Biographies Of Film Directors WES-REE

WEST, Roland. B. Cleveland, Ohio, 1887.

Began his career on the stage at the age of seventeen, and after a time formed his own touring company. blade his motion picture debut as a producer, working with Joseph Schenck. Left motion pictures after a time to produce Unknown Purple on the stage; rejoined Schenck two years later as assistant producer at United Artists.

Directed : The Bat (U.A.), Alibi (U.A.), The Bat Whispers (Col), Corsair (Col).

WHALE, James. B. Dudley, Staffs, England, July 22, 1896. Ed. England. Began his career as cartoonist in London. During the war was a subaltern in the 7th Worcester Infantry Regiment. Made his stage debut with the Birmingham Repertory Company when he played the role of Abraham Lincoln. Eventually became a stage producer and, after the success of the play, Journey’s End, was invited to Hollywood to direct the film version of that play (Tiffany, 1930). This was equally successful and he was made co-director of Hell’s Angels (U.A., I93i)-

Directed : Waterloo Bridge (Univ),

Frankenstein (Univ), Impatient Maiden (Univ), The Old Dark House (Univ).

WILCOX, Herbert. Director and Producer. (See Biographies of Other Important Film Personalities.)

WOOD, Sam. B. Philadelphia, Pa., July xo, 1883. Brown hair, brown eyes. Ht. 6 ft. Wt. 12 st. 2 lb. Ed. Hall Stanton School, Philadelphia. M. Clara Roush ; x dau.

Was in the real estate business, but transferred his activities to a job as assistant director. Attracted the notice

of Cecil B. De Mille, who promoted him to a directorship. Is полу r\'ith M.G.M.

Directed : The Gilded Cage (Brady-

World), The Beloved Villain, Double Speed (Para), Excuse My Dust (Para), What’s Your Hurry ? (Para), Sick A’Bed (Para), The Dancin’ Fool (Para), The City Sparrow (Para), Her First Elopement (Real Art), The Snob (Real Art), Peck's Bad Boy (F.N.), The Great Moment (Para), Under the Lash (Para), Don't Tell Everything (Para), Beyond the Rocks (Para), Her Husband’s Trademark (Para), fly American Wife (Para), Prodigal Daughters (Para), Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (Para), His Children’s Children (Para), The Next Corner (Para), Bluff (Para), Mine With the Iron Door (Principal), The ReCreation of Brian Kent (Principal), Fascinating Youth (Para), One Minute to Play (Radio), The Fair Cop (M.G.M.), Rookies (M.G.M.), The Latest from Paris (M.G.M.), Telling the World (M.G.M.), So This is College (M.G.M.), It's a Great Life (M.G.M.), They Learnt about Women (M.G.M.), Imperfect Ladies, Within the Law (M.G.M.), Way for a Sailor (M.G.M.), A Tailor-Made Man (M.G.M.), Paid (M.G.M.), New Adventures of Get Rich Quick Wallingford (M.G.M.), The Girl Said No (M.G.M.), Man in Possession (M.G.M.), Impossible Lover (M.G.M.).

WYLER, William. B. Mulhouse,

France, July 1, 1902. Ed. Lausanne;


Film experience began by doing foreign publicity for Universal. After twelve months of this was called to America as assistant director and soon after \\ras promoted to directoiial position.

Directed : Lazy Lightning (Univ),

Stolen Ranch (Univ), Hard Fists (Unh*), Desert Dust (Univ), Border Cavalier (Uni\^), Straight Shoot in’ (Univ), Blazing Days (Univ), Thunder Riders (Univ), The Lone Trap (Unrv), Anybody Here Seen Kelly? (Univ), Come Across (Univ), The Shakedown (Univ), The Storm (Univ), Hell’s Heroes (Univ), A House Divided (Univ), Marriage Interlude (Univ), Tom Brown of Culver (Uni\r).

Biographies Of Other Important Film Personalities

This list of biographies deals with a number of other people highly placed in the film industry who have an important association with, and a powerful influence upon, its development.

AYLESWORTH, Merlin H. President R.K.O., Radio Pictures Inc., and Radio-Keith-Orpheurn Corporation.

BISCHOFF, Samuel. B. Hartford, Connecticut, Aug. u, 1890. Black hair, brown eyes. Ht. 5 ft. 7¾ in. Wt. 11 st. 1 lb. Ed. Hartford High School; Boston University. Mass. M. Harriet Wisgel.

Had devoted the best part of his early career to directing comedies and produced over a hundred of these before becoming production supervisor for Columbia in 1928. In August, 1931, assumed the position of production head at the Tiffany Studios. Was at one time head of Bischoff Inc., and Bischoff Productions.


Managing Director, Ludwig Blattner Picture Corporation, Limited.

BROUGHTON, Cliff. B. Walnut, Iowa, July 20, 1897. Brown hair, blue eyes. Ht. 5 ft. 11¾ in. Wt. 12 st. Ed. Walnut High School. M. Lena Mae. Is vice-president and production supervisor of Mayfair Pictures Corporation; also representative of Sono-Art WorldWide Pictures. Has had a long and varied career in the film industry, during which he was associated for many years with Mrs. Wallace Reid, the wife of a former Hollywood star. Together they produced several films, and in 1929 presented The Dude Wrangler, one of the first all-talking pictures.

CHAPLIN, Charles.

Is executive head of his own production company, allied to the United Artists Corporation. Is known for his acting rather than his direction but the

fact that he has frequently been chosen as one of America’s best ten directors proves that his acting does not claim all his talents. (See also Players’ Biographies.)

CHRISTIE, Al. B. London, Ontario. Brown hair, blue eyes. Ht. 6 ft. 1 in. Wt. 12 st. 7 lb. Ed. public schools of London, Ont. M. Shirley Collins.

A name associated by cinema-goers the world over with sparkling comedies. Has been connected with the film industry since 1909, when, during a rest from stage work, he was asked to produce David Horsley’s Nestor Comedies at Bayonne, N.J. Now producing for Columbia.

COHN, Harry. B. New York City, July 23, 1891. Dark brown hair and eyes. Ht. 5 ft. 10 in. Wt. 11 st. 1 lb. Ed. New York City public schools.

After a long and eventful career has become part-owner with his brother of the Columbia company, and has demonstrated his genius for production with films like Ladies of Leisure, Submarine and Tol’able David.

DISNEY, Walt. B. Chicago, 111., Dec. 5, 1901. Light brown hair, dark brown eyes. Ht. 5 ft. io-| in. Wt. 11 st. 1 lb. Began his career as an artist in a Chicago commercial studio, making his film debut in 1923.

Although he had drawn numerous cartoons for animated pictures before introducing Mickey Mouse to cinema-goers, it was this latter character that made him world famous. Mickey blouse’s first release occurred in America in May, 192S.

(FLO-JOH) Other Film Personalities

Is now producing Silly Symphony cartoons for United Artists, an engagement which began in March, 1932.

FLOTHOW, Rudolph. B. Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 23, 1S95. Ed. High School, Wiesbaden. M. Martha Bourne. 1 son.

Began his association with the motion picture industry in 1915, with the old Paramount Company in New York. Later joined Fox in their New York exchange (1917). Was with Tiffany Productions Incorporated, 1926-1930, as special representative and in charge of the production of all shorts and all talking features produced by Tiffany in New York. Among the pictures which came under his supervision was Aloha. Is now president and general manager of Ambassador Pictures, Incorporated.

GOLDWYN, Sam. B. Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 22, 1884. M. (1) Blanche Lasky, sister of Jesse Lasky; dissolved 1915 ; (2) Frances Howard. One child.

Began his business career as a glove apprentice and such was his industry that later he was given an interest in the business. In 1910, with Jesse Lasky, he founded the Lasky Company, and three years later released the first picture which was to earn for his company a world-wide reputation. This was The Squaw Man, starring Dustin Farnum, and directed by Cecil B. de Mille. In 1917 Goldwyn was instrumental in bringing about the Famous Players Lasky merger and became that company’s first chairman. In 19 r8, with Arch and Edgar Selwyn, he formed Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, of which he became president ; later he sold out his interest in this company to Metro’s and started again as an independent producer, a policy which he has pursued ever since. Is now associated -with United Artists Corporation and has been responsible for the release of, among other films, Bulldog Drummond, Arrow-smith, Palmy Days and Whoopee. On October 13, 1927, he was unanimously elected Owner-member of United Artists by the others, who include Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin. Joseph M. Schenck and D. W. Griffith, Is credited with having discovered Ronald Colman, Vilma Bank}'’, Lois Moran, Gary Cooper and Walter Byron.

HAYS, Will H. B. Sullivan, Indiana, Nov. 5, 1S79. Ed. Wabash College (B.A., 1900 ; M.A., 1904) ; Mount

Union College (Doctor of Laws Degree). At the age of 21 he was admitted to the Indiana Bar and later became a

member of his father’s firm, Hay & Hay, during which time he served as City Attorney of Sullivan. During the war held various state appointments, ultimately becoming Postmaster-General on the election of President Harding. This post he later resigned to become America's film dictator, at a salary of over ^30,000, his actual title being President of the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. In this office he acts as censor, guide, philosopher and friend to the whole American film industry'. Under his rule, many reforms have taken place in the industry. He was instrumental in the formation of Film Boards of Trade. Also introduced local Arbitration Courts in at least 32 centres in the United States. His announcement that he would not sanction the production of any more gangster films caused consternation throughout the film world in 1931. By his efforts, more than 200 books have been kept off the screen, and he secured the agreement of the Motion Picture Industry to a new code of ethics, according to which the sanctity of marriage was to be upheld and nudity forbidden. Under his leadership the industry has risen to much higher levels of artistic achievement than hitherto.

HUGHES, Howard. B. Houston, Tex.,

Dec. 24, 1904. Ed. Rice Institute,


Began his motion picture career in 1926 but it was not until the release of the much discussed Hell's Angels that cinemagoers in this country became familiar with his name. Is president and sole proprietor of' the Houston Tool Company, and is reputed to be a millionaire. Other films which he has directed include Everybody’s Acting, Two Arabian Knights, The Racket, The Mating Call and Front Page.

JOHNSON, Martin E. B. Rockford, 111.,

Oct. 9, 1S84. M. Osa Leighty.

Is a pioneer of the motion picture industry and during the early days toured the Western States of America with films he had taken on his expeditions, often using acetylene gas for illumination. One of his first feature films was Cannibals of the South Seas, produced in 1912. Other films of the South Seas quickly followed, among them Captured by Cannibals, Head Hunters of Malekula and On the Borderland of Civilization. Has devoted practically the whole of his career to making expeditions for films in out-of-the-way parts of the globe. Among his more recent successes are Congorilla and Simba. His permanent address is Box 51, Nairobi, British East Africa.

Other Film Personalities (JOH-LAS)

JOHNSTON, W. Ray. B. Bristow, Iowa, 1892. Ed. High School in Janesville ; College of Commerce, Waterloo, Iowa. .

Began his career as a reporter on the “ Waterloo Daily Reporter,” remaining there for several months before turning his attention to banking and real estate. Pursued these occupations for some time, until, at the age of twenty-two, he met Wilbert Shallenberger, who later organized the Arrow Film Corporation. Johnston was engaged as secretary, and was given charge of almost every studio and distribution activity. The position of treasurer followed this and soon after the presidency of Big Productions Film Corporation. His activities in connection with film production did not prevent him from interesting himself in several theatres. After a time, rejoined Arrow Film Corporation aud, soon after, was elected vice-president, a position which he held until 1924, when he organized and became president of Rayart Pictures Corporation.

KENT, Sidney R.

President Fox Film Corporation.

LAEMMLE, Carl. B. Lauphein, Germany, Jan. 17, 1867. Grey hair, blue eyes. Ht. 5 ft. 2 in. Wt. 10 st. Ed. Germany. M. Recha Stern.

Has had a very long and eventful career in America, working his way up to his present position from that of a bookkeeper in a New York drug store. It is said that he laid the foundation of his present position by the foresight he displayed in buying a cinema in Chicago, February 24, 1906. The purchase of other cinemas quickly followed. Released his first picture, Hiawatha, 989 feet in length, in April, 1909. Love’s Stratagem, the second one, 954 feet long, followed soon after. In May, 1912, Laemmle,

R. H. Cochrane, Charles Bauman, David Horsley, P. A. Powell and W. H. Swanson combined their interests and formed Universal Film Manufacturing Company, with offices at 1, Union Square, New York City. Later that year Laemmle visited Europe and opened his first independent foreign agency. Soon after he and Cochrane bought out P. A. Powell and obtained control of Universal, moving their offices in 1924 to their present quarters in Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. In 1926, was stricken with appendicitis on board the Berengaria; an operation followed immediately after in London. On the anniversary of his

sixtieth birthday, he "was honoured by a demonstration which included most of Hollywood’s celebrities, among them Mary Pickford, who worked for him early in her career. His film All Quiet on the Western Front was awarded almost every known prize for films in America and in Europe, including the gold statuette of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the ” Film Daily “ poll, the Gold Medal of the Faculty of Arts, London, and the Photoplay Magazine Gold Medal. Becoming a grandfather in 1930, his nickname was changed from " Uncle Carl ” to ” Granddaddy Carl.” In February, 1931, on the occasion of his silver jubilee in the business, a bound volume of letters received from exhibitors was presented to him in Hollywood ; and a biography by John Drinkwater was published in England by Heinemann.

LAEMMLE, Carl, Jun. B. Chicago, 111.,

April 28, 1908. Ed. Boarding school,

New York ; Clark School.

Entered the motion picture business soon after graduating from college and by his early efforts prompted his father to assign to him in 1929 the position of general manager in complete charge of all Universal productions. Was responsible during the early part of his career for the Universal Junior Jewel series which produced the Collegian series, with George Lewis as the star. Among the films which later came under his supervision are King of Jazz, Dracula, Frankenstein, All Quiet on the Western Front and Waterloo Bridge.

LASKY, Jesse L. B. San Francisco, Cal.

Ed. High School, San Francisco.

Was one of the first men from the West Coast to join the gold rush to Alaska and one of the first hundred to reach Nome. Previously, however, he had been a reporter on a San Francisco newspaper. On his return from Alaska, finding nothing better to do, he became a musician and leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band of Honolulu. Later he presented a number of musical acts on the stage. In 1914 associated himself with Samuel Goldwyn and Cecil B. De Mille in organizing Jesse L. Lasky Feature Player Company and immediately began producing the then well-known Belasco dramas, among them Rose of the Rancho, Girl of the Golden West and Warrens of Virginia. Among the players who appeared for him in those early days were Blanche Sweet, House Peters, Ina Claire, Fanny Ward, Carlisle Blackwell and Geraldine Farrar. When, in July, 1916, Famous Players Film Company

(MAX-POM) Other Film Personalities

combined with Lasky Feature Player Company he was made vice-president of the new corporation and has continued in that capacity ever since. He has at all times remained in complete charge of the company's production, dividing his attentions between the big Lasky Studioat Hollywood and the office in New York, where he is in close touch with the Long Island Studio activities.


Was at one time a solicitor practising in a small Scottish town. A sudden idea one day led him to the purchase of a theatre, and, discovering that the potentialities were great, he bought up other theatres, until in time he became the owner of a large group of first-class houses. From this it was only a step to an active interest in the renting side of his business. Scon he became associated with the Wardour Film Company, of which he is chairman to-day. Under Maxwell’s guidance this company grew into the leading independent house in this country. From this, he turned his attention to film production and in time acquired the Elstree studios of British National Pictures. At the same time he formed the now famous British International Pictures, Ltd., the distributing side of which is served by Wardour Films Ltd. Is undoubtedly one of the persons to whom great credit is due for promoting the motion picture industry in this country to its present position.

MAYER, Louis В. B. July 4, 1885.

Ed. public schools of St. John, New [ Brunswick. M. Margaret Shenburg.

• Began his association with the entertainment world by purchasing a small and dilapidated theatre in Haverhill. He renovated this theatre and reopened it with From the Manger to the Cross. This seemed to alter the house’s prospects altogether and soon after Mayer was known as a theatrical personality in that town. A meeting with Nat Gordon led to the Gordon-Mayer theatrical chain, one of the strongest at that time in New England and subsequently the biggest buyers of film productions. His record of successes earned for him the position of chief of operations when Metro-Goldvyn-Mayer was organized. Has remained in charge of affairs there ever since and under his guidance this company has become one of the most influential and prosperous in the business, producing an average of sixty pictures a year.

OSTRER, Isidore.

Eldest of the three famous Ostrer brothers. President, Denman Picture Houses, Ltd., Gaumont British Picture Corporation, Ltd., Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd., etc., etc. Is associated with many of the film enterprises in this country and much of the progress that has been made -with films over here recently is probably due to the financial genius exercised by him and his famous brothers. Everywhere in the film world one comes in contact with their name, but more particularly in the affairs of the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, which contributes a large number of films to the British market every year. This company was founded 34 years ago by Colonel Bromhead and Leon Gaumont. In May, 1932, a book, “ Conquering Gold,” by Isidore Ostrer, was published. This dealt Avith the difficulties and advantages of the gold standard, which, at that time, was the centre of interest in this country. The following month, June, marked the opening of the new Gaumont-British Studios at Lime Grove —the biggest production development British films had seen for some years.

OSTRER, Mark. B. about 1S93. 1\I.

Florence Margaret Peterson.

One of the financiallyinfluential brothers whose entry into the film business has caused such a stir in the past few years. Is a director of 27 companies, among them Gaumont-British Picture Corporation, Ltd., Denman Picture Houses, Ltd., and Lothbury Investment Corporation, Ltd. Like his brothers, takes a vital interest in the motion picture industries of Britain and has contributed not a little to the enhanced reputation of British films during the past few years. Was associated with the production of Flames of Passion which marked the first occasion on which an American star was brought over to this country to appear in a British film. Also associated himself with Herbert Wilcox in the production of Chu Chin Chow, the first post-war Anglo-German film.

PABST, G. W. Producer and Director.

(See Directors' Biographies.)

POMMER, Erich. B. Hildesheim, 1889.

Began film career on the businfcss side. Was engaged by the French Gaumont Company in Berlin, 1907-14, and later represented the French Eclair Company in Central Europe. Joined U.F.A., 1923, as production manager, and during

Other Film Personalities (REE-SCH)

his term of office was responsible for Vaudeville (U.F.A., 1925), with Emil Jannings and Lya de Putti. Later went to Famous-Players-Lasky and in Hollywood, as production manager. Returned to Europe and has been producing for U.F.A. since 1927.

Also Produced : Waltz Dream

(U.F.A.), Faust (U.F.A.), Metropolis (U.F.A.), Melody of Hearts (U.F.A.), Love Waltz (U.F.A.), Blue Angel (U.F.A.), Monte Carlo Madness (U.F.A.), Congress Dances (U.F.A.).

REEVES, Alfred. B. London, England,

Dec. 2, 1876. Dark grey hair, hazel

eyes. Ht. 5 ft. 7 in. Wt. 9 st. 9 lb.

Ed. London elementary schools. M.

Amy Clara Minister.

Has never at any time during his career been associated with anything but entertainment. In 1895 toured Great Britain and France with Frank C. Bostock’s circus and menagerie. In 1897 was advance manager for Lord George' Sanger’s circus. In 1900 he joined Fred Karno’s company in vaudeville. Made his first appearance in the United States as manager and producer with the same company in 1905. In 1910, returned to England and after a brief stay reappeared in America with A Night in a London Secret Society, in which Charles Chaplin made his American debut. This, with other plays with Charles Chaplin, continued until Nov., 1913, when the latter went into motion pictures with the Keystone Company. In 1914 again returned to England on a theatrical tour, most of his time being occupied with entertaining wounded soldiers. In 1918, visited Hollywood and renewed his association with Charles Chaplin, who had just begun his own production studios. Later became president of Chaplin’s Studios Inc., and general manager and vice-president of Charles Chaplin Film Corporation, a position which he holds to this day.

The world film encyclopedia, 1933

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