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Warner Brothers Directors


mrroberts
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The Curtiz-Flynn wars would continue for another six years after Captain Blood. It was during the making of Dive Bomber in 1941 in which the actor reached a breaking point and physically attacked the director in front of the crew. I don't know any specifics about the incident but Olivia de Havilland (who was not present at the time) later said that she heard it could have been a potentially lethal situation. I gather that others had to drag Flynn off Curtiz.

 

Since Flynn was a huge money maker for Warners the incident (aside from studio gossip) was hushed up and, of course, no charges were laid.

 

Even then Curtiz was assigned to the actor's next project, They Died With Their Boots On. Flynn had a pow wow with Jack Warner in his office and JL agreed that Curtiz would no longer work with the actor. I can imagine that Errol must have felt exuberant with that decision, a clear reflection of his status within the studio.

 

Curtiz would be replaced by Raoul Walsh on Boots, a director the actor loved working with, and with whom he would become great friends. Walsh would later write that he loved Flynn like a son.

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Thanks for the info. I assumed directors would be placed under suspension just like actors. I wonder if Jack Warner also added the suspension days to the end of their contract like he did with actors until Olivia DeHavilland won her legal battle; one that changed how all contacts with actors, sports figures etc.... were handled going forward.

 

I assume Conflict was delayed for the same reason as The Big Sleep. Movies related to murder being delayed until the war was over.

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While Mike ("The Work Horse") Curtiz and Raoul Walsh were at the helm of a lion's share of the Warner productions that I love the most, there were some other directors, less well known today, who deserve recognition for some of their accomplishments at the studio, as well.

 

One of them would be a German import, William Dieterle, an actor-turned-director who directed any of a number of fairly frequent TCM staples, such as The Last Flight (1931), with Richard Barthelmess, as well as Lawyer Man (1932) and the delightful Jewel Robbery (1932), both with William Powell.

 

It was in the late '30s, however, that Dieterle was put in charge of some of the biggest prestige productions that the studio financed.

 

*A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)*

 

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The Bard comes to Hollywood, with Dieterle co-directing this adaption of Shakespeare's comedy fantasy with famed impressario Max Reinhardt. Okay, some of the cast may seem a bit disparate but the imaginative photography and overall visual presentation of the film make it well worth a look.

 

*The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)*

 

Muni_Pasteur.jpg

 

With Dieterle directing Paul Muni to an Academy Award in the first of the Muni biographical series.

 

*The Life of Emile Zola (1937)*

 

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The first Warner Brothers film to be named Best Picture by the Motion Picture Academy. Dieterle, though, was not even nominated as director.

 

*Juarez (1939)*

 

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!

 

The last of the Muni biographies, with the largest cast of them all, including Bette Davis, Brian Aherne (as Emperor Maximillian) and Claude Rains. This film's box office failure had a severe impact upon the often difficult Muni's status at the studio.

 

*Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)*

 

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!

 

Dieterle still in charge of another Warner's biography, this time with Edward G. Robinson in the title role.

 

It would be away from Warners that William Dieterle would direct three of his most celebrated films, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) at RKO, All That Money Can Buy (Devil and Daniel Webster) (1941), also at RKO, and the ethereal Portrait of Jennie (1948), for Selznick. Arguably, those were Dieterle's three masterpieces.

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William (Wilhelm) Dieterle (born 1893) started out as an accomplished theatre actor in Europe and began a long working relationship with Max Reinhardt, who was 20 years his senior. In the early 20's Dieterle moved first into film acting and then directing. By 1930 he was an accomplished director and was brought to Hollywood. He fit in well with Warner Brothers' socially conscious trends in film subjects, by the late 30's he was heavily involved in raising awareness in America about the radical events taking place in Hitler's Germany. Unfortunately some of his activities gave the appearance of siding with Communist organizations, Dieterle even traveled to the Soviet Union on vacation. These actions came back to haunt him in the post war period. Dieterle had good relations with actors Paul Muni and Edward G Robinson, they all fell under close scrutiny during the "Red Scare" congressional hearings. Dieterle did his last directing for WB in 1940 and then worked at several studios, mostly Paramount. His success rate was spotty, but as TomJH pointed out, some of his best films came in his post Warners days.

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Some people may find this amusing . In 1931 *The Public Enemy* was filmed, starring James Cagney with William Wellman directing and Darryl Zanuck producing. Both Zanuck and Wellman wanted the film to be a tough, violent, realistic depiction of the world of the gangster. Zanuck , Wellman, Jack Warner, and Michael Curtiz sat in the screening room to review the final film. Zanuck and Wellman obviously liked their work but Mr Warner wasn't too happy with the final shocking scene of the dead Cagney being delivered to his mother's home. When they wanted Curtiz's opinion of this, he agreed with Mr Warner. Apparently Zanuck thought that Curtiz was "kissing up" to the boss so Zanuck jumped up and socked Curtiz right in the mouth. :)

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Great Public Enemy screening room anecdote, mrroberts. I bet "Wild Bill" Wellman was cheering Zanuck on when he gave Curtiz that smack in the kisser. Fortunately, Zanuck and Wellman were able to retain that jolting climax to the film, in spite of Warner's concerns.

 

Also, I didn't know that William Dieterle was under "Red Scare" watch. Thank goodness it didn't impact his participation in the wonderful Portrait of Jennie in 1948.

 

Of the Muni biographical series, Juarez has always been my favourite, perhaps because it is not merely a showcase for its lead actor. Brian Aherne is quite sympathetic and even moving, to me, as Maximillian, and Bette Davis, while limited in her opportunities as Carlotta, does have that marvelous mad sequence, which is directed with flourish by Dieterle, including wonderful closeups of Claude Rains's face, which Davis's character sees as Mephistophelian.

 

Another wonderful touch that I have always loved in Juarez comes near the end. Davis/Carlotta, her mind increasingly going, is in Paris, separated from her husband, Emperor Maximillian, who was been condemned to execution in Mexico.

 

There is this lovely moment in the film when Davis, sitting in a chair, and staring vacantly out a window, rises from that chair, extends her arm in the direct of the window as though reaching for someone and calls out, "Maxel." There is a brief dissolve to the waters of the ocean separating Carlotta from her husband to another dissolve of Aherne/Maximillian stoically walking to the execution wall where he is about to be shot.

 

Davis' voice can now be heard shouting "Maxel" over top of that image of Aherne and, as we hear her voice, Aherne turns his head for a moment, almost as if, telepathically, he can hear her.

 

Davis-as-Mad-Carlota.jpg

 

Davis as the mad Carlotta in Juarez. This is the moment before she rises from her chair and extends her arm in the direction of her husband about to be executed on the other side of the world.

 

The German expressionism of William Dieterle's background shows itself in this shot. How I love moments like this in the movies!

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Tom, I looked at the wiki entry for William Dieterle for further information about the movie *Blockade* (my WB Directors book only refers to it briefly). This film is about the then current events of the Spanish Civil War and takes a very pro Spanish Republican stance (they being the established government and supported by the Communist Soviet Union). The rebels under Franco received heavy support from Hitler and Mussolini. Anyway, this film was controversial in the US when released in 1938. In the post war era the film was seen by some only for its ties to the Communist side. It was often referred to during the Congressional hearings concerning Communist sympathizers.

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mrroberts, I see that John Howard Lawson, who would later be blacklisted as one of the "Hollywood Ten," is listed as screenwriter of Blockade.

 

I believe that Blockade was the earliest Hollywood feature, preceding Confession of a Nazi Spy by a year, to openly question the fascist activities in Europe.

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That compilation of top boxoffice stars of all time, headed by Wayne and Cooper, might be from the Quigley publications annual list of Box Office Champs, published in the Motion Picture Herald. Found back to the early 1930s, they sent out questionnaires to thousands of exhibitors throughout the US (and Canada I believe), asking them to rank the top ten stars for the previous year they felt brought in the most paying customers. I think that based on these yearly lists, they compiled one going back three decades. So stars that were on for a few years (in the top ten only), might not come out very highly in that survey. Bogart and Cagney, who was on for a few years, didn't make it. Stewart and Fonda.may have never made the annual top ten, or did so a few times, so the same for them. Wayne,.Crosby and Day topped the lists for years at a time,.so they would rank among the most popular, per the parameters of that survey.

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Gary Cooper had been in and out of those lists since the 30s,, and from the 40s onward, mostly in. I believe in 1953 he topped the list, after the huge success of HIGH NOON.. He remained on them for some years after. So his cumulative ranking would have been very high.

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Returning to mrroberts' theme of Warner Brothers directors, one of the studio's most prodigious was Lloyd Bacon. Fast moving and efficient, unpretentious comedies, musicals and dramas were cranked out by Bacon. It was real assembly line stuff and, unlike the likes of the biggest William Dieterle projects, not too many Oscar nominations came their way.

 

However TCM fans should be fairly familiar with a lot of Bacon's work, the most famous of which was when he worked in combination with the legendary Busby Berkeley on *42nd Street* and *Footlight Parade*.

 

Among Bacon's many other assignments for Warners were the 1930 *Moby Dick* with John Barrymore, *Miss Pinkerton* (Joan Blondell), *Mary Stevens M.D.* (Kay Francis), *Wonder Bar*, *Marked Woman* (high powered dramatics with Bette Davis), *A Slight Case of Murder*, with Eddie Robinson, *Invisible Stripes* (Raft & Bogart), *Brother Orchid*, another gangster spoof with Robinson, *Footsteps in the Dark* with Flynn, *Action in the North Atlantic* with Bogie, and a pile of Jimmy Cagney films that some might dismiss as programmers, *He Was Her Man, Here Comes the Navy, Devil Dogs of the Air, Irish In Us, Frisco Kid* and *Oklahoma Kid*.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSFRqYwd1Rh5_1Ns_YEnui

 

The dialogue scenes in 42nd Street were Bacon's responsibility while Berkeley, of course, did all the musical choreography.

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It should be noted that Michael Curtiz directed a staggering 88 ( *yes 88* ) films at Warner Brothers/ First National starting in 1926 and up to 1954. And with few exceptions they were successful films ( made money). He worked with just about everyone at Warners, and had a wide range of relationships with people, some very warm and others very, very cold. It seems to me that Curtiz formed a quick opinion of a person and then held to that. For every person he fought with there was another who he was very kind to. He liked encouraging young, unproven talent, like John Garfield and Doris Day. Of course you could say the same thing about his initial dealing with Errol Flynn, but that quickly went down the drain. One thing is for sure, Curtiz could really make a good movie, even when on a tight budget. And in making that good movie he made the actors look good too.

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I'm now reading about Lloyd Bacon, another workhorse director for Jack Warner, 73 WB films from 1926 to 1943. And as Tom states these films were "real assembly line stuff" . A lot of films with Cagney. Perhaps someone can refer to the Cagney autobiography (I have never been able to find my copy, maybe I only imagined I had one). Even though Bacon worked on modest budget films he had a reputation for always putting out a solid product. Warner must have really loved this guy ;)

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Feb 23, 2014 4:15 PM

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The poll sounds like an opinion to me; You wrote "asking them to rank the top ten stars for the previous year they felt brought in the most paying customers".

 

Of course maybe you didn't mean to use 'they felt'? Anyhow based on the discription of this poll I question what info it really provides; i.e. what it actually measured.

 

To me the only sound measure of box office is actual box office results. Of course even this measure has 'issues' as it relates to a stars' ability to sell tickets since movies have multiple stars. e.g. for all we know people purchased tickets for Bette Davis movies to see George Brent! (but I highly doubt it).

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Under the studio system I wonder how accountants determined the cost of a given film. e.g. supporting players would work on mulitple movies at one time. Where their hours for a specific movie logged so that one could take a percentage of their weekly or monthly income and assign that to the cost of the film?

 

How about all the cost for the working crew? Yea, one simple way would be to create an average cost per day for the "A" unit, the "B" unit and use that average cost times the number of production days.

 

Also, as far as Box office how was the box office of 'B' (second) features determined? If one buys a ticket that allows them to see more than ONE movie, how are the box office dollars allocated?

 

Hey, I don't expect anyone to answer these questions. I just find this side of the studio era business interesting.

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I guess, mrroberts, a lot of the stuff that Bacon made would be termed run-of-the-mill. But they were fast moving inconsequentials that I'm sure, for the most part, made money. Or else Bacon wouldn't have lasted as long as he did at the studio.

 

His two best known films are the two made with Busby Berkeley, 42nd Street and Footlight Parade. And that's just the problem for Bacon, they're known as "Busby Berkeley films." Mention Lloyd Bacon's name in connection with them, and someone will respond with a "Who?"

 

But those snappy dialogue scenes directed by Bacon (in fact, the lion's share of screen time for both films) definitely add to the entertainment value of the productions, as well. Think of all that bantering interplay between Cagney, Frank McHugh and Joan Blondell in Footlight Parade, or Warner Baxter instructing Ruby Keeler before she substitutes on stage for the show's injured star in 42nd Street with that immortal line: "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a STAR!" Those are all Bacon scenes.

 

So, yeah, maybe it was the Curtizes and Walshes that made the Warner films that today we largely love the most, but it was the Lloyds Bacons and the Roy Del Ruths that directed a lot of the second features on double bills. (Sometimes the second feature was better than the main feature). And also keep in mind that it was those often modestly budgeted features of a Bacon that, in turn, would make a nice profit for Warners. You're right, mrroberts, Jack Warner probably did love this guy.

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Well Jack Warner must of respected Bacon since he had him direct Marked Women, the "I'm sorry Bette' movie made after she returned from England after failing to get out of her WB contract.

 

Often directors like Bacon and Del Ruths where able to use the WB machine to make routine programmer movies, so much more (not that Marked Wowen was one of those since it wasn't).

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Feb 23, 2014 5:47 PM

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For the most part, the respondents to this annual survey conscientiously kept.track of the money making movies throughout the year (although it tended not to be a calendar year). They also listened and noted audience feedback to determine which of the stars might be the one bringing in the customers to see a given movie. While not scientific, it provided a fairly accurate snapshot of who was hot, who was not, in any year. Thousands of exhibitors responded each year.

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>Under the studio system I wonder how accountants determined the cost of a given film. e.g. supporting players would work on mulitple movies at one time.

 

Actually, not just supporting players. I heard an Ann Sheridan interview in which she said she received one weekly salary while working on The Man Who Came to Dinner and King's Row simultaneously.

 

I also know that Alexis Smith was jumping back and forth between Horn Blows at Midnight and San Antonio. Whether she was also on the same weekly salary for both films, I don't know.

 

Olivia de Havilland paid a price for getting loaned to Selznick for GWTW when Jack Warner forced her to do that supporting role in Elizabeth and Essex at the same time.

 

I don't know how common this practise was at Warners. I've never heard that a really big star like a Davis or Cagney had to do that as well, at least after they became huge.

 

At the same time, I wonder if this happened to directors, as well? Did a Curtiz or Bacon have to jump back and forth between simultaneous projects? I have to wonder if this might not be the case with some of the smaller budgeted productions, particularly during the pre-code period.

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Well I can see you understand that a method like "They also listened and noted audience feedback to determine which of the stars might be the one bringing in the customers to see a given movie" isn't scientific and therefore could lack accuracy. But it is another set of information and that is useful.

 

Take a movie like Libel Lady? Using the box office take, would one just give 25% to each of the 4 stars or does each get 100% of the box office take (when aggregating their total box office take for a year)?

 

I see the same issue with 'audience feedback'. The team of PowellLoy was hot at the time due to The Thin Man but so was Harlow. So I have no clue which would have been the bigger draw. I think it is fair to assume that Tracy had the least amount of pull at this stage of his career.

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