he once described Danny DeVito as a "testicle with arms"), often raised controversy and got him banned from screenings.

In 1995, his book, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Moviemaking, Con Games, and Murder in Glitter City, was published.

Film and TV Career

Lurie's first foray into filmmaking, as writer and director, was the low-budget political thriller Deterrence (1999), with Kevin Pollak as the first Jewish President of the United States. His second was the critically acclaimed The Contender (2000), written for Joan Allen and co-starring Gary Oldman and Jeff Bridges. His next effort (directing only), The Last Castle (2001) with Robert Redford and James Gandolfini, was a commercial failure; as was Line of Fire, his 2003-04 TV series about the FBI's Richmond, Virginia office, starring David Paymer as a mob boss.

Lurie is currently working on "Nothing But the Truth" which is based on the story of Valerie Plame. Kate Beckinsale, David Schwimmer, and Matt Dillon are acting in the movie.

Lurie worked on Resurrecting the Champ, a boxing drama, and recently served as creator and executive producer of the failed television series Commander in Chief, starring Geena Davis as America's first female President.

Most recently, he has been working for ABC, but his contract, which had been terminated during the Writer's strike, was not renewed when it ended.

Lurie places sly tributes to his alma mater in his shows: Deterrence had an aide-de-camp to the President admitting he had to settle for the United States Air Force Academy because he couldn't get into West Point. Also, in The Contender, Bridges' president Evans can be seen wearing a West Point sweatshirt during the film.

The characters of President Jackson Evans (The Contender), prison inmate Lt. Gen. Eugene Irwin (The Last Castle), FBI agent Paige Van Doren (Line of Fire), and Vice Presidential nominee Gen. (ret.) Warren Keaton (Commander in Chief) are all fictional graduates of the "Long Gray Line".

Criticism

Conservative critics of Lurie's failed television show Commander in Chief opine that the show was a de facto advertisement for Hillary Clinton's expected run for the presidency, although this was acknowledged by Lurie in a press conference. They also note that the Republican Speaker of the House (played by Donald Sutherland) was portrayed as an unsympathetic sexist and racist Congressman with few, if any, redeeming qualities

Personal life

Lurie lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, Gretchen, and their two children, Hunter and Paige. Hunter was born on October 6, 1990. Paige was born on July 16, 1992.

References

External links

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