name = Raoul Walsh
caption = Raoul Walsh as
John Wilkes Boothin " The Birth of a Nation".
birthdate = birth date|1887|3|11
New York City, New York
deathdate = death date and age|1980|12|31|1887|3|11
Simi Valley, California
Raoul Walsh (born
March 11, 1887in New York City, died December 31, 1980in 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.
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. Griffithand 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 Boothin 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 Fairbanksand 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
widescreenspectacle, " The Big Trail" in 1930, a wagon trainwestern shot on location across the West. It starred then unknown John Wayne, whom Walsh discovered as prop boy Marion Morrison and renamed after Revolutionary Wargeneral 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 Picturesfrom 1935 to 1939, but Walsh's career rose to new heights soon after moving to Warner Brothers, with " The Roaring Twenties" (1939) featuring James Cagneyand 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 Flynnas 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.
*"The Pseudo Prodigal" (1913), directorial debut
*"The Life of General Villa" (1914)
*"Carmen" (1915), with
*"The Woman and the Law" (1918), with
Jack Connors, Miriam Cooperand Peggy Hopkins Joyce
*"The Thief of Bagdad" (1924), produced by and starring
Douglas Fairbanks, and featuring Anna May Wong
*"What Price Glory?" (1926), his most successful
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 widescreenand Wayne's first leading role
The Man Who Came Back" (1931) with Janet Gaynorand Charles Farrell
The Yellow Ticket" (1931) with Lionel Barrymoreand 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 Westand Victor McLaglen
*"St. Louis Blues" (1939)
The Roaring Twenties" (1939) with James Cagneyand 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 Lupinoand Humphrey Bogart
They Died with Their Boots On" (1941) with Errol Flynnand Olivia de Havilland
*"Manpower" (1941) with
Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft
Desperate Journey" (1942) with Errol Flynnand Ronald Reagan
*"Gentleman Jim" (1942) with
Errol Flynnand William Frawley
Northern Pursuit" (1943) with Errol Flynn
Objective, Burma!" (1945) with Errol Flynn
Pursued" (1947) with Robert Mitchumand Teresa Wright
White Heat" (1949) with James Cagneyand Edmond O'Brien
*"Colorado Territory" (1949), a
remakeof "High Sierra" with Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone, and Henry Hull
*"Montana" (1950), with
Captain Horatio Hornblower" (1951) with Gregory Peckand Virginia Mayo
Distant Drums" (1951), remarkable for its innovative sound effects
Blackbeard the Pirate" (1952) with Robert Newton, Linda Darnelland William Bendix
The World in His Arms" (1952) with Gregory Peck, Ann Blythand Anthony Quinn
Gun Fury" (1953), with Donna Reedand Lee Marvin
A Lion Is in the Streets" (1953), with James Cagney, and Lon Chaney Jr.
The Lawless Breed" (1953)
*"Battle Cry" (1955)
*"The Tall Men" (1955) with
Clark Gableand Jane Russell
The King and Four Queens" (1956) with Clark Gableand 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 Bogartand Zero Mostel, when director Bretaigne Windustfell 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 jackrabbitjumped through the windshield of a jeep he was driving and cost Walsh an eye. Walsh's replacement Warner Baxterwon an Academy Awardfor playing the Cisco Kidin the film, and Irving Cummingswas 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 Boothwhom 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 Maltinhas described the book as "entertaining fiction with an occasional nod at the truth".
* [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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