David S. Ward
David S. Ward specialized in writing and directing feature films which often used a familiar backdrop to tell an unfamiliar tale. He got his big break when he sold "Steelyard Blues/The Final Crash," a film about a D.A. embarrassed by his ex-con brother and his ex-hooker girlfriend, to Michael and Julia Phillips in 1971. Released in 1973, the film starred Howard Hesseman as the lawyer, Donald Sutherland as his brother and Jane Fonda as the girl. Most critics found it entertaining, but it was not as popular as the other Ward-Phillips 1973 collaboration, "The Sting." Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the movie was about the gambling con job deluxe. Meticulously directed by George Roy Hill, featuring a wonderful cast (besides Newman and Redford, there was Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Eileen Brennan and Ray Walston) and fueled partly by Marvin Hamlisch's score adapted from Scott Joplin rags, "The Sting" was a popular and critical hit. It went on to win seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and one for Ward's original screenplay.