Richard Thorpe


Director
Richard Thorpe

About

Also Known As
Rollo Smolt Thorpe
Birth Place
Hutchinson, Kansas, USA
Born
February 24, 1896
Died
May 01, 1991
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

Actor who turned to directing in 1923, progressing from low-budget material to more prestigious productions like the MGM "Tarzan" cycle. Proficient to the point of boredom ("His reputation for needing only one take is why we don't remember his films," quipped James Mason), Thorpe spent 33 years of his 45-year career with MGM and was immensely prolific and capable in all genres. Highlight...

Photos & Videos

A Date with Judy - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
The Thin Man Goes Home - Title Lobby Card
Jailhouse Rock - Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Family & Companions

Belva McKay
Wife

Biography

Actor who turned to directing in 1923, progressing from low-budget material to more prestigious productions like the MGM "Tarzan" cycle. Proficient to the point of boredom ("His reputation for needing only one take is why we don't remember his films," quipped James Mason), Thorpe spent 33 years of his 45-year career with MGM and was immensely prolific and capable in all genres. Highlights include "Night Must Fall" (1938), "The Great Caruso" (1951), three Robert Taylor swashbucklers ("Ivanhoe" 1952, "Knights of the Round Table" 1954 and "Quentin Durward" 1955) and "Jailhouse Rock" (1957).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Last Challenge (1967)
Director
Scorpio Letters (1967)
Director
The Truth About Spring (1965)
Director
That Funny Feeling (1965)
Director
Fun in Acapulco (1963)
Director
Follow the Boys (1963)
Director
The Tartars (1962)
Director
The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962)
Director
The Honeymoon Machine (1961)
Director
Killers of Kilimanjaro (1960)
Director
The House of the Seven Hawks (1959)
Director
Ben-Hur (1959)
3d unit Director
Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957)
Director
Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957)
Director
Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Director
The Prodigal (1955)
Director
Quentin Durward (1955)
Director
Bedevilled (1955)
Fill-In Director
The Student Prince (1954)
Director
Knights of the Round Table (1954)
Director
Athena (1954)
Director
All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953)
Director
The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
Director
Carbine Williams (1952)
Director
It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1952)
Seq [one] Director
Ivanhoe (1952)
Director
The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)
Director
The Great Caruso (1951)
Director
The Unknown Man (1951)
Director
Vengeance Valley (1951)
Director
Black Hand (1950)
Director
Three Little Words (1950)
Director
The Sun Comes Up (1949)
Director
Challenge to Lassie (1949)
Director
Big Jack (1949)
Director
Malaya (1949)
Director
A Date with Judy (1948)
Director
On an Island with You (1948)
Director
Fiesta (1947)
Director
This Time for Keeps (1947)
Director
What Next, Corporal Hargrove? (1945)
Director
Thrill of a Romance (1945)
Director
Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945)
Director
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
Director
Cry 'Havoc' (1944)
Director
Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
Director
Above Suspicion (1943)
Director
The Bugle Sounds (1942)
Fill-In Director
Three Hearts for Julia (1942)
Director
Joe Smith, American (1942)
Director
Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942)
Director
White Cargo (1942)
Director
Apache Trail (1942)
Director
Rage in Heaven (1941)
Director of retakes
The Bad Man (1941)
Director
Barnacle Bill (1941)
Director
Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941)
Director
Haunted Honeymoon (1940)
Loc Director
Wyoming (1940)
Director
20 Mule Team (1940)
Director
The Earl of Chicago (1940)
Director
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)
Director
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Initial Director
Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939)
Director
The Toy Wife (1938)
Director
The First Hundred Years (1938)
Director
Love Is a Headache (1938)
Director
Man-Proof (1938)
Director
Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
Director
The Crowd Roars (1938)
Director
Double Wedding (1937)
Director
Dangerous Number (1937)
Director
Night Must Fall (1937)
Director
The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936)
Director
Tarzan Escapes (1936)
Director
Last of the Pagans (1935)
Director
Strange Wives (1934)
Director
Green Eyes (1934)
Director
The Lone Defender (1934)
Director
Stolen Sweets (1934)
Director
The Secret of the Chateau (1934)
Director
City Park (1934)
Director
The Quitter (1934)
Director
Cheating Cheaters (1934)
Director
Forgotten (1933)
Director
Strange People (1933)
Director
A Man of Sentiment (1933)
Director
Love Is Like That (1933)
Director
Rainbow over Broadway (1933)
Director
Murder on the Campus (1933)
Director
Notorious but Nice (1933)
Director
Women Won't Tell (1933)
Director
I Have Lived (1933)
Director
The Secrets of Wu Sin (1932)
Director
Thrill of Youth (1932)
Director
Escapade (1932)
Director
Midnight Lady (1932)
Director
Murder at Dawn (1932)
Director
The King Murder (1932)
Director
Slightly Married (1932)
Director
Probation (1932)
Director
Beauty Parlor (1932)
Director
Cross-Examination (1932)
Director
Forbidden Company (1932)
Director
The Lawless Woman (1931)
Director
Wild Horse (1931)
Director
The Lady from Nowhere (1931)
Director
Forgotten Women (1931)
Director
Neck and Neck (1931)
Director
The Sky Spider (1931)
Director
Grief Street (1931)
Director
The Devil Plays (1931)
Director
King of the Wild (1931)
Director
Wings of Adventure (1930)
Director
Border Romance (1930)
Director
The Thoroughbred (1930)
Director
Under Montana Skies (1930)
Director
The Dude Wrangler (1930)
Director
The Utah Kid (1930)
Director
The Bachelor Girl (1929)
Director
The Fatal Warning (1929)
Director
King of the Kongo (1929)
Director
Desperate Courage (1928)
Director
The Ballyhoo Buster (1928)
Director
The Flying Buckaroo (1928)
Director
The Cowboy Cavalier (1928)
Director
The Valley of Hunted Men (1928)
Director
Saddle Mates (1928)
Director
Vultures of the Sea (1928)
Director
The Vanishing West (1928)
Director
Soda Water Cowboy (1927)
Director
Ride 'Em High (1927)
Director
The Cyclone Cowboy (1927)
Director
Between Dangers (1927)
Director
Roarin' Broncs (1927)
Director
The Desert of the Lost (1927)
Director
White Pebbles (1927)
Director
The Obligin' Buckaroo (1927)
Director
The Interferin' Gent (1927)
Director
Pals in Peril (1927)
Director
Tearin' Into Trouble (1927)
Director
The First Night (1927)
Director
Skedaddle Gold (1927)
Director
The Galloping Gobs (1927)
Director
The Meddlin' Stranger (1927)
Director
The Ridin' Rowdy (1927)
Director
Twisted Triggers (1926)
Director
Rawhide (1926)
Director
The Bandit Buster (1926)
Director
College Days (1926)
Director
The Dangerous Dub (1926)
Director
Easy Going (1926)
Director
Twin Triggers (1926)
Director
The Bonanza Buckaroo (1926)
Director
Riding Rivals (1926)
Director
Double Daring (1926)
Director
Deuce High (1926)
Director
Roaring Rider (1926)
Director
Speedy Spurs (1926)
Director
Trumpin' Trouble (1926)
Director
The Fighting Cheat (1926)
Director
Josselyn's Wife (1926)
Director
Coming an' Going (1926)
Director
The Desert Demon (1925)
Director
Quicker'n Lightnin' (1925)
Director
Tearin' Loose (1925)
Director
Full Speed (1925)
Director
Saddle Cyclone (1925)
Director
Galloping On (1925)
Director
On the Go (1925)
Director
A Streak of Luck (1925)
Director
Gold and Grit (1925)
Director
Fast Fightin' (1925)
Director
Double Action Daniels (1925)
Director
Bringin' Home the Bacon (1924)
Director
Hard Hittin' Hamilton (1924)
Director
Battling Buddy (1924)
Director
Rough Ridin' (1924)
Director
Rarin' To Go (1924)
Director
Thundering Romance (1924)
Director
Walloping Wallace (1924)
Director
Rip Roarin' Roberts (1924)
Director
Fast and Fearless (1924)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Suburban Wives (1972)
Sarah'S Husband
Restless Wives (1924)
A lawyer
Flames of Desire (1924)
Dick Langton
Rough Ridin' (1924)
Dick Ross
Three O'Clock in the Morning (1923)
Clayton Webster
Burn 'Em Up Barnes (1921)
Stephen Thompson

Writer (Feature Film)

The Lawless Woman (1931)
Cont and dial
Between Dangers (1927)
Cont
The Bandit Buster (1926)
Cont

Producer (Feature Film)

The Last Challenge (1967)
Producer
Scorpio Letters (1967)
Producer

Editing (Feature Film)

Probation (1932)
Editing
The Lady from Nowhere (1931)
Editing
The Devil Plays (1931)
Film Editor

Music (Feature Film)

Dreams (1955)
Music

Director (Short)

Lest We Forget (1937)
Director

Cast (Short)

Hollywood - The Second Step (1936)
Himself

Life Events

1921

Arrived in Hollywood as an actor

1923

Directed first two-reelers

1924

Directed first feature, "Gold and Grit"

1935

Signed as a director by MGM

1939

Was initial director on "The Wizard of Oz"

1967

Last film before retiring, "The Last Challenge"

Photo Collections

A Date with Judy - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's A Date with Judy (1948), starring Wallace Beery, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Powell, and Robert Stack.
The Thin Man Goes Home - Title Lobby Card
Here is the title card from The Thin Man Goes Home (1945), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. 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.
Jailhouse Rock - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Jailhouse Rock (1957), starring Elvis Presley.
The Thin Man Goes Home - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Thin Man Goes Home (1945), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Videos

Movie Clip

Horizontal Lieutenant, The (1962) - I Thought You Were A Girl Before the credits Jim Hutton as Lt. Wye narrated his situation, stationed in quiet Hawaii in the later years of WWII, then a bench-warmer beaned by a foul ball on the squad baseball team, awakens to find himself attended by a gal from college (Paula Prentiss), who seems far sexier now, in The Horizontal Lieutenant, 1962, the fourth and final Hutton-Prentiss picture from MGM.
Follow The Boys (1963) - A Cheap Rolls-Royce Shooting pretty clearly on the waterfront in Cannes, Americans Liz and Bonnie (Janis Paige, Connie Francis) have just met, miffed because the ship carrying their men has been diverted to Italy, joined by French Michele (Dany Robin) and another yank Toni (Paula Prentiss), and improvising, early in Follow The Boys, 1963.
Follow The Boys (1963) - It's An Italian Baby Stranded in an Italian village with car trouble (Eric Pohlmann their farmer host), aiming to meet the U.S. Navy ship carrying their beaus, French Michele (Dany Robin) and Americans Liz, Toni and Bonnie (Janis Paige, Paula Prentiss and Connie Francis, born Concetta Rosemarie Franconero, in Newark, NJ), pull together, in MGM’s Follow The Boys, 1963.
Horizontal Lieutenant, The (1962) - Don't Get Any Ideas Lt. Merle Wye (Jim Hutton), now in his housecoat, has just barely prevailed on his ex-college acquaintance now popular Army nurse Molly (Paula Prentiss) for a friendly date before he’s posted to a remote Pacific island, until she finds out he’s not being all that brave, in MGM’s The Horizontal Lieutenant, 1962.
Athena (1954) - Harmonize Perturbed lawyer Adam (Edmund Purdom) at the home of mystically inclined fitness nuts, Louis Calhern as Grandpa, Jane Powell the title character, Debbie Reynolds and Vic Damone in chorus, and Steve Reeves the disdainful body-builder, another Martin & Blane song, in MGM’s Athena, 1954.
Night Must Fall (1937) -- You Agree With Me Danny (Robert Montgomery) is ingratiating himself with Mrs. Bramson (Dame May Whitty) while her niece Olivia (Rosalind Russell) reconsiders his charms, only to grow suspicious about the tune he whistles, in Night Must Fall, 1937.
Night Must Fall (1937) - Perfectly Ordinary English People Joining the interrogation by Matthew Boulton as detective Belsize, who’s just introduced himself to Mrs. Bramson (Dame May Whitty), mistress of a quiet country household, with Kathleen Harrison her cook and Rosalind Russell her niece and assistant, providing a speech from the Emlyn Williams play, in MGM’s Night Must Fall, 1937, starring Academy Award-nominated Robert Montgomery.
Knights Of The Round Table (1954) - Spoiled My Fight The first meeting between Lancelot (Robert Taylor), who's come to serve the new king, and Arthur (Mel Ferrer), who fight over a minor offense until they exchange names, Maureen Swanson the escorted bystander, in MGM's first wide-screen film, Knights Of The Round Table, 1954.
Knights Of The Round Table (1954) - We Are One People Politics very olde English style, as Arthur (Mel Ferrer) orates and Merlin (Felix Aylmer) explains about Stonehenge (with an altogether unfounded theory!), and Lancelot (Robert Taylor) sounds the alarm, in MGM's Knights Of The Round Table, 1953.
Knights Of The Round Table (1954) - I Make You Henceforth The Queen's Champion The pretty form of Guinivere (Ava Gardner) is emphasized in her speedy wedding to Arthur (Mel Ferrer) and Lancelot (Robert Taylor) arriving late, is rewarded for his service, in MGM's Knights Of The Round Table, 1953.
Honeymoon Machine, The (1961) - All Scientists Are Poor We’ve met Jim Hutton as Navy-affiliated rocket-computer scientist Jason, and Steve McQueen as his junior officer buddy Fergie, given to games of chance, in their first scene together discussing whether their computer called Max could be useful in a Venice casino, early in The Honeymoon Machine, 1961.
Honeymoon Machine, The (1961) - Admiral's Daughters Enterprising Navy officer Fergie (Steve McQueen) ejects scientist pal Jason (Jim Hutton) from their Venice suite where they’re planning a casino scam, to be alone with Julie (Brigid Bazlen), the forward daughter of their admiral, whom they’ve just met by chance, early in MGM’s The Honeymoon Machine, 1961.

Trailer

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.
White Cargo - (Original Trailer) Hedy Lamarr plays Tondelayo, driving the manager of an African plantation (Richard Carlson) out of his mind with lust in White Cargo (1942).
Love Is A Headache - (Original Trailer) A freak accident gives a fading actress (Gladys George) a huge publicity push in Love Is A Headache (1938).
Girl Who Had Everything, The - (Original Trailer) Elizabeth Taylor is The Girl Who Had Everything (1953) in this remake of A Free Soul (1931).
Fun in Acapulco - (Original Trailer) The only thing stopping Elvis from having Fun In Acapulco (1963) is a fear of heights. Ursula Andress helps him cope.
Follow the Boys (1963) - (Original Trailer) If Connie Francis and Paula Prentiss want to return to Where The Boys Are, they'll have to Follow The Boys (1963) in this similar follow-up.
First Hundred Years, The - (Original Trailer) A working woman (Virginia Bruce) doesn't want to give up her career when she marries. Co-starring Robert Montgomery and Warren William.
Dangerous Number - (Original Trailer) Robert Young marries a Dangerous Number (1937) in a comedy that somehow involves daylight savings time and dissolvable silk.
Bad Man, The - (Original Trailer) Wallace Beery (Viva Villa!) returns to portraying a Mexican bandit in The Bad Man (1941) but he's really not as bad as all that.
Athena - (Original Trailer) A society lawyer falls in love with the daughter (Jane Powell) of a family of fitness fanatics in Athena (1954).
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (1939) - (Original Trailer) Mickey Rooney is Mark Twain's classic troublemaker who helps a runaway slave (Rex Ingram) escape to the North.
Twenty Mule Team - (Original Trailer) A miner (Wallace Beery) fights his way across Death Valley to beat out the competition in Twenty Mule Team (1940).

Companions

Belva McKay
Wife

Bibliography