Raoul Walsh

Infobox Actor
name = Raoul Walsh

caption = Raoul Walsh as John Wilkes Booth in "The Birth of a Nation".
birthdate = birth date|1887|3|11
birthplace = New York City, New York
deathdate = death date and age|1980|12|31|1887|3|11
deathplace = Simi Valley, California
spouse = Miriam Cooper (1916-1926)

Raoul Walsh (born March 11, 1887 in New York City, died December 31, 1980 in Simi Valley, CA) was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ("AMPAS") and the brother of silent screen actor George Walsh. As a young man he was a close friend of Virginia O'Hanlon of "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" fame.

Film career

Walsh began his entertainment career as a stage actor in New York City, quickly progressing into film acting. Walsh was educated at Seton Hall College and began acting in 1909. In 1914, he became an assistant to D.W. Griffith and made his first full-length feature film "The Life of General Villa", followed by the newly-revisited and critically-acclaimed "Regeneration" in 1915, possibly the earliest gangster film. Walsh played John Wilkes Booth in Griffith's epic "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) for which he was also Assistant Director. Walsh directed "The Thief of Bagdad" in 1924, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Anna May Wong.

In 1928 Walsh directed "Sadie Thompson", starring Gloria Swanson as a prostitute seeking a new life in Samoa. Walsh not only directed the film but starred as Swanson's boyfriend. It was his first acting role since 1915. Walsh was then hired to direct and star in "In Old Arizona", a film about The Cisco Kid. While on location for that film Walsh suffered a car accident in which he lost his right eye. He gave up the part (but not the directing job), and never acted again. Walsh would wear an eyepatch for the rest of his life. [ [http://www.movietreasures.com/Directors/Directors_2/directors_2.html Directors 2 ] ] [ [http://www.filmreference.com/Directors-Ve-Y/Walsh-Raoul.html Raoul Walsh - Films as director:, Other films: ] ]

In the early days of sound with Fox, Walsh directed the first widescreen spectacle, "The Big Trail" in 1930, a wagon train western shot on location across the West. It starred then unknown John Wayne, whom Walsh discovered as prop boy Marion Morrison and renamed after Revolutionary War general Mad Anthony Wayne (Walsh happened to be reading a book about General Wayne at the time). Walsh directed "The Bowery" in 1933, featuring Wallace Beery, George Raft, Fay Wray, and Pert Kelton; the movie recounts the story of Steve Brodie, the first man to supposedly jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and live to brag about it.

An undistinguished period followed with Paramount Pictures from 1935 to 1939, but Walsh's career rose to new heights soon after moving to Warner Brothers, with "The Roaring Twenties" (1939) featuring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart; "Dark Command" (1940) with John Wayne and Roy Rogers; "They Drive By Night" (1940) with George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, and Bogart; "High Sierra" (1941) with Lupino and Bogart again; "They Died with Their Boots On" (1941) with Errol Flynn as Custer; "Manpower" (1941) with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft; and "White Heat" (1949) with Cagney. Walsh's contract at Warners expired in 1953.

He directed several films afterwards, including two with Clark Gable, "The Tall Men" (1955) and "The King and Four Queens" (1956). Walsh retired in 1964.

Selected filmography

*"The Pseudo Prodigal" (1913), directorial debut
*"The Life of General Villa" (1914)
*"Regeneration" (1915)
*"Carmen" (1915), with Theda Bara
*"The Woman and the Law" (1918), with Jack Connors, Miriam Cooper and Peggy Hopkins Joyce
*"Evangeline" (1919)
*"The Thief of Bagdad" (1924), produced by and starring Douglas Fairbanks, and featuring Anna May Wong
*"What Price Glory?" (1926), his most successful silent movie
*"Sadie Thompson" (1928), in which he acted alongside Gloria Swanson
*"The Cock-Eyed World" (1929)
*"The Big Trail" (1930) with John Wayne; early location movie in widescreen and Wayne's first leading role
*"The Man Who Came Back" (1931) with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell
*"The Yellow Ticket" (1931) with Lionel Barrymore and Laurence Olivier
*"Wild Girl" (1932) with Charles Farrell, Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy, and Eugene Pallette
*"The Bowery" with Wallace Beery, George Raft, Fay Wray, and Pert Kelton
*"Klondike Annie" (1936) with Mae West and Victor McLaglen
*"St. Louis Blues" (1939)
*"The Roaring Twenties" (1939) with James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart
*"Dark Command" (1940) with John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gabby Hayes
*"They Drive by Night" (1940) with George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, and Humphrey Bogart
*"High Sierra" (1941) with Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart
*"They Died with Their Boots On" (1941) with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland
*"Manpower" (1941) with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft
*"Desperate Journey" (1942) with Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan
*"Gentleman Jim" (1942) with Errol Flynn and William Frawley
*"Northern Pursuit" (1943) with Errol Flynn
*"Objective, Burma!" (1945) with Errol Flynn
*"Pursued" (1947) with Robert Mitchum and Teresa Wright
*"White Heat" (1949) with James Cagney and Edmond O'Brien
*"Colorado Territory" (1949), a remake of "High Sierra" with Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone, and Henry Hull
*"Montana" (1950), with Errol Flynn
*"Captain Horatio Hornblower" (1951) with Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo
*"Distant Drums" (1951), remarkable for its innovative sound effects
*"Blackbeard the Pirate" (1952) with Robert Newton, Linda Darnell and William Bendix
*"The World in His Arms" (1952) with Gregory Peck, Ann Blyth and Anthony Quinn
*"Gun Fury" (1953), with Donna Reed and Lee Marvin
*"A Lion Is in the Streets" (1953), with James Cagney, and Lon Chaney Jr.
*"The Lawless Breed" (1953)
*"Saskatchewan" (1954)
*"Battle Cry" (1955)
*"The Tall Men" (1955) with Clark Gable and Jane Russell
*"The King and Four Queens" (1956) with Clark Gable and Eleanor Parker
* "Band of Angels" (1957) with Clark Gable, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Sidney Portier
*"The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" (1958)
*"The Naked and the Dead" (1958), with Cliff Robertson, based on the best-selling novel by Norman Mailer.
*"Esther and the King" (1960)
*"Marines, Let's Go" (1961)
*"A Distant Trumpet" (1964), final film.

Walsh unofficially co-directed "The Enforcer", with Humphrey Bogart and Zero Mostel, when director Bretaigne Windust fell ill at the beginning of shooting in 1951. Walsh refused to take a screen credit.


*Walsh was set to direct and star in the Western "In Old Arizona" in 1929, but had to abandon the project when a jackrabbit jumped through the windshield of a jeep he was driving and cost Walsh an eye. Walsh's replacement Warner Baxter won an Academy Award for playing the Cisco Kid in the film, and Irving Cummings was nominated for his direction.

*After losing his eye, his doctor reportedly asked if he'd like an artificial (glass) one. "Hell, no," Walsh snapped. "Everytime I'd get in a fight, I'd have to put it in my pocket." He wore an eyepatch for the rest of his life.

*There are echoes in Walsh's films of events in his own life and that of his family: as a child his parents entertained famous Broadway actor of the day Edwin Thomas Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth whom Walsh was later to play in "The Birth of a Nation" (1915); in "They Died with Their Boots On" (1941) there is an actor playing a bit part as a tailor to the US cavalry officers that might have been a reference to Walsh's father who made uniforms for General Custer and other high-ranking officers before becoming chief designer for Brooks Brothers in New York.

*Like his contemporary Howard Hawks, Walsh was known for never letting the facts get in the way of a good story. According to Walsh, in 1942, a few days after John Barrymore had died, Walsh, as a practical joke, picked up Barrymore's body from the mortuary and managed to sit the body, clad in a business suit, in a chair in Errol Flynn's house just before Flynn was due to arrive home. This story--recounted by both Flynn and Walsh in their autobiographies--was disputed by the artist Gene Fowler, a friend to both Barrymore and Flynn. Fowler states in his autobiography that he spent much of the night during which the joke was supposed to have occurred sitting with Barrymore's body in a Hollywood funeral home.

*Many years earlier, Barrymore had inscribed a photograph of himself to Walsh, with a nod to "As You Like It": 'Each man in his time plays many different parts. You have played them all.' Walsh used part of the inscription as the title for his autobiography, "Each Man in his Time" published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in 1974. Leonard Maltin has described the book as "entertaining fiction with an occasional nod at the truth".


External links

* [http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/walsh.html Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database]
* [http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/02/walsh.html Raoul Walsh] by Tag Gallagher @ "Senses of Cinema"

NAME= Walsh, Raoul
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Walsh, Albert Edward
DATE OF BIRTH= 1887-3-11
PLACE OF BIRTH= New York City, New York
DATE OF DEATH= 1980-12-31
PLACE OF DEATH= Simi Valley, California

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