Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison dead at 97

He was nominated for seven Oscars for five different movies. Curiously, he never won one, but the Academy did honor him with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

Variety’s Obit

CBC’s take

My usual, rambling, almost or completely irrelevant points:

I started to write about how we lost another from The Greatest Generation, then I realized that Jewison almost missed the cutoff. (He was born in 1926, one year before the generally recognized tail end of the group.) That semi-official definition is based on anyone old enough to fight in WW2 legally, but those dates need to be flexible. My definition encompasses anyone who fought in WW2 period. My dad’s brother lied his way into the service and was part of the D-Day Invasion. (The army accepted his claim to be 18. If you were willing and eager to parachute behind enemy lines, the recruiters didn’t check your credentials too carefully.) That clearly qualified him as TGG, in my book, even though he was born in 1929 and enlisted at 15. Uncle John was not alone. Scholars estimate that 200,000 underage Americans fought in The Big One. (God only knows how many underage Russians. I suppose many millions.) There are not many of them left, no matter how young they were then.

A curious point about pronunciation. That CBC report reminded me that Toronto natives, even the news broadcasters, almost always pronounce it Toronno, without the interior “t,” just as Milwaukee natives almost never pronounce the “l.”

2 thoughts on “Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison dead at 97

  1. Probably should have won for Moonstruck, and A Soldier’s Story probably should have been nominated (instead of either Broadway Danny Rose or Places in the Heart). Probably no way it would have bested Amadeus though. A lot of great films from him (let’s just not talk about Rollerball though).

  2. He has to be on the list of best Hollywood directors who never won an Oscar.

    Also, I laughed out loud when I read in his NYT obit that he wasn’t Jewish. I had always assumed he was. And not just me, he go the Fiddler on the Roof job because the producers thought he was.

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