Allan Dwan


Director
Allan Dwan

About

Also Known As
Joseph Aloysius Dwan
Birth Place
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Born
April 03, 1885
Died
December 21, 1981
Cause of Death
Complications From A Stroke

Biography

Dwan's first job was as a lighting engineer for the Peter Cooper Hewitt Company, where he helped develop a forerunner of the neon tube known as the mercury vapor arc. He became intrigued by "those silly things called movies" while supervising the installation of some arcs at Essanay studios, asked about the stories the filmmakers used, and proceeded to sell them 15 he had written at coll...

Family & Companions

Pauline Bush
Wife
Actor. Married in 1915; divorced in 1921.
Marie Shelton
Wife
Married from 1922 until her death in 1954.

Biography

Dwan's first job was as a lighting engineer for the Peter Cooper Hewitt Company, where he helped develop a forerunner of the neon tube known as the mercury vapor arc. He became intrigued by "those silly things called movies" while supervising the installation of some arcs at Essanay studios, asked about the stories the filmmakers used, and proceeded to sell them 15 he had written at college. Essanay then offered him a job as scenario editor.

Dwan's career spanned the history of American motion pictures, from the days of silent one-reelers to modern Technicolor features that utilized some of the cinematic techniques whose use he had pioneered. By his own estimate, Dwan participated in the making of 1,850 films, some 400 of these as a director. (Only a few of his works remain extant.)

In 1911 he moved to the American Film Company, where he got the opportunity to direct when the person originally given the assignment was discovered drunk. Dwan made more than 250 films there, mostly one- reel westerns, which he later recalled "the actors showed me how to direct."

It was Dwan's engineering skills that were particularly useful to him: he is credited with mounting a camera on a car and inventing the dolly shot. He proposed the construction of a rail system on the set of Griffith's "Intolerance" and years later developed techniques for on-set sound recording.

In 1913 Dwan joined Universal, where he worked with Lon Chaney and met his first wife, Pauline Bush. Later that decade he began making films with Douglas Fairbanks and Gloria Swanson.

Although he made a successful transition to sound, Dwan was relegated for a number of years to the directing of programmers at Fox. Despite his commercial success with several Shirley Temple films, most of his work was confined to the grind of B pictures. He may have been comfortable with this, as he later remarked: "If you get your head up above the mob, they try to knock it off. If you stay down, you last forever."

Dwan later went to work at Republic, where his "The Sands of Iwo Jima" (1949) helped make John Wayne the mythic American war-hero. Dwan described the old Hollywood this way: "Years ago we had no supervision. We made pictures our own way. We pleased nobody but ourselves and the public."

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961)
Director
Enchanted Island (1958)
Director
The River's Edge (1957)
Director
The Restless Breed (1957)
Director
Hold Back the Night (1956)
Director
Slightly Scarlet (1956)
Director
Pearl of the South Pacific (1955)
Director
Tennessee's Partner (1955)
Director
Escape to Burma (1955)
Director
Cattle Queen of Montana (1954)
Director
Passion (1954)
Director
Flight Nurse (1954)
Director
Silver Lode (1954)
Director
Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)
Director
Sweethearts on Parade (1953)
Director
I Dream of Jeanie (with the Light Brown Hair) (1952)
Director
Montana Belle (1952)
Director
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)
Director
Belle Le Grand (1951)
Director
Surrender (1950)
Director
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
Director
Angel in Exile (1948)
Director
The Inside Story (1948)
Director
Northwest Outpost (1947)
Director
Driftwood (1947)
Director
Calendar Girl (1947)
Director
Rendezvous with Annie (1946)
Director
Getting Gertie's Garter (1945)
Director
Brewster's Millions (1945)
Director
Up in Mabel's Room (1944)
Director
Around the World (1944)
Director
Abroad with Two Yanks (1944)
Director
Here We Go Again (1942)
Director
Friendly Enemies (1942)
Director
Look Who's Laughing (1941)
Director
Rise and Shine (1941)
Director
Sailor's Lady (1940)
Director
Trail of the Vigilantes (1940)
Director
Young People (1940)
Director
Frontier Marshal (1939)
Director
The Gorilla (1939)
Director
The Three Musketeers (1939)
Director
Josette (1938)
Director
Suez (1938)
Director
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
Director
That I May Live (1937)
Director
One Mile from Heaven (1937)
Director
Time Out for Romance (1937)
Fill-In Director
Woman-Wise (1937)
Director
Heidi (1937)
Director
Human Cargo (1936)
Director
Song and Dance Man (1936)
Director
15 Maiden Lane (1936)
Director
High Tension (1936)
Director
Black Sheep (1935)
Director
Navy Wife (1935)
Director
Hollywood Party (1934)
Director
Counsel's Opinion (1933)
Director
I Spy (1933)
Director
While Paris Sleeps (1932)
Director
Chances (1931)
Director
Wicked (1931)
Director
What a Widow (1930)
Director
Man to Man (1930)
Director
South Sea Rose (1929)
Director
The Far Call (1929)
Director
Tide of Empire (1929)
Director
Frozen Justice (1929)
Director
The Iron Mask (1929)
Director
The Big Noise (1928)
Director
French Dressing (1928)
Director
The Music Master (1927)
Director
The Joy Girl (1927)
Director
East Side, West Side (1927)
Director
Tin Gods (1926)
Director
Summer Bachelors (1926)
Director
Padlocked (1926)
Director
Sea Horses (1926)
Director
Stage Struck (1925)
Director
The Coast of Folly (1925)
Director
Night Life of New York (1925)
Director
Argentine Love (1924)
Director
Manhandled (1924)
Director
A Society Scandal (1924)
Director
Her Love Story (1924)
Director
Wages of Virtue (1924)
Director
Lawful Larceny (1923)
Director
Robin Hood (1923)
Director
The Glimpses of the Moon (1923)
Director
Big Brother (1923)
Director
Zaza (1923)
Director
Superstition (1922)
Director
The Hidden Woman (1922)
Director
The Sin of Martha Queed (1921)
Director
A Broken Doll (1921)
Director
A Perfect Crime (1921)
Director
The Forbidden Thing (1920)
Director
In the Heart of a Fool (1920)
Director
A Splendid Hazard (1920)
Director
The Scoffer (1920)
Director
The Luck of the Irish (1920)
Director
The Dark Star (1919)
Director
Soldiers of Fortune (1919)
Director
Getting Mary Married (1919)
Director
Cheating Cheaters (1919)
Director
He Comes Up Smiling (1918)
Director
Bound in Morocco (1918)
Director
Mr. Fix-It (1918)
Director
Panthea (1917)
Director
A Modern Musketeer (1917)
Director
Fighting Odds (1917)
Director
Manhattan Madness (1916)
Director
Fifty-Fifty (1916)
Director
The Half-Breed (1916)
Director
The Habit of Happiness (1916)
Director
An Innocent Magdalene (1916)
Director
The Good Bad Man (1916)
Director
Betty of Graystone (1916)
Director
The Commanding Officer (1915)
Director
The Love Route (1915)
Director
The Pretty Sister of Jose (1915)
Director
May Blossom (1915)
Director
A Girl of Yesterday (1915)
Director
Jordan Is a Hard Road (1915)
Director
The Foundling (1915)
Director
The Smalltown Girl (1915)
Director
The Conspiracy (1914)
Director
The Straight Road (1914)
Director
Wildflower (1914)
Director
Richelieu (1914)
Director
The Lamb, the Woman, the Wolf (1914)
Director
Another Man's Wife (1913)
Director
Back to Life (1913)
Director
The Restless Spirit (1913)
Director
Calamity Anne, Detective (1913)
Director
Angel of the Canyons (1913)
Director
The Animal (1913)
Director
Bloodhounds of the North (1913)
Director
Ashes of Three (1913)
Director
The Chase (1913)
Director
The Fugitive (1913)
Director
In Love and War (1913)
Director
When the Light Fades (1913)
Director
Fidelity (1912)
Director
The Fear (1912)
Director
The Mormon (1912)
Director
Calamity Anne's Ward (1912)
Director
The Power of Love (1912)
Director
The Marauders (1912)
Director
The Animal Within (1912)
Director
The Battleground (1912)
Director
The Reward of Valor (1912)
Director
Maiden and Men (1912)
Director
The Gold Lust (1911)
Director
The Angel of Paradise Ranch (1911)
Director
Three Million Dollars (1911)
Director
The Poisoned Flume (1911)
Director
The Gunman (1911)
Director
Branding a Bad Man (1911)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

This Is Korea! (1951)
Narrator

Writer (Feature Film)

Getting Gertie's Garter (1945)
Adapted and Screenplay
Human Cargo (1936)
Contract Writer
Black Sheep (1935)
Story
Welcome Home (1935)
Contract Writer
I Spy (1933)
Screenwriter
While Paris Sleeps (1932)
Contract Writer
East Side, West Side (1927)
Adaptation
Fifty-Fifty (1925)
Story
A Broken Doll (1921)
Scen
The Sin of Martha Queed (1921)
Writer
The Forbidden Thing (1920)
Scen
Soldiers of Fortune (1919)
Scen
Mr. Fix-It (1918)
Scen
Headin' South (1918)
Scen
Bound in Morocco (1918)
Scen
Panthea (1917)
Scen
A Modern Musketeer (1917)
Scen
The Habit of Happiness (1916)
Scen
Jordan Is a Hard Road (1915)
Scen
Wildflower (1914)
Scen

Producer (Feature Film)

Flight Nurse (1954)
Associate Producer
Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)
Associate Producer
Sweethearts on Parade (1953)
Associate Producer
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)
Associate Producer
The Inside Story (1948)
Associate Producer
Angel in Exile (1948)
Associate Producer
Driftwood (1947)
Producer
Calendar Girl (1947)
Associate Producer
Northwest Outpost (1947)
Associate Producer
Rendezvous with Annie (1946)
Associate Producer
Around the World (1944)
Producer
Here We Go Again (1942)
Producer
Look Who's Laughing (1941)
Producer
French Dressing (1928)
Producer
The Big Noise (1928)
Producer
A Society Scandal (1924)
Producer
The Hidden Woman (1922)
Producer
In the Heart of a Fool (1920)
Producer
The Luck of the Irish (1920)
Producer
The Scoffer (1920)
Producer
Getting Mary Married (1919)
Producer
Sahara (1919)
Supervisor
From Two to Six (1918)
Supervisor
Headin' South (1918)
Supervisor
Her Excellency, the Governor (1917)
Supervisor
For Valour (1917)
Supervisor
The Food Gamblers (1917)
Supervisor
A Case at Law (1917)
Supervisor
The Man Hater (1917)
Supervisor
Grafters (1917)
Supervisor
The Man Who Made Good (1917)
Supervisor
American--That's All (1917)
Supervisor
The Haunted House (1917)
Supervisor

Editing (Feature Film)

A Modern Musketeer (1917)
Supervising Editor

Music (Feature Film)

Flight Nurse (1954)
Composer
Sweethearts on Parade (1953)
Composer
I Dream of Jeanie (with the Light Brown Hair) (1952)
Composer
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)
Composer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Wicked (1931)
Company

Director (Special)

It's Always Sunday (1956)
Director

Writer (Special)

It's Always Sunday (1956)
Writer

Special Thanks (Special)

It's Always Sunday (1956)
Writer

Assistant Direction (Short)

Hollywood Party (1937)
Assistant Director

Life Events

1911

Film directing debut, "Brandishing a Bad Man"

1915

First used dolly shot in "David Harum"

Videos

Movie Clip

Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers The big closing number, Shirley Temple with her frequent partner Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, an adaptation of the German standard by Leon Jessel, with a new lyric by Ballard MacDonald, cheered on by Paul Harvey, Jack Haley, Phyllis Brooks, Helen Westley, Slim Summerville, Gloria Stuart and Randolph Scott, in Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - I Thought We Were Wowing Them! At a radio audition, Shirley Temple as Rebecca and William Demarest as uncle Harry, looking to impress assistant Orville (Jack Haley), sponsor Bartlett (Paul Harvey) and ad-man Kent (Randolph Scott) with a tune by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon, in Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Come And Get Your Happiness The plot crafted to accommodate a remote radio broadcast from the upstate New York farm, Jack Haley introduces and Shirley Temple (title character) sings, an original by Samuel Pokrass and Jack Yellen, in 20th Century-Fox’s B>Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Brewster's Millions (1945) - Maybe Them Nazis Are Suing Having just arrived home, soldier Monty Brewster (Dennis O'Keefe), family and pals get news of great wealth from the unexpected Swearengen Jones (John Litel) in Brewster's Millions, 1945.
Heidi (1937) - That Old Heathen! Opening scene, Aunt Dete (Mady Christians) arrives at Dorflo with Shirley Temple (title character), who has trouble with a yodel and a goat, then meets Peter (Delmar Watson) in Heidi, 1937.
Heidi (1937) - It's Tme You Learned Shirley Temple (title character) saying her prayers, then arising with surly grandfather (Jean Hersholt) and learning to milk a goat, early in Paramount's Heidi, 1937.
Heidi (1937) - In Our Little Wooden Shoes The only true musical number, Shirley Temple (title character) reading with grandfather (Jean Hersholt) then imagining to In Our Little Wooden Shoes by Lew Pollack and Sidney D. Mitchell, in Heidi, 1937.
Brewster's Millions (1945) - On Our Way To The Poorhouse Mickey (Mischa Auer) and Trixie (June Havoc, her first scene) arrive to tell Monty (Dennis O’Keefe, title character) the Philadelphia show, designed to burn money, had to close, fianceè Peggy (Helen Walker) and pals (Joe Sawyer, Herbert Rudley) helping, in Brewster’s Millions, 1945.
Brewster's Millions (1945) - Open, He's Completely Whole Again Most of the key players including Jackson (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson), Peggy (Helen Walker) and soldier Monty Brewster (Dennis O'Keefe) are introduced in the opening to Brewster's Millions, 1945.
Brewster's Millions (1945) - Brewster And Company Suddenly under a secret obligation to spend a million dollars fast, Monty (Dennis O'Keefe) baffles friends and family (Herbert Rudley, Joe Sawyer, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Helen Walker) in Brewster's Millions, 1945.
Brewster's Millions (1945) - Black Magic Watching on an early TV, the Brewster and Company crew (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Helen Walker, Joe Sawyer and Herbert Rudley) don't realize Monty (Dennis O'Keefe) is trying to lose money on a horse race in Brewster's Millions, 1945.
Enchanted Island (1958) - You Don't Find Cannibals That Pretty Dana Andrews as sailor Abner, fleeing a vengeful captain in the South Seas circa 1842, wraps this with a line probably not from the original Herman Melville novel as, with injured buddy Tom (Don Dubbins) they pursue native Fayaway (Jane Powell), her first scene, in Enchanted Island, 1958.

Trailer

Companions

Pauline Bush
Wife
Actor. Married in 1915; divorced in 1921.
Marie Shelton
Wife
Married from 1922 until her death in 1954.

Bibliography