Active with the Group Theater and such workers' filmmaking groups as Frontier Films during the 1930s and began in Hollywood as a dialogue director in 1940. Gordon's first films were insignificant B's, but he came into his own later in the decade with a series of taut melodramas and action pictures. "The Web" (1947) was a clever, strongly plotted film noir, "The Lady Gambles" (1949) gave Barbara Stanwyck a good emotional workout as a gambling addict, "Woman in Hiding" (1950) put Ida Lupino in edgy peril, and "I Can Get It for Your Wholesale" (1951) offered Susan Hayward a suitably aggressive showcase as a fashion entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, Gordon fell prey to the paranoia-driven blacklisting of the era and did not return to feature films until the end of the decade. When he did come back, it was with one of his most popular and well-remembered efforts, "Pillow Talk" (1959), starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Gordon followed this enjoyable sex farce with increasingly strained and derivative imitations, however, including "Boys' Night Out" (1962), "Move Over, Darling" (1963) and "A Very Special Favor" (1965). His career as a director petered out around 1970, but he later distinguished himself as a member of UCLA's theater arts faculty. The technical competence and smooth, intelligent control of Gordon's best films, though, made one wish that his professional peak had not been so abruptly interrupted.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Editing (Feature Film)
Involved with New York's noted Group Theater
First film as dialogue director
Directed first feature films, "Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood" and "Underground Agent"
Directed first film for eight years, "Pillow Talk"
Directed last film, "How Do I Love Thee?"