Friday, December 1, 2017

Born Today December 1: T. Hayes Hunter


Silent director T. (Thomas) Hayes Hunter was born on this day in Philadelphia.  His career spanned from the time of the first golden age of film into the era of early talkies.  Hunter got his start in the live stage performance arena, first as a stage manager--then, later, as a director.  He entered the film industry in 1910 and directed his first film in 1912:  Papa's Double.  He added scenario writing to his resume the following year in one of the genre game changing films The Vampire, co-written with director Robert Vignola, starring Alice Hollister in an early Vamp role (the two collaborated on a remake in 1914 entitled The Vampire's Trail, again featuring Hollister).  During his career, he directed films at Biograph and was a supervising producer for two smaller production houses under their umbrella; though he had only two direct production credits to his name, both in the 1920's--the first of which was The Light In The Clearing in 1921 for Dial Film. He also directed at least one early horror film here in the U.S. with The Crimson Stain Mystery (1916), a film centering on the experiments of a "mad scientist" gone awry, with his potions create monsters that band together--a theme that would be revisited many, many times in decades to follow.  By the late 1920's, he was working for studios in the UK, in fact the last silent film that he directed was for the UK company Welsh-Pearson: The Silver King in 1929.  The first sound film that Hunter directed came in 1931 with The Man They Couldn't Arrest for the UK studio Gainsborough.  He is responsible for an early sound adaptation of an Edgar Wallace play in 1932 with White Face The Fiend.  He is also the director of the much sought after Boris Karloff/Cedric Hardwicke horror film The Ghoul (1933) made for the British arm of Gaumont and filmed at Lime Grove Studios--the film was considered lost until a copy was found in Prague and restored (it is currently on Amazon Prime).  The last film that he directed was the comedy Josser On The Farm for Fox, filmed at the Stoll Studios located in the Cricklewood area of Greater London.  He then retired from the business, but stayed in the United Kingdom.  He did not have much time to enjoy his retirement however, passing away in London on the 14th of April in 1944 at the age of 59. There is no information as to his burial or cremation.

No comments:

Post a Comment