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Lewis Allen (director)

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Occupation  TV and film director
Years active  1943–1977

Name  Lewis Allen
Role  Film director
Lewis Allen (director) wwwtheyshootpicturescomimagesallenlewisjpg
Born  25 December 1905 (1905-12-25) Oakengates, Shropshire, England, UK
Died  May 3, 2000, Santa Monica, California, United States
Spouse  Trudy Colmar (m. ?–2000), Dorothy Skinner (m. ?–1969)
Nominations  Primetime Emmy Award for Best Direction - One Hour or More
Movies  The Uninvited, Suddenly, Desert Fury, Appointment with Danger, At Sword's Point
Similar People  Ruth Hussey, Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp, Nancy Gates

Lewis Allen (25 December 1905 – 3 May 2000) was an English director. Allen worked mainly in the United States, working on Broadway and directing 18 feature films between 1944 and 1959. From the mid-1950s he moved increasingly into television and worked on a number of the most popular shows of the time in the US.

Contents

Career

Allen was born in the small Shropshire town of Oakengates and on leaving school joined the Merchant Navy for four years. After leaving the service he became, briefly, an actor, before moving into London theatrical management, first for Raymond Massey and later for Gilbert Miller.

Broadway

In 1935 he began working on Broadway. His credits include directing the U.S. premieres of Laburnum Grove (1935) and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1937), and the general stage direction of Victoria Regina (1935-36), Tovarich (1936-37) and French Without Tears (1937-38). He later did I Have Been Here Before (1938) and Ladies and Gentleman (1939-40). Allen then received an offer to direct for Paramount.

Paramount

Allen directed a wartime propaganda short Freedom Comes High in 1943 and was given his first chance to direct a feature film in 1944. He made a highly auspicious debut with The Uninvited, an atmospheric and memorable ghost story set on the misty coast of south-west England, starring Ray Milland and Gail Russell. The film was very favourably received and subsequently acquired the status of a classic of its genre.

Allen again worked with Russell twice, in Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1945), a comedy, and on The Unseen (1945), a film with a similar supernatural theme which is often considered the unofficial follow-up to The Uninvited.

He was borrowed by RKO in Those Endearing Young Charms (1945) - a big hit at the time. Back at Paramount he directed a romantic comedy The Perfect Marriage (1947) with David Niven and Loretta Young; The Imperfect Lady (1947) with Ray Milland and Terese Wrightl and Desert Fury (1947), a noir-ish Western drama starring Lizabeth Scott and Burt Lancaster.

In 1948 Allen returned to Britain to film So Evil My Love, a lavishly mounted, melodramatic period thriller set in Victorian London, which reunited him with Milland, playing an out-and-out bad lot ruining the lives of Ann Todd and Geraldine Fitzgerald.

Allen later said that he found Milland a pleasure to work with, and the two teamed up again in Sealed Verdict (1948), a topical drama dealing with the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the American-occupied zone of post-war Germany.

Allen then made a pair of Alan Ladd vehicles, Chicago Deadline (1950) and Appointment with Danger (1951). He was borrowed by Edward Small to direct the biopic Valentino (1951).

RKO hired him to direct a swashbuckler At Sword's Point (1951).

Allen began directing TV, episodes of Your Favorite Story and Meet Corliss Archer.

In 1954 he directed the tense and claustrophobic Frank Sinatra vehicle Suddenly which became, alongside The Uninvited, his most widely known and highly regarded film.

In 1955 Allen directed two Edward G. Robinson films, A Bullet for Joey and Illegal. He directed the DuMont television series Ethel Barrymore Theater, filmed in 1953 and shown in syndication as Stage 8 in 1958.

Allen made only two more films, both in Europe. In Britain, he directed Sean Connery and Lana Turner in the soapy melodrama Another Time, Another Place (1958), while his last was Whirlpool (1959), a woman-on-the-run drama made for the Rank Organisation but filmed on location in Germany.

Television

As his film career began to fade out, Allen made the transition to television, where his services turned out to be in demand from the mid-1950s up to the latter part of the 1970s. His many credits included episodes of hit shows such as Perry Mason, The F.B.I and Mission: Impossible. Most notably, he directed 42 episodes of long-running series Bonanza, spanning the show's entire 14-year run. He retired in 1977.

Personal life

Allen was married twice: to English literary agent Dorothy Skinner (died 1969 – one son) and Trudy Colmar, who survived him. Allen died in Santa Monica, California on 3 May 2000, aged 94.

References

Lewis Allen (director) Wikipedia


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