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King Vidor
Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1894 - 1982 
Born February 8, Galveston, Texas, USA
Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Melodrama, Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Key Collaborators: Cedric Gibbons (Production Designer), Hugh Wynn (Editor), Irving Thalberg (Producer), Henry Blanke (Producer), Samuel Goldwyn (Producer), Laurence Stallings (Screenwriter), Renee Adoree (Leading Character Player), John Qualen (Character Player), Sidney Bracey (Character Player), Max Steiner (Composer)

Highly Recommended: The Crowd (1928)*, Stella Dallas (1937), Duel in the Sun (1946)*, The Fountainhead (1949)*, Beyond the Forest (1949)#, Ruby Gentry (1952)
Recommended: The Big Parade (1925)*, Show People (1928), Hallelujah! (1929)*, Our Daily Bread (1934)*, The Citadel (1938), Northwest Passage (1940), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), Lightning Strikes Twice (1951), Man Without a Star (1955)
Worth a Look: La Boheme (1926), The Champ (1931), Street Scene (1931), The Stranger's Return (1933), The Wedding Night (1935), An American Romance (1944), War and Peace (1956), The Metaphor (1980)
Approach with Caution: Comrade X (1940)
* Listed in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films section; # Listed in TSPDT's 250 Quintessential Noir Films section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Senses of Cinema Article (2011) ] [ International Silent Movie Profile ] [ Wikipedia ]
Books: [ King Vidor ] [ The Men Who Made the Movies ]
The Crowd (1928)Stella Dallas (1937)Duel in the Sun (1946)Ruby Gentry (1952)
  "King Vidor is a director for anthologies. He has created more great moments and fewer great films than any director of his rank. Vidor's is an unusually intuitive talent, less grounded than most in theory. The classics of his humanistic museum period - The Big Parade, The Crowd, Hallelujah - are no less uneven or more impressive than the classics of his delirious modern period - Duel in the Sun, The Fountainhead, Ruby Gentry." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)  
  "Though Vidor was a versatile director whose finest films include sophisticated comedy (Show People) and poignant melodrama (Stella Dallas), his most typical work is notable for an emotional and visual boldness, later often bordering on bombast... Though Vidor's work was seldom subtle, the vigour and scale of his storytelling and imagery make for enjoyably forthright entertainment." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)  
  "Informing most of his lasting work is the struggle of Man against Destiny and Nature. In his great silent pictures, The Big Parade and The Crowd, the hero wanders through an anonymous and malevolent environment, war-torn Europe and the American City, respectively... Vidor exercised more control on his films after Our Daily Bread (1934), often serving as producer, but his projects continued to fluctuate between intense metaphysical drama and light-weight comedy and romance." - Michael Selig (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)  
  "A great populist of the American cinema, Vidor never let theme or story obscure the needs of his characters. Sometimes this resulted in lumbering productions, but more often his work radiated a real, warm, humorous tone." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  
Please note that the rating given for this director (see top-right) is based only on the films we have seen (listed above). Films by this director that we haven't seen include Wild Oranges (1924), Bardelys the Magnificent (1926), The Patsy (1928), Billy the Kid (1930), Not So Dumb (1930), Bird of Paradise (1932), Cynara (1932), So Red the Rose (1935), The Texas Rangers (1936), Japanese War Bride (1952), and Solomon and Sheba (1959).

"No other American director of his time is more engaging or less easy to pin down. Vidor could be radical and conservative (Our Daily Bread and The Fountainhead). He could handle so many genres while retaining such a vibrant sense of the oddity of people. For example, in the very melodramatic setup of Duel in the Sun, notice how the characters grow in complexity as the film advances. Moreover, Vidor could be shocking - there's a kind of spiritual violence in, say, Beyond the Forest, The Fountainhead, or Stella Dallas that is still engrossing. Was he optimist or pessimist?" - David Thomson, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film

Top 250 Directors
The Far Side of Paradise
Jean-Pierre Melville's 64 Favourite Pre-War American Filmmakers (Cahiers du Cinema, October 1961)
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Michael Curtiz
Victor Fleming
John Ford
Samuel Fuller
Abel Gance
D.W. Griffith
Edmund Goulding
Henry King
Douglas Sirk
John M. Stahl
Raoul Walsh
William Wellman
King Vidor's Favourites
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) William Wyler, The Big Parade (1925) King Vidor, Brief Encounter (1945) David Lean, Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, City Lights (1931) Charles Chaplin, Intolerance (1916) D.W. Griffith, The Last Laugh (1924) F.W. Murnau, The Red Shoes (1948) Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, Rome, Open City (1945) Roberto Rossellini, Sunrise (1927) F.W. Murnau. Source: Cinematheque Belgique (1952)


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