W. S. Van Dyke


Director
W. S. Van Dyke

About

Also Known As
Woodbridge Strong Van Dyke Ii, William S Van Dyke Ii, Woody Van Dyke, Maj. W. S. Van Dyke Ii, W. S. Van Dyke Ii
Birth Place
San Diego, California, USA
Born
March 21, 1890
Died
February 05, 1943

Biography

Van Dyke began his career as an assistant director, notably under D.W. Griffith on "Intolerance" (1916). He took over the direction of "White Shadows of the South Seas" from Robert Flaherty in 1928 and, by the 1930s, had developed into one of MGM's most reliable directors. Van Dyke was a capable craftsman whose nonchalant approach to filming earned him the nickname 'One-Shot Woody'; it a...

Photos & Videos

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - Movie Posters
San Francisco - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Hide-Out - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Zina Ashford
Wife
Actor. Married c. 1907; divorced in 1920.
Ruth Mannix
Wife
Married in 1935; niece of MGM vice president Eddie Mannix.

Bibliography

"W.S. Van Dyke's Journal: White Shadows in the South Seas (1927-28)"
Rudy Behlmer, editor and annotator, Scarecrow Press (1996)

Biography

Van Dyke began his career as an assistant director, notably under D.W. Griffith on "Intolerance" (1916). He took over the direction of "White Shadows of the South Seas" from Robert Flaherty in 1928 and, by the 1930s, had developed into one of MGM's most reliable directors. Van Dyke was a capable craftsman whose nonchalant approach to filming earned him the nickname 'One-Shot Woody'; it also brought him success at the box-office, particularly with the "Thin Man" series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. His deft touch is evident in films such as "Trader Horn" (1930), "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934), "Sweethearts" and "Marie Antoinette" (both 1938).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Cairo (1942)
Director
I Married an Angel (1942)
Director
Rage in Heaven (1941)
Director
New Moon (1940)
Director
Bitter Sweet (1940)
Director
I Love You Again (1940)
Director
I Take This Woman (1940)
Director
Stand Up and Fight (1939)
Director
It's a Wonderful World (1939)
Director
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939)
Director
Another Thin Man (1939)
Director
Marie Antoinette (1938)
Director
Sweethearts (1938)
Director
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
Director of fencing seq
Rosalie (1937)
Director
They Gave Him a Gun (1937)
Director
Personal Property (1937)
Director
His Brother's Wife (1936)
Director
After the Thin Man (1936)
Director
Love on the Run (1936)
Director
The Devil Is a Sissy (1936)
Director
Rose-Marie (1936)
Director
San Francisco (1936)
Director
Naughty Marietta (1935)
Director
Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)
Addl scene Director
I Live My Life (1935)
Director
Eskimo (1934)
Director
Laughing Boy (1934)
Director
Forsaking All Others (1934)
Director
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
Director
Hide-Out (1934)
Director
The Thin Man (1934)
Director
Penthouse (1933)
Director
The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)
Director
Night Court (1932)
Director
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)
Director
Never the Twain Shall Meet (1931)
Director
The Cuban Love Song (1931)
Director
Guilty Hands (1931)
Director
Trader Horn (1931)
Director
The Pagan (1929)
Director
White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)
Director
Wyoming (1928)
Director
Under the Black Eagle (1928)
Director
California (1927)
Director
Foreign Devils (1927)
Director
Spoilers of the West (1927)
Director
Winners of the Wilderness (1927)
Director
The Heart of the Yukon (1927)
Director
Eyes of the Totem (1927)
Director
War Paint (1926)
Director
The Desert's Price (1925)
Director
Barriers Burned Away (1925)
Director
The Beautiful Sinner (1924)
Director
The Battling Fool (1924)
Director
Loving Lies (1924)
Director
The Destroying Angel (1923)
Director
The Little Girl Next Door (1923)
Director
The Miracle Makers (1923)
Director
According to Hoyle (1922)
Director
Forget-Me-Not (1922)
Director
The Boss of Camp 4 (1922)
Director
White Eagle (1922)
Director
Double Adventure (1921)
Director
The Avenging Arrow (1921)
Director
Daredevil Jack (1920)
Director
The Hawk's Trail (1920)
Director
The Lady of the Dug-Out (1918)
Director
Lost and Won (1917)
Assistant Director
Men of the Desert (1917)
Director
The Land of Long Shadows (1917)
Director
The Range Boss (1917)
Director
On Trial (1917)
Assistant Director
Sadie Goes to Heaven (1917)
Director
Open Places (1917)
Director
Gift O' Gab (1917)
Director
Oliver Twist (1916)
Assistant Director
Intolerance (1916)
Assistant Director
Unprotected (1916)
Assistant Director
The Lash (1916)
Assistant Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Eskimo (1934)
Inspector White
Oliver Twist (1916)
Charles Dickens

Writer (Feature Film)

Riders of the Dark (1928)
Story
Wyoming (1928)
Writer
Riders of the Dark (1928)
Cont
The Heart of the Yukon (1927)
Writer
The Forbidden Room (1919)
Story
The Lady of the Dug-Out (1918)
Scen
Men of the Desert (1917)
Scen
Open Places (1917)
Scen
The Range Boss (1917)
Scen
The Land of Long Shadows (1917)
Scen

Production Companies (Feature Film)

His Brother's Wife (1936)
Company
Love on the Run (1936)
Company
San Francisco (1936)
Company
The Devil Is a Sissy (1936)
Company
I Live My Life (1935)
Company
Eskimo (1934)
Company
Laughing Boy (1934)
Company
Forsaking All Others (1934)
Company
Hide-Out (1934)
Company
The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Liberte (1989)
Other

Cast (Short)

The Miracle of Sound (1940)
Himself
Another Romance of Celluloid (1938)
Himself

Life Events

1902

Made stage debut in "Damon and Pythias" at age three

1907

Joined mother's company, Laura Winston Players

1915

With wife, toured with various theater companies until a Pantages tour took them to Los Angeles; became involved with film

1915

First film job, as assistant director to Charles Brabin on "The Raven"

1915

Wrote numerous screenplays for directors Lawrence Windom and Arthur Berthelet

1916

Employed by D.W. Griffith as actor and assistant director on "Intolerance"

1917

First film as director, "Her Good Name"

1926

Signed by Thalberg for MGM

1934

Helmed the classic detective comedy-drama "The Thin Man"

1943

Last film, "Dragon Seed" (completed by Jack Conway and Harold S Bucquet)

Photo Collections

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of original-release American movie posters for MGM's Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932), starring Johnny Weissmuller.
San Francisco - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's San Francisco (1936), starring Clark gable and Spencer Tracy, and directed by W.S. Van Dyke.
Hide-Out - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Hide-Out (1934), starring Robert Montgomery and Maureen O'Sullivan. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
It's a Wonderful World - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for It's a Wonderful World (1939). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Thin Man - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of The Thin Man (1934), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.
The Thin Man - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of American Movie Posters produced for The Thin Man (1934).
The Devil Is a Sissy - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
Here is a photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Devil Is a Sissy (1936), starring Mickey Rooney and directed by W. S. Van Dyke.
Eskimo - Scene Still
Here is a scene still from MGM's Eskimo (1933), starring Mala and W. S. Van Dyke.

Videos

Movie Clip

Rage In Heaven (1941) - Nobody Is Afraid Of Me First architect Ward (George Sanders) swoons over European war refugee Stella (Ingrid Bergman) on the English estate belonging to his friend and her employer, son Philip (Robert Montgomery) and mother (Lucile Watson), who confer about them, though he’s a bit weird, early in MGM’s Rage In Heaven 1941.
Rage In Heaven (1941) - The Moon Made Me Sentimental Idle rich Englishman Philip (Robert Montgomery), who can’t be bothered to run the family steel-works, exhibits more odd yet romantic behavior toward Stella (Ingrid Bergman), his mother’s war refugee assistant, obsessing about his friend Ward, and confirming he’s sometimes impersonated him, in Rage In Heaven 1941.
Rage In Heaven (1941) - She's A Refugee Director W.S. Van Dyke II, from a script by Christopher Isherwood and Robert Thoeren, introduces his three top-billed stars, after an opening in which a patient named Andrews, whom we never saw, escaped from an asylum in wartime England, we meet Robert Montgomery, George Sanders, then Ingrid Bergman, in Rage In Heaven 1941.
Eskimo (1933) - A Strange Primeval Creed Opening from MGM and W.S. Van Dyke, a prologue playing on the director’s success with earlier exotic features (White Shadows In The South Seas, 1928, and Trader Horn, 1931), including an untrue claim about casting, but a graceful enough introduction of his leads, Ray Wise (here known as Ray “Mala,” his character’s name) and Lulu Wong Wing his wife, in Eskimo, 1933.
Eskimo (1933) - Walrus Hunt Little adherence to the story, plus cruel slaughter, but some of the best, legitimate Northern Alaska on-location shooting, directed by W.S. Van Dyke and photographed by Clyde De Vinna, George Gordon Nogle, Leonard Smith and Josiah Roberts for MGM, plus some odd process shots, in the first picture ever to win a Best Film Editing Academy Award, Eskimo, 1933.
Eskimo (1933) - One Has Been Wifeless Long? Probably horrible but a significant plot point, Alaskan-born Ray Wise, who became known as Ray “Mala,” the name of his character in this picture, meets a fellow hunter who’s lost his wife, and graciously offers his own (Lulu Wong Wing as Aba), everyone en route to meet the white-man’s ship, W.S. Van Dyke directing on location in Northern Alaska, in Eskimo, 1933.
Thin Man, The (1934) - No Dogs Allowed! First appearance in the first feature for both Myrna Loy as Nora Charles and Asta the Wire Fox Terrier (real name “Skippy”), joining just-introduced William Powell as Nick Charles, with friend Dorothy (Maureen O’Sullivan) at a New York hotel bar, in the MGM hit from the Dashiel Hammet novel, W.S. Van Dyke directing, in The Thin Man, 1934.
I Live My Life (1935) - Brigands Are Men, Aren't They? Early business on a cruise liner off Greece, Frank Morgan is Bentley, playing cards badly, Eric Blore the servant Grove, Fred Keating the fiancè to leading lady Joan Crawford, making her first appearance as Kay, various bits of exposition, in MGM’s I LIve My Life, 1935, also starring Brian Aherne.
I Live My Life (1935) - People Off Yachts The cute meeting of vacationing heiress Kay (Joan Crawford) and archaeologist Terry (Brian Aherne), Sterling Holloway as aide Max, on a Greek island, W.S. Van Dyke directing, from a screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, in MGM’s I LIve My Life, 1935.
Laughing Boy (1934) - It Is White Man's Way Family-oriented young Navajo (Ramon Novarro, title character) is more virtuous than his new fianceè “Slim Girl” (Lupe Velez), whom he’s bringing home to meet his folks after meeting her at a cosmopolitan tribal gathering in the southern part of the reservation, in MGM’s Laughing Boy, 1934.
Sweethearts (1938) - Wooden Shoes After supporting players are introduced in elaborate exposition of the sixth anniversary performance of their Broadway performance, Ray Bolger dances and Jeanette MacDonald sings, Nelson Eddy coming in the next number, in MGM’s Technicolor Sweethearts, 1938, lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest to the original Victor Herbert tune.
Sweethearts (1938) - Every Lover Must Meet His Fate The second number which introduces Nelson Eddy as Broadway star Ernest Lane, joining Jeanette MacDonald as his wife Gwen Marlowe, in the anniversary performance of their long-running musical hit, new lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest, to the tune from the Victor Herbert operetta, in Sweethearts, 1938.

Trailer

Rose-Marie (1936) - (Original Trailer) An opera singer goes undercover in the Canadian wilderness to hunt for her criminal brother in Rose Marie (1936) starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
Eskimo - (Original Trailer) Director W.S. Van Dyke traveled to northwest Alaska for Eskimo (1933), using local Inuits to play the parts in the script.
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever - (Original Trailer) For the seventh movie in the series, Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) especially when he falls hard for his drama teacher.
After the Thin Man - (Original Trailer) Married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles try to clear Nora's cousin of a murder charge in After the Thin Man (1936).
His Brother's Wife - (Original Trailer) A man helps his brother skip town, then steals his girlfriend in His Brother's Wife (1936) starring real-life couple Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor.
Shadow of the Thin Man -- (Original Trailer) Nick and Nora Charles find murder at the race track in Shadow Of The Thin Man (1941), the fourth of the "Thin Man" comedy mysteries.
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - (Original Trailer) A British lord raised by apes kidnaps a beautiful noblewoman exploring Africa with her father in Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) starring Johnny Weissmuller.
Rage in Heaven - (Re-issue Trailer) A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover in Rage In Heaven (1941) starring Ingrid Bergman.
Feminine Touch, The -- (Original Trailer) Humorous poet Ogden Nash co-wrote The Feminine Touch (1941) with Don Ameche as an expert on jealousy who has his theories tested when his publisher goes after his wife.
Journey for Margaret - (Original Trailer) An American correspondent (Robert Young) tries to adopt two children orphaned during the London blitz in Journey for Margaret (1942).
I Married An Angel - (Original Trailer) Some husbands say it but Nelson Eddy means it literally in his final pairing with Jeanette MacDonald, I Married An Angel (1942).
San Francisco - (Re-issue Trailer) A beautiful singer and a battling priest try to reform a Barbary Coast saloon owner in the days before the big earthquake in San Francisco (1936), starring Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy.

Family

W S Van Dyke
Father
Judge. Superior court judge; died nine days before son's birth.
Laura Winston
Mother
Actor. Returned to theater upon husband's death.

Companions

Zina Ashford
Wife
Actor. Married c. 1907; divorced in 1920.
Ruth Mannix
Wife
Married in 1935; niece of MGM vice president Eddie Mannix.

Bibliography

"W.S. Van Dyke's Journal: White Shadows in the South Seas (1927-28)"
Rudy Behlmer, editor and annotator, Scarecrow Press (1996)