King Vidor


King Vidor

Infobox Actor
name = King Vidor
birthdate = February 8, 1894
location = Galveston, Texas, USA
deathdate = Death date and age|1982|11|1|1894|2|8
deathplace = Paso Robles, California, USA
birthname = King Wallis Vidor
spouse = Florence Vidor (1915-1924)
Eleanor Boardman (1926-1931)
Elizabeth Hill (1932-1982)
academyawards = Academy Honorary Award
1979 Lifetime Achievement
goldenglobeawards = Best Foreign Language Film
1956 "War and Peace"
awards = NBR Award for Best Film
1938 "The Citadel"
NYFCC Award for Best Film
1939 "The Citadel"
Career Golden Lion
1982 Lifetime Achievement

King Wallis Vidor (February 8, 1894 – November 1, 1982) was an acclaimed American film director whose career spanned eight decades.

He was born in Galveston, Texas, where he survived the great Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Career

A freelance newsreel cameraman and cinema projectionist, he made his debut as a director in 1913 with "Hurricane in Galveston". In Hollywood from 1915, he worked on a variety of film-related jobs before directing a feature film, "The Turn in the Road", in 1919. A successful mounting of "Peg o' My Heart" in 1922 got him a long term contract with Goldwyn Studios, later to be absorbed into MGM. Three years later he made "The Big Parade", among the most acclaimed war films of the silent era, and a tremendous commercial success. This success established him as one of MGM's top studio directors for the next decade. In 1928, Vidor received his first Oscar nomination, for "The Crowd", widely regarded as his masterpiece and one of the greatest American silent films. In the same year, he made the classic "Show People", the last silent film of Marion Davies, a comedy about the film industry in which Vidor had a cameo as himself.

Vidor's first sound film was "Hallelujah!", a groundbreaking film featuring an African American cast, and in which he established the new language for sound films (Which is still used today by most directors). His directorial career extended well in to the sound era and he continued making feature films until the late 1950s. Some of his better known sound films include "Stella Dallas", "Our Daily Bread", "The Citadel", "Duel in the Sun", "The Fountainhead", and "War and Peace". He directed the Kansas sequences in "The Wizard of Oz" (including "Over the Rainbow") when director Victor Fleming had to replace George Cukor on "Gone with the Wind", but never received screen credit.

Vidor entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest career as a film director: beginning in 1913 with "Hurricane in Galveston" and ending in 1980 with a short documentary on painting entitled "The Metaphor". He was nominated five times for an Oscar but never won in direct competition; he received an honorary award in 1979.

William Desmond Taylor

In 1967, Vidor researched the unsolved 1922 murder of fellow director William Desmond Taylor for a possible screenplay. Vidor never published or wrote of this research during his lifetime, but biographer Sidney D. Kirkpatrick posthumously examined Vidor's notes. He alleged in his 1986 book "Cast of Killers" that Vidor had solved the sensational crime but kept his conclusions private to protect individuals still living at the time. The widely cited newsletter Taylorology later noted over 100 factual errors in "Cast of Killers" and strongly disputes Kirkpatrick's conclusions but credits the book with renewing popular interest in the crime.

Personal life

Vidor published his autobiography, "A Tree is A Tree", in 1953. This book's title is inspired by an incident early in Vidor's Hollywood career. Vidor wanted to film a movie in the locations where its story was set, a decision which would have greatly added to the film's production budget. A budget minded producer told him, "A rock is a rock. A tree is a tree. Shoot it in Griffith Park" (a nearby public space which was frequently used for film exterior shots). Vidor was married three times:
# Florence Arto (1917-1924); one daughter
#* Suzanne (born 1918) (Florence later married Jascha Heifetz, who adopted Suzanne);
# Eleanor Boardman (1926-1931); two daughters
#* Antonia (born 1927)
#* Belinda (born 1930)
# Elizabeth Hill (1932-1982)

Filmography

* "Hurricane in Galveston" (1913)
* "The Grand Military Parade" (1913)
* "The Lost Lie" (1918)
* "Bud's Recruit" (1918)
* "The Chocolate of the Gang" (1918)
* "Tad's Swimming Hole" (1918)
* "The Accusing Toe" (1918)
* "I'm a Man" (1918)
* "The Turn in the Road" (1919)
* "Better Times" (1919) (as King W. Vidor)
* "The Other Half" (1919) (as King W. Vidor)
* "Poor Relations" (1919)
* "The Family Honor" (1920) (as King W. Vidor)
* "The Jack-Knife Man" (1920)
* "The Sky Pilot" (1921)
* "Love Never Dies" (1921)
* "Real Adventure" (1922)
* "Dusk to Dawn" (1922)
* "Conquering the Woman" (1922)
* "Peg o' My Heart" (1922)

* "The Woman of Bronze" (1923)
* "Three Wise Fools" (1923)
* "Wild Oranges" (1924)
* "Happiness" (1924)
* "Wine of Youth" (1924)
* "His Hour" (1924)
* "The Wife of the Centaur" (1924)
* "Proud Flesh" (1925)
* "The Big Parade" (1925)
* "La Bohème" (1926)
* "Bardelys the Magnificent" (1926)
* "The Crowd" (1928)
* "The Patsy", also known as "The Politic Flapper" (1928)
* "Show People" (1928)
* "Hallelujah!" (1929)
* "Not So Dumb" (1930)
* "Billy the Kid", US TV title "The Highwayman Rides" (1930)
* "Street Scene" (1931)
* "The Champ" (1931)
* "Bird of Paradise (1932 Film)" (1932)
* "Cynara", US reissue title "I Was Faithful" (1932)
* "The Stranger's Return" (1933)
* "Our Daily Bread" (1934)
* "The Wedding Night" (1935)
* "So Red the Rose" (1935)
* "The Texas Rangers" (1936)
* "Stella Dallas" (1937)
* "The Citadel" (1938)
* "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) (Kansas scenes only) (uncredited)
* "Northwest Passage" (1940)
* "Comrade X" (1940)
* "H.M. Pulham, Esq." (1941)
* "An American Romance" (1944)
* "Duel in the Sun" (1946)
* "On Our Merry Way", also known as "A Miracle Can Happen" (1948)
* "The Fountainhead" (1949)
* "Beyond the Forest" (1949)
* "Lightning Strikes Twice" (1951)
* "Japanese War Bride" (1952)
* "Ruby Gentry" (1952)
* "Light's Diamond Jubilee" (1954) (TV)
* "Man Without a Star" (1955)
* "War and Peace" (1956)
* "Solomon and Sheba" (1959)
* "The Metaphor" (1980)

External links

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Persondata
NAME= Vidor, King
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Vidor, King Wallis
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Film director
DATE OF BIRTH= February 8, 1894
PLACE OF BIRTH= Galveston, Texas, United States
DATE OF DEATH= November 1, 1982
PLACE OF DEATH= Paso Robles, California, United States


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