Raoul Walsh (18871980) was known as one of Hollywood's most adventurous, iconoclastic, and creative directors. He carved out an illustrious career and made films that transformed the Hollywood studio yarn into a thrilling art form. Walsh belonged to that early generation of directors along with John Ford and Howard Hawks who worked in the fledgling film industry of the early twentieth century, learning to make movies with shoestring budgets. Walsh's generation invented a Hollywood that made movies seem bigger than life itself.
In the first ever full-length biography of Raoul Walsh, author Marilyn Ann Moss recounts Walsh's life and achievements in a career that spanned more than half a century and produced upwards of two hundred films, many of them cinema classics. Walsh originally entered the movie business as an actor, playing the role of John Wilkes Booth in D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915). In the same year, under Griffith's tutelage, Walsh began to direct on his own. Soon he left Griffith's company for Fox Pictures, where he stayed for more than twenty years. It was later, at Warner Bros., that he began his golden period of filmmaking.
Walsh was known for his romantic flair and playful persona. Involved in a freak auto accident in 1928, Walsh lost his right eye and began wearing an eye patch, which earned him the suitably dashing moniker "the one-eyed bandit." During his long and illustrious career, he directed such heavyweights as Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Errol Flynn, and Marlene Dietrich, and in 1930 he discovered future star John Wayne.
About the Author
Marilyn Ann Moss is the author of Giant: George Stevens, A Life on Film and has published numerous articles on writers such as Paul Bowles, Theodore Dreiser, and Frank Norris. She was a television critic for The Hollywood Reporter from 1995 to 2009.
Table of Contents
Prologue: A Wild Ride 1
1 Becoming Raoul Walsh 6
2 Griffith and Beyond: The Apprenticeship Years 25
3 Leaning Forward at Fox 46
4 The Dagger, the Sword, and the Gun 74
5 Pre‐Code Walsh: The Big Camera 98
6 Salt of the Earth 131
7 Beshert: The Early Warner Bros. Years 160
8 Out of the Night: At Home at Warner Bros 180
9 One Thousand and One Nights with Errol Flynn 210
10 In Love and War 236
11 Oedipus Wrecked: The Late 1940s at Warner Bros 263
12 By Land and by Sea 295
13 Reverie 327
14 His Kind of Women 351
15 The Adventure Is Larger Than the Man 370
Epilogue: Walsh's American Scene 400
Selected Bibliography 465