Jean Negulesco

Director, Screenwriter, Actor
Former painter turned Hollywood director who moved to the US in 1927 and began his film career as a sketch artist for title designs and montage sequences. Negulesco later worked as an assistant producer, second unit ... Read more »
Born: 02/25/1900 in Romania

Filmography

Director (29)

Hello-Goodbye 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Heroes 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The Pleasure Seekers 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

Jessica 1960 (Movie)

(Director)

A Certain Smile 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Count Your Blessings 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

The Best of Everything 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

The Gift of Love 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Boy on a Dolphin 1957 (Movie)

(Director)

Daddy Long Legs 1955 (Movie)

(Director)

The Rains of Ranchipur 1955 (Movie)

(Director)

Three Coins in the Fountain 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

Woman's World 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

How to Marry a Millionaire 1952 (Movie)

(Director)

O. Henry's Full House 1952 (Movie)

("The Last Leaf") (Director)

Phone Call From a Stranger 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Humoresque 1946 (Movie)

(Director)

The Mask of Dimitrios 1944 (Movie)

(Director)

Deep Valley (Movie)

(Director)

Johnny Belinda (Movie)

(Director)

Lydia Bailey (Movie)

(Director)

Nobody Lives Forever (Movie)

(Director)

Over the Wall (Movie)

(Director)

Scandal at Scourie (Movie)

(Director)

The Conspirators (Movie)

(Director)

The Mudlark (Movie)

(Director)

Three Came Home (Movie)

(Director)

Three Strangers (Movie)

(Director)

Under My Skin (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (2)

L' Autre 1991 (Movie)

Interpreter (Actor)

Un Officier de Police sans Importance 1972 (Movie)

Dov (Actor)
Writer (2)

Expensive Husbands 1936 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Swiss Miss (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Producer (1)

Jessica 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Former painter turned Hollywood director who moved to the US in 1927 and began his film career as a sketch artist for title designs and montage sequences. Negulesco later worked as an assistant producer, second unit director and co-screenwriter before making his first directorial effort, "Singapore Woman", in 1941. Negulesco did some of his finest directing for Warner Bros. in the 1940s, showing a flair for polished melodrama and film noir. The complexly plotted "The Mask of Dimitrios" (1944) was an admirable showcase for a debuting Zachary Scott and the Warner Bros. stock company, while "Three Strangers" (1946) brought together the formidable trio of Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald in an unusual tale of cross and double-cross. Negulesco's talents for showcasing his female stars was confirmed with the touching Ida Lupino vehicle, "Deep Valley" (1947) and the admirably adult "Johnny Belinda" (1948) in which Jane Wyman gave a memorable Oscar-winning performance as a deaf-mute rape victim.

Negulesco moved to 20th Century-Fox later in 1948, and his first film there, "Road House", was consistent with his earlier work. A standardly plotted noir, it nonetheless brought together the formidable starring quartet of Lupino, Richard Widmark, Cornel Wilde and Celeste Holm and came to an explosive finale. Negulesco also did quite well with the restrained wartime women prisoner saga "Three Came Home" (1950), spotlighting Claudette Colbert and Sessue Hayakawa, and with the unjustly neglected "Take Care of My Little Girl" (1951). As his tenure at Fox progressed, Negulesco continued to deliver glossy star vehicles featuring handsome visuals, but the plotting was more often routine and the cumulative narrative drive less gripping.

Negulesco continued to show a tendency toward all-star films about groups of three or four people, but the emphasis shifted from displaying group interactions to telling their separate stories. The entertaining if insubstantial comedy "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953), with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe, was typical in this respect, and the historical recreation "Titanic" (1953), proved to be one of his better films from this period. One of Negulesco's best-remembered films, "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954), extremely popular in its day and critically fairly well received, continued in this vein as three women found romance in an Italy so handsomely photographed that the film's travelogue style took precedence over its dramatic thrust. "Women's World" (1954) came back to the states as three wives jockeyed to get their husbands an important promotion; the surface glamour was there, but little else of note remained. "Daddy Long Legs" (1955) was an overlong but nonetheless warmly appealing for the acting of Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron, if not their dancing. "Boy on a Dolphin" (1957), meanwhile, only revamped Negulesco's tourist guide sheen and "The Best of Everything" (1959) brought together yet another trio of upwardly mobile working women in an undistinguished if watchable manner.

Negulesco made a handful of films during the 60s of little note and later dabbled in art collecting and real estate. If in retrospect his career seems to have been swamped by increasingly vapid, star-heavy glamourfests, he nevertheless helmed a number of very fine films and proved himself a reliable and talented purveyor of smooth entertainment.

Milestones

1969

Made last films, "Hello-Goodbye" and "The Invincible Six"

1961

Went to Europe to film the US-French-Italian co-production, "Jessica"

1959

Last film for 20th Century-Fox for five years, "The Best of Everything"

1948

Last film for Warner Brothers, "Johnny Belinda"

1948

Joined 20th Century-Fox; first film there, "Road House"

1943

Achieved critical success with his second film, "The Mask of Dimitrios"

1940

Made directorial debut for Warners with "Singapore Woman"

1937

Began working as a feature film writer when he co-wrote the original story for "Fight for Your Lady" and the screenplay for "Expensive Husbands"

1927

Came to the United States

1915

Returned to Romania with the outbreak of WWI (date approximate)

1912

Ran away from home at age 12 and made his way to Paris; supported himself by washing dishes (date approximate)

Signed on with Warner Brothers

Worked as a second-unit director and an assistant producer

Moved to Marbella, Spain in the late 1960s

Began his career in Hollywood as a sketch artist for Paramount Pictures; worked on films including "A Farewell to Arms" (1932) and "The Story of Temple Drake" (1933)

After retiring from filmmaking, collected art and dealt in real estate

Earned a living for a time painting portraits

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