Mervyn Leroy


Director, Producer
Mervyn Leroy

About

Also Known As
Mervyn Le Roy
Birth Place
San Francisco, California, USA
Born
October 15, 1900
Died
September 13, 1987

Biography

Former actor and comedy writer who began a prolific directing career in 1927. LeRoy did his best work at Warner Bros. in the 1930s, turning out a string of grittily realistic films which reflected the hardships of Depression-era America. His 1930 gangster film, "Little Caesar," launched Edward G. Robinson into stardom and inaugurated the genre with which Warners would make its name. In 1...

Photos & Videos

The Bad Seed - Lobby Card Set
The Wizard of Oz - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Johnny Eager - Behind-the-Scenes Photo

Family & Companions

Edna Murphy
Wife
Actor.
Doris Warner
Wife
1932, divorced 1945; daughter of Harry M Warner.

Bibliography

"Mervyn LeRoy: Take One"
Mervyn LeRoy (as told to Dick Kleiner) (1974)

Biography

Former actor and comedy writer who began a prolific directing career in 1927. LeRoy did his best work at Warner Bros. in the 1930s, turning out a string of grittily realistic films which reflected the hardships of Depression-era America. His 1930 gangster film, "Little Caesar," launched Edward G. Robinson into stardom and inaugurated the genre with which Warners would make its name. In 1938 LeRoy switched to MGM and turned his hand to glossier and, for the most part, less satisfactory fare. His other achievements include producing "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), taking over the direction of "Mister Roberts" (1955) from an ailing John Ford and introducing Ronald Reagan to Nancy Davis.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Green Berets (1968)
Uncredited Director
Moment to Moment (1966)
Director
Mary Mary (1963)
Director
Gypsy (1962)
Director
A Majority of One (1962)
Director
The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961)
Director
Wake Me When It's Over (1960)
Director
The FBI Story (1959)
Director
No Time for Sergeants (1958)
Director
Home Before Dark (1958)
Director
The Bad Seed (1956)
Director
Toward the Unknown (1956)
Director
Strange Lady in Town (1955)
Director
Mister Roberts (1955)
Director
Rose Marie (1954)
Director
Latin Lovers (1952)
Director
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
Director
Lovely To Look At (1952)
Director
Quo Vadis (1951)
Director
East Side, West Side (1950)
Director
Any Number Can Play (1949)
Director
Little Women (1949)
Director
Homecoming (1948)
Director
Desire Me (1947)
Director
Without Reservations (1946)
Director
Madame Curie (1944)
Director
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Director
Random Harvest (1942)
Director
Johnny Eager (1942)
Director
Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
Director
Unholy Partners (1941)
Director
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Director
Escape (1940)
Director
Fools for Scandal (1938)
Director
They Won't Forget (1937)
Director
The King and the Chorus Girl (1937)
Director
Three Men on a Horse (1936)
Director
Anthony Adverse (1936)
Director
Page Miss Glory (1935)
Director
I Found Stella Parish (1935)
Director
Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)
Director
Heat Lightning (1934)
Director
Hi Nellie! (1934)
Director
Happiness Ahead (1934)
Director
Sweet Adeline (1934)
Director
Hard to Handle (1933)
Director
Tugboat Annie (1933)
Director
Elmer the Great (1933)
Director
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Director
The World Changes (1933)
Director
The Heart of New York (1932)
Director
High Pressure (1932)
Director
Two Seconds (1932)
Director
Big City Blues (1932)
Director
Three on a Match (1932)
Director
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Director
Gentleman's Fate (1931)
Director
Little Caesar (1931)
Director
Broadminded (1931)
Director
Tonight or Never (1931)
Director
Five Star Final (1931)
Director
Local Boy Makes Good (1931)
Director
Too Young to Marry (1931)
Director
Showgirl in Hollywood (1930)
Director
Top Speed (1930)
Director
Playing Around (1930)
Director
Numbered Men (1930)
Director
Hot Stuff (1929)
Director
Little Johnny Jones (1929)
Director
Naughty Baby (1929)
Director
Broadway Babies (1929)
Director
Flying Romeos (1928)
Director
Oh, Kay (1928)
Director
Harold Teen (1928)
Director
No Place To Go (1927)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Bad Seed (1956)
Narrator of epilogue
Without Reservations (1946)
Himself
Broadway After Dark (1924)
Carl Fisher
The Chorus Lady (1924)
"Duke" [the Jockey]
Going Up (1923)
The Bellboy
Little Johnny Jones (1923)
George Nelson, jockey
The Call of the Canyon (1923)
Jack Rawlins

Writer (Feature Film)

Orchids and Ermine (1927)
Comedy const
Irene (1926)
Comedy const
Ella Cinders (1926)
Scen
It Must Be Love (1926)
Comedy const
Twinkletoes (1926)
Comedy const
We Moderns (1925)
Comedy const
Sally (1925)
Comedy construc

Producer (Feature Film)

Moment to Moment (1966)
Producer
Mary Mary (1963)
Producer
Gypsy (1962)
Producer
A Majority of One (1962)
Producer
Wake Me When It's Over (1960)
Producer
No Time for Sergeants (1958)
Producer
Home Before Dark (1958)
Producer
The Bad Seed (1956)
Producer
Toward the Unknown (1956)
Producer
Little Women (1949)
Producer
Stand Up and Fight (1939)
Producer
At the Circus (1939)
Producer
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Producer
Dramatic School (1938)
Producer
The Great Garrick (1937)
Supervisor

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Mary Mary (1963)
Company
Gypsy (1962)
Company
The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961)
Company
The FBI Story (1959)
Company
Home Before Dark (1958)
Company
Rose Marie (1954)
Company
East Side, West Side (1950)
Company
Any Number Can Play (1949)
Company
Little Women (1949)
Company
Homecoming (1948)
Company
Without Reservations (1946)
Company
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Company
Random Harvest (1942)
Company
Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
Company
Unholy Partners (1941)
Company
Escape (1940)
Company
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Company
Fools for Scandal (1938)
Company
Marry the Girl (1937)
Company
They Won't Forget (1937)
Company
The King and the Chorus Girl (1937)
Company
Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937)
Company
Three Men on a Horse (1936)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Forbidden City U.S.A (1989)
Other
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Other
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
Other

Director (Short)

The House I Live In (1945)
Director
You, John Jones! (1943)
Director

Cast (Short)

You Can't Fool a Camera (1941)
Himself
Cavalcade of the Academy Awards (1940)
Himself
The Making of a Great Motion Picture (1936)
Himself

Producer (Short)

The House I Live In (1945)
Producer

Life Events

1912

Stage debut San Francisco (date approximate)

1916

First stage act

1922

Moved to Hollywood permanently after returning to vaudeville

1927

Directorial debut

1938

Became MGM production executive

1940

Returned to directing

1945

Formed Arrowhead Productions

1953

Returned to Warner Bros.

Photo Collections

The Bad Seed - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from The Bad Seed (1956), directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Wizard of Oz - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939), directed by Victor Fleming.
Johnny Eager - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Johnny Eager (1942), starring Robert Taylor and directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
Waterloo Bridge (1940) - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the making of Waterloo Bridge (1940), starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor.
Escape - Movie Poster
Here is the American 1-Sheet movie poster for MGM's Escape (1940), starring Robert Taylor and Norma Shearer.
Random Harvest - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos taken during production of MGM's Random Harvest (1942), starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson, and directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
Random Harvest - Susan Peters Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos taken of Susan Peters during production of MGM's Random Harvest (1942), directed by Mervyn LeRoy.
Random Harvest - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for MGM's Random Harvest (1942). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Wizard of Oz - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland.

Videos

Movie Clip

High Pressure (1932) - No Romance In Sewage Rescued from a bender, promoter Gar Evans (William Powell) meets buddy Mike (Frank McHugh) and entrepreneur Ginsberg (George Sidney), early in High Pressure, 1932, from a play by Aben Kandel.
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Gypsy (1962) - Let Me Entertain You Early days, Karl Malden as Herbie (stage name Uncle Jocko) intervenes somewhat to do the right thing for young June (Suzanne Cupito) and Louise (Diane Pace), a Styne/Sondheim tune getting murdered, and Mama Rose (Rosalind Russell) storms in, 1920’s vaudeville, in Gypsy, 1962.
Any Number Can Play (1949) - Always Coming To Bat With The Bases Loaded Clark Gable as family-man casino owner Charlie, with former flame and customer Ada (Mary Astor), who interrupted him during a heart-trouble episode he's keeping secret, has already made clear he's not running away with her, but they discuss it anyway, in Any Number Can Play, 1949.
Any Number Can Play (1949) - Out In The Rain With My Secret Lover Joining the first scene in the household of leading man Clark Gable, who plays high-end underground casino owner Charlie, we meet Audrey Totter as Alice, the live-in sister of his wife Lon (Alexis Smith), and her husband, Wendell Corey as Robbin, who works for Charlie, with two goons (Richard Rober, William Conrad) appearing, in director Mervyn LeRoy’s Any Number Can Play, 1949.
Hard To Handle (1933) - It Ain't Humanely Possible Joining director Mervyn LeRoy’s breakneck opening, Allen Jenkins the MC at an outrageous Hollywood dance marathon, the last two couples standing are (second-billed) Mary Brian with Matt McHugh and Sterling Holloway with Mary Doran, before we meet the promoter, above-the-title billed James Cagney as Lefty, in Warner Bros.’ Hard To Handle, 1933.
Hard To Handle (1933) - The Public Is Like A Cow All pace in the first scene for star James Cagney as Hollywood PR man Lefty, backstage at his dance marathon contest, scheming with his pretty distracted partner Mac (John Sheehan), in Hard To Handle, 1933, story by Houston Branch, screenplay by Bob Lord and Wilson Mizner.
Hard To Handle (1933) - Your Mother Doesn't Own A Gun, Does She? Hollywood widow landlady Ruth Donnelly is looking to scam a furniture buyer (William H. Strauss) while her daughter Ruth (Mary Brian) is still soaking her feet, after winning a dance marathon, with some help from her promoter boyfriend Lefty (James Cagney), who was himself robbed of the prize she was supposed to get, in Hard To Handle, 1933.
Three On A Match (1932) - I'm No Puritan Bette Davis (as "Ruth") leaps out front in the un-dressing contest, agreeing with friend Mary (Joan Blondell) that their married-mom third pal Vivian (Ann Dvorak), partying with boyfriend Mike (Lyle Talbot), needs reigning in, in Three On A Match, 1932.
Three On A Match (1932) - Being On The Square Mary (Joan Blondell), worried friend of straying mom Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and her snatched son (Frankie Darro), turns her in to her big lawyer husband Robert (Warren William), in director Mervyn LeRoy's Three On A Match, 1932.
Hi, Nellie! (1934) - They've Found Bigger Hearts In Fleas! Delineating relations between reluctant “lonely hearts” columnist Gerry (Glenda Farrell), billed as “Nellie,” and editor “Brad” Bradshaw (Paul Muni), Mervyn LeRoy directing in extra punchy Warner Bros. style, from an original script by Abem Finkel, Sidney Sutherland and Roy Chanslor, early in Hi, Nellie!, 1934.
Hi, Nellie! (1934) - Polish Children's Picnic Yarn First scene for Paul Muni in his first comedy, as big city news editor “Brad” Bradshaw, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with George Chandler, Donald Meek, Douglas Dumbrille (as “Dawes”), and Paul Kaye in support, the picnic story having nothing to do with the Bob Dylan song, written about a similar (but not fictional) event almost 30-years later, in Hi, Nellie!, 1934.

Trailer

No Time for Sergeants - (Original Trailer) Hillbilly draftee Andy Griffith turns the Air Force upside down in No Time For Sergeants (1958).
Wizard of Oz, The (1939) -- (1949 Re-issue Trailer) A Kansas farm girl dreams herself into a magical land where she must fight a wicked witch to escape in The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland.
Anthony Adverse - (Original Trailer) Seven Oscar nominations went to Anthony Adverse (1936), Warner Brothers' adaptation of the best selling novel about 18th-Century Italy.
Local Boy Makes Good - (Original Trailer) A timid student (Joe E. Brown) turns into a track-and-field star in Local Boy Makes Good (1931).
Latin Lovers - (Original Trailer) Expect Ricardo Montalban to give Lana Turner a taste for Latin Lovers (1953) in this Technicolor romance.
Unholy Partners - (Original Trailer) The editor of a tabloid (Edward G. Robinson) takes money from a gangster in Unholy Partners (1941).
Great Garrick, The - (Original Trailer) Director James Whale (The Bride Of Frankenstein) brings his quirky view to this portrait of 18th Century Britain's most famous actor.
Hard To Handle - (Original Trailer) A hustling public relations man (James Cagney) promotes a series of fads in Hard To Handle (1933).
Three on a Match - (Original Trailer) A woman's childhood friends try to rescue her from gangsters in Three on a Match (1932) starring Bette Davis and Joan Blondell.
East Side, West Side - (Original Trailer) Chic New York couple Barbara Stanwyck and James Mason are torn apart by a seductive model in East Side, West Side (1950).
Big City Blues - (Original Trailer) A country boy goes to town and meets Joan Blondell and a young Humphrey Bogart. So why has he got the Big City Blues (1932)?
Escape - (Original Trailer) A Nazi officer's mistress helps an American free his mother from a concentration camp in Escape (1940) starring Norma Shearer.

Promo

Family

Warner LeRoy
Son
Restaurant manager. Mother Doris Warner.

Companions

Edna Murphy
Wife
Actor.
Doris Warner
Wife
1932, divorced 1945; daughter of Harry M Warner.

Bibliography

"Mervyn LeRoy: Take One"
Mervyn LeRoy (as told to Dick Kleiner) (1974)