Method Man: Lee Strasberg

I’m wondering if any drama educators, actors or theatre practitioners reading this post have seen Method Man, the 1997 documentary about acting teacher Lee Strasberg?

In 2003, I taped Method Man off the History Channel and have been showing it to my senior drama students ever since. Immediately after teaching realistic acting and the system developed by great Russian teacher Constantin Stanislavski, I default to the Americanisation of this system, The Method.

Strasberg Theatre Institute, LA. Image: Justin Cash.

Method Man is a wonderful 60-minute documentary about the life and career of Lee Strasberg, the acting teacher credited with the initial explosion of Method Acting in America. It covers in detail his work at The Actors Studio, New York, in the 50s and also his involvement in the Group Theatre in the 30s, as well.

Students of acting can learn a great deal from watching Method Man. It discusses Strasberg’s skill as an acting teacher, his ruthlessness, his ego and his sheer dedication for his craft. Along the way we see Pacino, Brando, McQueen and many other students of Strasberg, including Marilyn Monroe. Most interesting is footage of Strasberg in rehearsal with actors at The Actors’ Studio.

Strangely, I’ve never met anyone who has seen this documentary. Better still, I would love for someone to tell me where I can purchase this doco on DVD? Even the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in NY and LA don’t have a copy for sale. My old VHS tape is wearing out. Might be time to transfer my copy to disc.

16 Responses

  1. Naikar says:

    Hello, i was looking for this documentary because i just saw it 3 hours ago, it was awesome. so my teacher sent me an investigation based on this documentary.

    Hello, I’m from venezuela. Do u know where can i find this beautiful film?

    • Naikar,

      Unfortunately, this film is definitely out of circulation. At one point, it was uploaded to YouTube in its entirety, but was taken down. Snippets of the film exist on YouTube today, plus a longer foreign language upload. But I have searched hard to find it on DVD (in English) anywhere in the world, without success. You just have to strike it lucky if it appears on a cable TV arts channel in your country.


  2. Marleen says:

    Hi there,

    The documentary is not that easy to come by for me since I live in The Netherlands.
    I would really like to see the documentary so I was wondering if anybody has a digital copy/digital version on line that I could watch?

    Thanks alot!


  3. anitah says:

    Hi Daniel, Your YouTube link doesn’t work anymore. Is there any digital version of this doco that anyone knows about that I could access? It sounds like a great resource.

  4. Daniel Ryan Productions says:

    Hi All

    I remember watching this doco when I was at Drama School and working wth a specialist from the Strasberg Institute. Just thought you would like to know that this is available on Youtube and you should be able to download it to your harddrive. It is in 4 parts. All the best!

  5. Orang Telor Theatre says:

    Hi all.. Still looking for this documentary? I’ve just uploaded “Lee Strasberg: The Method Man”. Only some voice-over is in Dutch, but that will not spoil the fun too much since all other audio is in the original English language. If the URL is not working, just go to my YouTube channel: Orang Telor Theatre. Good luck..

  6. Greta says:

    Dear Catherine,
    Yes, I’d still love a copy.
    Thank you!!

  7. Catherine says:

    Hi Justin,
    I too videoed this documentary in 2003 and that’s the only copy I have.
    I am in the process of seeing whether my librarian at school can dump it down to DVD. If I have any luck, I’ll let you know.

    • Greta says:

      HI Catherine,
      Yes, it’s possible–there’s a place in NYC which does it. Can you please let me know if I can buy a copy and pay for postage, etc. from you afterwards?
      Best wishes,

      • Catherine says:

        Hi Greta,
        I would, but I think it will only be in PAL format not the format that you need for it to play in the US. If you can copy it from a PAL DVD I will get one to you if I can dump it down.

  8. Greta says:

    Dear Justin,
    I would love to see this documentary.
    If you make a copy for dvd, can I pay for a copy?
    I’m an actor based in NYC.
    Thank you and best wishes,

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