Oscar Directors: Rossen, Robert–All the King’s Men, The Hustler

The two-time Oscar-nominated director Robert Rossen was also among those blacklisted.

In 1947, he was subpoenaed to appear before the Committee, but the hearings were suspended.

All the King’s Men (Best Picture Oscar)

Rossen continued to work and his film, “All the King’s Men,” won the 1949 Best Picture, though he failed to win the directing award, probably because of his politics. There is usually strong correlation between the two categories, but the 1949 Best Director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz for “A Letter to Three Wives.”

In the second round of hearings, Rossen was identified as a Communist, and his refusal to testify resulted in blacklisting. Like Edward Dmytryk, two years later, Rossen requested a second hearing in which he admitted membership in the Communist Party and was subsequently able to work, though he decided never again to return to Hollywood.

The Hustler

In 1961, Rossen scored the greatest success of his career with “The Hustler,” which was nominated for nine awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor for Paul Newman, and Actress for Piper Laurie, winning two technical awards.


In 1949, Robert Rossen competed for the Best Director Oscar with Mankiewicz, who won for “A Letter to Three Wives,” Carol Reed for “The Fallen Idol,” William A. Wellman for “Battleground,” and William Wyler for “The Heiress.”


In 1961, Rossen vied for the Directing Oscar with Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins who won for “West Side Story,” Federico Fellini for “La Dolce Vita,” Stanley Kramer for “Judgment at Nuremberg,” and J. Lee Thompson for “The Guns of Navarone.”