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Phil Karlson

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Phil Karlson

Film director

Lillian O'Brien

Phil Karlson image2findagravecomphotos250photos201268301

Full Name
Philip N. Karlstein

July 2, 1908 (
Chicago, Illinois

Alma mater
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Loyola Marymount University

DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television

Similar People
John Payne, Joe Don Baker, Preston Foster, Van Heflin, George Montgomery

December 12, 1982 (aged 74) Los Angeles

Film directors you should know but probably don t phil karlson

Phil Karlson (born Philip N. Karlstein; July 2, 1908 – December 12, 1982) was an American film director. Karlson directed 99 River Street, Kansas City Confidential and Hell's Island, all with actor John Payne, in the early 1950s.


Other films include The Texas Rangers (1951), The Phenix City Story (1955), 5 Against the House (1955), The Young Doctors (1961) and Walking Tall (1973).

The Brothers Rico Phil Karlson, 1957 ~Richard Conte, Trailer


Karlson was the son of Irish actress Lillian O'Brien. His father was Jewish.

He studied painting at Chicago's Art Institute, and law, at his father's request, at Loyola Marymount University in California.

Karlson got into the film industry working as a prop man while a law student. After working a variety of jobs in the business--including assistant director on a number of Abbott and Costello films--he made his directorial debut in 1944. He directed Marilyn Monroe's first film, 1948's Ladies of the Chorus, and worked on a number of low-budget projects for Monogram Pictures and Eagle-Lion Films before finally hitting his stride in the early 1950s, when he turned out a string of tough, gritty, realistic and violent crime thrillers.

In the 1960s he directed Kid Galahad (1962) with Elvis Presley and two Matt Helm spy films starring Dean Martin, the original The Silencers followed by The Wrecking Crew (1969) co-starring Sharon Tate and Elke Sommer.

He hit it big in 1973 with Walking Tall, the fact-based story of a crusading sheriff in the most corrupt county in Tennessee. It was a major domestic and international hit. It also made him a fortune, thanks to the fact that he owned a large percentage of it.

The Academy Film Archive has preserved his films Tight Spot and Scandal Sheet.


Phil Karlson Wikipedia