Edward Dmytryk: “Directing is an art, it’s like you can paint or you can’t paint”

Edward Dmytryk was a renowned film director of several screen classics, including “Murder, My Sweet” (1944), “Crossfire” (1947), “The Caine Mutiny” (1954), “Raintree County” (1957) and “The Young Lions” (1958). He died July 1, 1999, at his Encino, California, home at age 90. About two and a half months earlier, I had the pleasure of meeting him on a warm Saturday afternoon at his home. I was introduced to him and his wife, former screen actress Jean Porter (1922-2018), by two mutual friends, Jerry Anker and his wife Marguerite Campbell, a former screen actress in the 1930s and 1940s and the last of the six Goldwyn Girls hired by Samuel Goldwyn. At the time, Jerry Anker himself was President of the Hollywood High School Alumni Association, Curator of The Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor building, and he was a close friend of the Dmytryks.

It was a delight meeting all of them; Mr. Dmytryk, who had not been in good health before and had not given any interviews for quite some time, was very relaxed, and he enjoyed talking about his career in films, which began in 1922 when he became a messenger boy at Paramount.

He was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada, on September 4, 1908, of Ukrainian emigré parents. His mother died when he was young (in 1918) and after his father had married again, the family first moved to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles. While attending the Hollywood High School in Hollywood, he became a messenger boy at Paramount in 1922. He then went to CalTech, and in 1927 he rejoined Paramount as a full-time projectionist and then became an editor in the 1930s.

Mr. Dmytryk during our interview in 1999. Photograph: © Leo/Film Talk

As a director his career spanned nearly four decades from the mid-1930s through the mid-1970s, starting with the “Western Trail of the Hawk” (1935) before being called in to salvage the Betty Grable vehicle “Million Dollar Legs” (1939), for which he remained uncredited. After a few B pictures at Columbia, including “The Confessions of Boston Blackie” and “The Secrets of the Lone Wolf” (both 1941), he signed with RKO where he found his artistic niche, making several 1940s noir films.

“Crossfire” (1947) became one his many landmark films. It earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Director but, unfortunately, that same year would prove to be a disastrous one as he became one of the victims of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Long story short, Mr. Dmytryk became a member of the ‘Hollywood Ten,’ a group of ten filmmakers who refused to confirm or deny any political affiliation, and by refusing to testify, they jeopardized their careers. They were tried at the Federal Court of Washington, D.C., and convicted of contempt of Congress. As a result Mr. Dmytryk was fired from his seven year contract by RKO and could not work in Hollywood. Subsequently he was offered work in England where he directed two films.

Prior to this interview, Mrs. Dmytryk had asked me not to talk about this particular and controversial era, also because he had written a book, “Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten” (1996), with Mr. Dmytryk describing his personal views and ideals, and his fight out of blacklisting before resuming his career as one of Hollywood’s leading directors. So instead of talking about the blacklist era, I focused on the importance of his films, his capabilities as a filmmaker, and his incredible body of work. After all, let’s not forget that this is the man who directed the ‘Who’s Who in Hollywood,’ with actors such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Bette Davis, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Gregory Peck, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Clark Gable, Robert Mitchum, Ginger Rogers, William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Sean Connery—and Brigitte Bardot. Who on earth can top that?

Over the years, Mr. Dmytryk authored several books, including his autobiography “It’s a Hell of a Life But Not a Bad Living: A Hollywood Memoir” (1978) and, as previously mentioned, “Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten” (1996). When I met him for this interview back in 1999, he was writing a new book, “The Making of ‘Raintree County.’” Although this one was never published, a few years later, another delightful memoir of his, “Hollywood’s Golden Age: As Told By One Who Lived It All” (2003), with an unprecedented look back on old Hollywood and his early days in the film capital, was published posthumously (this Hollywood memoir also announced “The Making of ‘Raintree County'” to be published at the summer of 2004).

The book covers of Mr. Dmytryk’s three memoirs. He also published books on acting, directing and editing.

The then unfinished manuscript of his book on “Raintree County” was on the table—it was still a work in progress—and so, almost logically, it was the start of our conversation, especially since Mr. Dmytryk’s epic film, originally announced by MGM in 1949 as a film project for Van Heflin, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner, but ultimately starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Eva Marie Saint, had always been a favorite of mine.

Mr. Dmytryk, why are you writing a book about “Raintree County”?

I thought it would be a good subject to talk about making pictures, how you make pictures, why you make pictures. We have a saying in America: A camel is a horse made by a committee—does that make any sense to you ? That’s exactly what pictures are now: they’re made by committees. This whole thing of committees and boards of directors has certainly ruined the arts. They make money, that’s the most important thing in the world. When I was making films, when they asked me to become a director, I was the boss. A producer never came on the set. I remember Leo McCarey literally had a producer thrown of the set. They grabbed him at his command, threw him out and locked the door. What I did when a producer came out on the set—and they very rarely did—I would get a chair and say, ‘Sit down!’ We’d talk and after fifteen minutes he would realize that we weren’t working, we’d just be talking about football or baseball or something. So he’d say, ‘Hey, I gotta go up to the office.’ In any art you have only one mind—that one mind can use help from his assistants, from the people who work with him. But he’s got to be in control. He has to be in charge.

The trailer of “Raintree County”

Can you tell me how you got started in the film business?

I ran away from home when I was fourteen; I belonged to a group, something like the boy scouts, called the Western Rangers, and the son of an executive at Paramount was one of these boys. Through him I got a small job. I started as a messenger boy at six dollars a week. Then they created a job for me at the laboratory, at the time Paramount was in the process of moving to where they are now. They were still located at Sunset and Vine back then, and they ran dailies. I used to go in and watch them, and I was entranced by the complicated machinery which was much more complicated than it is today. Nothing was automatic. They only had two projectionists and one of them taught me all about his business. He wanted to smoke, but you weren’t allowed to when you were running a film. So I was able to take over for him once in a while when he went out for a smoke. The head of the laboratory kept saying to me, ‘Get the hell out of there, don’t go in there!’ But I kept going back and finally they gave me a job as an assistant projectionist. I was still going to school. Then I went to CalTech—the California Institute for Technology—for a year, majoring in mathematics. I decided that the film business was a lot more interesting, so I decided to quit CalTech and work full-time at the studios.

So that was the beginning of a long and rewarding career in films. Did it all happen just by luck, or did you have any plans?

I never had plans to make a career in films. This used to bother some of my students when I was teaching. It seemed to them I had no ambitions, I just took whatever came along. All I knew was that I had confidence in myself and could do what anyone wanted me to do. When sound came in, I asked to go into the cutting department and because I was a mathematical major, they thought that sound brought a lot of technique that women couldn’t handle. At Paramount at that time, most of the cutters were women, and many were fired. I got a chance as an assistant cutter and about six months later, when they thought they were missing the Spanish speaking market—and I spoke Spanish—they made me a full cutter and I cut two or three Spanish speaking pictures. Then I went over to regular pictures, first as an assistant and then as a regular film editor until 1939 when I had both my citizenship and my chance to direct.

You make it look so easy.

Well, I have been very lucky, you know. When I started, I was a kid, I had no family, I had nothing. My career went ahead, but I never asked anybody for a job. Never. I was lucky they picked me out, all the way down the line, so I wasn’t indebted to anybody. I didn’t have to please anybody. I learned some things that are important. Some directors or some executives think they’re God and that would get you into trouble. You had to know when or what to compromise. You had to know how to compromise so you could win most compromises. You couldn’t just say to a producer or a studio exercutive, ‘No, that won’t work.’ I never said it that way. I would say, ‘Well, I think I have a better idea’—or something like that. I would do the same thing with actors. You don’t tell an actor how to act. I always believed in actors that could be their character.

That’s crucial to you?

It’s a very important thing. A writer writes a book or a script, and he puts a lot of himself into that book or that script. Suppose I’m not yet sure which actors I’m going to get for the picture—I get Marlon Brando in a picture and he can play a certain kind of character but he can’t play others. Or Montgomery Clift can’t play a Marlon Brando character, he can play other kinds of characters that are Monty Clift. Let me put it this way. I made two pictures with Spencer Tracy; in one of them, “The Mountain” [1956], he played a mountain guide. He was that mountain guide but he was still Spencer Tracy, he was Spencer Tracy as he would have been had he been a mountain guide. He could put himself into that thing. He didn’t have to say, ‘Oh, I’m like that mountain guide over there.’ He simply had to study. How does that mountaineer work? How does he climb? How does he think? Spencer did all those things, he studied their customs and habits. So you never know this until you cast the picture. The writers don’t know this, they write a thing and they think the script is gold. As long as you can change Shakespeare and the word of God as it is written in the Bible, you certainly can change a writer’s script, can’t you? So I get a character who can be that person, but I don’t tell him how to play the part…

…because actors are intelligent…

…they are, I never met a good actor who isn’t. In “The Mountain,” Spencer Tracy was a mountain guide, and in “Broken Lance” [1954] he played a cattle owner, a wealthy western cattle man. Two completely different characters and he was very good playing each one of them, as Spencer Tracy would have been if he were actually these characters in real life.

You have always been an actor’s director. How important is the script to you?

To me a script is something I think about as far as essence goes, that kind of thing, but I’m never sure about it until I cast the actors. Once I have the actors, I have an idea of how they will play it. A director can put himself into the actor’s work and that is wrong. So I ask them, ‘How are you going to play it?’ If it’s right, it’s right, very often it’s something I might not even have expected and I love that. I love them to be creative on their own. If a director says, ‘I want you to play it this way,’ which is not the actor’s way, then it becomes a performance. So, once you get the cast, you change things to suit the cast you’ve got. It’s like getting the suit of the rack: it has to be corrected and refitted. It’s the same with the script, it’s easier to refit the script than it is to refit the actor. What I try to do—and don’t ask me how I do it—in fact, it’s only been lately since people have been nice to me that I’ve been thinking about it—I never thought I had a style. But apparently, I do have a style, a lot of people recognize that style. It’s not a style that I’m concious of and I never said, ‘Hey, I’m going to have a certain kind of a style like Lubitsch who had a wonderful sense of humor.’ But he too didn’t realize he was creating a style. He was just being Lubitsch, he had a certain kind of humor that was very good for pictures.

Lobby card from “Tender Comrade” (1943). Source: Marvin Paige Motion Picture and Television Archive

What about your early days as a director? Could you elaborate on that a little bit?

First I was a B director in the late 1930s, bouncing around for two or three years, making a few pictures at Columbia and finally at RKO where I was given “Hitler’s Children” [1943]. It was a progaganda picture, and I realized it had potential. It became a tremendous hit. It cost a $100,000 and made $700,000 which at that time was a lot of money, and then they gave me A pictures. “Hitler’s Children,” an anti-fascist drama, was so successful that they gave me a new contract. I did “Tender Comrade” [1943] with Ginger Rogers which was very successful, followed by “Murder, My Sweet” [1944] which also was very successful.

Looking back, is it correct to say that “Murder, My Sweet” has been overshadowed by “Crossfire” [1947]? That picture was really a milestone in American post-war cinema, and one of Hollywood’s first attempts to deal with racial discrimination. What would you consider the strength of this film? Its sincerity?

Yes, I think so. Also, it’s subtle and understandable—not subtle and obvious, as it is in a lot of today’s films. I like to make pictures in which things are said. In “Crossfire,” when the detective talks the boy into cooporating with him towards the end of the picture, he talks about his Irish grandfather, not about Jews getting killed, but about his Irish grandfather, because there was such a time in American history when the Irish were considered the bad guys, taking everybody’s jobs and all that kind of thing. What I wanted to prove, was that it was anti-human in all respects, not just anti-Semitism, but also anti-white, anti-black, anti-everything else that is wrong. That’s the way I feel about things. In fact, my father was Ukrainian and was quite anti-Semitic. I lived in a small town in Washington State and every Saturday he used to play cards with the town tailor who happened to be Jewish, but he was the only one in town who spoke Ukrainian. My father hated Jews but would play cards with them, that is someting!

Would it be correct to describe “Crossfire” as enriching entertainment?

I would rather use the word enlightenment. I remember when we previewed “Cornered” [1945]; when the picture was finished, it took about five minutes before anybody moved and then they suddenly started clapping and applauding. It was as if they had to think about it, they had to let the emotions go and that’s perfect. If you finish a picture with a rainstorm, you go outdoors in a matinee, the sun is shining and you say, ‘My God, it isn’t raining!’—then you’ve done something, you must feel it. Now that’s physical, but the audience also must feel the emotional thing. If that doesn’t happen, you’ve failed. Then you’re just looking at a bunch of guys shooting at each other and it doesn’t really matter. A picture should affect us and teach us something. Hedda Hopper once said, ‘If you want to deliver a message, send a telegram.’ She hated pictures that had a message. But the pictures I made, like “Crossfire,” had a message. That why it was made, because it had a message. I wasn’t Jewish, I was born a Catholic, but anti-Semitism was a horrible thing.

Lobby card from “Crossfire” (1947). Source: Marvin Paige Motion Picture and Television Archive

How much did the film cost to make?

We made the picture for $500,000—very cheaply and very quickly. The studio knew they might lose money on it, but they thought it might be good for the studio, that this could be a good prestige picture if nothing else. We were able to talk the producers and executives into making the picture because of that. When released, it made a lot of money. It came out at the right time.

When did you first notice that you were a good film director?

When I started directing, I didn’t know if I could be a good director or not, because directing is an art. It’s like you can paint or you can’t paint. Some good films came my way until Congress pulled me out. That put a big dent in my career, but I was lucky enough to come back. Some liberals who hated the idea that I came out against the Communists thought that my pictures afterwards weren’t as good as those I made before. Well, I think they were better. Stanley Kramer put me back on the map with a four-picture deal, three of them were B pictures—he called them ‘B pictures with class’—made on short schedules. But they were well done, otherwise I couldn’t have gotten “The Caine Mutiny” [1954] which was made for just $2,000,000. I definitely consider that one of my better pictures, along with “Murder, My Sweet,” “Crossfire” and “The Young Lions” [1958] which I think is my very best.

How did that film come about? It is still regarded as one of the most powerful WW2 dramas, with Marlon Brando as a confused Nazi officer, and Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin as U.S. soldiers.

I had the problem of three characters—two of which never saw the third and the third never saw the first until he was dead. The War was the thing that hangs it together, along with their attitude towards the War, their life during the War, and the girls that they loved—that kind of thing. They were completely different and yet they were the same. To me that was the theme of the picture. Long before I read the script, I had read the book [written by Irwin Shaw]. The book was interesting, it’s a series of short stories really. I knew that those short stories somehow had to be connected because you can’t tell a picture of short stories. Under certain circumstances it has been done, then it becomes a documentary or something. So I got a draft paper, that’s a paper you use in mathematics with crossed lines, I put it together until I had a sheet about this long. I used a red pencil for one of the actors, a blue pencil for another of the actors and another pencil for the third actor, so I could have an idea of the transition from Germany to America with the war that brought it all together. That was one reason why we changed the story. Irwin Shaw always disliked me for doing that. Most people agreed that we changed the German character into a good guy. I didn’t want this one German to be a bad man. There are a lot of good Germans in the world. So that became a problem of the three ways of living, one of them was a poor kid, the other was an entertainer and the third one was a German who became a Nazi—not a real Nazi, not a cruel Nazi, but a German with feelings as a lot of Germans had. If the German would have been a heavy, the contrast would have been too great, dealing with decent Americans and a lousy German, that isn’t fair.

The trailer of “The Young Lions”

There’s also a very beautiful love scene in the film with Montgomery Clift.

I suppose you’re talking about the scene when he brings the girl home for the first time and it ends up in kind of a love scene? Nowadays they do love scenes where they tear the clothes off each other and jump into bed, leaving nothing to the imagination. Sex is a private thing. While I was teaching, many students picked out this particular scene and thought it was a wonderful love scene. Yet all there is, is a kiss, no more than that, but their love is expressed in the things they do or don’t say to each other. At a certain point, when Monty starts telling her what he thinks, she says, ‘Tell me tomorrow.’ That one line does it all. She means she’s going to see him tomorrow. The problem now is that women are often the agressors in pictures. It’s the woman who makes the approach. I resent that! I love women and I have great respect for them, but making them agressors isn’t good. Women have more power if they are feminine! Even the feminists are writing about that now. They didn’t have to become masculine, for Christ’s sake.

Do you think that with your experience and your knowledge, you’d still be able to make a film like that today?

Well, I haven’t made a picture in a long time now, it’s been more than twenty years. I don’t know if I could do it today or not. I couldn’t work with the producers standing in the back, on stage. And then there is the advertising. ‘Sensational! Sensational! Sensational!’ The essence of art is gone. Since when did we have any great novel written? Since when have we viewed a writer like Thomas Mann or Ernest Hemingway or anyone like that? We have had three or four great writers in America. The others were in Europe, we don’t have them anymore. We have no great composers anymore, the last one was Stravinsky.

Over the years, you worked with the best and most talented actors. How did you work with them on the set?

I would go to work at nine o’clock in the morning and I would quit at five in the afternoon, not any later. The mind gets tired and if the mind gets tired, your muscles get tired and you can’t do your best work. So I would quit around five o’clock and rehearse the next day’s work, just roughly. One morning I was doing a scene for “Broken Lance” with Richard Widmark and Spencer Tracy, a ten page scene which I think was scheduled for about four or five days of shooting. I rehearsed the whole ten page scene in one afternoon because I had two very fine actors. We came in the next morning at nine o’clock, the cameraman was ready, we went through one rehearsal to make sure the lights were right and shot it in one take. When Marlon Brando agreed to work on “The Young Lions,” I had a long talk with him about the part. I was worried. He had a very bad reputation. So I called Fred Zinnemann who had directed him in his screen debut “The Men” [1950], and Zinnemann said, ‘Oh boy, he’s a tough guy. I once did seventy takes, all he had to do was look out the window, and they were all lousy. Then the seventy-first—that was magic.’ But I can’t have seventy takes to get it right, so I worked with him a little bit, mostly we talked about philosophy, or the kind of pictures he’s interested in, and I had a great time with him. I never needed more than four or five takes, he never complained, and later, when the picture was finished, he said he never had as good a time with a director since “On the Waterfront” [1954] with Kazan. I remember while shooting in London, one night I came home from work and turned on the TV during an interview with Orson Welles. They were interviewing him as an actor. The interviewer asked, ‘Mr. Welles, I understand you are a lot of trouble to directors.’ Orson said, ‘I’m no trouble to a good director.’ That doesn’t surprise me. I’m a great fan of the sign curve, most people are up in the middle, very few are at the top, very few at the bottom. This is a mediocre world with a lot of mediocrity in everything, certainly in all the arts. If you have a good head, you can do good work and if you have a way of approaching it, you can do fine work. But most people, I think, do not have the patience for doing great work; there’s an old saying, ‘Good isn’t good enough,’ meaning you have to go for perfection. You may not get it, but you’ve got to try. So I never had to do a lot of takes, because I had the right people working with me—cast and crew.

What about working with close-ups and long shots?

I like to start with closer shots, the usual way was to start with long shots and then move in, but hell, why waste the good performances on long shots ? So if I find that I’m going to use Spencer Tracy mostly in close-up, I start with that. E.G. Marshall, a very fine actor who died recently, had to speak a line off camera to Tracy, so he was standing beside the camera. Tracy did the first take, a rather long speech, and I said ‘Cut!’ and looked around. E.G. was crying, the tears were running down his face, the cameraman was crying, everybody was weeping. Not because it was a sad scene, on the contrary, but because Tracy did it so beautifully.

Biographies of some of Hollywood’s legendary pioneers’: Louis B. Mayer (1884-1957), Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974) and Harry Cohn (1891-1958). Says Mr. Dmytryk: “They were people who cared about souls and feelings. They cared about what they were saying.”

You have taught film at the University of Texas at Austin, and later on also at the University of Southern California. Have you been able to convince your students about all of this, so they could put it into their own work as well?

No, not really. They’re mostly attracted to technical things now. They want to make films the way George Lucas makes them. All the oldtimers—Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, all of them—they were people who cared about souls and feelings. They cared about what they were saying. Like a housewife who’s baking a cake: she wants it to be perfect. They wanted it to be perfect. The way they did it was by not interfering with the man who was making it. They were smart enough to hire who they thought would be a good person to direct it, and then they let him make it. They hired what they thought was talent. Even Harry Cohn [Columbia], who was known as a rough, cruel man in some ways, was someone you could count on. You see, our past filmmaking executives weren’t educated men, mostly. Very few of them had gone to college. And it doesn’t mean a thing really. If you have a feeling for telling stories with heart, you don’t have to go to college. Today, it’s a case of making money. Money, money, money. They all go to Harvard Business School or someplace like that, they’ll come out as lawyers or business executives and many want to make films. The funny thing is, they tell themselves that they know pictures. What they believe, what they know, is what kind of films will make money. So my point is that almost every picture I’ve made, has made money. In my office I have a lot of plaques and awards of money-making top five films over many years, so you can make money with good pictures. But I never said, ‘I’m going to make this picture because it’s going to make money.’ Also, I still get letters, fan letters, for those same films—today!

Is it true what they say, that you’re only as good as your last film?

Oh no, if someone makes a good film followed by some bad films, he’d still be up there, possibly making millions of dollars. People will give him another chance because they think he will come back. That’s another thing happening in Hollywood that I consider bad. Everybody thinks he can do everything. Actors become directors, writers are becoming directors, while each is a special talent. In the days of the studio system, an actor or actress was happy to be the best he or she could be and become a star. We have no stars today as in those days. And where are the great screenwriters? Where’s the romance? I don’t know what is going to happen. I don’t think I’ll live to see it all, or see any of it as a matter of fact. I don’t think I’ll live to see the changes.

Encino, California
April 10, 1999

+ Mr. Dmytryk passed away on July 1, 1999, in his home in Encino at age 90 from heart and kidney failure.

FILMS

ONLY SAPS WORK (1930) DIR Cyril Gardner, Edwin H Knopf SCR Sam Mintz, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Percy Heath CAM Rex Wimpy ED Edward Dmytryk CAST Leon Errol, Richard Arlen, Mary Brian, Stuart Erwin, Anderson Lawler, Charles Grapewin

THE ROYAL FAMILY OF BROADWAY (1931) DIR George Cukor, Cyril Gardner SCR Herman Manckiewicz, Gertrude Purcell (play by George S Kaufman, Edna Ferber) CAM George Folsey ED Edward Dmytryk CAST Ina Claire, Fredric March, Mary Brian, Henrietta Crosman, Charles Starett, Arnold Korff

BELLE OF THE NINETIES (1934) DIR Leo McCarey PROD William LeBaron SCR Mae West (also story) CAM Karl Struss ED LeRoy Stone, Edward Dmytryk [uncredited] MUS Arthur Johnston CAST Mae West, Roger Pryor, John Mack Brown, John Miljan, Katherine DeMille, James Donlan

COLLEGE RHYTHM (1934) DIR Norman Taurog PROD Louis D. Lighton SCR Walter DeLeon, Francis Martin, John McDermott (story by George Marion Jr.) CAM Leo Tover, Ted Tetzlaff ED Edward Dmytryk, LeRoy Stone CAST Joe Penner, Jack Oakie, Lanny Ross, Lyda Roberta, Helen Mack, George Barbier

THE HAWK (1935) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD J.D. Kendis SCR Griffin Jay (story by James Oliver Curwood) CAM Roland Price ED Moe Miller MUS Hal Chasnoff CAST Yancey Lane, Betty Jordan, Dickie Jones, Lafe McKee

RUGGLES OF RED GAP (1935) DIR Leo McCarey PROD Arthur Hornblow Jr. SCR Walter DeLeon, Harlan Thompson (novel by Harry Leon Wilson) CAM Alfred Gilks ED Edward Dmytryk CAST Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles, ZaSu Pitts, Roland Young, Leila Hyams

THREE CHEERS FOR LOVE (1936) DIR Ray McCarey SCR Barry Trivers CAM Harry Fischbeck ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Eleanore Whitney, Robert Cummings, William Frawley, Elizabeth Patterson, Roscoe Karns, John Halliday

TOO MANY PARENTS (1936) DIR Robert F. McGowan SCR Virginia Van Upp, Doris Malloy (stories by George Templeton, Jesse Lynch Williams) CAM Karl Struss ED Edward Dmytryk CAST Frances Farmer, Lester Matthews, Henry Travers, Billy Lee, George Ernest, Sherwood Bailey

THREE MARRIED MEN (1936) DIR Edward Buzzell PROD Arthur Hornblow Jr. SCR Dorothy Parker, Alan Campbell (story by Owen Davis Sr.) CAM Edward Cronjager ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Roscoe Karns, William Frawley, Lynne Overman, Mary Brian, George Barbier, Marjorie Gateson

EASY TO TAKE (1936) DIR Glenn Tyron PROD Jack Cunningham SCR Virginia Van Upp (story by Wayne Kilbourne) CAM George Robinson ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Marsha Hunt, John Howard, Eugene Pallette, Richard Carle, Douglas Scott, Robert Greig

MURDER GOES TO COLLEGE (1937) DIR Charles Riesner SCR Brian Marlow, Robert Wyler, Eddie Welch (novel by Kurt Steel) CAM Henry Sharp ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Roscoe Karns, Marsha Hunt, Lynne Overman, Larry Crabbe, Astrid Allwyn, Harvey Stephens

TURN OFF THE MOON (1937) DIR Lewis Seiler PROD Fanchon SCR Marguerite Roberts, Harlan Ware, Paul Gerard Smith (story by Mildred Harrington Lynch) CAM Ted Tetzlaff ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Charlie Ruggles, Eleanore Whitney, Johnny Downs, Ben Blue, Marjorie Gateson, Grady Sutton

DOUBLE OR NOTHING (1937) DIR Theodore Reed PROD Benjamin Glazer SCR Charles Lederer, Erwin Gelsey, John C. Moffitt, Duke Atteberry (story by M. Coates Webster) CAM Karl Struss ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Bing Crosby, Martha Raye, Andy Devine, Mary Carlisle, William Frawley, Benny Baker

HOLD ‘EM NAVY! (1937) DIR Kurt Neumann SCR Erwin Gelsey, Lloyd Corrigan CAM Henry Sharp ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Lew Ayres, Mary Carlisle, John Howard, Elizabeth Patterson, Benny Baker, Archie Twitchell

BULLDOG DRUMMOND’S PERIL (1938) DIR James Hogan SCR Stuart Palmer (novel by H.C. McNeile) CAM Henry Fischbeck ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny, E.E. Clive, Porter Hall

PRISON FARM (1938) DIR Louis King SCR Eddie Welch, Robert Yost, Stuart Anthony CAM Harry Fischbeck ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Shirley Ross, Lloyd Nolan, John Howard, J. Carrol Naish, Porter Hall, Esther Dale

ZAZA (1939) DIR George Cukor PROD Albert Lewin SCR Zoë Akins (play by Pierre Berton, Charles Simon) CAM Charles Lang Jr. ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Boris Morros CAST Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Bert Lahr, Helen Westley, Constance Collier

LOVE AFFAIR (1939) DIR Leo McCarey SCR Delmer Daves, Donald Ogden Stewart (story by Leo McCarey, Mildred Cram) CAM Rudolph Maté ED Edward Dmytryk, George Hively MUS Roy Webb CAST Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman, Astrid Allwyn, Maurice Moscovich

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1939) DIR George Archainbaud SCR Lewis R. Foster, Wilkie C. Mahoney (play by Ben Hecht, Gene Fowler) CAM Karl Struss ED Edward Dmytryk CAST Bob Hope, Shirley Ross, Una Merkel, Gene Krupa, Rufe Davis, Bernard Nedell

MILLION DOLLAR LEGS (1939) DIR Nick Grinde [replaced by Edward Dmytryk, uncredited] SCR Lewis R. Foster, Richard English (story by Lewis R. Foster) CAM Harry Fischbeck ED Arthur Schmidt CAST Betty Grable, John Hartley, Donald O’Connor, Jackie Coogan, Dorothea Kent, Joyce Mathews

TELEVISION SPY (1939) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Horace McCoy, William R. Lipman, Lillie Hayward (story by Endre Bohem) CAM Harry Fischbeck ED Anne Bauchens CAST William Henry, Judith Barrett, William Collier Sr., Richard Denning, John Eldredge, Dorothy Tree

EMERGENCY SQUAD (1940) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Garnett Weston, Stuart Palmer CAM Stuart Thompson ED Everett Douglas CAST William Henry, Louise Campbell, Richard Denning, Robert Paige, Anthony Quinn, John Miljan

MYSTERY SEA RIDER (1940) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Eugene J. Zukor SCR Edward E. Paramore Jr. (story by Robert Grant) CAM Harry Fischbeck, Dewey Wrigley ED Archie Marsheck CAST Carole Landis, Henry Wilcoxon, Onslow Stevens, Kathleen Howard, Wallace Rairden, Sven Hugo Borg

GOLDEN GLOVES (1940) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Maxwell Shane, Lewis R. Foster (story by Maxwell Shane) CAM Henry Sharp ED Doane Harrison CAST Richard Denning, Jean Cagney, J. Carrol Naish, Robert Paige, William Frawley, Edward S. Brophy

HER FIRST ROMANCE (1940) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD I.E. Chadwick SCR Adele Comandini (novel by Gene Stratton-Porter) CAM John Mescall ED William Ziegler MUS Gregory Stone CAST Edith Fellows, Wilbur Evans, Jacqueline Wells, Alan Ladd, Judith Linden, Roger Daniel

THE DEVIL COMMANDS (1941) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Robert D. Andrews, Milton Gunzburg (story by William Sloane) CAM Allen G. Siegler ED Al Clark MUS M.W. Stoloff CAST Boris Karloff, Richard Fiske, Amanda Duff, Anne Revere, Ralph Penny, Dorothy Adams

UNDER AGE (1941) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Ralph Cohn SCR Robert D. Andrews (story by Stanley Roberts) CAM John Stumar ED Richard Fantl CAST Nan Grey, Tom Neal, Mary Anderson, Alan Baxter, Leona Maricle, Don Beddoe

SWEETHEART OF THE CAMPUS (1941) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Jack Fier SCR Robert D. Andrews, Edmund Hartmann (story by Robert D. Andrews) CAM Frank F. Planer ED William Lyon MUS M.W. Stoloff CAST Ruby Keeler, Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard, Gordon Oliver, Don Beddoe, Charles Judels

THE BLONDE FROM SINGAPORE (1941) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Jack Fier SCR George Brickner (story by Houston Branch) CAM L.W. O’Connell ED Richard Fantl MUS M.W. Stoloff CAST Florence Rice, Leif Erickson, Gordon Jones, Don Beddoe, Alexander D’Arcy, Adele Rowland

SECRETS OF THE LONE WOLF (1941) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Jack Fier SCR Stuart Palmer (also story) CAM Phillip Tannura ED Richard Fantl MUS M.W Stoloff CAST Warren William, Ruth Ford, Roger Clark, Victor Jory, Eric Blore, Thurston Hall

CONFESSIONS OF BOSTON BLACKIE (1942) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD William Berke SCR Paul Yawitz (story by Paul Yawitz, Jay Dratler) CAM Philip Tannura ED Gene Milford MUS M.W. Stoloff CAST Chester Morris, Harriet Hilliard, Richard Lane, George E. Stone, Lloyd Corrigan, Joan Woodbury

COUNTER-ESPIONAGE (1942) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Wallace MacDonald SCR Aubrey Wisberg (also story) CAM Philip Tannura ED Gene Havlick MUS M.W. Stoloff CAST Warren William, Eric Blore, Hillary Brooke, Thurston Hall, Fred Kelsey, Forrest Tucker

SEVEN MILES FROM ALCATRAZ (1943) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Herman Schlom SCR Joseph Krumgold (story by John D. Klorer) CAM Robert de Grasse ED George Crone MUS Roy Webb CAST James Craig, Bonita Granville, Frank Jenks, Cliff Edwards, George Cleveland, Erford Gage

HITLER’S CHILDREN (1943) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Edward A. Golden SCR Emmet Lavery (book by Gregor Ziemer) CAM Russell Metty ED Joseph Noriega MUS Roy Webb CAST Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger, H.B. Warner, Lloyd Corrigan

THE FALCON STRIKES BACK (1943) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Maurice Geraghty SCR Edward Dein, Gerald Geraghty (story by Stuart Palmer) CAM Jack MacKenzie ED George Crone MUS Roy Webb CAST Tom Conway, Harriett Hilliard, Jane Randolph, Edgar Kennedy, Cliff Edwards, Rita Corday

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN (1943) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Griffin Jay, Henry Sucher (story by Ted Fithian, Neil P. Varnick) CAM George Robinson ED Milton Carruth MUS H.J. Salter CAST John Carradine, Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone, Lloyd Corrigan, Fay Helm, Martha MacVicar

BEHIND THE RISING SUN (1943) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Emmet Lavery (book by James R. Young) CAM Russell Metty ED Joseph Noriega MUS Roy Webb CAST Margo, Tom Neal, J. Carrol Naish, Robert Ryan, Gloria Holden, Don Douglas

TENDER COMRADE (1944) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD David Hempstead SCR Dalton Trumbo CAM Russell Metty ED Roland Gross MUS Leigh Harline CAST Ginger Rogers, Robert Ryan, Ruth Hussey, Patricia Collinge, Mady Christians, Kim Hunter

MURDER, MY SWEET (1944) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Adrian Scott SCR John Paxton (novel by Raymond Chandler) CAM Harry J. Wild ED Joseph Noriega MUS Roy Webb CAST Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki, Miles Mander

BACK TO BATAAN (1945) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Ben Barzman, Richard H. Landau (story by Aeneas MacKenzie, William Gordon) CAM Nicholas Musuraca ED Marston Fay MUS Roy Webb CAST John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi, Fely Franquelli, J. Alex Havier, Leonard Strong

CORNERED (1945) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Adrian Scott SCR John Paxton (story by John Wexley) CAM Harry J. Wild ED Joseph Noriega MUS Roy Webb CAST Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel, Nina Vale, Morris Carnovsky

TILL THE END OF TIME (1946) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Allen Rivkin CAM Harry J. Wild ED Harry Gerstad MUS Leigh Harline CAST Dorothy McGuire, Guy Madison, Robert Mitchum, Bill Williams, Tom Tully, William Gargan

CROSSFIRE (1947) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Adrian Scott SCR John Paxton (novel by Richard Brooks) CAM J. Roy Hunt ED Harry Gerstad MUS Roy Webb CAST Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Paul Kelly, Sam Levene

SO WELL REMEMBERED (1947) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Adrian Scott SCR John Paxton (novel by James Hilton) CAM Frederick A. Young ED Harry Gerstad MUS Hanns Eisler CAST John Mills, Martha Scott, Patricia Roc, Trevor Howard, Richard Carlson, Reginald Tate

OBSESSION (1949) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Alec Coppel (also novel) CAM C. Pennington-Richards ED Lito Carruthers MUS Nino Rota CAST Robert Newton, Sally Gray, Naunton Wayne, Phil Brown, Michael Balfour, Betty Cooper

GIVE US THE DAY (1950) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Rod E. Geiger, N.A. Bronsten SCR Ben Barzman (novel by Pietro Di Donato) CAM C. Pennington-Richards ED John Guthridge MUS Benjamin Frankel CAST Sam Wanamaker, Lea Padovina, Kathleen Ryan, Bonnar Colleano, Charles Goldner, Sidney James

MUTINY (1952) DIR Edward Dmytryk SCR Philip Yordan, Sidney Harmon (story by Hollister Noble) CAM Ernest Laszlo ED Frank Sullivan MUS Dimitri Tiomkin CAST Mark Stevens, Angela Lansbury, Patric Knowles, Gene Evans, Rhys Williams, Robert Osterloh

THE SNIPER (1952) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Harry Brown (story by Edna Anhalt, Edward Anhalt) CAM Burnett Guffey ED Aaron Stell MUS George Antheil CAST Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, Gerald Mohr, Marie Windsor, Frank Faylen, Richard Kiley

EIGHT IRON MEN (1952) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Harry Brown (also play) CAM Roy Hunt ED Aaron Stell MUS Leith Stevens CAST Bonar Colleano, Arthur Franz, Lee Marvin, Richard Kiley, Nick Dennis, James Griffith

THE JUGGLER (1953) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Michael Blankfort (also novel) CAM Roy Hunt ED Aaron Stell MUS George Antheil CAST Kirk Douglas, Milly Vitale, Paul Stewart, Joey Walsh, Alf Kjelin, Beverly Washburn

THE CAINE MUTINY (1954) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Stanley Roberts (novel by Herman Wouk) CAM Frank F. Planer ED William A. Lyon, Henry Batista MUS Max Steiner CAST Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, Robert Francis, May Wynn

BROKEN LANCE (1954) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Sol C. Siegel SCR Richard Murphy (story by Philip Yordan) CAM Joseph McDonald, Anthony Newman ED Dorothy Spencer MUS Leigh Harline CAST Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Katy Jurado, Hugh O’Brian

THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1955) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD David Lewis SCR Lenore Coffee (novel by Graham Greene) CAM Wilkie Cooper ED Alan Osbiston MUS Benjamin Frankel CAST Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, John Mills, Peter Cushing, Stephen Murray, Nora Swinburne

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (1955) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Buddy Adler SCR Ernest K. Gann (also novel) CAM Leo Tover ED Dorothy Spencer MUS Hugo Friedhofer CAST Clark Gable, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie, Gene Barry, Alex D’Arcy, Tom Tully

THE LEFT HAND OF GOD (1955) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Buddy Adler SCR Alfred Hayes (novel by William E. Barrett) CAM Frank F. Planer ED Dorothy Spencer MUS Victor Young CAST Humphrey Bogart, Gene Tierney, Lee J. Cobb, Agnes Moorehead, E.G. Marshall, Jean Porter

THE MOUNTAIN (1956) DIR – PROD Edward Dmytryk SCR Ranald MacDougall (novel by Henri Troyat) CAM Frank F. Planer ED Frank Bracht MUS Daniele Amphitheatrof CAST Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Claire Trevor, William Demarest, Barbara Darrow, E.G. Marshall

RAINTREE COUNTY (1957) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD David Lewis SCR Millard Kaufman (novel by Ross Lockridge Jr.) CAM Robert Surtees ED John Dunning MUS Johnny Green CAST Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, Nigel Patrick, Lee Marvin, Rod Taylor

THE YOUNG LIONS (1958) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Al Lichtman SCR Edward Anhalt (novel by Irwin Shaw) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Dorothy Spencer MUS Hugo Friedhofer CAST Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin, Hope Lange, Barbara Rush, May Britt

WARLOCK (1959)  DIR – PROD Edward Dmytryk SCR Robert Alan Aurthur (novel by Oakley Hall) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Jack W Holmes MUS Leigh Harline CAST Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, Dolores Michaels, Wallace Ford

THE BLUE ANGEL (1959) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Jack Cummings SCR Nigel Balchin (screenplay DER BLAUE ENGEL [1930] by Karl Zuckmayer, Karl Vollmöller; novel by Heinrich Mann) CAM Leon Shamroy ED Jack W Holmes MUS Hugo Friedhofer CAST Curt Jurgens, May Britt, Theodore Bikel, John Banner, Fabrizio Mioni, Ludwig Stossel

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (1962) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Charles K. Feldman SCR John Fante, Edmund Morris (novel by Nelson Algren) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Harry Gerstad MUS Elmer Bernstein CAST Laurence Harvey, Capucine, Jane Fonda, Anne Baxter, Barbara Stanwyck, Joanna Moore

THE RELUCTANT SAINT (1962) DIR – PROD Edward Dmytryk SCR John Fante, Joseph Petracca CAM C. Pennington-Richards ED Manuel Del Campo MUS Nino Rota CAST Maximilian Schell, Ricardo Montalban, Lea Padovani, Akim Tamiroff, Harold Goldblatt, Arnoldo Foa

THE CARPETBAGGERS (1964) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Joseph E. Levine SCR John Michael Hayes (novel by Harold Robbins) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Frank Bracht MUS Elmer Bernstein CAST George Peppard, Carroll Baker, Alan Ladd, Bob Cummings, Martha Hyer, Elizabeth Ashley

WHERE LOVE HAS GONE (1964) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Joseph E. Levine SCR John Michael Hayes (novel by Harold Robbins) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Frank Bracht MUS Walter Scharf CAST Susan Hayward, Bette Davis, Michael Connors, Joey Heatherton, Jane Greer, DeForest Kelly

MIRAGE (1965) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Harry Keller SCR Peter Stone (novel by Walter Ericson) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Ted J. Kent MUS Quincy Jones CAST Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Walter Matthau, Kevin McCarthy, Jack Weston, Leif Erickson

ALVAREZ KELLY (1966) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Sol C. Siegel SCR Franklin Coen, Elliott Arnold (story by Franklin Coen) CAM Joseph MacDonald ED Harold F. Kress MUS John Green CAST William Holden, Richard Widmark, Janice Rule, Patrick O’Neal, Victoria Shaw, Roger C. Carmel

ANZIO (1968) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Dino De Laurentiis SCR Harry A.L. Craig (novel by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas) CAM Giuseppe Rotunno ED Peter Taylor, Alberto Gallitti MUS Riz Ortolani CAST Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, Earl Holliman, Mark Damon, Reni Santoni, Joseph Walsh

SHALAKO (1968) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Euan Lloyd SCR J.J. Griffith, Scot Finch, Hal Hopper (story by Clarke Reynolds; novel by Louis L’Amour) CAM Ted Moore ED Bill Blunden MUS Robert Farnon CAST Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Peter Van Eyck, Honor Blackman

BLUEBEARD (1972) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Alexander Salkind SCR Edward Dmytryk, Ennio Di Concini, Maria Pia Fusco CAM Gabor Pogany ED Jean Ravel MUS Ennio Morricone CAST Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton, Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon, Karin Schubert

THE HUMAN FACTOR (1975) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD Frank Avianca SCR Tom Hunter, Peter Powell CAM Qusama Rawi ED Alan Strachen MUS Ennio Morricone CAST George Kennedy, John Mills, Raf Vallone, Arthur Franz, Rita Tushingham, Frank Avianca

HE IS MY BROTHER (1976) DIR Edward Dmytryk PROD James Polakof CAST Bobby Sherman, Kathy Paulo, Keenan Wynn, Robbie Rist, Joaquím Martínez, Benson Fong