Vincent Sherman


Director
Vincent Sherman

About

Also Known As
Abraham Orovitz
Birth Place
Vienna, Georgia
Born
July 16, 1906
Died
June 18, 2006

Biography

A working director in Hollywood for more than five decades, and an actor and screenwriter before that, Vincent Sherman has never been designated an "auteur" by cineastes, but he nevertheless directed such Hollywood classics as "Mr. Skeffington" (1945), as well as "The Hard Way" (1942), which won Ida Lupino the New York Film Critics Award, and films starring Paul Newman, Rita Hayworth, an...

Family & Companions

Hedda Sherman
Wife
Died in 1984.

Bibliography

"Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director"
Vincent Sherman, University of Kentucky Press (1996)

Notes

"I think the actual craft (of filmmaking) has changed. In recent years, since Lucas' 'Star Wars' and Spielberg's 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', I think that the entire business of special effects has improved enormously. One thousand percent. All the things we never thought about or even conceived the possibility of doing, now they can and are doing it." --Vincent Sherman in Moviemaker, September/October 1996.

Biography

A working director in Hollywood for more than five decades, and an actor and screenwriter before that, Vincent Sherman has never been designated an "auteur" by cineastes, but he nevertheless directed such Hollywood classics as "Mr. Skeffington" (1945), as well as "The Hard Way" (1942), which won Ida Lupino the New York Film Critics Award, and films starring Paul Newman, Rita Hayworth, and Humphrey Bogart, to name a few. For much of his career, Sherman was typed as a "woman's director," but he not only fought that designation with work in such films as "All Through the Night" (1941), a taut spy drama starring Bogart and Peter Lorre. His tenacity also carried him into several decades of TV work while other directors from the heydays of the studio system could not adapt.

Born in Vienna, Georgia, as Abraham (some sources say Abram) Orovitz, Sherman grew up as one of a handful of Jews in a small Southern town. Perhaps this sense of the being the outsider helped spark an interest in the theater. Orovitz headed to New York after college where, renamed Vincent Sherman, he became a stage actor. He made his screen acting debut in William Wyler's "Counsellor-at-Law" (1933). Acting jobs were always character roles and feeling stifled, he turned to writing. By 1937, Sherman had migrated to Hollywood with a Warner Brothers contract as a screenwriter. He co-wrote "Crime Story" (1938), a follow-up in the "Dead End Kids" series. He got his break as a director in 1939 directing Bogie--still in his second lead villain stage--in "The Return of Dr. X." It was another Bogart vehicle, "All Through the Night," that firmly established the director. Sherman helmed "The Hard Way" with Ida Lupino playing an ambitious woman pushing her sister into a show business career as a ticket to the big city. Based on his work, he was chosen to direct "Mr. Skeffington," in which Bette Davis played a vain woman forced into a marriage of convenience with a wealthy Jewish man (Claude Rains). Errol Flynn was drunk during much of the production of "The New Adventures of Don Juan" (1948), but Sherman made the film work. Sherman directed Ronald Reagan as a Scottish soldier in "The Hasty Heart" (1949), and, according to Sherman's autobiography, the two clashed when Sherman tried to elicit a greater depth of performance from Reagan. Rita Hayworth starred in Sherman's "Affair in Trinidad" (1952), which featured the actress as a cafe singer and reunited her with her "Gilda" co-star Glenn Ford. Sherman directed Paul Newman in the Mainline Philadelphia Sturm und Drang, "The Young Philadelphians" (1959), but with the collapse of the studio system, film offers began to wane. His last film "Young Rebel/Cervantes" (1967) was misguided period drama.

But Sherman was not ready to retire, so he moved into TV. In the 60s, he directed episodes of "77 Sunset Strip" and TV pilots. He broke into TV movies in 1977 directing Carroll O'Connor in a remake of "The Last Hurrah" (NBC). Dyan Cannon starred as madam-turned-mayor Sally Stanford in "Lady of the House" (NBC, 1978). In 1980, Sherman directed the Operation Prime Time (syndicated) miniseries "The Dream Merchants," which dealt with Hollywood. Two other of his later TV longforms also dealt with his past: "Bogie" (CBS, 1980) looked at the life of the actor whom Sherman had directed several times at Warner Bros., while "Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess" (CBS, 1983) profiled the actress with whom he had a brief affair. Sherman also reteamed with Glenn Ford on episodes of Ford's series "The Family Holvack" (NBC, 1975). Into the 80s, Sherman was still going strong directing episodes of "Simon & Simon" for CBS. In 1996, he published a memoir, "Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director."

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Bogie (1980)
Director
Trouble in High Timber Country (1980)
Director
Women at West Point (1979)
Director
Lady of the House (1978)
Director
The Last Hurrah (1977)
Director
The Young Rebel (1969)
Director
The Second Time Around (1961)
Director
A Fever in the Blood (1961)
Director
Ice Palace (1960)
Director
The Young Philadelphians (1959)
Director
The Hanging Tree (1959)
Director
Naked Earth (1958)
Director
The Garment Jungle (1957)
Director
Affair in Trinidad (1952)
Director
Lone Star (1952)
Director
Goodbye, My Fancy (1951)
Director
Backfire (1950)
Director
The Damned Don't Cry (1950)
Director
Harriet Craig (1950)
Director
The Hasty Heart (1950)
Director
Adventures of Don Juan (1949)
Director
Nora Prentiss (1947)
Director
The Unfaithful (1947)
Director
Janie Gets Married (1946)
Director
Pillow to Post (1945)
Director
In Our Time (1944)
Director
Mr. Skeffington (1944)
Director
Old Acquaintance (1943)
Director
The Hard Way (1943)
Director
Across the Pacific (1942)
Director
All Through the Night (1942)
Director
Sergeant York (1941)
Addl Director
Underground (1941)
Director
Flight from Destiny (1941)
Director
Saturday's Children (1940)
Director
The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)
Director
King of the Underworld (1939)
Dialogue Director
The Return of Dr. X (1939)
Director
My Bill (1938)
Dialogue Director
Accidents Will Happen (1938)
Dialogue Director
Crime School (1938)
Dialogue Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Forever Hollywood (1999)
Himself
Midnight Alibi (1934)
Black Mike
One Is Guilty (1934)
William Malcolm
Girl in Danger (1934)
Willie Tolini
The Crime of Helen Stanley (1934)
Karl Williams
Hell Bent for Love (1934)
Johnny Frank
Speed Wings (1934)
Mickey [Coin]
Counsellor at Law (1933)
Harry Becker

Writer (Feature Film)

The Adventures of Jane Arden (1939)
Screenwriter
Pride of the Blue Grass (1939)
Original Screenplay
King of the Underworld (1939)
Screenwriter
My Bill (1938)
Screenwriter
Heart of the North (1938)
Screenwriter
Crime School (1938)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

Affair in Trinidad (1952)
Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Forever Hollywood (1999)
Other

Director (Special)

Three on an Island (1965)
Director

Cast (Special)

Complicated Women (2003)
The AMC Project: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2003)
Interviewee
Peter Lorre: The Master of Menace (1996)
Rita Hayworth: Dancing Into the Dream (1991)

Misc. Crew (Special)

Complicated Women (2003)
Consultant

Director (Short)

PRESENT WITH A FUTURE: BETTE DAVIS CHRISTMAS WAR BONDS TRAILER (1943)
Director

Life Events

1933

Made feature film acting debut, "Counsellor-at-Law"

1937

Went to Hollywood to work for Warner Bros.

1938

Co-wrote film "Crime School"

1939

Directed feature "The Return of Dr. X"

1941

Had first successful feature, "All Through the Night"

1942

Directed Ida Lupino in her triumphant performance in "The Hard Way"

1943

First film with Bette Davis, "Old Acquaintance"

1945

Helmed "Mr. Skeffington", starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains

1949

Was director of screen version of "The Hasty Heart"

1952

Directed Rita Hayworth in "Affair in Trinidad"

1959

Helmed "The Young Philadelphians", featuring Paul Newman

1962

Began directing for TV with episodes of "77 Sunset Strip" (date approximate)

1967

Helmed last feature, "Cervantes"

1977

Directed first TV-movie, "The Last Hurrah" (NBC)

1980

Helmed the syndicated miniseries, "The Dream Merchants"

1983

Directed TV-movie based on life of Rita Hayworth

Photo Collections

Harriet Craig - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Harriet Craig - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Adventures of Don Juan - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Adventures of Don Juan (1949). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Return of Doctor X (1939) - Open, Prominent Actress Found Slain Opening credits and scenes from the Warner Bros. programmer The Return of Doctor X, 1939, directed by Vincent Sherman, featuring Humphrey Bogart in the freaky title role, and here fresh-faced reporter Walt (Wayne Morris) and sultry actress Angela (Lya Lys).
All Through The Night (1942) - Miracle On 48th Street Future TV stars William Demarest, Phil Silvers and Jackie Gleason in the opening scene, when their ringleader Gloves (Humphrey Bogart) appears, sidekick Barney (Frank McHugh) joining, ex-actor Vincent Sherman directing, in Warner Bros' gangster-comedy-propaganda hybrid All Through The Night, 1942.
Young Philadelphians, The (1959) - Some Kind Of Social Position Wrapping up the 1920’s prologue and introducing the star, Diana Brewster as widowed Philadelphian and new mom Kate, whose high-society husband died, possibly by suicide, on their wedding night, with the rough-hewn immigrant Mike (Brian Keith), who is the real father of her son Anthony, who grows up to be Paul Newman, in The Young Philadelphians, 1959.
Young Philadelphians, The (1959) - If You Brought A Shotgun... Respectable but poor Tony (Paul Newman), a semester short of finishing Princeton, and Joan (Barbara Rush), his affluent lovestruck girlfriend, have decided to elope but get intercepted by his long-widowed mother (Diane Brewster), and her high-powered lawyer father (John Williams), in The Young Philadelphians, 1959.
Young Philadelphians, The (1959) - I Always Used A Diagram Law student Tony, now cynical due to earlier setbacks, is spending the summer helping rich retiring lawyer Wharton (Otto Kruger) write a book, drawing all the attention of his young wife Carol (Alexis Smith), the three of them then receiving guests Carter and Joan (Fred Eisley, Barbara Rush), who was once, secretly, Tony’s fianceè, in The Young Philadelphians, 1959.
Pillow To Post (1945) - All You Have To Do Is Marry Me! As oil-equipment sales-person Jean in wartime Southern California, Ida Lupino has been hoping to waylay a Lieutenant to pose as her husband so she can secure a cabin at a military trailer park, just about giving up when William Prince as Lt. Mallory happens by, in Pillow To Post, 1945.
Pillow To Post (1945) - Watcha Say? (Louis Armstrong) Ida Lupino as sales-gal Jean is juggling William Prince as soldier Don, posing as her husband so she could get military housing, and Johnny Mitchell as client Slim, who wanted a dinner date, while Louis Armstrong leads his band with Dorothy Dandridge singing a tune by Burton Lane and Ted Koehler, in Pillow To Post, 1945.
Lone Star (1952) - Moonlight Was Meant For Lovers Clark Gable is still not revealing his identity, as a supporter of Texas annexation sent by Andrew Jackson, but Texan Martha (Ava Gardner) has grown interested in him, separating themselves from the crowd at an Austin dinner party, with an un-credited song, in MGM's Lone Star, 1952.
Affair In Trinidad (1952) - I Asked Him To Pass The Salt Right after her hot opening number, Howard Wendell as the new American consul in Trinidad, with Torin Thatcher as the Brit cop Smythe, with some tactics applied, tells dancer Chris Emery (Rita Hayworth) her husband has been found dead, in Rita’s box-office hit comeback, Affair In Trinidad, 1952, directed by Vincent Sherman, co-starring Glenn Ford.
Affair In Trinidad (1952) - Not In The Tropics Not his first scene but his first with the star, Glenn Ford as just-arrived American Steve is angry with Rita Hayworth as night club star Chris, widow of his artist brother, whom he’s never met, thinking he committed suicide, not realizing she’s helping the cops solve his murder, followed by a typical powerful entry into the plot by Juanita Moore as servant Dominique, in Affair In Trinidad, 1952.
Nora Prentiss (1947) - The Little Woman's Away Finishing her number, night club singer Ann Sheridan (title character), with her straight-laced new physician Talbott (Kent Smith), grows skeptical, then apologetic, introducing her boss (Robert Alda), then sampling a tune by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl, in Nora Prentiss, 1947.
Nora Prentiss (1947) - There's A Certain Dignity San Francisco Dr. Talbott (Kent Smith), established as an upright family man and model professional, rebukes his partner in practice (Bruce Bennett) then, working late, meets Ann Sheridan, the title character, quite by chance, in Vincent Sherman’s Nora Prentiss, 1947.

Trailer

Saturday's Children - (Original Trailer) A young inventor's new marriage is jeopardized by financial problems. Starring John Garfield.
Hanging Tree, The - (Original Trailer) A doctor (Gary Cooper) saves a man from hanging then tries to run his life in The Hanging Tree (1959).
Garment Jungle, The - (Original Trailer) A dress manufacturer (Lee J. Cobb) brings in the mob to fight unionization in The Garment Jungle (1957).
Affair in Trinidad - (Original Trailer) Rita Hayworth re-teamed with her Gilda co-star Glenn Ford for the sultry crime thriller Affair in Trinidad (1952).
Return of Doctor X, The - (Original Trailer) Humphrey Bogart, in the weirdest role of his career, plays a murderer who returns from the grave in The Return of Doctor X (1939).
Accidents Will Happen - (Original Trailer) Insurance investigator Ronald Reagan tangles with a fraud ring unaware his wife is involved in Accidents Will Happen (1938).
All Through the Night - (Original Trailer) A criminal gang turns patriotic to track down a Nazi spy ring in All Through the Night (1942) starring Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre.
Young Philadelphians, The - (Original Trailer) A young lawyer (Paul Newman) from the wrong side of town tries to break into society in The Young Philadelphians (1964).
Pride of the Blue Grass - (Original Trailer) A jockey trains a blind horse for the Grand National to become the Pride of the Blue Grass (1939).
Flight From Destiny - (Original Trailer) An elderly professor with six months to live plots a murder to reunite two young lovers in Flight from Destiny (1941).
Harriet Craig - (Original Trailer) Joan Crawford wants everything in her house just so or she goes nuts in Harriet Craig (1950).
Goodbye, My Fancy - (Original Trailer) When she returns to her alma mater to pick up an honorary degree, a congresswoman (Joan Crawford) re-ignites an old flame in Goodbye, My Fancy (1951).

Family

Eric Sherman
Son
Filmmaker, author.

Companions

Hedda Sherman
Wife
Died in 1984.

Bibliography

"Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director"
Vincent Sherman, University of Kentucky Press (1996)

Notes

"I think the actual craft (of filmmaking) has changed. In recent years, since Lucas' 'Star Wars' and Spielberg's 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', I think that the entire business of special effects has improved enormously. One thousand percent. All the things we never thought about or even conceived the possibility of doing, now they can and are doing it." --Vincent Sherman in Moviemaker, September/October 1996.