Martin Rosen (director)

Martin Rosen (born August 31, 1936)[1] is an American filmmaker and theater producer. Rosen is known for having directed the animated film adaptations of Watership Down (1978) and The Plague Dogs (1982), both from the Richard Adams novels.

Martin Rosen
Born (1936-08-31) August 31, 1936 (age 83)
OccupationProducer, film director, screenwriter, theater producer
Years active1968–2001, 2018


Rosen originally worked as a theater agent and talent scout, before he moved with his wife to the United Kingdom.

He first produced the Canadian feature A Great Big Thing (1968) and later co-produced Ken Russell's film version of Women in Love (1969), which won Academy Awards for Glenda Jackson and Billy Williams (cinematography).

Rosen was originally the producer of Watership Down but took over as director after John Hubley, the original director, left after disagreements with Rosen. He also wrote the screenplay for it. This was the first of two novels by Richard Adams he adapted. In 1982 he also produced, directed and wrote the screenplay for another animated feature based on an Adams novel, The Plague Dogs (1982). Rosen produced Smooth Talk (1986), which won the Sundance Grand Prize. His last film as director was Stacking (1987). His last project as producer was the animated Watership Down TV series in 1999.

Rosen has also worked in theater production. He was the originating producer of Michael Weller's Moonchildren, first presented at London's Royal Court Theater before transferring to the US. He was the originating producer of Maxine Hong Kingston's "The Woman Warrior", presented in association with The Berkeley Rep, Boston's Huntington Theater, and the Doolittle Theater in Los Angeles.

Personal lifeEdit

Rosen is married to Elisabeth Payne Rosen, an author and ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. They reside in California.



Year Title Director Producer Writer Other Notes
1968 A Great Big Thing Yes
1969 Women in Love Yes Yes Presenter
1978 Watership Down Yes Yes Yes Directorial debut
1982 The Plague Dogs Yes Yes Yes
1985 Smooth Talk Yes
1987 Stacking Yes Yes Short film


Year Title Director Producer Notes
1987 American Playhouse Yes Yes Segment: "Stacking"
1999–2001 Watership Down: The Series Yes Executive producer
2018 Watership Down Yes


  • I, Frederick
  • The Women Warrior
  • China Men
  • Hallam's War

Critical receptionEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes[2] IMDb[3]
Watership Down 82% 7.7/10
The Plague Dogs 60% (5 reviews) 7.9/10

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Title Result
1978 Gold Hugo Best Feature Watership Down Nominated
1979 Hugo Award Best Dramatic Presentation Nominated
1986 Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature Smooth Talk Nominated
2018 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Watership Down Won


  1. ^ "". The Straits Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Martin Rosen - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Martin Rosen - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved March 11, 2016.

External linksEdit