7/10 (IMDB)

Searching for Mr. Rugoff

1h 34m Documentary

Searching for Mr. Rugoff

SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF is the story of Donald Rugoff, who was the crazy genius behind Cinema 5, the mid-century theater chain and film distribution company. Rugoff was a difficult (some would say impossible) person but was also the man who kicked art films into the mainstream with outrageous marketing schemes and pure bluster. Rugoff's impact on cinema culture in the United States is inestimable, and his influence on the art film business-from the studio classics divisions to the independent film movement to the rise of the Weinsteins-is undeniable. Yet, mysteriously, Rugoff has become a virtually forgotten figure. The story is told through the eyes of former employee Ira Deutchman, who sets out to find the truth about the man who had such a major impact on his life, and to understand how such an important figure could have disappeared so completely.


Ira Deutchman


Elyce Bonnell, Peter Broderick, Bea Brydson, Nat Chediak


Not Rated







Main Trailer


  • "This isn’t an easy or thin examination, instead taking on the life of a forgotten legend from the men and women that knew him personally and professionally. It’s also simply one of the festival’s most entertaining watches."
    - Criterion Cast
  • "The epitaph is perhaps hyperbolic, but SEARCHING FOR MR. RUGOFF provides ample evidence that its subject's legacy deserves to be far better known and appreciated."
    - Hollywood Reporter
  • "The story of Donald Rugoff is not just the story of a man, it is story of modern cinema."
    - It's Just Movies


  • DOC NYC Festival
  • Galway Film Fleadh, internet