Robert Florey


Director
Robert Florey

About

Also Known As
Florian Roberts
Birth Place
Paris, FR
Born
September 14, 1900
Died
May 16, 1979

Biography

French screenwriter, director of short films and actor who moved to Hollywood in 1921. Florey worked as assistant director to Josef von Sternberg, Frank Borzage and Victor Fleming before making his feature directing debut in 1926. He turned out more than 50 movies over the next 23 years, ranging from the first Marx brothers vehicle, "The Cocoanuts" (1929), to skillful low-budget crime pr...

Bibliography

"Robert Florey, the French Expressionist"
Brian Taves, Scarecrow Press (1987)

Notes

Received the French Legion d'Honneur in 1950.

Biography

French screenwriter, director of short films and actor who moved to Hollywood in 1921. Florey worked as assistant director to Josef von Sternberg, Frank Borzage and Victor Fleming before making his feature directing debut in 1926. He turned out more than 50 movies over the next 23 years, ranging from the first Marx brothers vehicle, "The Cocoanuts" (1929), to skillful low-budget crime programmers like "The Crooked Way" (1949). For many historians some of Florey's finest work is to be found in these lower-budget programmers and B films; he hit a peak at Paramount in the late 30s with films including "Hollywood Boulevard" (1936), "King of Gamblers" (1937) and "Dangerous to Know" (1938), all distinguished by their fast pace, cynical tone and striking use of moody, semi-expressionistic camera angles and lighting effects. Other notable films include the experimental short "Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra" (1927) and the creepy horror classic "The Beast with Five Fingers" (1946).

Florey was one of the first seasoned feature directors to turn to TV in the 1950s, working in the new medium for over a decade. He also wrote a number of books including "Pola Negri," "Charlie Chaplin" (both 1927), "Hollywood d'hier et d'aujord'hui" (1948), "La Lanterne magique" (1966) and "Hollywood annee zero" (1972).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951)
Director
The Vicious Years (1950)
Director
Johnny One-Eye (1950)
Director
Outpost in Morocco (1949)
Director
The Crooked Way (1949)
Director
Rogues' Regiment (1948)
Director
Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948)
Director
Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Associate Director
The Beast with Five Fingers (1947)
Director
Danger Signal (1945)
Director
God Is My Co-Pilot (1945)
Director
Man from Frisco (1944)
Director
Roger Touhy, Gangster (1944)
Director
The Desert Song (1943)
Director
Bomber's Moon (1943)
2nd Unit Director
Lady Gangster (1942)
Director
Meet Boston Blackie (1941)
Director
The Face Behind the Mask (1941)
Director
Two in a Taxi (1941)
Director
Dangerously They Live (1941)
Director
Women Without Names (1940)
Director
Parole Fixer (1940)
Director
Disbarred (1939)
Director
The Magnificent Fraud (1939)
Director
Hotel Imperial (1939)
Director
Death of a Champion (1939)
Director
Daughter of Shanghai (1938)
Director
Dangerous to Know (1938)
Director
King of Alcatraz (1938)
Director
This Way Please (1937)
Director
King of Gamblers (1937)
Director
Mountain Music (1937)
Director
Outcast (1937)
Director
Rose of the Rancho (1936)
Director of retakes
Till We Meet Again (1936)
Director
Hollywood Boulevard (1936)
Director
The Preview Murder Mystery (1936)
Director
Ship Cafe (1935)
Director
The Woman in Red (1935)
Director
The Payoff (1935)
Director
Going Highbrow (1935)
Director
Don't Bet on Blondes (1935)
Director
The Florentine Dagger (1935)
Director
I Sell Anything (1934)
Director
Registered Nurse (1934)
Director
Bedside (1934)
Director
I Am a Thief (1934)
Director
Smarty (1934)
Director
The House on 56th Street (1933)
Director
Girl Missing (1933)
Director
Ex-Lady (1933)
Director
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Director
The Man Called Back (1932)
Director
Those We Love (1932)
Director
50-50 (1932)
Director
Le Blanc et le Noir (1931)
Director
L' Amour Chante (1930)
Director
La Route est belle (1930)
Director
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Director
The Battle of Paris (1929)
Director
The Hole in the Wall (1929)
Director
Lillian Roth and Her Piano Boys (1929)
Director
Pusher-in-the-Face (1929)
Director
Skyscraper Symphony (1928)
Director
The Romantic Age (1927)
Director
The Magic Flame (1927)
Assistant Director
One Hour of Love (1927)
Director
Face Value (1927)
Director
Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1927)
Director
The Exquisite Sinner (1926)
Assistant Director
The Masked Bride (1925)
Assistant Director
Parisian Nights (1925)
Assistant Director
Heureuse intervention (1919)
Director
Isidore sur le lac (1919)
Director
Isidore a la deveine (1919)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1927)

Writer (Feature Film)

Rogues' Regiment (1948)
Original Story
A Study in Scarlet (1933)
Screenwriter
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Adaptation
Frankenstein (1931)
Contr to trmt
L' Amour Chante (1930)
Screenwriter
Skyscraper Symphony (1928)
Screenwriter
Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1927)
Screenwriter
Isidore a la deveine (1919)
Screenwriter
Heureuse intervention (1919)
Screenwriter
Isidore sur le lac (1919)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra (1927)
Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Skyscraper Symphony (1928)
Photography

Director (Special)

The Restless Gun (1957)
Director

Life Events

1922

First film as technical director "Monte Cristo"

1923

First short film as director in America "Fifty-Fifty"

1926

Feature film directing debut with "One Hour of Love"

1929

Directed the almost-feature length musical picture, "Night Club"

1929

First full-length talkie, "The Hole in the Wall"

1932

Removed as director of "Frankenstein" after doing preliminary work on the project; assigned to "Murders in the Rue Morgue" as compensation

1950

Directed last features "The Vicious Years" and "Johnny One Eye"

Photo Collections

God is My Co-Pilot - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for God is My Co-Pilot (1945). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Ex-Lady (1933) - That's What He Said Now at a chic Manhattan show hosted by painter Nick (Monroe Owsley), Bette Davis, as in-demand magazine illustrator Helen, parries his advances, with provocative chat about his nudes, until they’re joined by her less-prominent but loyal beau Don (Gene Raymond), who reaffirms their plan to not marry, in the edgy pre-Code Warner Bros.’ sex comedy Ex-Lady, 1933.
Daughter Of Shanghai (1937) - Say A Prayer For Me On the evening of the murder of her merchant father by human-smugglers in San Francisco, Anna May Wong as Lan Ying (title character) is supported by Chinese-American G-Man Lee (Philip Ahn), discussing the family friend who introduced them, and consoling a servant, in Daughter Of Shanghai, 1937.
Daughter Of Shanghai (1937) - Foreign Horde Floods U.S. Splashy aerial action to start, bracketed with blaring headlines as Feds in a bi-plane intercept John Patterson (as pilot Lang) and Anthony Quinn (age 22, as sidekick Morgan) smuggling Chinese persons into San Francisco, in the Paramount programmer and Anna May Wong vehicle, Daughter Of Shanghai, 1937.
Daughter Of Shanghai (1937) - Let's Have A Look At You Deft enough work by Robert Florey directing for Paramount, as Anna May Wong (as Lan Ying, title character) has made her way to Central America hunting the head of the human-smuggling ring that killed her father back in San Francisco, inveigling Charles Bickford as the proprietor Hartman, Gino Corrado his interpreter, Evelyn Brent his dance wrangler, in Daughter Of Shanghai, 1937.
Daughter Of Shanghai (1937) - If We Must Be Prosaic In San Francisco’s Chinatown we meet Cecil Cunningham as Mrs. Hunt, patron of merchant Quan Lin (Ching Wah Lee) and daughter Lan Ying (top-billed Anna May Wong), J . Carrol Naish and Buster Crabbe the intruding slave-racketeers, and Ernest Whitman the muscle Sam, in Daughter Of Shanghai, 1937.
Ex-Lady (1933) - I'm Not That Kind Of A Girl Opening with blonde Bette Davis in her first top-billed role, as chic New York illustrator Helen, Frank McHugh asleep, Clare Dodd his wife, Monroe Owsley as amorous Nick, and Gene Raymond the boyfriend Don who bounces back after the party, in the Darryl Zanuck production, from an original David Boehm screenplay, Robert Florey directing, Warner Bros.’ Ex-Lady, 1933.
Ex-Lady (1933) - Dash Dash Asterisk Just after intrusion from her upright immigrant parents, who busted her over his habit of staying overnight, New York single career gal Helen (Bette Davis) and boyfriend Don (Gene Raymond) joust happily over the idea of marriage, with unusual score under the dialogue, in Warner Bros.’ Ex-Lady, 1933.
Face Behind The Mask, The (1941) - Don't Lose Your Passport Convincingly innocent and charming Hungarian-born Peter Lorre as Hungarian immigrant Szabo, first on the boat with a steward (David Oliver) then in New York eventually meeting plainclothes cop O’Hara (Don Beddoe), opening The Face Behind The Mask, 1941, directed by Robert Florey.
Face Behind The Mask, The (1941) - None Of Us Can Do Without Friends Immigrant Janos (Peter Lorre), suddenly rich after finding he’s a gifted thief, but raising mainly money for plastic surgery after being disfigured in a fire, receives his custom-made mask, with Dinky (George E. Stone), whose ex-boss (James Seay) soon appears, in The Face Behind The Mask, 1941.
Desert Song, The (1944) - Step Out Of The Sun Joining the uncommonly complex early exposition, we’ve barely met Dennis Morgan, a guy who shares bathing facilities in Morocco with a reporter (Lynne Overman), then the new singer in town (Irene Manning) converses with her boss (Nestor Paiva) and a French colonel (Bruce Cabot), in Warner Bros.’ The Desert Song, 1944.
Desert Song, The (1944) - El Khobar! Big action perhaps refers to the title, as a guy in a red mask, apparently the rebel leader in Morocco (could he be top-billed Dennis Morgan, an itinerant piano player?) leads a raid on a French forced-labor camp Gerald Mohr his aide, as Tarbouch (Marcel Dalio) is captured, in Warner Bros.’ The Desert Song, 1944.
Desert Song, The (1944) - One Alone Working in the song from the 1926 Sig Romberg operetta (lyrics credited to Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II and Frank Mandel), American Paul (Dennis Morgan) entertains the French commander (Bruce Cabot), joined by singer Margot (Irene Manning), but really alerting the local Moroccan rebels, Gene Lockhart the club owner, in The Desert Song, 1944.

Trailer

Going Highbrow - (Original Trailer) Guy Kibbee and ZaSu Pitts try to break into high society in Going Highbrow (1935).
Ex-Lady - (Original Trailer) A female artist (Bette Davis) is torn between her belief in free love and the constraints of romance in the pre-Code drama, Ex-Lady (1933).
Bedside - (Original Trailer) Warren William, this time, is a fake doctor who sets up a lucrative high-society practice where the manner is certainly Bedside (1934).
Danger Signal - (Original Trailer) Zachary Scott is the cad who turns sisters into enemies in the thriller Danger Signal (1945).
Dangerously They Live - (Original Trailer) Doctor John Garfield discovers a delusional patient convinced Nazis are chasing her isn't so crazy after all in Dangerously They Live (1941).
I Sell Anything - (Original Trailer) A small-time auctioneer (Pat O'Brien) tries to break into society in I Sell Anything (1934).
God Is My Co-Pilot - (Original Trailer) God Is My Co-Pilot (1945), based on the true story of World War II fighter pilot Col. Robert Lee Scott, Jr.
House on 56th Street, The - (Original Trailer) A woman (Kay Francis) loses her family after being falsely convicted of a crime in the pre-code drama The House on 56th Street (1933).
Beast With Five Fingers - (Original Trailer) After a famous pianist's murder, his hand returns to wreak vengeance in The Beast With Five Fingers (1946) starring Peter Lorre.
Woman In Red, The (1935) - (Original Trailer) A professional horsewoman (Barbara Stanwyck) fights prejudice when she marries into society in The Woman In Red (1935).
Registered Nurse - (Original Trailer) After her husband goes mad, a nurse (Bebe Daniels) fights off the advances of two amorous doctors in Registered Nurse (1934).
Florentine Dagger, The - (Original Trailer) A playwright descended from the Borgias becomes a murder suspect in the thriller The Florentine Dagger (1935).

Bibliography

"Robert Florey, the French Expressionist"
Brian Taves, Scarecrow Press (1987)

Notes

Received the French Legion d'Honneur in 1950.