Sunday, May 7, 2017

Born Today May 7: George Archainbaud


French born director George Archainbaud was born on this day in Paris.  He got his start in his native country in the theater there.  He immigrated to the United States in 1915 to serve as an assistant to Émile Chautard, who had been hired by Lewis J. Selznick's World Film Company.  They went to work immediately in Fort Lee.  The first film that he worked on with Chautard was Sudden Riches (1916).  He made is debut as full director in 1917 with As Man Made Her.  He even dabbled in writing (see One Week Of Love (1922) and The Common Law (1923)).  With the demise of Selznick's role in the company that he founded, David O. Selznick, his famous son, who had been able to independently found his own production company apart from his father, was able to add Archainbaud to his list of up and coming talented directors.  This is how Archainbaud made his way west to Hollywood.  Though by the late 1920's he was no longer working for Selznick, going to work instead for Tiffany-Stahl Productions; it is a sad fact that the vast marjority of late silent films that he directed for them are lost.  The first film that he worked that had sound elements was a melodrama: The Voice Within in 1929--it is among the long list of his films that were lost.  It featured a few talking sequences utilizing the RCA Photophone System.  By 1929, he was working for Columbia and the first full sound film that he directed was The College Coquette in 1929.  In the 1930's he went to work for RKO, and by the 1940's he was at Paramount.  He made his television directorial debut pretty early on, directing several episodes of the series The Lone Ranger.  By this time he had begun to specialize in the directing westerns.  In the 1950's, he was a much sought out director of western television shows, in fact the last thing he directed was and episode of The Texan entitled Letter Of The Law.  In 1921, he married silent film actress Katherine Johnston to whom he remained married until his death on the 20th of February 1959 of a heart attack.  He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California.  Follow the link below to Internet Movie Database to view the impressive list of silents that he directed.

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