RIP Joseph Sargent

Veteran helmer Joseph Sargent passed on December 22, 2014. Mr. Sargent had a long, distinguished career, starting (as did so many directors of his generation) as a prolific television director before moving on to movies. During his nearly 50 year career, Mr. Sargent directed a handful of classics, and more happily, for our purposes, a prime Jabootu classic or two.

Mr. Sargent started in TV, working on the obligatory metric ton of ’60s programs; Bonanza, Lassie, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, The Man from UNCLE, The Invaders, and a ton more. He directed the pilots for Kojak and The Immortal. His most remembered such work, in these precincts certainly, is surely his helming of the Star Trek episode The Corbomite Maneuver.

In 1970 Mr. Sargent found cult success with Colossus: The Forbin Project. In 1973 he made White Lightning with Burt Reynolds. More importantly, Mr. Sargent made one of the very finest ’70s thrillers–arguably the best decade for such pictures–with 1974’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. If you haven’t see that, do so. It’s terrific. Genre fans will also remember titles like The Night America Panicked and 1983’s anthology horror flick Nightmares.

On the Jabootu front Mr. Sargent directed the laughable Susan Anton eugenics piece Goldengirl (1979). We will always cherish him the most, however, for directing Jaws: The Revenge.

Mr. Sargent was 89 at the time of his passing.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Fare thee well, Mister Sargent. And this has me intrigued: “the laughable Susan Anton eugenics piece Goldengirl” Is there a site with more information on this film? My mother (born 1931) got a very big load of “eugenics will save us all!” in her school years and it sadly stuck; I loved her dearly but when she casually stated that the mentally handicapped should be sterilized ‘just to be safe’, well…

  • Flangepart

    Yeesh. Looks like Margret Sanger left quite a stench behind. My sympethy to you, sir.
    Yeah, I saw most of his films. This guy had quite the resume. R.I.P. Sarge.

  • Craig Richards

    Talk about an awesome 1-2 punch with White Lightning and Pelham. Both were terrific 70’s flicks. RIP

  • Eric Hinkle

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas.

  • Gamera977

    Wow, what a varied resume, I’ve seen a few of his films, guess I need to look up the rest.

    RIP Mr. Sargent

  • Eric Hinkle

    Huh. Having looked the film up on Wikipedia, it doesn’t sound too bad, beyond the fact that in it the scientist uses his daughter as an experiment in creating the ultimate human being. They said the critics seemed to really like the ‘intelligence’ of the movie.

  • Ken_Begg

    True, I haven’t see it in a long time (and I don’t think I saw all of it), and it’s possible I couldn’t get past seeing James Coburn in support of Susan Anton.

    Also, the ex-Nazi thing? Played out even then.

  • zombiewhacker

    According to an obit I read today, the hippie subway hostage in Pelham 123 was Mrs. Joseph Sargent. Just thought I’d pass that along.
    RIP Mr. Sargent, one of my favorite film directors growing up.