Davidson, Martin 1939-
DAVIDSON, Martin 1939-
PERSONAL: Born November 7, 1939, in New York, NY; son of Murray and Lillian Davidson; married, 1968; wife's name, Sandra. Education: American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduated.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Innovative Artists Talent, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067-6022.
CAREER: Director, producer, actor, and screenwriter. Director of films, including (with Stephen Verona) The Lords of Flatbush, Columbia, 1974; Almost Summer, Universal, 1978; Hero at Large, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1980; Eddie and the Cruisers, Embassy, 1983; Heart of Dixie, Orion, 1989; Hard Promises, Columbia, 1992; and Looking for an Echo, Regent Entertainment, 2000. Executive producer of film, Heart of Dixie, Orion, 1989; producer of film Looking for an Echo, Regent Entertainment, 1999. Played Mr. Birnbaum in film The Lords of Flatbush, Columbia, 1974; has also acted off-Broadway and in summer theaters.
Executive producer and director of television series Flatbush/Avenue J, American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1976. Director of television series Call to Glory, ABC, 1984; Our Family Honor, ABC, 1985; Law & Order, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1990; My Life and Times, ABC, 1991; Picket Fences, 1992; Chicago Hope, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1994; Judging Amy, CBS, 1999; and Girls Club, 2002. Director of made-for-television movies Long Gone, Home Box Office (HBO), 1987; A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story (also known as The Lovers of Deceit: The Carolyn Warmus Story), 1992; and Follow the River, 1995; and television pilot Hardesty House, ABC, 1986.
AWARDS, HONORS: CableACE award for best director, for Long Gone.
(With Stephen Verona and Gayle Glecker) The Lords of Flatbush, Columbia, 1974.
(With others) Almost Summer, Universal, 1978.
(With Joe Brooks) If I Ever See You Again, Columbia, 1978.
(With Arlene Davidson) Eddie and the Cruisers, adapted from the novel by P. F. Kluge, Embassy, 1983.
(With Jeffrey Goldenberg and Robert Held) Looking for an Echo, Regent Entertainment, 2000.
(With others) The Bob Newhart Show, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1972.
(With others) Flatbush/Avenue J, American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1976.
A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story (also known as Lovers of Deceit: The Carolyn Warmus Story), 1992.
Every Woman's Dream (movie), 1996.
SIDELIGHTS: Director, producer, and screenwriter Martin Davidson is best known for the three films he made about four friends in Brooklyn, where Davidson himself grew up. Although these films—The Lords of Flatbush, Eddie and the Cruisers, and Looking for an Echo—were made over the course of twenty-five years, do not feature the same four friends, and were not originally conceived of as a trilogy, Davidson realized as he was working on Looking for an Echo that "all three movies are the same movie." "It was still the same four guys from Brooklyn, still the guys who wear the black leather but inside have hearts that feel, that bleed, that have hopes and dreams and aspirations and pain," he explained to Andrea Meyer of IndieWire.
The Lords of Flatbush, the first film, is notable as the starring debut of Sylvester Stallone, later of Rocky fame, and Henry Winkler, later of the sitcom Happy Days. These two are half of the "Lords of Flatbush," a 1950s high school "social-athletic club" in the Flat-bush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Together with their girlfriends, these young men must confront the difficulties of young love and sexual initiation and the question of what they are going to do with their lives once they graduate. Eddie and the Cruisers is about a rock band that seems destined for stardom until one of the members is killed in a car accident, and Looking for an Echo is about the fifty-something-year-old members of another do-wop band, long broken up, who look back and wonder what might have been. Although Davidson was forced to make Looking for an Echo independently, after all of the major studios turned the project down, the finished product "is nicely handled in all departments, with smooth pacing and a glossy, handsome look" despite its "modest budget," Dennis Harvey noted in Variety.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 36, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
International Motion Picture Almanac, 1996 edition, Quigley Publishing (New York, NY), 1996.
Singer, Michael, editor, Michael Singer's Film Directors, 9th international edition, Lone Eagle Publishing (Los Angeles, CA), 1992.
Christian Science Monitor, January 31, 1992, David Sterritt, review of Hard Promises, p. 12.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, May 5, 2000, Crosby Day, review of The Lords of Flatbush, p. K5864.
Los Angeles Times, September 23, 1983, Kevin Thomas, review of Eddie and the Cruisers, p. 1; December 8, 2000, Kevin Thomas, review of Looking for an Echo, p. F12.
Maclean's, February 18, 1980, Richard Corliss, review of Hero at Large, p. 55.
New West, February 25, 1980, Stephen Farber, review of Hero at Large, p. 69.
New York Times, February 8, 1980, Janet Maslin, review of Hero at Large, p. C13; September 23, 1983, Janet Maslin, review of Eddie and the Cruisers, p. 21; July 4, 1986, Richard F. Shepard, review of Hardesty House, p. 25; May 22, 1987, John J. O'Connor, review of Long Gone, p. 20; September 16, 1989, Vincent Canby, review of Heart of Dixie, p. 13; January 31, 1992, Vincent Canby, review of Hard Promises, p. B5; September 11, 1992, John J. O'Connor, review of A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story, p. B5; October 30, 2000, Julie Salamon, "Fifty Centuries (Phew!) of That Blessed Plot," p. B5; November 10, 2000, Stephen Holden, "A One-Hit Wonder and All Washed Up? That'll Be the Day," p. B26.
People, March 17, 1980, review of Hero at Large, p. 25.
Rolling Stone, February 20, 1992, Peter Travers, review of Hard Promises, pp. 49-50.
Sports Illustrated, June 1, 1987, Robert W. Creamer, review of Long Gone, p. 66.
Us, March, 1992, Lawrence Frascella, review of Hard Promises, p. 88.
Variety, September 7, 1983, review of Eddie and the Cruisers, pp. 16-17; July 16, 1986, review of Hardesty House, p. 108; May 27, 1987, review of Long Gone, pp. 82-83; September 20, 1989, review of Heart of Dixie, p. 28; February 14, 1990, review of Heart of Dixie, p. 47; October 7, 1991, Daniel M. Kimmel, review of Hard Promises, p. 196; October 25, 1999, Dennis Harvey, review of Looking for an Echo, p. 41.
Video Review, September, 1989, Stephen A. Booth, review of Long Gone, p. 46.
IndieWire,http://www.indiewire.com/ (April 13, 2003), Andrea Meyer, interview with Davidson.*