After majoring in Irish literature at NYU, Brooklynite Stuart Rosenberg taught in his area of expertise for a while, then switched to television directing in the late '50s. An excellent technician who was willing to scrap with producers, writers and actors to achieve a desired effect, Rosenberg piloted episodes for such TV series as The Defenders (he won an Emmy for the 1963 episode The Madman), The Untouchables, The Naked City and The Twilight Zone. An industry strike in 1960 interrupted his first theatrical-feature assignment, Murder Inc (the film was finished by its producer). Seven years later, Rosenberg scored high marks with critics and moviegoers alike with his sweat-drenched direction of Paul Newman's Cool Hand Luke (1967). Thus it was that Stuart Rosenberg set the pattern for the rest of his film career: long periods of Amityville Horror-style mediocrity, interrupted by such sudden bursts of excellence as Brubaker (1980) and The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984).
source: Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide