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King Vidor was born February 8, 1894 in Galveston, Texas. As a teenager, he worked in his local movie theater, taking tickets and projecting films. After working as a photographer, Vidor decided to take up shooting. He captured local newsreel footage and sold it to parties that were interested. In 1913, he shot a military parade, “The Grand Military Parade”, and the massive Galveston Hurricane, “Hurricane in Galveston”. In 1915, after marrying Florence Arto, he relocated to Hollywood to nab a spot in the up and coming film industry. While his wife was successful, Vidor spent his time playing extras and screenwriting some films which never got picked up. In 1918 he directed a series of shorts for Universal Studios and the small independent production company Brentwood Film Corp. In 1919 he started directing full length features, beginning with “The Turn in the Road”. The movie, which was an adaptation of one of Vidor’s screenplays, was very successful.

From 1920 until 1923, the director and his wife had their own studio, called Vidor Village. Here he would write, direct, and produce films, while Florence would star in them. He came out with movies such as “The Jack Knife Man” (1920) and “The Sky Pilot” (1921). Vidor’s last collaboration with his wife was “Alice Adams” (1923), as they divorced the following year. Following, he closed down the studio.

Luckily, he had also directed other films, like “Peg o’ My Heart” (1922), for Metro Goldwyn Meyer, and when his studio was demolished they welcomed him with open arms as a senior director in 1924. The antiwar love storyThe Big Parade” (1925), Vidor’s fifth film for the studio, became the biggest box office hit of the ‘20s and brought Vidor international recognition. He followed it up with pictures such as the melodrama “La Boheme” (1926), the elaborate “Bardleys the Magnificient” (1926), which starred Vidor’s second wife, Eleanor Boardman (they were married from 1926 to 1933), and the sophisticated and innovative “The Crowd” (1928). The latter became widely regarded as one of America’s greatest silent pictures and even won Vidor his first Oscar nomination. He also released two comedies, “The Patsy” (1928) and “Show People” (1928).

In 1929, the director entered into sound films with the musical “Hallelujah”. He followed it up with an early version of the legendary “Billy the Kid” (1930). Next came further successes, not limited to “Street Scene” (1931), “The Champ” (1931), “The Daily Bread” (1934), “Stella Dallas” (1937), and “The Citadel” (1938). Ironically, the most famous picture that Vidor ever worked on gave him no credit and was actually a commercial flop. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) was worked on by a handful of directors, even though the only credited director, Victor Fleming, was unavailable during some shootings.

He made a couple of not-too-successful features, “Comrade X” (1940) and “Northwest Passage” (1940), before turning out his western Technicolor masterpiece, “Duel in the Sun” (1946). Its sexually charged nature and ornate visual features made it a commercial success. Vidor signed with Warner Brothers in the late ‘40s for three projects. They were “The Fountainhead” (1949), “Beyond the Forest” (1949), and “Lightening Strikes Twice” (1951). However, one of Vidor’s favorite pieces came next, “Ruby Gentry” (1952).

After a break, the director came back with the western “Man Without a Star” (1955) starring Kirk Douglas. His final two films were “War and Peace” (1956) and “Solomon and Sheba” (1959), although he did some television work in between. Vidor’s very last project was a documentary short about painting, titled “The Metaphor” (1980). Two years later, on November 1, 1982, in Paso Robles, California, the director died. He was survived by his third wife, Elizabeth Vidor, whom he wed in 1937. For his achievements, he has received an Honorary Award from the Oscars, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Director’s Guild of America, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1980       The Metaphor 

1959       Solomon and Sheba

1956       Ford Star Jubilee 

1956       War and Peace 

1956       MGM Parade 

1955       Man Without a Star

1954       Light's Diamond Jubilee 

1952       Ruby Gentry 

1952       Japanese War Bride

1951       Lightning Strikes Twice 

1949       Beyond the Forest 

1949       The Fountainhead 

1948       On Our Merry Way 

1946       Duel in the Sun 

1944       An American Romance 

1941       H.M. Pulham, Esq. 

1940       Comrade X 

1940       'Northwest Passage

1939       The Wizard of Oz 

1938       The Citadel 

1937       Stella Dallas 

1936       The Texas Rangers 

1935       So Red the Rose 

1935       The Wedding Night 

1934       Our Daily Bread 

1933       The Stranger's Return 

1932       Cynara 

1932       Bird of Paradise 

1931       The Champ

1931       Street Scene 

1930       Billy the Kid 

1930       Not So Dumb 

1929       Hallelujah! 

1928       Show People 

1928       The Patsy

1928       The Crowd

1926       Bardelys the Magnificent

1926       La bohème

1925       The Big Parade

1925       Proud Flesh

1924       The Wife of the Centaur

1924       His Hour

1924       Wine of Youth

1924       Happiness

1924       Wild Oranges

1923       Three Wise Fools

1923       The Woman of Bronze

1923       Alice Adams 

1922       Peg o' My Heart

1922       Conquering the Woman

1922       Dusk to Dawn

1922       Real Adventure

1921       Love Never Dies

1921       The Sky Pilot

1920       The Jack-Knife Man

1920       The Family Honor

1919       Poor Relations

1919       The Other Half

1919       Better Times

1919       The Turn in the Road

1918       The Case of Bennie

1918       The Three Fives

1918       Kid Politics

1918       Dog vs. Dog

1918       Love of Bob

1918       I'm a Man

1918       The Preacher's Son

1918       A Boy Built City

1918       The Rebellion

1918       Thief or Angel

1918       The Accusing Toe

1918       Marrying Off Dad

1918       Tad's Swimming Hole

1918       The Lost Lie

1918       The Chocolate of the Gang

1918       Bud's Recruit

1913       Hurricane in Galveston

1913       The Grand Military Parade

Matinee Classics - Bird of Paradise starring Joel McCrea, Dolores Del Rio, John Halliday, Skeets Gallagher and Lon Chaney Jr.
Matinee Classics - Our Daily Bread starring Karen Morley, Tom Keene, Addison Richards, John Qualen, Bud Rae and Barbara Pepper
Matinee Classics - Director King Vidor
Matinee Classics - Bardelys the Magnificent starring John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Roy D'Arcy, Lionel Belmore, Emily Fitzroy, George K. Arthur, Arthur Lubin, Theodore von Eltz, Karl Dane, Edward Connelly, Fred Malatesta, John T. Murray, Joe Smith Marba, Daniel G. Tomlinson, Emile Chautard, John Wayne and Lou Costello
Matinee Classics - Man Without a Star starring Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor, William Campbell, Richard Boone, Jay C. Flippen, Myrna Hansen, Mara Corday, Eddy Waller, Sheb Wooley, and Roy Barcroft
Matinee Classics - On Our Merry Way starring Burgess Meredith, Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour, Victor Moore, Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, David Whorf, Hugh Herbert, Charles D. Brown, Eduardo Ciannelli and Betty Caldwell
Matinee Classics - The Crowd starring Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark, Daniel G. Tomlinson, Dell Henderson, Lucy Beaumont, Freddie Burke and Alice Mildred Puter
Matinee Classics - Street Scene starring Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr., Walter Miller, Beulah Bondi, Conway Washburne, Estelle Taylor, Eleanor Wesselhoeft, Matt McHugh, Greta Granstedt, Allen Fox, David Landau, Nora Cecil, Walter James, Ann Kostant, John Qualen, Adele Watson, T.H. Manning, George Humbert, Lambert Rogers, Richard Powell, Helen Lovett and Harry Wallace
Matinee Classics - The Big Parade starring John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell, Claire Adams, Robert Ober, Tom O'Brien and Karl Dane

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