views updated

Morgenstern, Joe 1932–

(Joseph Morgenstern)

PERSONAL: Born October 3, 1932, in New York, NY; son of Mark E. and Mollie (Fisch) Morgenstern; married Rosetta Jacobs (an actor under name Piper Laurie), January 21, 1962 (divorced, April, 1981); children: Anna. Education: Lehigh University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1953.

ADDRESSES: Home—Santa Monica, CA. OfficeWall Street Journal, P.O. Box 1946, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1946.

CAREER: Movie critic and writer. New York Times, New York, NY, news clerk and later a foreign correspondent; New York Herald Tribune, New York, NY, theatre and movie critic; Newsweek, New York, NY, movie critic, 1965–72; L.A. Herald Examiner, Los Angeles, CA, columnist, 1982–87; Wall Street Journal, California Bureau, Santa Monica, film critic, 1995–. Also reviews for CNBC. Guest cohost on television show Siskel & Ebert at the Movies, 1999.

MEMBER: National Society of Film Critics (founding member), New York Film Critics Circle, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Pulitzer Prize, 2005, for film criticism.

WRITINGS:

World Champion (fiction), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1968.

Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, Stoddart (England), 1997.

Writer for television, including episodes "The Sonata for a Solo Organ" and "Corporate Veil" for Law & Order, 1991–92, and television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, 1976. Contributor to numerous periodicals, including the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Playboy, Gentleman's Quarterly, and Columbia Journalism Review.

SIDELIGHTS: Joe Morgenstern has been a film critic for more than four decades and has also written for television. In 2005 he received the Pulitzer Prize for his film reviews published in the Wall Street Journal. Among the articles submitted for the award were his reviews of the movies The Passion of the Christ, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Motorcycle Diaries, Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and the animated feature The Incredibles. According to the announcement of the award on the Pulitzer Prize Web site, Morgenstern won "for his reviews that elucidated the strengths and weaknesses of film with rare insight, authority and wit." In an article on the Business Wire, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul A. Gigot was quoted as saying that Morgenstern is an "impassioned lover of movies who is endowed with a superb critical ability—all of which he manages to transmit into radiant prose."

Morgenstern began his career as a news clerk but worked his way up to a job as a foreign correspondent covering Switzerland and France for the New York Times. He soon turned to writing criticism full time, covering both films and the theater for the New York Herald Tribune. Before joining the Wall Street Journal in 1995, Morgenstern worked as a film critic for Newsweek and then as a columnist for the L.A. Herald Examiner. Although primarily a columnist and movie critic throughout his career, Morgenstern has written episodes for the television show Law & Order and penned the screenplay for the 1970s television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Hollywood Reporter, April 5, 2005, "Journal, Times Win Two Pulitzers," p. 8.

Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2005, "Journal Wins Pulitzers for Beat Reporting, Criticism," p. A2.

ONLINE

Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (July 17, 2005).

KCRW Radio Web site, http://www.kcrw.com/ (July 17, 2005), brief biography of author.

Opinion Journal Online (Wall Street Journal editorial page), http://www.opinionjournal.com/ (July 17, 2005), brief biography of author.

Pulitzer Prize Web site, http://www.pulitzer.org/ (July 17, 2005).

About this article

Morgenstern, Joe 1932–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article