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Raoul Walsh
Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1887 - 1980 
Born March 11, New York, New York, USA
Key Production Countries: USA, UK
Key Genres: Drama, Western, Action, Adventure, Melodrama, Romance, Gangster Film, Adventure Drama, Traditional Western, Crime Drama, Crime, Comedy, War, War Drama
Key Collaborators: Sid Hickox (Cinematographer), Max Steiner (Composer), Alan Hale (Leading Character Player), Ted Smith (Production Designer), Errol Flynn (Leading Player), Virginia Mayo (Leading Player), Henry Hull (Leading Character Player), Barton MacLane (Character Player), James Cagney (Leading Player), Hal Wallis (Producer)

Highly Recommended: The Roaring Twenties (1939)*, High Sierra (1941)#, Pursued (1947)*, White Heat (1949)*#
Recommended: The Thief of Bagdad (1924), The Big Trail (1930), They Drive by Night (1940), The Strawberry Blonde (1941), They Died with Their Boots On (1941)*, Gentleman Jim (1942), The Man I Love (1946), Colorado Territory (1949), Along the Great Divide (1951), The Tall Men (1955)
Worth a Look: The Honor System (1917), Me and My Gal (1932), The Bowery (1933), Manpower (1941), Objective, Burma! (1945), Silver River (1948), Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), The World in His Arms (1952), Band of Angels (1957), The Naked and the Dead (1958) 
Approach with Caution: Regeneration (1915), Klondike Annie (1936), Gun Fury (1953), Sea Devils (1953)**, Battle Cry (1955), The King and Four Queens (1956), The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956), The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)
Duds: Cheyenne (1947), Distant Drums (1951), Esther and the King (1960)
* Listed in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films section; ^ Listed in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films section; ** Listed in TSPDT's Ain't Nobody's Blues But My Own section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Classic Film and Television Home Page ] [ Raoul Walsh at Reel Classics ] [ Classic Movies Page ]
Books: [ Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood's Legendary Director ] [ The Men Who Made the Movies ] [ Each Man in His Time: The Life Story of a Director ]
Pursued (1947)The Roaring Twenties (1939)High Sierra (1941)White Heat (1949)
  "Raoul Walsh's extraordinary career spanned the history of the American motion picture industry from its emergence, through its glory years in the 1930s and 1940s, and into the television era. Like his colleagues Allan Dwan, King Vidor, John Ford, and Henry King, whose careers also covered 50 years, Walsh continuously turned out popular fare, including several extraordinary hits... Raoul Walsh is now accepted as an example of a master Hollywood craftsman who worked with naive skill and an animal energy, a director who was both frustrated and buoyed by the studio system." - Douglas Gomery (The St. James Film Directors Encyclopedia, 1998)  
  "It is time to consider Walsh as rather more than a tough guy, a fellow who likes to laugh, a primitive with rough sentiments. This passionate Shakespearean is a physical film-maker only because he depicts a world of spiritual turmoil. His characters are projected on the world by their own energy and committed to a space that only exists for their actions, fury, spirit, craft, ambition and unbridled dreams." - Jean Douchet  
  "'Action!', the word that starts the cameras rolling, sums up the career of this American director. Sprawling, brawling, often almost primitive action, teeming across the screen, marks Walsh's stories of comradeship and battles against the odds. He had a talent for making the densest of action sequences seem uncomplicated and uncluttered and his characters, like the scenes they distinguished, often have a raw, unfettered power." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)  
  "A supreme action director, Walsh would be regarded as one of the greats of Hollywood's golden era if not for a long period in the 1930s when he languished with mediocre projects. A number of excellent silent films (What Price Glory?) weren't followed by work of similar quality until the director went to Warner Brothers in 1939. Walsh rarely gave in to the psychology of his characters, but directed on a pure narrative level which showed what was important without merely telling it in the dialogue." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  
  "The transition from silents to sound pictures didn't hit me in any way. I just kept the thing moving regardless of the sound...Of course, there was a great upheaval amongst the directors when talking pictures came in. They called me a renegade because I was one of the first ones to do an outdoor talking picture. They said that they'd created such a medium with pantomime, you know, and now this talking stuff was going to destroy it all. I said it was going to destroy us if we didn't get along and get with it. So they finally all came in." - Raoul Walsh (Directing the Film, 1976)  
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 The Lucky Lady (1926), What Price Glory? (1926), The Red Dance (1928), Sadie Thompson (1928), The Cockeyed World (1929), Women of All Nations (1931), Yellow Ticket (1931), Going Hollywood (1933), Sailor's Luck (1933), Baby Face Harrington (1935), Every Night at Eight (1935), Big Brown Eyes (1936), Spendthrift (1936), Artists & Models (1937), Hitting a New High (1937), College Swing (1938), St. Louis Blues (1939), Desperate Journey (1942), Background to Danger (1943), Northern Pursuit (1943), Uncertain Glory (1944), The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945), Salty O'Rourke (1945), Fighter Squadron (1948), One Sunday Afternoon (1948), Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952), Glory Alley (1952), The Lawless Breed (1952), A Lion is in the Streets (1953), Saskatchewan (1954), A Private's Affair (1959), Marines, Let's Go (1961), and A Distant Trumpet (1964) .

"When the critics from Cahiers du cinéma were conferring auteur status upon erstwhile Hollywood hacks, they tended to favour the sort of macho directors whose lives were as rugged and red-blooded as the films they made. Raoul Walsh was the epitome of the brawny, no-nonsense maverick who demonstrated a vigorous sense of adventure both on and off the screen... His forte was the action picture, fuelled by an abrasive energy and gruff decency, in which two-fisted heroes defined their own moral code in an indifferent universe. With a trio of gangster movies, he took the genre to new heights: The Roaring Twenties (1939), High Sierra (1941) and White Heat (1949)." - Lloyd Hughes, The Rough Guide to Film

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See Also
Michael Curtiz
Delmer Daves
Allan Dwan
Victor Fleming
John Ford
D.W. Griffith
Howard Hawks
John Huston
Anthony Mann
Archie Mayo
J. Lee Thompson
William Wellman


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