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Samuel Grosvenor Wood was born July 10, 1883 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began his film career at the age of eighteen, working under famed director Cecille B. DeMille. However, at twenty he also began acting on screen (as he had prior stage experience). His first role as a soldier in the historical drama “The Little American” (1917) was uncredited, but his second movie, a western titled “Who Knows?” (1917), featured him as a lead character. A year later he assisted DeMille on his westerner “The Squaw Man” (1918). Wood had another acting part in “Don’t Change Your Husband” (1919) and an additional assistant director position in “For Better, For Worse” (1919), before beginning his solo directorial career.

Starting with “Double Speed” (1920) and continuing throughout the twenties, he turned out a great number of Paramount pictures featuring Hollywood’s biggest stars. The director worked with Wallace Reid in features like “The Dancin’ Fool” (1920) and “Sick Abed” (1920), as well as Gloria Swanson in movies such as “The Great Moment” (1921) and “Under the Lash” (1921). With 1921’s comedy “Peck’s Bad Boy”, Wood helped write the script – which he would only do once more in 1938 for “Lord Jeff”.

In 1927 the director joined Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, collaborating with such celebrities as Clark Gable, Marion Davies, Jimmy Durante, and Marie Dressler. Around the same time he joined MGM, he began producing features. His first production effort, “The Fair Co-Ed” (1927), was followed by twenty one more, not limited to “The Man in Possession” (1931), “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943), and his final, “Ambush” (1950).

Additionally, he directed the Marx Brothers in some of their films, including their two most lucrative projects: “A Night at the Opera” (1935) and “A Day at the Races” (1937). Wood also put out some of the decades top dramas. “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1939) follows a reminiscent aged school teacher/headmaster as he dwells on the experiences he has had at his work and in his life. He earned an Academy Award nomination for the film, but failed to take home the prize. The same year, he and George Cukor embarked on a classic, “Gone with the Wind” (1939). While Cukor and Wood took started the venture, Victor Fleming was asked to step in and received all of the credit. Still, the Civil War era love affair drama took home eight Oscars.

In the 1940's, the director jumped around between different studios. He started the decade out on a high note by directing Ginger Rogers in her Academy Award winning performance for “Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman” (1940), even getting himself a Best Director Oscar nomination. In the same year he also successfully adapted writer Thornton Wilder’s dramatic tale, “Our Town” (1940), earning it six Academy Award nods.  Wood was nominated a third time for Best Director only shortly after, for the Ronald Reagan mystery “King’s Row” (1942). The director also helmed the pictures “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942), “The Stratton Story” (1949), and his last effort, “Ambush” (1950).

Wood was known for more than just his talented directorial skills, however, as he was an acknowledged conservative. His political beliefs were put on display when he condemned many Hollywood figures that were against his own opinions while he testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Due to this, many have called him a bigot, or even a 'fascist', as Groucho Marx has been documented to have dubbed him. Nevertheless, as we have separated politics from many other stars, the same respect should be given to Wood. His movie legacy is what should be remembered.

Throughout his career, the director, on top of earning three Oscar nods himself, managed to lead eleven actors in Academy Award nominated performances. As well, he was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and currently has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion picture industry.


1950       Ambush

1949       The Stratton Story

1948       Command Decision

1947       Ivy 

1946       Heartbeat

1945       Saratoga Trunk

1945       Guest Wife

1944       Casanova Brown

1944       Address Unknown 

1943       For Whom the Bell Tolls

1942       The Pride of the Yankees

1942       Kings Row

1941       The Devil and Miss Jones

1940       Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman

1940       Rangers of Fortune

1940       Our Town

1939       Gone with the Wind 

1939       Raffles

1939       Goodbye, Mr. Chips 

1938       Lord Jeff

1938       Stablemates 

1937       Madame X 

1937       The Good Earth

1937       Navy Blue and Gold 

1937       A Day at the Races 

1936       The Unguarded Hour

1935       Whipsaw

1935       A Night at the Opera

1935       Rendezvous 

1935       Let 'em Have It 

1934       The Girl from Missouri 

1934       Hollywood Party 

1934       Stamboul Quest 

1934       The Cat and the Fiddle

1933       Tugboat Annie 

1933       Hold Your Man 

1933       The Barbarian

1933       Christopher Bean 

1932       Queen Kelly 

1932       Prosperity 

1932       Huddle 

1931       The Man in Possession 

1931       A Tailor Made Man 

1931       New Adventures of Get Rich Quick Wallingford 

1930       They Learned About Women

1930       Paid 

1930       Way for a Sailor 

1930       The Sins of the Children

1930       The Girl Said No

1929       So This Is College

1929       It's a Great Life  

1928       Telling the World

1928       The Latest from Paris

1927       The Fair Co-Ed 

1927       A Racing Romeo

1927       Rookies

1926       One Minute to Play

1926       Fascinating Youth

1925       The Re-Creation of Brian Kent

1924       The Mine with the Iron Door

1924       The Female

1924       Bluff

1924       The Next Corner

1923       His Children's Children

1923       Bluebeard's Eighth Wife

1923       Prodigal Daughters

1922       My American Wife

1922       The Impossible Mrs. Bellew

1922       Beyond the Rocks

1922       Her Gilded Cage

1922       Her Husband's Trademark

1921       Don't Tell Everything

1921       Under the Lash

1921       The Great Moment

1921       The Snob 

1921       Peck's Bad Boy

1920       Her First Elopement

1920       Her Beloved Villain

1920       A City Sparrow

1920       What's Your Hurry?

1920       Sick Abed

1920       The Dancin' Fool

1920       Excuse My Dust

1920       Double Speed        

1920       Why Change Your Wife?

1919       For Better, for Worse

1918       The Squaw Man 

1917       Who Knows? 

1917       The Little American   

Matinee Classics - The Pride of the Yankees starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan, Dan Duryea, Babe Ruth, Elsa Janssen, Ludwig Stossel, Virginia Gilmore, Bill Dickey, Ernie Adams, Pierre Watkin, Harry Harvey, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, Bill Stern, Addison Richards, Hardie Albright, Edward Fielding, George Lessey, Edgar Barrier, Douglas Croft, Gene Collins, David Holt, Ray Noble, Frank Faylen, Dane Clark and Pat Flaherty
Matinee Classics - Our Town starring William Holden, Martha Scott, Thomas Mitchell, Frank Craven, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, and Stuart Erwin
Matinee Classics - A Day at the Races starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Sig Rumann, Douglass Dumbrille, Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones and Maureen O'Sullivan
Matinee Classics - A Day at the Races starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Sig Rumann, Douglass Dumbrille, Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones and Maureen O'Sullivan
Matinee Classics - A Day at the Races starring Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Sig Rumann, Douglass Dumbrille, Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones and Maureen O'Sullivan
Matinee Classics - A Night at the Opera starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Walter Woolf, Sig Ruman, Margaret Dumont, Edward Keane and Robert Emmett O'Connor
Matinee Classics - My American Wife starring Gloria Swanson
Matinee Classics - Navy Blue and Gold starring Robert Young, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Florence Rice, Billie Burke, Tom Brown, Samuel S. Hinds, Paul Kelly, Barnett Parker, Frank Albertson, Minor Watson, Robert Middlemass, Phillip Terry, Charles Waldron and Pat Flaherty
Matinee Classics - One Minute to Play starring Harold 'Red' Grange, Mary McAllister, Charles Ogle, George Wilson, Ben Hendricks Jr., Lee Shumway, Al Cooke, Kit Guard, Lincoln Stedman, Jay Hunt and Edythe Chapman
Matinee Classics - Saratoga Trunk starring Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman,Flora Robson, Jerry Austin, John Warburton, Florence Bates, Curt Bois and John Abbott

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